Mitochondria and our health

Mitochondria and our health

Mitochondria are one of the most important organelles in our cells. They are the producers of ATP (adenosine triphosphate) energy, so often referred to as the powerhouses of the cells. They help to turn the food that we consume into energy.

Mitochondria are present in every cell of our body.

Besides energy production, they also play a role in cell death, called apoptosis. They decide which cells should be destroyed, if they become broken or cancerous.

Mitochondria help in absorption of calcium ions and holding them until they are needed.

Mitochondria can also assist the body to generate heat by using brown fat tissue.

Mitochondrial structure is very complex, but one thing that is very important is that in the inner membrane of the mitochondria, called the matrix, there are hundreds of enzymes crucial in the production of energy (ATP). Mitochondrial DNA is also housed in the matrix.

Cells of the body that require the most energy, have greater numbers of mitochondria.

Mitochondria provide energy for the sperm cells (tail movement) that is so important for fertility.

Mitochondria are so important for our health that it is necessary to support them.

There are many ways to support our mitochondrial health:

  1. Walk outside for at least 15 to 20 minutes per day
  2. Do deep breathing exercises in the morning and before bed
  3. Juice fasts and clean nutrition
  4. Supplements-there are variety of supplements on the market that contain Ubiquinol, Liposomal Vitamin C, Vitamin D3 and K2, Turmeric, Resveratrol and certain B vitamins.

For more information about mitochondrial health, specific supplements and dosing, consult your naturopathic practitioner.

***The aging process depends on mitochondrial health, so take care of them and stay young***

The 5-7 Day Spring Detox

The 5-7 Day Spring Detox

It is finally Spring and it is time to clean, detoxify, rejuvenate and nourish your body.
There is no good health without regular fasting either through a simple water fast or a juice fast.

I generally prefer and recommend the juice fast, as it is very clean and simple to follow.

All you need is a juicer, preferably a masticating or slow juicer to preserve as many nutrients as possible.

Juices are easily assimilated into the blood stream giving the body an immediate source of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, micronutrients and electrolytes. The juice cleanse allows the body to easily remove toxins improving liver and kidney function. The intestinal tract is prompted to get rid of old debris from the walls of the gut that accumulated over time.

Some symptoms that can be experienced during the detox:
– Headache and some fatigue may occur in about 2-3 days of the cleanse. It is a sign of toxins being released into the blood stream. Do not worry. It will pass.
-Cravings for solid foods,it is important not to eat any solid foods during this time. If you have a strong craving, prepare an extra glass of juice and sip on it.

Important steps during your juice fast:

  1. Every morning drink a glass of warm water with a slice of lemon.
  2. Prepare fresh juices every day and drink at least 16 oz 4-6 times per day.
  3. Drink water between juices for hydration.
  4. Try not to eat any solid foods.
  5. Go to bed early.
  6. Do stretching exercises every day for 15 to 20 minutes.
  7. Do dry skin brushing before showers.


Rich green Juice
-4-6 kale leaves
-1 medium size cucumber
-3 stalks of celery
-1 Granny Smith apple
-1 cm ginger root
-may add some lemon juice

Carrot/Beet juice Plus
-2 large carrots
-1/2 medium beet
-1 Granny Smith apple
-1/3 Romaine lettuce
-1/2 cucumber
-1/4 lemon peeled
Super Intestinal Detox juice
-3-4 celery stalks
-1 cucumber
-juice of half lemon
-fresh cilantro (just enough to taste)

After 5-7 days of your cleanse, start to consume easy to digest foods: lightly steamed vegetables, avocados and berries.
Gradually (over 3-5 days, return to a clean, no sugar, no wheat and no dairy containing diet), so your body can heal and rejuvenate. The benefit of this hard work will be your great satisfaction that you have accomplish your goal to detoxify your body, weight loss and tremendous boost of energy. It is worth it!!

For more details and for many other detox protocols, healthy weight loss nutrition guidelines and proper supplementation contact me at The Green Heart Naturopathic Clinic.



Nature designed food to break itself  down  in our digestive tract. However, our modern diet is far from helping our body to digest food properly, as it is deficient in enzymes. Almost everyone has experienced bloating, constipation, gas, acid reflux and swelling ( fluid retention ) after consuming certain foods. These are all symptoms of low enzymatic activity.

Enzymes play a very important part in our gut health and our overall health.

Dr. Edward Howell, the author of “Enzyme Nutrition” demonstrated conclusively that using digestive enzymes could improve digestion, regulate weight and eliminate the symptoms of variety of chronic conditions. Essentially, every process in our body needs enzymes to perform chemical and biological functions.

Naturally, our body produces variety of about 3000 enzymes. The only external source of enzymes come from the foods we eat. Most of the foods we consume now, though are devoid of enzymes, because of the way they are grown,  processed and transported. We also consume mostly cooked foods, because it is easier  and faster to eat them, they are tastier for some as well. We swallow food instead of chewing it. Chewing on raw fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds releases natural enzymes and helps the body to utilize them in the chemical and biological processes inside our cells. Research demonstrates that any food heated to above 118 degrees Fahrenheit loses all of its enzymes. In other words all cooked foods are deficient in enzymes. The chemically-laden  processed foods, grown with pesticides and chemical fertilizers further strain our digestive system and drain our essential enzyme reserves even more. Dr. Howell suggest that the body has a limited “Enzyme Bank Account” that gets drawn down as we age – which contributes to the degeneration associated with aging. In his book  “The Enzyme Factor”, world-renowned colon expert Dr. Hiromi Shinya, suggests that undigested protein, particularly from milk products, fast foods and red meat – can become “food” for “bad” bacteria. The bad bacteria create all kinds of toxins that leak into the blood stream causing inflammatory conditions that lead to chronic diseases long term.

Try to always add fresh green vegetables,  green smoothies, vegetable juices, fruits and whole unprocessed foods to your diet.

The reasons to add  extra enzymes to your diet are many:

  1. Enzymes improve your digestion and complete breakdown of foods.
  2. Improve assimilation of nutrients from the food you eat.
  3. Enzymes prevent auto-intoxication from the toxins in our food and environment.
  4. Extra Enzyme intake replaces the enzymes lost during food processing, irradiation and cooking.
  5. Increase Energy.
  6. Assist the Immune System and are considered “extra workers” for the Immune System.
  7. Reduce environmental and food sensitivities.
  8. Prevent muscle loss associated with aging and degenerative conditions.

Finally, maximizing on enzyme intake may improve quality of life and potentially extend your life. There is many enzymes available on the market. Ask your Health care provider at The Green Heart Naturopathic Clinic for assistance to choose the right ones for you.