Some young adults can no longer smile, eat, laugh—or study. Mitochondria in your cells gives your body energy to do these tasks: “The main function of mitochondria is energy production. And this energy gets used for almost everything we do, which is why when your mitochondria are damaged, you have less energy to combat disease, allergies, inflammation, and stress” (Bennet, 2016, p. 14 of 212, 11%). But, “when your mitochondrial health is impaired, you may start to experience symptoms such as
- Fatigue and physical weakness
- Pain and soreness
- Memory loss and lack of motivation
- Brain fog and depression
- Mood changes and feeling overwhelmed
- Headaches and migraines
- Stiffness, tight or cramping muscles
- Prolonged healing and recovery period” (Bennet, 2016, p. 17 of 212, 12%).
I watched a YouTube clip of a fellow in a coma-like state from chronic fatigue syndrome. His mitochondria had failed him. Damaged mitochondria can lead to autoimmune diseases: “We are coming to discover how when something goes wrong in the mitochondria, they may turn this process of apoptosis [cell death] against healthy cells in the body, leading to a whole number of autoimmune diseases” (Bennet, 2016, p. 13 of 212, 10%).
Like the fellow in the coma state, I too came down with (undiagnosed) chronic fatigue syndrome. On sick days, I couldn’t read a page in a book due to lack of energy. Instead, I felt nausea and extreme tiredness, which began stretching entire weeks instead of merely half. The only relief came when I munched garden grown kale or took ice cold showers. “When we expose ourselves to hazardous foods, polluted water, UV rays, drugs or toxic chemicals, or when we don’t take care of our body’s physical needs … instead of providing the oxygen and nutrients that our mitochondria need, we starve them” (Bennet, 2016, 2019, p. 15 of 212, 11%).
I aim to claim healthier mitochondria. You should, too. Athletes; performance-conscious people; people with low energy; sufferers of chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, or many other diseases—all gain from stronger mitochondria. After all, do you want to wind up pumping iron at age ninety or bedbound at age forty? Well, to be at peak health, you need to achieve the “3 P’s for optimal mitochondria health …  prevent mitochondrial impairment,  purge damaged mitochondria,  protect and produce healthy, new mitochondria. This way, you’ll have the most and healthiest mitochondria in your body possible, firing on all cylinders, making more energy for your body” (Bennet, 2016, location 135 of 3181, 4%).
To strengthen mitochondria, try exercising, supplementing, eating a healthy diet, and detoxing.
As for exercise, start small. Walk a block a day, and gradually, over a two-year period, work up to seven-hour workouts a week at an athlete’s level. That’s what happened to me over a year-and-eight-month time frame. My undiagnosed chronic fatigue syndrome disappeared. And even today, I notice new achievements I couldn’t do the month before.
But if your health prevents you from walking a block, then do as Dr. Susanne Bennett says, “You could even walk for 1 minute and then rest for 3 minutes if that is the conditioning you are at” (2016, p. 64 of 212, 30%). Later adding weights to build muscle can multiply your mitochondria: “Part of what we’re doing when we exercise is simply building better mitochondria. We’re packing our body with them, since they’re highly concentrated in muscle” (Bennet, 2016, p. 25 of 212, 16%).
But Dr. Bennett suggests you bypass working up to an athlete’s workout: “I recommend you train only two to three times of interval training a week; put it simply, you must give the body the rest it needs to purge the damaged mitochondria …” (Bennet, 2016, p. 67 of 212, 31%). Rest makes for better fitness, true. I get two days rest a week. But I believe we can push ourselves once we get healthier: longer workouts and harder workouts. And I know firsthand that higher intensity workouts lead to greater health benefits.
For instance, a year and eight months ago, I couldn’t tolerate supplements. I couldn’t meditate without getting sick. I could barely withstand super-hot steam baths. And I couldn’t sleep more than ten hours without needing an extra thirty-hour nap. But today, I can do all those things without ill health.
I’m now ready to introduce supplements into my diet to increase my mitochondrial strength. You should do so, too, if you want more energy. Supplements to take include: “Carnitine, CoQ10, creatine, D-ribose, magnesium malate, NADH, SAM-e, vitamin B12” (Dellwo, January 17, 2019).
Strong mitochondria also need antioxidants to fight off free radicals, according to Dr. Bennett. The best sources of antioxidants come from “goji berries … wild blueberries … dark chocolate … pecans … artichoke (boiled) … elderberries … kidney beans … cranberries … blackberries … cilantro” (Axe, May 7, 2018). You can buy goji berries in the nuts and dried fruits aisles of most Asian supermarkets.
For detox, don’t use Crest, Colgate, Lubriderm—or any other toxic cream or paste. Lubriderm’s alcohols and acid don’t belong on the skin, do they? After all, what goes on the body, goes in the body, becomes the body. (I believe that saying came from the famous Dr. Amen.) Instead, I suggest you buy organic extra virgin coconut oil. The “organic extra virgin” version tastes like coconut pie and feels smooth on the skin. I use organic extra virgin coconut oil for skin cream, massage oil, and deep hair conditioning. I also use a mixture of the organic extra virgin coconut oil with baking soda for toothpaste and deodorant. As for other detox strategies, buy a (non-electric) foot bath for magnesium-rich Epsom salt soaks and use a body brush. And sign up at gyms to get fit and then sit in their steam baths.
Now, you’ll have the energy to dance like the stars and study like an Einstein. Best of all, you won’t wind up bedbound in your thirties, unable to smile, eat, laugh—or study.