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Mitochondria Diet

A mitochondria diet may be the key to living a longer and healthier life. In this article, we’ll explain how to support your mitochondria with nourishing foods to optimize longevity, reduce inflammation, and support overall well-being. 

What are Mitochondria?

Mitochondria are organelles found within almost every cell in the human body and are responsible for generating energy. We are made up of trillions of cells that work in harmony to carry out basic functions for survival. Mitochondria transforms nutrients from your diet, like sugar, fat, and protein, into energy that the cell can use. 
Unfortunately, mitochondria are particularly susceptible to nutrient deficiencies, environmental toxins, and damage from free radicals. Over time, these factors impair the mitochondria leading to oxidative stress, inflammation, and other chronic diseases.

Optimizing Longevity 

As we age, the function of our mitochondria naturally declines, leading to decreased energy production and an increased production of harmful free radicals. These free radicals can damage our cells and contribute to aging and the development of age-related diseases, like cancer, heart disease, and Parkinson’s (1). By adopting a mitochondria diet, we can support the health and function of these crucial organelles to promote a healthier aging process. 

Mitochondria Diet

The diet interventions that preserve mitochondrial function are also the ones aiming to reduce overall inflammation while increasing antioxidant intake. Namely, many studies have linked a Mediterranean-style diet with improved mitochondrial health (2, 3). Let’s review a few key points when following a mitochondria diet.

Antioxidant-Rich Foods

By increasing your intake of antioxidants from food, you can significantly lower your oxidative stress levels and protect your mitochondria from damage. 
Plant-based foods, like fruits and vegetables, are generally the best sources of antioxidants. However, a few specific foods contain higher levels than most: 
  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli
  • Dark leafy greens
  • Berries
  • Apples
  • Walnuts
  • Pecans
  • Red kidney beans
To ensure that you eat a wide variety of antioxidants, aim to make your plate as colorful as possible and strive to eat at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables every day. 

Omega-3 Fats

Foods rich in omega-3 fats possess anti-inflammatory properties and support mitochondrial function. Omega-3 fats have also been shown to increase energy production in the mitochondria (4). You can find healthy omega-3 fats in ground flaxseeds, walnuts, and chia seeds. However, there are two types of omega-3 fats crucial to mitochondrial health, called EPA and DHA. These fats are only found in fish like salmon, mackerel, anchovies, sardines, and herring. Strive to include these types of fish into your diet twice per week. Many people struggle to meet this recommendation and/or still cannot keep omega-3 levels in check despite regular fish intake. In these cases, we often recommend an omega-3 supplement with EPA and DHA to further support your omega-3 levels and mitochondrial health. 
Root Omega 3

Omega 3

Fish oil that goes down easy and boosts Omega 3 levels
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Nuts

Compelling research suggests that eating a serving of nuts each day may reduce your risk of certain chronic diseases. Nuts are nutrient-dense foods that provide many vitamins and minerals to support your mitochondria and longevity. For example, one handful of almonds provides almost half of your daily vitamin E requirements, while just one brazil nut is enough to meet your daily selenium needs. Aim to enjoy at least one serving of nuts every day. You can eat a handful as a quick and filling snack, pair almond butter with sliced apples, sprinkle pecans into your morning oatmeal, or add cashews to your stir fry.

Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting is the term used to describe various fasting patterns, in which individuals purposefully fast for a specific amount of time (except for water). Intermittent fasting may offer proven benefits like enhanced mitochondrial function, reduced insulin resistance, and less inflammation (5, 6, 7, 8). A simple, yet effective, way to incorporate intermittent fasting is to aim for at least 12 hours of fasting overnight. For example, if you eat dinner at 6pm, aim to fast until at least 6am. While fasting offers some health benefits, it isn’t for everybody. Prolonged fasting is not recommended in pregnancy, hypothyroid disorders, or in people with a history of an eating disorder. 

Sample Meal Plan


Putting together all that we have discussed about a mitochondria diet so far, let’s put these nutrient-dense foods into action with a sample one-day meal plan:
  • Breakfast: Chia seed pudding topped with berries and walnuts
  • Lunch: Turkey avocado wrap with broccoli slaw
  • Dinner: Sheet pan salmon with roasted vegetables and sweet potatoes
  • Snacks: apple slices + almond butter, hummus + bell peppers strips and cucumbers
When planning any meal or snack on a mitochondria diet, follow the Root Plate™ PFC (protein/fat/carb) method and strive to include a protein, healthy fat, and fiber-rich carbohydrate for optimal blood sugar balance. 
divided root plate

Root Cell Recharge

A mitochondria diet is crucial to setting a proper foundation to support mitochondrial health and prevent disease. However, we recognize that it is not always possible to meet your nutrition requirements with diet alone. Plus, certain individuals may require additional supplementation to correct a nutrient deficiency or support various metabolic pathways. Our Root Cell Recharge Multivitamin provides key nutrients to support energy production. For example, green tea leaf extract and resveratrol are two powerful antioxidants known to preserve mitochondrial function (9, 10). Minerals like magnesium, selenium, and zinc in our multivitamin can support optimal blood sugar balance, thyroid function, and energy.
Cell Recharge

Cell Recharge Multivitamin

The vitamin for energy & longevity
$60.00

Key Takeaways

Your mitochondria are known as the “powerhouses” of the cell. A poor diet, environmental toxins, and stress can all deplete your body of the nutrients the mitochondria need to function properly. A mitochondria diet can support these crucial organelles to promote longevity with antioxidant-rich foods, omega-3 fats, a variety of nuts, and intermittent fasting. 

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