Everyone knows that exercise is good for your health. Not only does it keep your cardiovascular system in top shape, but it can also help with mental health conditions such as depression and plays a key role in maintaining a healthy weight and metabolism. What some people may not understand, however, is what exercise really does for the body at its core. Beyond the visible benefits, exercise actually has an impact on the cells of the brain and body.
Cellular Health and Your Body
The human body is made up of millions of cells, all working to keep your various systems running properly. The body is a machine made up of many parts. The cells in the different parts of your body rely on the others in order to keep the machine as a whole functioning. So when the cells of one bodily system are not functioning at their best, the negative impact can spread throughout the body, leading you to feel less than your best and even contributing to the development of chronic disease.
This is why it is so important to focus on your health at a cellular level. If you have poor cellular health, it is pretty much impossible to feel and look healthy. Many lifestyle factors in today’s world can damage the body’s cells. Things like poor diet, lack of exercise, air pollution, and overuse of prescription medications can all impair cellular health and function. On the other hand, cells thrive when you eat a well balanced diet that provides your cells with all of the nutrients that they need.
Think about it this way- the food you eat is fuel for your cells. A diet for optimal cell health is similar to a well rounded, nutrient rich diet that is ideal for fitness and health in general. One of the healthiest types of food you can eat is cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli. Broccoli contains an abundance of micronutrients including vitamins C, B1, B2, B3, B6, E and K, as well as magnesium and potassium, two very important minerals for cellular health.
Along with fueling your cells from all of these nutrients, broccoli is high in fiber and low in calories, which means you will feel full from eating a very little amount of calories. This reduces the chance of overeating Overeating puts stress on your cells because it inundates them with more lipids, glucose, and minerals than they can handle digesting. This means your cells have to work extra hard to digest all of the food your consuming, which ultimately wears them out and expedites the aging process.
Eating a diet rich in vegetables like broccoli and kale ensure that you are getting the vitamins and nutrients your body needs at a lower caloric dose than many other types of foods. If you are unable to eat an adequate amount of these foods in your everyday life, supplements like nootropics are a great way to add these minerals into your diet without needing to take the time to grocery shop and prepare full meals.
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The term “carcinogen” is thrown around alot when it comes to chronic diseases. Carcinogens are essentially substances present in the external environment that can cause cancer. It seems that all the time now new carcinogens are identified, claiming a link between everyday things and cancer such as styrofoam. Some carcinogens are more well-known, and have a more definitive link to cancer, such as tobacco smoke. It can be scary to think about all of the things you are exposed to throughout the day that may be carcinogenic.
But, there are steps you can take to fight back against the carcinogens you may be exposed to throughout the day. Certain fruits and vegetables are known to be protective against cancer. Momental’s MIND nootropic blend contains some of these substances that can fight against carcinogens and toxins known to contribute to cancer and other chronic diseases. Antioxidants are well known to be protective for the body, but there are some lesser known compounds that can also be very beneficial when it comes to building your cells’ defenses against chronic disease.
One of these things is isothiocyanates. Isothiocyanates are chemical compounds found in foods such as broccoli that fight against carcinogens in some key ways. They counteract the poisonous effects of carcinogens, making them far less toxic than they would have been otherwise. If you have the time to grocery shop and cook, foods like broccoli sprouts are an incredible source of isothiocyanates, particularly sulforaphane, which is toxic to cancer cells. But, if you do not have the ability to include whole foods in your diet, supplements such as Momental are a great option to get these nutrients into your diet.
Cellular Health and Chronic Diseases: mtDNA
All cells in the human body are eukaryotic. Eukaryotic cells contain a collection of organelles, each of which carry out an important function. You likely remember from school that the mitochondria is the “powerhouse of the cell.” That is because mitochondria are responsible for producing a large amount of the body’s energy, or ATP.
They do this by converting chemicals such as glucose from the food we eat into oxygen to fuel the cellular respiration cycle. Another thing that makes mitochondria so important for the body as a whole is that it has its own DNA. Mutations to mitochondrial DNA can have a major impact on health, and damaged mtDNA is associated with several diseases as well as impaired functioning of organs such as the brain, liver, and heart.
Something you likely do not remember, or may not have even been taught in school, is the role mitochondrial DNA can play in the development of chronic diseases, particularly cancer. The theory that mitochondria play a role in the development of cancer is known as The Warburg Effect.
The cancer puzzle as we know it is still missing a few key pieces. Along with the lack of a successful cure, or treatments that maintain the integrity of healthy cells, one of the biggest holes in cancer research is the inability to identify a cause in most cases.
While sometimes cancer can be attributed to an environmental factor, such as lung cancer in someone who was a cigarette smoker, oftentimes there is no clear cause for why someone develops cancer. Part of the problem is that cancer cells, even within the same tumor, can be very different, making it hard to find common threads between them that may point to a cause. However, one thing that is common among cancer cells is that they have an unusually high rate of aerobic glycolysis.
This abnormal cellular respiration cycle among cancerous cells is the center point of Dr. Warburg’s hypothesis. The Warburg Effect states that cancerous cells convert glucose to lactate during glycolysis rather than following the standard cellular respiration cycle of healthy cells due to reduced mitochondrial function. Reduced mitochondrial function signals problems with the cell’s metabolic performance. Thus, many cancers may actually be a metabolic disease. Though there are conflicting viewpoints surrounding The Warburg Effect, the role of mitochondria in cancer continues to be studied today.
In addition to the cancer link, mtDNA contributes to the development of other chronic diseases. Again, it comes back to the role mtDNA plays in the body’s metabolism. Unhealthy behaviors such as diet and lack of exercise contribute to metabolic oversupply. Metabolic oversupply occurs when there are too many glucose and lipid energetic substrates in the body for it to use.
This overabundance can damage many molecular functions, including mtDNA. This speeds up the aging process, and the rate of cell function reductions that occurs as a normal part of aging. But for people with damaged cells and mtDNA, the process is sped up. This makes people more susceptible to the development of chronic diseases, especially diabetes.
The good news is that there are simple ways to combat metabolic oversupply and protect the integrity of your mtDNA, keeping your metabolism running optimally for your age. Just as a sedentary lifestyle and overconsumption of lipids and glucose contribute to mtDNA and metabolic damage, physical activity and a healthy diet, including caloric restriction, triggers metabolic undersupply which maintains the integrity of mtDNA and promotes cellular health.
However, many people in today’s busy world do not have the time or energy to exercise regularly or cook healthy meals. This is where nootropic supplements come into play. Momental’s MIND and MEND blends contain many vitamins, minerals, and nutrients found in the world’s healthiest foods, in a quick, easy form. Momental MIND contains MCT oil, a source of very healthy fat that helps keep you full and assists in reducing your caloric intake throughout the day. Nootropic supplements also give you an energy boost so that you do not reach for unhealthy sources of calories as a result of feeling sluggish or cravings.
Exercise for Cellular Health
The importance of exercise when it comes to cellular health cannot be overstated. It is well known that exercise has many positive side effects, such as reduced body fat and improved cardiovascular health. But, it also works below the surface to improve the body’s functioning at its core.
Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology set out to discover what exercise really does for the body on a cellular level. To do so, the scientists identified and isolated roughly 200 metabolites in hundreds of study participants and examined how exercise impacted these metabolites. Their findings indicate that fit people burn more fat than less fit people while they exercise. This helps prevent metabolic overload and keeps metabolism functioning properly, and indicates that exercising regularly and maintaining fitness promotes cellular function.
Even more direct, a recent study showed a link between high intensity interval training (HIIT) and mitochondrial health. The study focused on the benefits as they pertain to aging, and helping to prevent and reduce cellular damage that comes with age. They found that HIIT can help give the mitochondria an extra boost as they lose some of their energy producing power over time. This means that exercise can help reduce some of the negative effects that aging has on the mitochondria, and thus the body’s cellular functions as a whole.
Other studies have also shown the benefits of exercise when it comes to aging. A study recent published in Preventive Medicine found that people who exercise more have longer telomeres than people who are sedentary. Telomeres are pieces of protein on the end of human chromosomes that shorten with age. But, some people’s telomeres shorten at a faster rate than others. In general, people with shorter telomeres die younger and are more likely to develop chronic diseases than people with longer telomeres. So, the length is crucial when it comes to cellular health over the course of one’s life and its role in chronic disease and overall health.
The difference in number of base pairs on the telomeres in the people in the study is significant. The group that exercised often had an average of 140 more base pairs on their telomeres than the sedentary group, which equates to about 9 years worth of aging. That is a huge amount of time when it comes to cellular health and function.
Though the study cohort who exercised the most (at least 180 minutes per week) saw the highest impact on telomere length, even moderate amounts of exercise had an impact. This drives home the point that even a little something is better than nothing. If you feel that you do not have time to fit in a “full” workout, just do what you can under your circumstances, and you will still reap some benefits in the long run.
The benefits of exercise also expand beyond the body to the mind. Studies have shown that exercise increases levels of brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and improve memory and learning. The increased levels of BDNF means that exercise will help you focus more, learn easier, as well as help prevent neurological conditions such as depression.
But, the problem always comes back to a lack of time or energy to do the things you know are healthy. Hopefully this information helps inspire you to start, or restart, a workout routine. But, knowing the facts does not always lead to action- there are a variety of limiting factors. Momental’s MIND and MEND nootropics can help give you the extra boost you need to exercise regularly.
The MIND blend helps maintain high energy levels throughout the day to keep you focused, and still be productive in the later hours of the day to fit in things like working out or other passion projects or interests. The MEND blend promotes restful sleep, which means you are more likely to feel good throughout the day and maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle.
Exercise is important for so many reasons, starting at the core- your cells. Make Momental’s MIND and MEND blends part of your healthy lifestyle, and reap the benefits of exercise even more.