In this blog, we will explore the role mitochondria have in our body and ways we can support the mitochondria with delicious and simple juice recipes.
What is mitochondria?
The mitochondria are organelles in our cells that are responsible for creating energy for our bodies. They are like the engine that powers a car. They are fueled by what we eat and the health of our system. When the mitochondria don’t have enough of the right quality fuel, we can feel tired all day long. If we do not have quality fuel for long periods of time, we can develop more serious chronic issues.
Your high school science teacher wasn’t joking around when they said the mitochondria is the ‘powerhouse of the cell.’ Our bodies run because of the energy created by the mitochondria. The mitochondria gets this nickname because it creates and stores energy for our cells and body in the form of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). ATP powers the cellular processes our bodies carry out on a daily basis. And it’s the raw, nutritious foods and juices that have substrates and cofactors for this electron transport chain that ultimately creates ATP.
How does diet affect mitochondrial function?
Research has shown that the quality of our mitochondrial fuel is affected by diet. Anti-inflammatory foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables support mitochondrial function so that we can produce enough fuel from them to keep running.
One cellular process that happens in our bodies daily is called autophagy. This is when cells are cleaned out of the organelles, proteins, and debris that are no longer efficient or effective.
Like any other process in our body, we need energy created by our mitochondria to carry them out. Consuming anti-inflammatory foods supports mitochondrial function so sufficient energy can be produced to clear out the cellular ‘gunk’.
If there is chronic inflammation, there are constant triggers for energy and support. What happens to our energy/ATP when our body is in a constant battle in the gut? We run out of energy.
Raw, cold-pressed juice for a daily boost of energy
Our favorite way to kickstart the day is with a glass of fresh juice. The morning is not only our favorite time to drink juice, but the best time of the day to drink juice too. PURE Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Ruhoy recommends drinking juice immediately after waking up before having anything else. Because our body’s cells have fasted overnight, we are primed to absorb all of the amazing nutrients in fresh, raw fruits and vegetables. These nutrients are absorbed so efficiently and effectively that your body can use the energy immediately. We created five recipes to make it fun and delicious to support our mitochondria.
Recipes for Mitochondrial Health
We created recipes specific to mitochondria using the Periodic Table of Juicing, a table of elements created by our Chief Medical Officer, Ilene Ruhoy, MD, Ph.D. and Founder/CEO of PURE Juicer, David Feinberg. Each recipe includes phytonutrients to support your mitochondria. We explain the health benefits of each juice because in addition to mitochondrial support, these fruits and vegetables are packed with other nutrients our bodies need and love. For more information and free version of the Periodic Table of Juicing, click here.
Give Me a Boost
Give Me a Boost (24oz*)
- 6 Red Apples
- 1 Beet
- 1 Lime
Health Benefits of ‘Give Me a Boost’
What makes this mitochondria-boosting juice so energizing? It’s the apple! Apples are packed with mitochondria-fueling antioxidants called polyphenols which help fight inflammation and support mitochondrial function. The red apples used for this recipe are also packed with vitamin C enhancing mitochondrial membranes and supporting immune system functioning. When you drink apple juice, the mitochondria increase their rate of DNA synthesis by 30%, letting cells create more energy. Beets are dense with nitrates. In order for the mitochondria to produce the valuable ATP our cells use to function, they need sufficient oxygen. Nitrates are a vasodilator meaning they help to increase blood flow within the body thus more oxygen. The lime in this juice is full of vitamin C, which acts as an anti-inflammatory agent in the body and is a delicious addition to this juice (or any juice…we love limes).
Next on the list, is one of our favorite lighter green juice combos.
Green Thumb (24oz*)
- 5 Cups Green Grapes
- 1 – 2” Thumb of Ginger
- 1 Cup Packed Parsley
This juice is sweet, spicy, and packs a punch for nutrients.
Health Benefits of ‘Green Thumb’
Green grapes are full of proanthocyanidins which are phenolic compounds that improve mitochondrial function and reduce oxidative stress. Ginger is a rich source of manganese, an essential component of many enzymes. One particular manganese dependent enzyme protects the mitochondria from damage by free radicals. Parsley is a great source of vitamins A and C. These important nutrients have antioxidant properties that prevent cellular damage and aging caused by free radicals.
This next recipe is liquid sunshine. The orange bell pepper adds a kick to the silk smooth neutral orange and carrot.
Power Up (24oz*)
- 6 Carrots
- 2 Oranges
- 1 Orange Bell Pepper
Health Benefits of ‘Power Up’
Orange bell peppers make for a great nutritious supplement in any juice recipe. They’re packed with vitamin C and beta-carotene, which means that they can help protect against cancer and other diseases. They’re also a good source of B vitamins including thiamine, niacin, pantothenic acid, riboflavin, biotin, and pyridoxine. Carrots are rich in alpha-lipoic acid that serves as an antioxidant. This helps to protect the mitochondrial membrane and remove toxins from the body. Oranges are an excellent source of vitamin C and are an anti-inflammatory fruit that supports the mitochondria.
This next recipe is a great summer option and it will have your mitochondria jazzed. Drink as a juice or even turn this juice into popsicles!
Summertime Sunset (32oz*)
- 5 Cups Watermelon
- 1 – 6oz Package Red Raspberries
- 1 Lime
This summer juice yields 32 oz of fresh juice. This sweet and tangy combo is an excellent lower calorie juice at just about 300 calories per serving.
Health Benefits of ‘Summertime Sunset’
Watermelon is a super juice fruit. It’s hydrating, full of water and electrolytes. It also contains citrulline, which promotes blood circulation in your mitochondria. Citrulline is converted into arginine and nitric oxide once consumed. Arginine raises nitric oxide levels, allowing for better nutrient delivery to mitochondria. Like an all-natural energy drink! Raspberries contain more Vitamin C than almost any other fruit. They are rich with antioxidants and adding them to your juice is a great way to support mitochondrial health.
The next recipe puts a fun twist on juicing. Like Summertime Sunset, this juice recipe is also great for popsicles.
Power Punch (40oz*)
- 1 Pineapple
- ¼ Cup Dried Goji Berries
- ¼ Cup Dried Mulberries
This recipe makes 40 oz of juice, enough for two servings or multiple popsicles!
Health Benefits of Power Punch
Pineapples are one of the best natural sources of bromelain, which detoxifies your mitochondria by digesting damaged proteins (apoptosis). Pineapple also aids in digestion, boosts metabolism, and nourishes your hair, skin, nails, and teeth. Both dried mulberries and goji berries contain healthly antioxidants. These antioxidants reduce inflammation and help to remove harmful substances from the body. This allows the mitochondria to be more energized.
Keeping your mitochondria healthy is essential as the mitochondria are in charge of our energy production. We hope you have enjoyed reading our five delicious juice recipes and find a few favorites to add to your daily or weekly juicing routine.
Stay tuned for more recipe blogs created from our Periodic Table of Juicing. The PURE Periodic Table of Juicing is created by our Chief Medical Officer, Ilene Ruhoy, MD, Ph.D. and CEO and Founder David Feinberg. Dr. Ruhoy was trained in both pediatric and adult neurology at Seattle Children’s Hospital and the University of Washington where she received additional training in mitochondrial medicine and neuromuscular medicine.
*Please note that the recipe yields are for a PURE Juicer. The instructions and yield will be slightly different than other juicers but these are great for ANY juicer. We just recommend adding at least 25% more produce for the same serving size.