It is easy to overlook cellular health. Most practitioners look at outward signs of health; however, when you address the cellular level, you can slow aging, prevent infections and diseases, manage severe health conditions, reduce fatigue, and more. Often in the clinic, we discuss with patients that most diagnoses come back to similar treatment needs. Namely, to heal the body on a cellular level; whether you have an autoimmune disease, infection, neurodegenerative disease, Lyme disease, or simply looking to optimize the way you feel and function, it comes down to the same principles. One easy way to protect cellular health is through diet. With that in mind, what are the best foods for cellular health?
Keep reading to learn why you should consider the health of your cells and the best foods for cellular health!
What is Cellular Health?
The health of your body’s cells determines the health of all other bodily systems. Your body is made up of millions of cells, after all. These cells work together to keep your body functioning properly.
Cellular health focuses on keeping cells as healthy as possible. Just like the human body, each cell has many different parts: an external membrane composed of fatty acids and internal components that are responsible for various things such as transferring messages, creating energy, initiating detoxification, and so on.
Every part of the cell needs to function well for optimal health to be achieved. Achieving this requires providing your cells with the proper nutrients and reducing the amount of stress your cells undergo on a daily basis.
Cellular Health and Aging
Aging is a natural process that everyone experiences. But, the rate at which you age depends on your cellular health and the amount of cellular damage you experience throughout your life. While it is impossible to stop aging altogether, you can certainly slow down the process by mitigating factors that damage cells.
Those factors include inflammation and oxidative stress.
Oxidative stress occurs when there are more reactive oxygen species (ROS) than antioxidant defenses in your body. When ROS outpace antioxidants, they continue to increase and damage your cells. This proliferation leads to cellular damage and aging.
Inflammation occurs when your body’s immune system reacts to a foreign invader. It is a critical part of the healing process. However, chronic inflammation, which occurs over months or years, is extremely harmful to your body and leads to tissue damage, and it is the culprit behind many chronic diseases.
How Do I Improve My Cellular Health?
You will improve your cellular health by taking supplements and choosing the right nutrition plan. The foods you choose to consume can promote inflammation and oxidative stress in your body or provide nourishment to your cells to combat these processes. Remember, the food you eat becomes the material for your cells, tissues, and organs.
Best Foods for Cellular Health
So, what are the best foods for cellular health if diet can support your body’s cells? First, you can get the all-important compounds needed for cellular health from supplements, which can sometimes be more convenient.
However, dietary sources are the best way to consume the minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants needed for cellular health. Here are the seven best foods for cellular health.
Leafy greens, including kale, spinach, arugula, mustard greens, and Swiss chard, are packed with nutrients that decrease inflammation and enhance immune function. Besides that, leafy greens are also high in vitamin C, magnesium, folate, and vitamin A. These vitamins and minerals are all essential for immune function and overall health. As with any beneficial food or supplement, consuming these things in moderation is important. Especially if you tend to struggle with high oxalate foods as leafy greens do tend to be higher in oxalates.
These types of vegetables also contain polyphenol antioxidants which have powerful anti-inflammatory properties.
Research shows that certain polyphenols, such as the antioxidant quercetin, are concentrated in leafy greens and may help suppress the production of inflammatory proteins.
Eggs are a low-cost (historically..) and nutrient-dense whole food and one of the best foods for cellular health. Bioactive components in eggs affect pro- and anti-inflammatory pathways that play a role in the pathophysiology of diseases. Further, eggs contain vitamins A and B12, zinc, iron, and selenium, all of which play vital roles in immune function and, thus, cellular health. The quality of the eggs does matter. Factory farmed eggs tend to be lower in these essential vitamins and nutrients. Source your eggs locally when possible and seek organic eggs from Chickens who are allowed to forage for their food.
Omega-3 fatty acids are excellent sources of healthy fats for your cells. They also may promote wound healing, enhance immune response, and reduce inflammation. Salmon is full of protein, B vitamins, selenium, iron, zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids. Source wild caught salmon when possible.
Nuts and Seeds
Some of the best foods for cellular health are also the easiest to eat! Nuts and seeds are great on-the-go snacks and are also good sources of zinc, vitamin E, manganese, and magnesium. Vitamin E also acts as an antioxidant in your body, protecting against cellular damage.
Vitamin E is also critical for immune health as sufficient vitamin E levels can improve the function of protective immune cells, which help fight infection and disease.
From a digestive perspective, most individuals will digest nuts and seeds easiest if they have been pre soaked in water to break down some of their lectins and oxalates. This is a pre-digestion process that breaks down the difficult to digest part of the nut and leaves you with the nutrient dense digestible parts.
Broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables are full of antioxidants that support cellular health. In fact, broccoli sprouts contain an antioxidant compound called sulforaphane. Sulforaphane enhances your antioxidant defenses and helps to reduce inflammation.
Moreover, one of the primary ways sulforaphane enhances health is by upregulating the antioxidant glutathione, one of the most powerful antioxidants in your body.
One of the best spices for cellular health is turmeric. This nutrient-rich spice has been used in traditional medicine for thousands of years, and research backs up many of its purported benefits.
For example, one of the most well-researched benefits of turmeric is its anti-inflammatory activity, primarily due to the presence of the active compound curcumin. Curcumin helps to calm inflammation and reduce oxidative stress by inhibiting ROS.
Among the best foods for cellular health are berries. Berries contain phytonutrients called anthocyanins. They are an important nutrient for longevity due to their antioxidant activity and their ability to fight inflammation, improve cognitive function, and support heart health. Throw them into smoothies or eat them as a snack, either way, you can feel good knowing you’re supporting your cellular health.
Work With Peak Health Institute
The health and longevity of your cells depend on what they’re made of and what types of stressors they’re receiving.
While stress can come in many forms, the makeup of your cells primarily comes down to the nutrients you feed yourself. The best foods for cellular health are nutrient-dense, whole foods.
We commonly tell our clients that there is no way to supplement your way out of a bad diet. Diet is one of the foundational aspects to keeping your immune system strong, your inflammation low, and your body working well. If the foundation is not in place, it is difficult for us to help you optimize your health. If you’re new to this journey, work on shifting your diet first as often times you will see significant improvements from this step alone.
At Peak Health Institute, we offer various services and modalities to empower you to be the best version of yourself. From functional medicine to vitamin IV therapy, to nutritional guidance and gut healing, and more. We have what you need to support your cellular health! Contact us to learn more!