Foods-for-energy

What foods are good for energy?

What foods are good for energy?

February 23rd, 2023

Maintaining high energy levels is crucial to effectively tackle daily tasks. While lifestyle habits like regular physical activity and good sleep patterns play a vital role, different foods might also has an impact on energy levels. Did you know B Vitamins, nitrate, hesperidin and Ashwaganda root are all part of these foods? Read more in this article!

Foods-for-energy

These foods will help you maintain your daily energy

To finish your daily tasks at home or during work it is nice to be fully energized. It allows you to perform well and to get the most out of your day. Spending time full of energy, is time well spent!

Lifestyle habits influence your energy levels. You should take care of your sleep pattern and engage in physical activity frequently, but did you know that your diet also influences your energy status?

And no, we’re not talking about jacking up your caffeine intake, because this might cause some negative side effects that some people are more susceptible to than others. That’s why we wrote this article about alternatives to caffeine to get a mental boost.

In this article, we will dive in the 4 best natural compounds to boost your overall energy!

B Vitamins for energy

B vitamins are water-soluble vitamins that function as coenzymes in many bodily processes. There are eight different B vitamins that you can find in foods such as meat, seafood, and dairy.

Unlike instant energy boosters, B vitamins optimize the pathways which convert ingested food into energy for the body. Furthermore, certain B vitamins help in the formation of red blood cells, which are important to carry oxygen through the body. This oxygen is then used to energize your cells.

Supplements may help to boost energy levels of people who are deficient in vitamin B12. People that follow a varied diet are usually not short on vitamin B, but a deficiency might occur when people follow a vegan or vegetarian diet (1).

Nitrate containing foods to support energy levels

Nitrate is present in high amounts in beetroot and green-leafy vegetables such as arugula, spinach, celery, and lettuce. Dietary nitrate is a precursor of nitric oxide, which is an important signaling molecule in the body.

Nitric oxide induces vasodilation, which increases blood flow. When blood supply is enhanced, more oxygen and nutrients can reach the muscles, which is needed to provide energy to the working muscle.

Dietary nitrate also improves the efficiency of the mitochondria; the powerhouses of the cell. With the use of oxygen, mitochondria convert food into energy in the form of ATP. Dietary nitrate reduces the oxygen cost of ATP production, making it easier to produce energy on a cellular level.

Moreover, dietary nitrate reduces the amount of ATP used to contract your muscles, meaning that it takes a longer time before you are out of energy.

For submaximal endurance type physical activity, and for high-intensity physical activity it is especially beneficial to consume dietary nitrate (2)

Foods that contain hesperidin

Hesperidin is a polyphenol abundantly present in citrus fruits, like oranges. Once ingested, hesperidin is converted into hesperetin by bacteria in the intestines. Hesperetin is then absorbed into the blood and transported to different parts of the body.

The mitochondria are the main providers of energy for the cells, by turning carbohydrates, fats, and proteins into ATP. By increased stress on the mitochondria reactive oxygen species (ROS) is created, which makes you feel less energetic. This happens during exercise for example. Hesperitin is able to boost your energy by inhibiting the production of ROS. (3)

Hesperetin also increases the availability of nitric oxide, leading to increased blood flow to fatigued tissues leading to a higher supply of oxygen and nutrients. Additionally, pro-inflammatory markers are reduced upon hesperetin exposure.

These properties make hesperidin most suitable to enhance recovery after physical activity, optimize the oxygen and nutrient supply to the muscles, and boost your energy! That’s why there are many reasons for including hesperidin in supplements.

Ashwagandha root

Ashwagandha, also known as Withania somnifera, is a traditional herb from India, and its extract is obtained from the root of the plant. Ashwagandha is an apoptogenic herb, meaning that it helps the body’s response to stress.

Due to its diverse composition of phytochemicals, Ashwagandha root extract has many biological implications. It reduces inflammation, and supports the protection mechanisms against infections, and metabolic and neurological illnesses. (4)

Ashwagandha root extract is suggested to enhance endothelial function, improve mitochondrial function, and reduces ROS. As a result, this extract is able to improve aerobic exercise capacity, clearly indicating its energy boosting capacities! (5)

Foods to support your energy levels

In conclusion, there are several natural compounds that can help boost your energy levels without resorting to caffeine or other instant energy boosters. B Vitamins, nitrate, hesperidin, and Ashwagandha root are all natural compounds found in various foods that can help optimize bodily processes, increase blood flow, reduce oxidative stress, and improve mitochondrial function. Incorporating these compounds into your diet, along with maintaining good sleep patterns and engaging in regular physical activity, can help you maintain high energy levels and perform well throughout the day.

Want to know more about nutrients that help your mitochondrial health? Read about it here!


Citrus-contains-flavonoids-that-can-improve-gut-health

How can flavonoids improve gut health?

How can flavonoids improve gut health?

February 15th, 2023

Flavonoids are important polyphenols that can exert beneficial effects in the body. Due to their antioxidative properties and metabolism, they can improve gut health and change the gut microbiome. In this article, we will describe how flavonoids, and especially hesperidin and naringin, can change the gut microbiome composition, increase gut barrier function, enhance the immune system, and altogether improve gut health.

Citrus-contains-flavonoids-that-can-improve-gut-health

What are flavonoids?

Flavonoids are a group of phytonutrients (chemicals of plants) that are found in almost all fruits and vegetables. Flavonoids give color to fruits and vegetables, but are also found in cacao, coffee and tea. There are more than 6,000 types of flavonoids.

Since there are many types of flavonoids, they also have a wide range of beneficial effects, such as reducing chronic inflammation, and reducing risks associated with cancer and cardiovascular diseases (1, 2). Thus, implementing different flavonoids in your daily diet could be beneficial your health.

Flavonoids and gut health

Gut health and the gut microbiome have gained a lot of interest in the past years, since the gut microbiome and its metabolites are recognized as important regulators of host health.

The gut barrier is an important barrier because it acts as a physical defence against toxins and microorganisms. This barrier should remain intact to function properly.

Flavonoids may improve intestinal barrier function via inhibition of inflammatory proteins such as nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB), and via reduction of oxidative stress.

Flavonoids also contribute to the preservation of the intestinal tight junction barrier and structure, which is important for remaining the physical barrier for pathogens (3).

Flavonoids can stimulate short-chain fatty acids to increase gut health

Additionally, it is found that flavonoids can increase faecal short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), which may be a result of increased SCFA production in the gut. SCFAs have different beneficial effects on the host and gut health. These benefits include serving as energetic fuel for intestinal epithelial cells, and improving intestinal barrier function (4, 5).

An important SCFA for gut health is butyrate. It can bind to G-protein-coupled receptors. Upon binding, different anti-inflammatory signalling pathways can be promoted in macrophages and dendritic cells, which are important in the immune system of the colon (6).

Thus, flavonoids can increase gut barrier function and SCFA production, and enhance the immune system via butyrate. Therefore, they are beneficial for gut health and it’s also shown in human studies that they can be used for inflammatory bowel diseases! (3)

Two flavonoids for gut health; What are hesperidin and naringin?

Hesperidin and naringin are flavanones, a subclass of flavonoids. These flavanones are mostly present in freshly prepared juices of citrus fruit, such as grapefruit, oranges and lemons. But it’s worth noting that hesperidin can be obtained in higher concentrations than naringin. Both compounds are even more abundant in the peels of these citrus fruits.

After oral consumption, hesperidin and naringin reach the colon almost completely intact, because they are difficult to degrade by the enzymes in the stomach and the small intestine.

This means the gut microbiota can digest them. They do this by releasing α-rhamnosidase, which converts hesperidin and naringin to hesperetin and naringenin. These metabolites are more bioavailable to the body, resulting in higher uptake by the gut into the blood, meaning they can be used by other tissues (7).

Hesperidin and naringin can feed specific bacteria, meaning they can influence the microbiome. It was shown that naringin could reduce microbial dysbiosis caused by a high fat diet in mice. This means that harmful bacteria were reduced and there was an increase in beneficial bacteria (8). The same was shown for hesperidin in rats (9).

Hesperidin and naringin also play a role in immune system regulation. They can inhibit gut inflammation and oxidative stress by increasing antioxidant levels. By bringing gut inflammation down, the gut barrier stays intact as a physical defence against pathogens.

That hesperidin and naringin reduce gut inflammation was not only shown for them individually, but also when they were combined in mice.

Hesperidin and naringin: Hero flavonoids of MicrobiomeX®

Hesperidin and naringin are the focus of many clinical trials done by BioActor, as the product MicrobiomeX® is a natural extract from Citrus sinensis & paradisi, consisting of both flavonoids.

In vitro simulations of the human colon with the TIM-2 system showed that MicrobiomeX® could increase butyrate-producing bacteria Roseburia spp. and acetate-producing bacteria B. eggerthii (9). As mentioned before, butyrate is an important SCFA for gut health.

Besides in vitro studies, clinical trials have also been done on the butyrate-increasing properties of MicrobiomeX®. All clinical trials are available in the MicrobiomeX® White Paper.

It has also been found that by consuming MicrobiomeX® calprotectin levels went down, which could indicate that MicrobiomeX® helps to bring gut inflammation down.

MicrobiomeX® combines the benefits of the flavonoids hesperidin and naringin and is therefore an ideal ingredient for gut health support.