The discussion of metabolism and metabolic health frequently centres around food, what we eat and what we avoid. Food is both the building blocks of our cells and the chemical information that tells your body how to function. Metabolism is the sum of all chemical reactions involved in maintaining the living state of our cells. It is directly proportional to nutrition. Physical requirements for functioning are related to nutrients. Lack of it results in poor metabolic health.
Likewise, your ideas have a direct influence on your cells. So, if we don’t produce enough energy, our bodies weaken. Hormones and other signalling molecules produced by what’s going on in the brain allow our cells to “hear” what we’re thinking. And if emotions create a sense of harm in your body (anxiety, stress, dread, trauma), it might decrease metabolism.
For instance, if you’re watching the headlines and have a fleeting frightened or furious thought, your body perceives it as a danger. It starts a chain reaction in your hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. This leads to the release of hormones like cortisol and norepinephrine into your bloodstream, causing your liver to break down and release glucose. These hormones can also make us momentarily insulin-resistant, raising glucose levels even higher. Your body saves energy for the impending “fight or flight.” Your ideas are directly influencing how your cells produce and utilise energy. That implies we must regulate our emotions to reach optimal health.
One of the easiest and most effective ways to keep your metabolism, metabolic health, and blood sugar level in check is through HealthifyPro 2.0. It is an advanced and accessible approach for managing different aspects of metabolism and metabolic health, from weight to blood sugar, diet, metabolic health, nutrition, and fitness training. The solution has five pillars: calorie tracker, CGM, health coaches, smart scale and metabolic panel. They work together to guide you towards living a healthier and richer life.
Your metabolic health depends on your dietary choices, metabolism, microbiota, exercise, sleep, stress, and mental health, as well as your age, gender, and genes.
Metabolism is the collection of biological systems that create energy from our diet and environment to power every cell in the body. We have optimal metabolic health when these energy-producing pathways work smoothly. Since the cells in the body need the energy to operate, metabolic health is essential for overall health.
Clinically, metabolic health is the maintenance of ideal levels of five essential factors: blood sugar, triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, blood pressure, and waist circumference without the need for medication. You can improve after noticing most of these indicators by continuously making decisions that maintain glucose levels steady and healthy.
An individual is believed to be suffering from metabolic syndrome if they have three or more of the following characteristics:
- 35-inch waistline for ladies and a 40-inch waist for men
- Fasting glucose levels greater than 100 mg/dL
- HDL cholesterol levels less than 40 mg/dL
- Triglycerides more than 150 mg/dL
- Blood pressure that is too high (130/85 or above)
Why is it Important to Improve Metabolic Health?
Some people struggle to manage blood sugar after eating. Others have high blood cholesterol levels for extended periods after eating. Some people experience difficulties with both blood sugar and blood cholesterol responses. After eating, moderate variations in blood sugar, insulin, and blood cholesterol levels are typical and a part of how your body digests and reacts to food. The occasional blood sugar surge or long-term increase in fat blood levels will not cause significant harm immediately. However, these events accumulate over time and result in an undesirable metabolic response.
Studies have proved that such variations can cause a variety of negative impacts on your body, including inflammation, oxidative stress, and alterations in the particles that carry your blood fat. These adverse dietary reactions can contribute to low-grade chronic inflammation, atherosclerosis, insulin resistance, and weight gain. When your metabolic health is poor, you are more likely to notice fluctuations in cholesterol levels, blood sugar, and insulin levels. Eating and dietary inflammation can harm your health and increases your risk of metabolic syndrome and illnesses.
Apart from the risks that weak metabolic health causes, there are other reasons why you should pay close attention to your metabolism. There are many benefits associated with robust metabolic health. Here are a few of them:
- Continuous and consistent energy throughout the day
- Sharper memory
- Long-term exercise endurance
- Ability to burn fat and maintain a healthy weight
- Mood stability
- Reduced anxiety and despair
- Clearer and wrinkle-free skin
- Fertility enhancement
- Sexual health improvement
- Stronger immunity
- Reduced risk of diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, obesity, fatty liver disease, heart disease, stroke, etc.
The HealthifyMe Note:
Our mental health and thoughts significantly influence our metabolism and metabolic processes. Several techniques and resources are available to help us improve our cognitive habits. Identifying what works best for you is crucial to the metabolic health journey. It may hold the secret to maximising metabolic health.
Which Factors Affect Metabolic Health?
Your basal metabolic rate (BMR), the energy your body uses only to keep operating at rest, is the most crucial component of your metabolism (50%-80% of the energy utilised). A study says that it is the most significant contributor to energy balance.
The following are ten elements that influence BMR and metabolism:
- Muscular mass: Muscle uses more energy than fat to function. As a result, the more muscular tissue you have, the more energy your body needs to survive. Resistance or strength training is the most effective way to increase and maintain muscle mass.
- Genetics: Some people have better and quicker BMR than others due to genetics. Conversely, some genetic illnesses can negatively impact metabolism.
- Gender: Men’s metabolisms usually are faster than women’s.
- Age: Your metabolic rate typically declines due to muscular tissue loss and hormonal and neurological changes as you age. During growth, children experience rapid growth and metabolism.
- Hormonal influences: Hormonal abnormalities such as hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism might impact your metabolism.
- Physical exercise: Exercise builds muscle mass, which burns calories at a quicker rate even when you’re not moving.
- Body weight: Larger bodies have a higher BMR since they have more organs and fluid volume to maintain.
- Environmental aspects: Increased heat or cold compels the body to work harder to maintain its normal temperature, which raises BMR.
Brain and Metabolic Health: The Connection
The brain integrates multiple peripheral metabolic inputs, such as nutrients, gut-derived hormones, and other related signals. It identifies excess or deficit by sensing circulating metabolic hormones and nutrients receiving metabolic information from the periphery via the autonomic nervous system. In addition, the brain detects metabolic signals via hormones (insulin, leptin, etc.) and nutrients to regulate glucose metabolism.
The hypothalamus contains glucose-sensing neurons, which are essential to glucose levels. The hypothalamus and brain stem are the locations where these metabolic signals converge. The autonomic nervous system regulates pancreatic insulin/glucagon secretion, hepatic glucose production, and skeletal muscle glucose uptake in the brain and peripheral metabolic organs. Therefore, our metabolic health impacts our brains. Understanding the mechanisms involved will aid in improving brain health.
The HealthifyMe Note:
Factors influencing our metabolism include genetics, environment, lifestyle, physical activity, body weight, age, gender, hormonal abnormalities, and many more. Therefore, paying attention to how our minds influence metabolism can positively impact our thought processes, lifestyle, and food intake. Restricted eating, malnourishment, and severe weight loss can lead to alterations in our brain chemistry, resulting in heightened symptoms of despair and anxiety and overall slow metabolism. Thus, adopting a healthy lifestyle, choosing better food alternatives, and self-care can positively impact metabolism and metabolic health. Besides, a healthy lifestyle can improve how well our bodies function. As a result, it lowers the risk of chronic illnesses by regulating blood glucose levels, cholesterol, cardiovascular risks, blood pressure, and stress.
Using The Body-Mind Control to Improve The Metabolism
Several studies demonstrate that stress reduction strategies such as diaphragmatic breathing and mindfulness meditation can improve metabolic indicators such as fasting glucose, uric acid, and triglycerides.
You may use various strategies to establish a safe mental environment that can promote the hormonal and neurochemical environment, allowing your metabolism to work efficiently.
You may follow some of these to control your mind and improve metabolic health:
- Measuring HRV: Tracking the heart rate variability (HRV), an objective measure of stress. Modern electronic wearables can detect and prevent HRV-lowering stressors. They alert the wearer when the HRV starts to fall below an ideal level to help them breathe deeply.
- Slow breathing: Slow, diaphragmatic breathing techniques quickly stimulate the vagus nerve and stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system (the autonomic nervous system’s “calming” arm).
- Nature therapy: Spending time outside in nature. Countless studies suggest that spending time in nature, even in a city park, positively affects health and stress markers.
- Yoga practice: Metabolism improve with yoga. You may try yoga, which allows you to concentrate on your breathing. Simply standing tall in a mountain position with your feet firmly planted on the ground, inhaling while reaching and looking up at the sky, and exhaling while putting your hands to your heart is frequently enough to “reset” your nervous system.
- Breathing meditation: Meditation focuses on the breath and takes note of thoughts as they emerge. Breathing meditations also reduce stress hormones that indirectly negatively impact metabolism.
- Self-love: It is good to practice self-love. Sometimes the most dangerous threat is our pessimistic internal dialogue. Keep that voice in mind and consider how you might make it your biggest fan. Meditations in loving-kindness, as well as professional treatment, might be beneficial.
- Write it out: Writing helps a lot. If you are stuck on a problem and don’t know what to do, write about it. You may surprise yourself.
- Essential Oil: It might help to rub lavender essential oil between your palms and inhale it a few times deeply. Lavender has been shown in clinical studies to reduce anxiety and modify gene expression and activity in the brain.
Metabolism is a chemical reaction in the body’s cells to convert nutrients into energy. The brain senses peripheral metabolic signals via several hormones and nutrients to regulate glucose metabolism. Adopting a healthy lifestyle can assist in improving the way our bodies work and our metabolism. For example, the melanocortin system in the brain regulates fat metabolism and accumulation in the body.
Expanding the knowledge of the brain and metabolism will help us manage and combat metabolic disorders more effectively. Our thoughts have an immediate impact on our metabolic processes. Recognising what works best for you is integral to your metabolic health journey. It could hold the key to optimising metabolic health.