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With the whole country in lockdown due to COVID-19 we are all making big changes to our day-to-day lives, and maybe you’re feeling a little flat.
Dr Michael Barnish, MBChB, head of Genetics and Nutrition shares tips on how to boost your energy levels using items in your cupboards!
Dr Barnish, who is passionate about preventative healthcare and how we can all take responsibility for our immune systems, has collated the essential information that outlines:
➣ Why is B12 so important
➣ B12 vitamins in animals
➣ Advice for non meat eaters
➣ Mushrooms and energy
1. Why is B12 so important
B12 is the energy vitamin as it helps to boost red blood cell production and that means the body has better capacity to deliver oxygen around the body to the tissues. The more oxygen the more energy, concentration and motivation we will have which is needed in lockdown.
2. B12 vitamins in animals
B12 is made via bacteria fermentation and our guts are not long enough to make our own and so we rely on getting it from animals with large guts like cows, hence red meat being a major source of B12.
However, because of industrial farming methods animals are given antibiotics to fatten them up and prevent infection before slaughter and these effect the bacteria in their guts, reducing the B12 in the animal and therefore of our meal.
That, and a reduction in red meat, overuse of stomach protector medications and gastric bypass surgery is why mild B12 deficiency is a lot more prevalent nowadays.
Grass fed and naturally reared cattle that are not industrially farmed are able to make B12 plentiful and so always opt for those cuts at the local butchers or supermarket.
3. Advice for non-meat eaters
For pescatarian and vegetarian eaters, other sources of B12 are fish, eggs and diary. Again, industrial farming can interfere with their nutritional status so always aim to get wild caught, pasture fed, free range and organic where possible for the best boost of B12. For vegans, the supplementation with b12 will be important or eating foods fortified with this essential energy vitamin.
4. Mushrooms and energy
Mushrooms are a great source of energy and interestingly, each mushroom offers a different way to support our complex energy systems.
The Energy king of mushrooms is the aptly named ‘Olympic Mushroom’ or Cordyceps mushroom. Its called the Olympic mushroom because it is potent in a compound called cordycepin. It is almost identical to the molecules of energy we make and use, called ATP or adenine triphosphate.
This is the unit of energy we make and use to keep every cell in our body working. Cordycepin can be used by our bodies as ATP, without having to use energy to make it. Therefore it is free fuel or energy for our bodies. If that wasn’t good enough, cordycepin also helps to make more of our own ATP.
This special mushroom also enhances oxygen absorption in the lungs, meaning that we will have better endurance levels.
Feeling good is important for our physical and mental health. A bit of self-maintenance, love and attention goes a long way to improve mood, confidence and to break up these long isolated days.
If you require any further information or want to ask anything to Dr Michael Barnish, you may do that in the comments section.
Cover photo by Alexei Scutari on Unsplash