Metabolism is a term that is used to describe all chemical reactions involved in maintaining the living state of the cells and the organism. Nutrition is the key to metabolism. The pathways of metabolism rely upon nutrients that they breakdown in order to produce energy.
Your metabolism regulates the transformation of calories to usable and storable energy. As you digest food, your body takes glucose into the blood. When this happens, the pancreas releases the hormone insulin which causes certain cells to pick up this glucose
When too much insulin is present in your body and these cells fail to work, metabolic syndrome occurs. Metabolic syndrome or insulin resistance is an imbalance that is widespread in our society. High levels of blood sugar from metabolic syndrome can lead to heart disease and certain kinds of cancers. But there are some more telling signs to watch out for.
Warning Signs of Metabolic Imbalance
- Imbalanced Cholesterol
When we hear the word Cholesterol it immediately associates us to something bad. But that’s not true! Cholesterol is an essential fat for our body. There are two types of cholesterol – the “good” and the “bad”.
High-density lipoproteins (HDL) are the good cholesterol. They’re responsible for removing low-density lipoproteins (LDL, the bad cholesterol!) from your body. When your cholesterol is imbalanced, you might see HDL numbers as low as 30 and LDL above 100. You ideally want to strike a relative balance between the two. You also want to make sure your good cholesterol (HDL) values are above 40 for males and 50 for females.
2. Triglycerides above 150
Triglycerides are fats stored as energy to be used when you’re not eating. While essential, having more than you use can put you at risk for heart disease.
Male waist size above 40 inches and female waist size above 35 inches
When there are some imbalances in our metabolism it is very easy to put on some weight even when you feel you don’t eat excessively. People with metabolic syndrome are usually overweight.
3. Blood sugar levels
Our blood sugar levels differ throughout the day. For people who have metabolic syndrome their blood sugar might be:
- above 100 when fasting
- above 140 one hour after eating
- above 120 two hours after eating
How to Reverse Metabolic Imbalance
As we said previously the diet / nutrition is essential for the good function of our metabolism.
Dr. Peter Attia of Stanford University was genetically linked to metabolic syndrome. But he managed to beat the odds by putting himself on a ketogenic diet experiment for 10 years. After 10 years he noticed improvement in many areas of his health. Of course, a high-fat ketogenic diet isn’t for everyone. Another thing you can do is make sure you consume veggies low on the glycemic index like white beans and spinach.
Poor sleep has been linked to overeating and obesity leading to insulin resistance. Research has found that one sleepless night can cause insulin resistance in healthy people.
3. Mineral deficiencies
Mineral deficiencies can also be responsible for problems with your metabolism. If you want to optimize your metabolism, magnesium (found in many greens) is essential. Aside from magnesium, omega-3’s, vitamin D3, and chromium are great at preventing insulin resistance.
When it comes to exercise, not all exercises are equal. There are certain ones which promote insulin sensitivity. Burst exercises and strength training are just two of the things you can do to boost your metabolism. If you spend a lot of time sitting at work, make sure to take periodic breaks and stretch!
Herbs like cinnamon, bitter melon, and black cumin seeds can have a positive effect on your blood sugar. When paired with the above lifestyle changes, they can help promote wellness.
Your metabolic system is linked to many different processes, and if it goes down, your health goes with it. Making sure you recognize the signs of imbalance is the first step in protecting yourself!