CoQ10 is a fat-soluble natural antioxidant that plays a fundamental role in cellular energy metabolism. Studies have shown that Coenzyme Q10 has numerous health benefits associated with cardiovascular health and eradicating oxidative stress, reducing your risk of developing chronic disease. Your body can synthesize some coq10 on its own but including coq10 rich foods in your diet and supplementation can positively impact overall health and wellness.
What Is CoQ10 And What Does It Do?
CoQ10 is an antioxidant vitamin-like molecule that assists the biological process of generating adenosine triphosphate [ATP] or energy metabolism. The conversion of energy from the carbohydrates and fats that you consume is converted into glycogen and fatty acids, which is then generated into ATP. ATP powers every single human cellular action that your body performs. CoQ10 support muscle cells to become more efficient and effective at producing and using energy. Specifically, CoQ10 enables the human body to restore the rate of mitochondrial respiration, muscle strength, coordination, and exercise tolerance. This is why Coq10 is so great for your heart, since it’s the hardest working muscle in your body.
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Approximately half the body’s natural CoQ10 is obtained through food such as meat, fish, nuts, oils, and dairy products. The average dietary intake of CoQ10 is only between 3-6mg, making supplementation critical to produce energy and neutralize harmful free radicals. Studies suggest that increasing CoQ10 content up to 200-300mg per day, over a period of 4-12 weeks, will help increase CoQ10 plasma levels. CoQ10 rich foods but, diet alone will not be able to supply ample amounts of CoQ10.
Fatty Fish (Salmon, Herring, Mackerel)
Since CoQ10 is fat soluble, requiring more fat for better absorption and storage, including fatty fish such as salmon, herring, and mackerel in your diet, will naturally produce more CoQ10. One 3.5-oz serving of herring and mackerel will generally contain 3mg and 6.75mg of coq10.
Did someone say steak? Yes please. One 3-oz serving of grass-fed beef, contains 2.6mg of CoQ10, making it one of the best coq10 rich foods.
Including chicken in your weekly meal prep, will add around 1.4mg of CoQ10 per 3-oz serving. Eating a few servings of chicken per day, will not only help you stay lean and hit your protein goals, but also increase your CoQ10 content.
Coq10 is mostly concentrated and stored in vital organs, such as the heart, liver, and lungs. Therefore, animal organs will naturally be the richest CoQ10 food sources. For example, a beef heart, contains 11.3mg and the liver contains 3.9mg, while a chicken heart contains 9.2mg of CoQ10, and the liver contains 11.6mg. As unappetizing as that sounds, organ meats are still foods, and even though I hardly think anyone of you will indulge in meal prepping chicken livers this week, it still makes the list.
Rich in protein, and rich in CoQ10, soybean products such as tofu, kefir, and soy protein are a valuable source of CoQ10 for those that choose a plant-based lifestyle. Boiled soybeans contain around 1.2mg of CoQ10 per 3oz serving.
Nuts And Seeds
Although you’d have to eat buckets of pistachios, sesame seeds, and peanuts, these three contain heart healthy vitamins and minerals, not to mention for their size are also rich in CoQ10. Pistachios contain 0.6 mg and peanuts contain 0.8mg of coq10 per 1-oz serving. So, add some nuts to the mix.
CoQ10 Foods: Takeaway
Adding high quality protein packed foods such as beef, chicken, and fish to your diet, is the basic foundation for a well-rounded heathy diet. However, if your goal is to get higher concentrated amounts of CoQ10, then you’ll need to get that from a supplement. Foods will have small amounts of CoQ10, and it’s unrealistic to think you can get a concentrated amount of CoQ10 through diet alone. Supplements will provide the concentrated amount of CoQ10 you need to improve heart health and protect your cells from free radical damage.
Ready To Add Coq10 To Your Supplement Regiment?
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Pravst I, Zmitek K, Zmitek J. Coenzyme Q10 contents in foods and fortification strategies. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2010 Apr;50(4):269-80. doi: 10.1080/10408390902773037. PMID: 20301015.
Higdon, Jane, and Victoria Drake. “Coenzyme Q10.” Linus Pauling Institute, 1 Jan. 2021, lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/dietary-factors/coenzyme-Q10.