Today’s newsletter is a reminder that our genes are not our destiny.
We are learning so much about the way that our DNA allows us to interact with the environment. DNA is the blueprint for our body’s biology; it tells our cells how to work, live, replicate and ultimately die.
If you have the mindset that your family history has committed you to some disease or condition, take a moment to consider a different perspective.
Our genes allow us to exist within a changing environment
The trade-off is that the environment can influence our genes in return.
This environment-gene interaction is known as epigenetics. Our genes are not static. Their function is influenced by factors both within and external to the body.
Environmental factors such as smoke, pollution and water all negatively influence our gene function. Not surprisingly, these toxic epigenetic pressures can tell our genes to go rogue and misbehave.
With prolonged negative exposures, our genes move us to states of disease, advanced aging and cancer.
Foods similarly influence our gene function. Healthy foods such as the cruciferous vegetables (cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower) are high in molecules known as sulforaphanes. These plant-based molecules bind our DNA, and move our body towards a state of lower inflammation and greater health.
This is cool. We can actually drive our genetic health with our diet.
This short bulleted list is a reminder of some of the factors that can move us away from a presumed genetic fate.
Factors that help our genes work to their greatest potential
- Cruciferous vegetables
- Healthy fats
- Pure foods
- Low stress
- Restful sleep
Factors that can make genes fail
- Toxins. Some are environmental. Others are self-imposed and self-applied, such as tobacco, alcohol or skin-care products
- Exposure to plastics, parabens and petrochemicals
- Food additives, colorizers, gums and preservatives
All of these factors can be modified.
In an earlier newsletter, I wrote about the freedom to choose to be well.
The take-home message of this post similarly involves choice. Today I am looking at how our choices today can actually modify how our genes work.
Choose to attend to the care and feeding of your DNA
Note that I am still not talking about making resolutions. Instead, choose to make a lifestyle change that drives your genetics towards a state of health. The following two steps are easy and guaranteed to work.
Two simple steps for healthy genes
- First, remove all processed foods from your diet. This will nurture your cells with the minerals, vitamins and nutrients that your biology requires. I am certain that a healthy cell does not require food dyes, preservatives and pesticides. Don’t voluntarily consume them.
At very least, begin to consider how much of what you eat is fresh and how much is processed. When your consumption of processed foods approaches zero, you will be well on your way to optimal gene health.
- Second, move your body. You might be far from running a marathon, but you could start with a brisk walk. Mountains of data support the association of exercise and health. Keep it simple. Start to move more.
Our genes are not our destiny
Consider these two simple steps to drive your genes to a state of health, longevity and prosperity.