Have you ever realised that in our hands we have the power over our and our children’s destiny? Let me explain what I mean.
How often do we hear excuses such as – “I am overweight but it is genetic and I cannot do anything about it” or “Heart disease runs in my family, so I am sure I will develop heart problems as well at some point” or something similar? This cannot go on any longer! Modern research clearly demonstrates that the health concerns we often blame on our parents and grandparents are actually within OUR control! In fact, only approximately 1% of all diseases are caused by “imperfect” genes. So, although we may have a predisposition for obesity or other conditions, we still have full control over our destiny!
Of course, we do partly inherit certain features from our parents. Whether we are tall or short, blonde or brunette depends on parental input. However, many other factors around us have a huge impact on us and our health. For example, how we have been looked after during our time in the womb and early childhood, what type of food our mother was ate during her pregnancy, how much stress she experienced and many other factors.
It has been shown that a complex interaction between genes, diet, and other environmental factors play a huge role in our life. In fact, our genes have “switches” and they allow for genes to be activated and deactivated. These switches can be affected by many factors, including our food, stress, exercise, sleep, environmental factors and state of our own microbiome.
This simply means that by introducing positive changes in our life style and avoiding unnecessary toxicity around us, we can achieve optimal health. It means that we can take some degree of control over our life and life of our children. For example, omega-3 fatty acids found in oily fish affect more than 100 genes, while a diet high in carbohydrates turns on genes linked to inflammation and so on. Furthermore, our lifestyle has a big impact on genes linked to Alzheimer’s disease.
Autism has been intensively studied recently. Because Autism tends to run in families, researches have identified vast amounts of genes linked to this disorder. However, more and more evidence suggests that genetic “master switches”, that can turn many genes involved in critical pathways on and off, have been shown to be disrupted in Autism. Therefore, Autism as many other disorders appear to have an epigenetic mechanism where environmental and lifestyle factors play big roles in gene regulation and expression. Thus, we can most certainly do our best to reduce the chance of the development of these diseases. We have been empowered so that the lifestyle we lead can directly alter the expression of our genes. This is a remarkable opportunity indeed! Just imagine that by choosing food of better quality appropriate for you and providing your body with a better set of essential nutrients you can directly effect your genes in a positive way!
And of course, nature gets it best. We need to focus more on eating real and whole foods that contain nutrients which, in optimal combination, are necessary for life and the health. If our digestive system is functioning efficiently and our microbiome is in good condition, we have all the right tools to break down and utilise nutrients from these foods and nourish ourselves in the best possible way.
I really hope you can use this information to empower yourself and start to introduce positive changes in to your diet and life style! New Year is almost here and this is the perfect time to implement some changes into your life that will bring you the long lasting gift of health!
Thank you very much and, as usual, if you have any questions or comments, I would love to hear from you!