What Determines Health: Genes or Lifestyle?

If you think that genetics alone determines your health or your risk of developing certain diseases, think again.

Epigenetics, the interplay of how your behaviors and environment can cause changes that affect the way your genes work, is what we’re going to explore today.

The word epigenome comes from the Greek word epi which means above the genome. The epigenome is made up of chemical compounds that tell your DNA (aka genome) what to do, where to do it, and when to do it.

Your DNA code remains fixed from the moment you were conceived until the day you die. But that is NOT the same way with your epigenome. Your DNA gets marked or tagged in reaction to everything you encounter throughout your lifetime. 

Therefore, whatever it is that you experience from your environment affects the epigenetic marks and creates a genetic instruction that affects your health.

7 factors that have an impact on your epigenome

1. Stress.

Exposure to chronic stress leads to the modification of DNA according to research studies. Being exposed to stressful situations affects how we think, feel, and behave. Stress results in chemical changes that affect your brain and body.

On top of that, stress induces poor genetic impression. Stress leaves epigenetic marks that are connected to the development of depression and anxiety disorders.

With this in mind, it is a top priority to mange stress. None of us is going to live without stress…and stress can actually be really helpful and even good for us as long as we approach it as a challenge (versus a threat) for which we can find or create a solution. In addition to that, some great stress reducing actions you can take include going out in nature, gardening, exercising, meditating, doing yoga, dancing, singing, laughing…anything that fills your cup!

2. Sleep.

Did you know that sleep deprivation is so prevalent that it is considered a public health epidemic? And sleep has major repercussions on DNA repair. Without proper sleep, we cannot heal and repair. Your body/brain need at least 7 hours of restful sleep each night.

3. Water.

Tap water and some bottled water contain herbicides, heavy metals, and other toxins. Water packaged in plastic contain harmful plastic components that we now know our bodies are incapable of getting rid of during our lifetime (forever plastics).  Choose filtered or mineral water and drink from glass or stainless steel whenever possible.

4. Breath.

Your cells need proper oxygenation, but sometimes, we are unaware that we have shallow breathing or are holding our breath. Regularly check in with your breath throughout the day–if it is shallow, bring it back to a relaxed, normal breath (or even deeper than normal). This will facilitate oxygen and nutrient transport to your cells so that they are as healthy as possible.

5. Drugs.

Drugs may cause genetic mutations, and there are medications that deplete key nutrients in your body. If you take medications or drugs, talk with a trusted health professional for guidance on how to supplement these affected nutrients so that your cells are continually nourished while you’re taking medications.

6. Exercise.

Moderate exercise is the cornerstone to good health. It helps your cardiovascular health and circulation, helps you maintain a healthy weight and also reduces toxins in your body. When you exercise, your muscles get more oxygen and help you maintain a good number of mitochondria (the powerhouse of cells) as well.

7. Food.

Lastly, food always has an influence on your epigenome. In fact, there is a branch of epigenetics known as nutrigenomics, and it deals with the relationship between diet, nutrients, and gene expression.

Feeding on foods that are abundant in chemicals, additives, and heavy metals can damage your DNA, which then predisposes you to develop diseases such as cancer.

Eating foods that are clean of chemicals and rich in nutrients supports the health of your entire body and reduces disease risk. To reduce your dietary chemical load, choose organic fruits and vegetables, and if consuming meat/eggs/dairy, choose organic, grass-fed and/or pastured sources. 

I hope this newsletter was insightful and inspires you to be mindful of your diet, lifestyle and environment. They matter! You can’t change your DNA code, but you can absolutely affect how your DNA is expressed.

It is my passion to work with people like you whose health symptoms are getting in the way of you living life fully and with a sense of freedom in your body. I can help you to regain your health so you can feel great and free to enjoy life fully.

If you’re ready to discover where your best health has been hiding, I’d love to connect with you!
Apply for a complimentary Unstoppable Health Discovery Session at bit.ly/schedulinghealth (subject to availability).

Until next time, I’m wishing you unstoppable health!
~Rebecca

P.S.
Know someone who could use my help?
Send them the link to apply for a complimentary Unstoppable Health Discovery Session. bit.ly/schedulinghealth (subject to availability).

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