According to David P. Rakel, MD, there are lifestyle changes that can alter your genes in a positive way, even if you are predisposed to certain illnesses. “We have a choice to bathe our genes with joy, happiness, exercise, and nutritious foods, or we can bathe them with anger, lack of hope, junk food and sedentary lifestyle.” So there is no need to despair even if a bad condition runs in the family. With the right mindset and lifestyle changes, its still possible.
Even though our genes have a big impact on our health, we can influence them with the lifestyle choices we make. Bad lifestyle choices can cause deviations such as cancer, mental retardation, neurodevelopmental disorders, cardiovascular diseases, Type-2 diabetes, obesity, and infertility. Good lifestyle changes can help prevent these diseases. That is why HFR has assembled the list of the top 10 gene altering lifestyle choices.
- Exercise Regularly At HFR we can’t find enough reasons why you should exercise regularly! Exercise is one of the most influential decisions in leading a healthy lifestyle. Research has found that exercise can immediately improve the gene response found in your muscle cells by reprogramming muscle strength and metabolic rate. Find out the other ways exercise benefits your entire body here.
- Control Your Environment Epigenetics control proteins that turn genes on or off. For instance, when environmental pollutants turn off these proteins, genes can no longer defeat the formation of tumors or restore DNA and eventually can.
- Eat Nutritious Foods Broccoli, garlic, beets, and onions in meals can help you and your future children from developing diabetes and obesity. By choosing fruits and vegetables instead of foods with high fat content, you can nourish your body’s natural ability to fight tumors! These foods work by allowing proteins called histones to activate tumor suppressing genes.
- Avoid Cigarette Smoke Contaminants in cigarette smoke can directly change the DNA sequence when smoke-filled chemicals enter the body. Eventually, they can even cause cancer. In a similar way healthy foods and exercise can alter epigenetics, cigarette smoke contains mutagens that increase your risks of lung cancer, cardiovascular disease, cataracts, hypertension, as well as other respiratory and pulmonary related issues.
- Control Your Emotions Your attitude in life has a remarkable impact on your health. Your ideas, emotions, belief systems, and unconscious thoughts all have the power to alter your epigenetics for better or worse, depending on you!
- Live in An Unpolluted Area Pollution can also mutate your DNA sequence by modifying transcription factors, which begin processing to make proteins needed for various functions within the body.
- Reduce Stress Chronic stress can affect the amount of proteins made by genes that involve the immune system and inflammation, so if you are constantly stressed out you may get sick much easier. Inflammation can also increase your risk of heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and other serious illnesses.
- Gene-Gene Interactions Appear when environmental contaminants do not change your DNA sequence, but instead initiate a snowball effect that transforms the function of one gene and in turn affects another gene as well.
- Drink Alcohol in Moderation Habitual binge drinking causes a gene named TACE to stop producing enough of its protein. The TACE protein assists another gene named MTHFR in yielding adequate amounts of its protein. Low levels of the MTHFR protein affects the levels of folate within the bloodstream, which can cause depression.
- Avoid Heavy metals like Cadmium, Vincolzin (a widely used pesticide), folate and methionine deficiencies, and cigarette smoke.
Read more about Dr. Rakel’s thoughts on this subject here.