Epigenetics Simplified… There Is Hope In Your Genes
Did you ever wonder if you could change your genetic destiny? My grandfather had a stroke and a heart attack. My grandmother had thyroid disease and stomach cancer. Did I draw the short straw in the gene pool? Maybe. Am I destined to get at least one of these diseases? No.
The science of genetics is rapidly evolving. If you haven’t yet heard about the power of epigenetics, here is an introduction. A simple way to think about it is that your genes are like a dynamic blueprint for your body. In the past, science has taught us that our genes are set in stone and that there is not anything we can do about that. We now know that our genetic expression is not fixed, but rather, continually changing. Genes can be turned on or turned off. That is epigenetics. This is good news. It means that we have the power to create change in our lives to support our genes, so that they may be optimally expressed. Improved health, vitality, energy, and balanced mood all can result from making nourishing choices.
The organic green salad and grass-fed beef that you ate for dinner, that walk you took on your lunch break, the two minutes of time that you paused to express your gratitude for the good things in your life, and the eight hours of restful sleep that you got last night all have a positive impact upon your genes. And much more plays into it… such as how well you manage your stress (including how much stress you are experiencing), exposure to toxins, events that occurred in childhood, and other mental-emotional factors… All of these things are sending information to your genes, and your genes are listening and responding. We even know now that the nutritional status of our mother and our grandmother plays a role in our genetic expression.
Of course the genes that a person is born with play a large role, but you are not limited by the potential of what might be. Just to illustrate a point, let’s say a person was born with 100% perfect genes (there is 0% chance of that happening), however they were continually eating processed foods, making lifestyle choices such as not getting adequate sleep, and were exposed to constant stress and environmental toxins. They may have a greater likelihood of developing a disease state in their body than someone who has a genetic predisposition toward a certain disease, but has been eating whole, real, nutrient-dense foods and has minimized their stressors and exposure to chemical toxins..
What can we learn from this? The choices we make each day play a role in creating our future self.
–Neeley Casey, NTP
This is paradigm-shifting information for those who have previously learned that “your genes are your destiny”. Instead of feeling victimized by our genetic predispositions, it places the ball in our court, empowering each of us to make the next move in shaping our vitality and the vitality of our future generations as well.
Putting this into practice: Did you have what you would consider “a bad day of eating”? Accept the fact that you made a choice to eat what you wanted to eat. Hopefully you enjoyed it. No guilt. No shame. Move forward. Make a better choice at your next meal. That next better choice is the first step toward creating a renewed self.
To me, this is hope.
- Graham, G, Kesten, D, & Scherwitz, L. (2011). Pottenger’s Prophecy. Amherst: White River Press.
- Lynch, B. (2018). Dirty Genes. New York: HarperOne.
- Wolff, G.L. et al. (1998). Maternal epigenetics and methyl supplements affect agouti gene expression in Avy/ a mice. FASEB Journal. Vol 12, No 11. Retrieved April 2018 from https://www.fasebj.org/doi/10.1096/fasebj.12.11.949
This information is being provided to you for educational and informational purposes only. It is being provided to you to educate you about healthy eating and living and as a self-help tool for your own use. It is not medical or psychological advice. This information is to be used at your own risk based on your own judgment.
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