You dream of living a long healthy life, but perhaps you’re worrying about chronic diseases that run in your family. Maybe you inherited the so called “bad genes” and are starting to develop health problems too. Although your genes can create a predisposition to certain health conditions, there are things you can do to overcome bad genes and regain control of your health.
Research shows that by adopting plant-based nutrition, exercising, reducing stress and reducing toxins, people can improve their health and avoid many serious diseases. You can get healthy even if you have bad genes. Your lifestyle choices are more important than your genes. This article shows you exactly how you can stop your genes from making you sick.
Your Genes are Not Really Bad
Many of us get depressed thinking about all the sickness running rampant through our family tree. We dread the impact of cancer, obesity, diabetes, heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease.
Maybe your doctor even told you that your genes certainly may give you a propensity toward these problems, but that does not have to be your fate. You can overcome chronic diseases. Your food, physical activity, stress, and environment are the more likely underlying determinants of whether disease is manifested in you. It’s not that you have bad genes. A bad lifestyle is the issue.
The bottom line is this: your genes load the gun, but you don’t have to pull the trigger.
What is a Gene?
- Your issues and organs are made up of cells.
- Every cell contains chromosomes.
- Genes are located on chromosomes.
- Genes contain molecules called DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid).
- DNA is the basis of heredity
Nutrients in Your Food Switch Genes Off and On
Inside your body, various chemical compounds attach themselves to your DNA and change how a gene functions. Basically this switches your genes on or off. This is called epigenetics [Ref 1a] and [Ref 1b].
Your diet is one of the main factors determining which chemical compounds are sticking to your genes right now!
The science of epigenetics looks at how your food and lifestyle choices switch genes on or off.
Cancer is the most well-researched disease related to epigenetics. Unhealthy foods may turn on the gene’s expression and cause cancer. In contrast, healthy foods can turn off the gene’s expression. When that occurs, you still have the gene but it is silenced. [Ref 2]
On my mother’s side of the family, type 2 diabetes runs rampant. Eleven years ago, I developed prediabetes and decided this was not how I wanted to live. I switched to a whole food plant-based diet and reversed prediabetes naturally. My mother once had full blown type 2 diabetes and overcame it with a vegetarian diet (and she later became plant based).
Genes don’t have to control us. We can control our genes.
What Factors Affect Genes
Whole food plant based nutrition includes fruit vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts and seeds. Plant-based foods can prevent and reverse disease by turning genes on and off.
Healthy food makes the genes healthier. Other lifestyle choices are also important. Being sedentary and stressed will have a bad affect your genes too. But if you are ready to take care of yourself, you can change your genes’ expression so they are no longer behave badly. [Ref 5]
You are meant to be well, without worrying about what your genes are doing. Your dream is more achievable now than ever.
If you are experiencing diabetes and want to take back control of your health, you may be a good fit for the step-by-step online course, Optimal Health Reset. If you are ready to create eating and lifestyle habits to naturally stabilize your blood sugar, book the Free Discovery Call to see if the course is right for you. It’s time to get the empowering information you need to become healthy and well.
Ref 1a. What is epigenetics?NIH U.S. National Library of Medicine website. https://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/primer/howgeneswork/epigenome
Accessed April 18, 2019
Ref 1b: Moosavi A, Motevalizadeh Ardekani A. Role of Epigenetics in Biology and Human Diseases. Iran Biomed J. 2016;20(5):246–258. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5075137/
Ref 2. Changing Your Lifestyle Can Change Your Genes. Ornish 2011. Patient Advocates for Advanced Cancer Treatment website.
Accessed April 18, 2019.
Ref 3. Haluskova J. Epigenetic Studies In Humans. Folia Biol. 2010; 56(3): 83-96.
Ref 4. Kwak SH, Park KS. Recent progress in genetic and epigenetic research on type 2 diabetes. Exp Mol Med. 2016;48(3):e220. Published 2016 Mar 11.
Ref 5: Ref 2. Changing Your Lifestyle Can Change Your Genes. Ornish 2011. Patient Advocates for Advanced Cancer Treatment website.
Accessed April 18, 2019.
Carla Hightower, MD, MBA is a physician, health coach, workplace wellness consultant, and speaker. She helps people heal themselves with food. Through wellness workshops and courses, she helps companies create healthy, energetic teams.
5 Ways to Boost Your Energy
>> Nutritious foods that increase energy
>> Tips for waking up well-rested
>> Lifestyle changes to help you feel vibrant & alive