Ever since the discovery of DNA, science and medicine have been obsessed with genes. Many people – including most doctors – believe that genes determine your physical and mental health.
Now, the exciting new science of epigenetics is proving these genetic determinists wrong. Your ‘bad genes’ can be turned off, and your ‘good genes’ turned on, by eating healthy food, exercising regularly and living with a positive spirit.
Epigenetics is the science of how environmental signals control the activity of genes. These environmental signals including nutrition, toxins, social rituals, and emotions modify the activity of genes. These epigenetic modifications can be passed on to your children, just as your genetic blueprint is passed on via DNA.
So, how can we activate our good genes?
• Plant-based diet. Eating fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds and whole grains activates genes that detoxify cancer-causing chemicals and repair damaged tissues in your joints, arteries and other tissues.
• Limit animal proteins.
• Regular exercise. Keeping active maintains a healthy blood sugar level.
• Keep active throughout the day. A sedentary lifestyle can cause you to gain weight and even develop type 2 diabetes.
• Keep positive. Meditation, helping others or feeling uplifted by beautiful music or nature activates genes that repair damaged cells. Staying calm and positive can also strengthen your memory and enhance your immune system.
• Avoid negative feelings. When you fume with anger and hostility towards others, genes that cause inflammatory chemicals flood your body. This can create many problems and prevent the repair of damaged tissues.
Every day we make choices. What we eat, how much physical activity we do, what we think and feel… all this affects the expression of our genes. Make good choices, and you’ll ‘live long and prosper’, as Mr Spock would say. Make poor choices, and you’ll degenerate and die prematurely.
Article from Hopewood contributor Robyn Chuter.