How many times have you heard others say or thought to yourself, “well it’s just my genes so there is nothing I can do about that!”? I’m here to tell you something really exciting… you can actually reprogram your genes!
We commonly think of our genes as fixed traits that we inherit from your parents, such as hair and eye color, height, personality characteristics, predispositions to alcoholism, flat feet, heart disease, and the list can go on. Lifestyle behaviors do not have much influence over these types of inherited traits but you can directly influence the genes involved in health and wellness. Specifically, the genes that influence muscle development, body fat storage, inflammation, and other aspects of general health and longevity.
On a journey towards optimal health, you get to uncover which lifestyle choices
UNLOCK your own unique genetic potential.
Think of your genes like an assortment of “on/off” switches, because they
continually direct the production of protein molecules (through processes known as transcription and translation) that influence every element of body function and structure. You can turn these genes on or off with signals provided by the food you eat, type of exercise you do (or don’t do), sleeping habits, sun exposure, etc.
The process of gene reprogramming can happen in as little as 21 days of lifestyle medication.
Essentially, we all have different genetic versions of ourselves and based on how we choose to eat and live, we can unlock those different versions.
Otto and Ewald, pictured here in 1969, are German twins who possess identical copies of the genes their parents gave them. They achieved notoriety in scientific circles as a compelling case study for how the environment influences gene expression. Otto trained as a distance runner, while Ewald trained for brief, explosive throwing events in track & field.
Otto and Ewald are a good representation of the concept that lifestyle
behaviors can alter gene expression. The brothers have an absolutely
identical set of genes, but with tremendously different outcomes due to
lifestyle habits. Both of them are apparently athletic and healthy.
Dr. Cate Shanahan tells us that, “Your familial genes predict what kind of bad luck you will have if you engage in adverse lifestyle practices.”
What is your weakest link from a genetic standpoint? Perhaps it’s heart disease or cancer. Maybe you won the genetic lottery, and you could live to be the age of 100 while smoking every day and not taking care of yourself. unlikely!
Each twin directed gene expression to their particular goals, which involved improving their health. Ultimately, that’s all that really matters.
The Role of Inflammation
Acute inflammation is important for healing (think of a swollen sprained ankle) as it allows the body to shuttle nutrients into an impacted region quickly for a speedy recovery. Chronic (constant) inflammation, however, is harmful to your overall health because it causes undesirable gene expressions and mutations that lead to a majority of modern-day chronic illness.
What Causes Chronic/Systemic Inflammation
Modern lifestyle choices contribute to inflammation through diets too high in carbohydrates, Omega-6 fatty acids, sugars, chemicals, and more. Other lifestyle factors such as stress, sleep patterns, chronic exercise patterns, and environmental toxins all contribute to turning certain familial genes on or off.
Decrease Inflammation and Optimize Your Health
Now that you understand how our modern lifestyle impacts our health by turning off certain health-promoting genes and turning on less desirable genes of chronic illness/disease through inflammation, you may be wondering how to optimize your genetic potential so you can look, feel, and perform your best. The best nutrition and lifestyle template to follow for optimal gene expression is a primal lifestyle.
How to Live a Primal Lifestyle
- Eat plants and animals – there is a lot of variety within the categories of
meat, fish, fowl, eggs, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds. This results in a comparatively low-carb, high-fat diet by conventional wisdom standards.
- Don’t Eat – poisonous things such as processed foods that are
chemically altered and high in industrial seed oils, sugars, grains,
artificial colorings, preservatives, and other chemicals. There is a difference between food and an “edible consumer product”.
- Exercise adequately – it’s important to move your body, embark on resistance training, and sprint occasionally. However, chronic cardio can be as inflammatory as not moving at all.
- Manage your mindset to reduce the impact of stress. Click here for some tips to reduce stress.
- Create healthy sleep patterns
- Enjoy your life by expanding your mind, learning, playing, and buildingcommunity. Have fun!
You can optimize your genes with a primal lifestyle vs set up for various chronic diseases and ailments caused by systemic inflammation from a modern-day diet a lifestyle.
I hope you feel motivated and empowered to optimize YOUR unique set of
genes and unlock your own genetic potential. Amazingly, many of these
genes can be turned on/off in as little as 21 days. Therefore, you are
potentially less than one month away from feeling better than you have in
years. Curious? Connect with me here!