6 Ways To Hack Your Genetics Grace Van Berkum, R.H.N. Sweat Equity Magazine
Can your lifestyle really affect the expression of your genes? The emerging study of epigenetics says yes. How we choose to live our lives affects whether certain genes in our bodies are turned on or off. This offers exciting and empowering possibilities when we actually start to ponder that genes do not control our destiny. Who you are is not just down to your DNA; your environment plays a big role, too. Bruce Lipton, cellular biologist and leading voice in the field of epigenetics, states that our thoughts, feelings, and environment can affect the destiny of the 50 trillion plus cells that make each one of us up. In the past decade, knowledge of how lifestyle affects our genes, a research field called epigenetics, has grown exponentially.
"Epigenetics is still a relatively new research field; however, we now know that epigenetic mechanisms play an important role in disease development. Similarly, the epigenetic patterns are affected by disease. Variations in genetic material (DNA), age, exercise and diet also have an impact on epigenetic variation," says Charlotte Ling, professor and pioneer in the field of epigenetics and diabetes. Available evidence clearly shows that lifestyle choices like exercise, nutrition, and sleep significantly affect the genes responsible for numerous physiological adaptations. Research findings that exercise can change the way your DNA is expressed is both shocking and exciting. Even more surprising is the realization that epigenetic changes are inherited by your offspring! According to Deepak Chopra, M.D.,, a pioneer in Integrative Medicine, “we all inherit approximately 23,000 genes from our parents. Some of these genes include genetic mutations, which are variations of a gene that can affect how that gene expresses itself in your body. While 95 percent of disease-related gene mutations increase your risk factors for disease, they don’t predict the disease. In other words, simply because you carry a genetic mutation that predisposes you to heart disease, you are not destined to develop it. Only 5 percent of disease-related gene mutations are fully penetrant, which means that the gene directly causes a disorder.”
Making healthy decisions may not be foolproof, but it could mean the difference between having a significant health issue and avoiding one. Through your daily lifestyle choices, you can optimize how your genes behave, helping to “turn on” the genes that promote good health and “turn off” the genes that promote illness.
Let’s take a look at 6 ways we can hack our genetics to improve our bodies, mind, and future: 1) Nutrition. Eating a chemical-free, unprocessed, clean, wholefood, realfood, freshfood way of eating can alter your genes and reduce risk of diseases in a long term way. What you choose to eat (and choose not to eat) not only affects how you feel today but also has a powerful effect on our genetic makeup and then passed down to the next generation. Ditch the packaged, chemical-laden foods and opt for more fresh and simple foods from mother nature to turn on your good genes. A great deal of our health begins in the gut – about 70-80 percent of the immune system is located in the intestines. Most of the antibodies your body makes to fight off illnesses depend on healthy gut flora to keep the immune system strong. After all, the average person has about 100 trillion bacteria, which outnumbers other cells 10-to-one. Poor intestinal health has been scientifically tied to heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, bone health, arthritis, and even osteoporosis. It’s simple: the better your diet, the better your chance of staying healthy. 2) Sleep. Your body releases stress and toxins while it self-regulates and repairs the cellular activity during deep sleep. If you’re consistently not getting enough sleep, you are more likely to have a depressed immune system and chronic inflammation, which is associated with many diseases, including Alzheimer’s, obesity, fibromyalgia, digestive disorders, and some kinds of cancer. Most adults need 7-9 hours of sleep a night without the use of alcohol or drugs. Increasing magnesium daily helps with good sleep naturally. 3) Exercise. Our bodies are designed to move and illnesses and diseases increase drastically without daily movement. Find activities and movement that you enjoy daily that will help to keep your body strong and lean, but also helps with stress reduction and mood regulation. Exercise greatly affects the expression of your genes. Consistency is better than length of time, so even a little bit of daily movements and exercise will help you immensely. 5) Meditation. Meditation is a simple practice that reduces stress and takes us to a state of relaxation. Research shows that people who meditate regularly develop less hypertension, heart disease, anxiety, and other stress-related illnesses. Even a few minutes of meditation and sitting down to embrace stillness will have profound effects on our mind, state of health, and future.
6) Earthing and Grounding.
According to quantum physic scientists, every living organism, including human beings, has a biofield, which is an electromagnetic field. When your bare feet touch the earth, which is also electromagnetic, the negative ions from the earth’s surface flow into your body to discharge the many unpaired positive ions (or free radicals) you’ve accumulated from living in the modern world. These free radicals come from regular exposure to environmental toxins, heavy metals, radiation, and chemicals in the food supply. Free radicals are associated with disease, inflammation, and accelerated aging.
By walking barefoot on the sand, earth, or grass, the healing powers of the earth neutralize free radicals and recharge your energy. Earthing and Grounding is a simple practice all you need to do is touch the earth whenever and as much as you can.
6) Emotional Health Finally, your emotional health and belief systems affects your gene expression. The good news is, implementing all of the tips above, will help cultivate healthy and calm emotions. Taking your body out of a “fight of flight” stressed-out mode, will help to change your genes in a positive way. An individual who is constantly stressed and anxious will have elevated heart rates and production of cortisol, adrenaline, and other stress hormones that leads to increased inflammation in your body and the development of chronic illness. Eat well, move your body, calm your mind, get out in nature, and get good sleep to profoundly affect your emotional health…..and also to turn your good genes on and bad genes off! https://www.graciouslivingoasis.com/