Improve your genetic health with food?
Optimize your DNA with food?Posted by Autumn Smith
Everyone wishes they had control over their genes sometimes.
Perhaps you'd delete your family's abdominal fat gene?
Switch off the early heart disease gene on your dad's side?
Activate your longevity genes?
Or ensure you only transferred your favorable genes to your baby.
And even though it may seem like something straight out of a sci-fi film, what if I told you that you can actually influence the way your genes are expressed, and you can do it TODAY. Sound too good to be true? It's not.
In fact, a new branch of science (Epigenetics) has shown that food can not only affect your weight, energy levels, mood and risk for disease, but also the expression of your DNA. If you think about it, it makes sense. In an evolutionary context, dynamic changes in DNA expression are important for survival because they allow our bodies to adapt to an ever-changing environment.
Which means we can, in a lot of ways, become masters of our own destiny rather than victims of our genetic code.
Let's take a quick look at 3 of my favorite epigenetic studies...
1. In 2003 Dr. Randy Jirtle published a study in the Journal of Molecular & Cell Biology. The researchers used agouti-yellow mice with an extra piece of DNA in the Agouti gene that makes them yellow and obese. They fed one group of mother mice nutrients like B12, folic acid, choline and betaine found in foods like beets, spinach, grass-fed red meat, liver and pastured egg yolks. The control group did not receive these nutrients.
They found that the mothers given the extra nutrients gave birth to slender brown pups with a longer life expectancy while those mothers who didn't receive the nutrients gave birth to the same yellow, fat offspring.
Pretty amazing, right?
The nutrients altered the EXPRESSION of the genes, but not the sequence itself.
2. Another study by Lillian Thompson revealed that eating flax seeds suppressed a gene associated with poor outcomes for breast cancer by 70%. The flax also turned off a gene that made cancer cells grow and divide, by 34%. There was also a 30% increase in the percentage of genes that encourage cancer cell death. Just from eating flax seeds!
3. Finally, In 1930 Francis Pottenger performed a decade longitudinal study involving 900 cats fed either raw meat and milk or pasteurized meat and milk. This study revealed that the cats that consumed the pasteurized milk (damaged by heat) suffered physical degeneration that was passed down to their offspring for three generations. In contrast, the cats fed raw milk and meat thrived and developed optimally.
Perhaps the most exciting finding was that the damage caused by the poor quality food could be reversed.When the cats originally fed cooked meat and milk were instead given raw meat and milk, their health status improved significantly, as did the health of each successive generation.
Which brings me to my point. We are no longer slaves to our genetics, BUT masters of our own destiny!
(And our future children's destiny, to some extent!)
So even if you are born with a genetic predisposition for a certain disease, your dietary choices each and every day play a significant role in whether or not it actually develops.
This means with every single BITE, you're either preventing disease or encouraging it. How empowering is that? Here are a few of my favorite ways to leverage the awesome power of the fork:
- Opt for high quality, properly raised animal products like wild salmon, our 100% Grass Fed Beef sticks, and NATURE’S MULTIVITAMINS, organ meats (like in our Grass Fed Organ Complex). They will flood your body with vitamins and minerals that make your genes do a happy dance.
- Fill your plate with organic veggies like leafy greens (kale, spinach, romaine, endive), betaine-rich beets, carrots, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and broccoli. I like to aim for 5-10 servings each day. The more non-starchy veggies you can eat in a day, the BETTER.
- Try sprinkling freshly ground organic flax seeds in your salads and your morning shakes. They enhance the expression of your genes and help keep you regular. Win. Win.
- Put a raw pasture-raised egg yolk in your morning shake. This one is for the pros. As we’ve learned, raw foods can be incredibly healing and choline-rich egg yolks are the perfect place to begin. MAKE SURE YOU ONLY EAT PASTURED egg yolks raw, though. NEVER conventionally-raised eggs. If you blend it up with a few organic berries, leafy greens, organic extra virgin coconut oil and a high-quality protein powder, you’ll never even know it’s there!
- Eat foods with a shelf life. As you saw from the Pottenger Experiment, unprocessed foods can dramatically improve genetic health, while processed foods do the opposite. So ditch foods ANY food that won’t go bad and eat your way to vibrant genetics.
And if you're not compelled to follow the five tips above and eat to improve your genes for yourself, do it for the KIDS. Because what you’re doing today will affect not only your health...but the health of your kids...and the health of your grandkids….and the health of your great grandkids.
So follow the tips above and leave a legacy of health.
And if you’re overwhelmed by the thought of devoting lots of time to meal prep and need a simple place to begin, try our Grass Fed Organ Complex and 100% Grass Fed Beef Sticks today. They’ll keep your genes healthy and your life productive. We hope you love them!