I have always enjoyed learning. I am a very curious creature by nature. So, when I discovered how changing how one eats influences how they feel and perform daily, I dug in and read a ton of articles and medical journals. My daughter’s amazing turn around from feeling extremely ill and experiencing “morning sickness” and vomiting daily, to a healthy, vibrant young woman JUST by changing her nutrition intake catapulted me into the “need to know now” category and I became a health coach. I am still learning as there is so much to know and discover. One of the greatest and most profound topics to me is how nutrition affects your genes. For real! Isn’t that cool?
Nutrigenomics is the study of how nutrition effects your genes. Epigenetics is how environment effects your genes.I believe both fields do and will continue to show how we have much control over disease that plagues a large percentage of our population (think cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity). I think it’s quite amazing that what we eat can turn on or turn off certain functions of our genes. For example, eating cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower) help keep a switch turned off in our genes that can help prevent cancer. Now that is mind blowing! Mom knew what she was talking about when she told you to eat your vegetables!
The scientists may have also found a genetic link for lactose intolerance. (Article found here.) Just wow. (Refer to title of this post if you’re wondering where my wonderment is coming from!).This makes me wonder if there is some type of genetic connection with the 22q deletion syndrome and gastrointestinal disease/leaky gut. So many of those with 22q suffer severe issues with gut health, doesn’t it make you curious? This information fuels my desire to eat well. Does it for you? Connect the dots that what you put in your mouth can influence your health for years to come. Are you inspired to have a second helping of vegetables? Or to eat more organic foods? Creating a seamless relationship between how you FEEL and what you EAT could change our disease ridden country into a more healthy and productive one! Ok, I may be going over board, but I do see the potential. Do you?
Imagine teaching this concept to our kids versus the “my plate” concept. The “my plate” concept does serve a purpose (yet still has some suspect advice), but it doesn’t drive home the fact that we can GREATLY influence our long term health. Yes, I understand that we are all so busy and many of us have the mentality of “just tell me what to eat”, but learning the WHY behind the WHAT can set the stage for a long, healthy life. It’s like “giving a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will eat forever.” I get you may not have the same desires as me to read up on nutrigenomics and such, but perhaps YOU will make the connection between what we eat and our health are tightly woven together.
I have a friend that is quite hilarious and has a saying “Choose Wisely” when choosing those you date. I believe the same could be said for what we nosh on. Choose (your food) Wisely and you may be choosing a longer, healthier life.