Diet and lifestyle tips for genetic health

Diet and lifestyle tips for genetic health

Just following up on my last month's blog on 10 tips for genetic health. This blog explains a little more detail on specific genetic variations and how diet and lifestyle can influence how these variations are expressed.

Our genes have a significant influence over our health and in recent years our understanding of the impact of our genes on nutritional metabolism (nutrigenetics) and of diet or foods on gene expression have grown significantly.

Our genes have many variations, called single nucleotide polymorphims, a mouth full I know, but they are commonly known as SNP's. These SNP's affect the way we process nutrients or can dictate our specific dietary requirements. Certain SNP's have also been linked to a variety of potential health issues, which makes prevention even more critical.

This is where you as an individual have a level of control over how these SNP's respond. It demonstrates the absolute importance of a healthy diet for optimising genetic health. In this blog I will highlight some important and easy to implement dietary and lifestyle modifications around 2 important gene variations:

MTHFR polymorphisms

These gene polymorphisms affect the metabolism of folate and may predispose these individuals to a variety of nutrient deficiencies. This makes a targeted nutrient, rich diet especially important for ensuring health.

· Support methylation:

o Vit B6: Pasture fed beef, avocado, brewers yeast

o Vit B12: liver, kombu, nori, sardines, mackerel

o Betain: Beetroot, spinach, prawns

· Foods rich in folate:

o Leafy green vegetables: spinach, romaine, collard, mustard

o Other vegetables: Asparagus, broccoli, brussell sprouts, squash, green beans and peas

o Legumes: lentils, pinto beans, garbanzo beans, black beans

o Brightly coloured fruit: berries, mango, plums, citrus and papaya

o Nuts and seeds

Detoxification polymorphisms

The detoxification system is amazing. Nowadays we are exposed to increasing amounts of toxins and it is possible to overload our detox capacity, particularly if we have genetic variations that makes us more predisposed.

· Support detoxification pathways:

o Cruciferous vegetables: cabbage, brussell sprouts, artichoke

o Citrus fruits: lemon, oranges, tangerines

o Onions, garlic

o Protein: Egg, lean meats, poultry, fish

o Nuts and seeds

· Provide some protection for your cells

o Green tea

o Turmeric

o Garlic, onions, cruciferous vegetables

o Brazil nuts (high in selenium)

o Berries

· Promote elimination and heal the gut

o Include more fibre e.g. psyllium and slippery elm

o Artichoke, avocado, cabbage and fermented foods

o Pear, apples, carrots and berries

Do you see a common thread here? Eat more plant based food and eat food that represent the colour of the rainbow. Simple really!

Now for some quick genetic health lifestyle tips:

· Exercise regularly. Great for cardiovascular health but research shows that is also benefits genetic health

· Minimise exposure to Environmental genetic toxins. Take a multi-faceted approach, consider toxins in the home, car, office and your food

· Utilise daily detoxification activities as part of your everyday living:

o Meditation

o Far Infrared sauna

o Juicing

o Warm water and lemon juice upon rising

o Dry Skin brushing

o Epson salt bath

o Massage

o Colon cleansing

For more detailed information on some of the points mentioned in this blog, please ask for a copy of our information hand out.