Our parents pass down a lot of things to us. We enjoy the things we inherit from them. From tangible things like secondhand cars, heirloom jewelry to intangible stuff like our traits and our extended gene pool. Lucky you to inherit your mom’s healthy hair, an acne-free skin or a medium framed body. But too bad, we can’t refuse the objectionable stuff as we also inherit the risk of certain diseases that runs in the family. This is why it is so important to know your family’s health history. This is your first step to outsmart your destiny because you are not necessarily doomed to experience the same health issues.
Several studies have shown that people with the highest genetic risk had double the chance of acquiring chronic diseases than peers at the lower spectrum of genetic risk. But this is not a reason to just accept the fate. If modern science taught us how powerful genes can be, an emerging research is pointing to a game-changing fact. Through a healthy lifestyle and certain behaviors, we might be able to redirect our DNA destiny and outsmart diseases.
Our physical makeup is mostly determined by our parents’ DNA. But scientific breakthrough now shows that we have some influence over how genes will work on us. Some traits like our eye color, height and bone structure are not persuadable, but others like life span and disease risk are not always set in stone. Your lifestyle, behavior, the food you eat and the stress you experience can modify the way your DNA behaves. We cannot change the actual DNA, but we can do things to control the way it acts. Remember, your genes load the gun, but your environment pulls the trigger.
If you know that your family has history of heart disease, be the game-changer. Implement lifestyle practices which include a healthy diet, regular exercise, minimized stress and with emphasis to good sleeping habits. This practice will also be applicable to other chronic diseases like diabetes and cancer.
When redirecting your DNA, diet plays a big role. Your food intake will make up what gets into your body; chemicals or nutrients. Consider also your lifestyle. Break a sweat. Working out strengthens our physical and mental health. It is always best to start in the roots. Identify the family’s history. Study the triggers and learn the do’s and don’ts of the health saga. Then take steps to interrupt heredity.
Doctors have been preaching long enough the importance of a healthy lifestyle to improve heart health, especially to those with a family history of the disease. Some four lifestyle factors to consider if your family has heart disease history are no smoking, no obesity (maintain your BMI), regular exercise and of course, a healthy diet. These cut risks significantly. Same goes with genetic diseases like diabetes. Food intake has a big factor. But you don’t have to abandon the foods that you love. You just need to cut down the portion size and eat slowly so your tummy can send signal to your brain that you are full. Get active with some physical activities. Every step counts, so go walking every day. It is a stress reliever too. Go for whole grains and foods that are rich in fiber. Shed off some pounds, it reduces the risk of acquiring the disease.
Be the change and make that change. There are DNA destiny that we love, and there are those that we don’t. Keeping up with a healthy lifestyle is the key. You identified the root cause, made the analysis, and now its time to take the actions. You cannot turn off the genes that promote the genetic diseases, but you can turn on genes that can prevent them.