You Are Not Doomed By Your Genes! Influence Your Genetic Makeup at Your Next Meal

Genetic makeup is a blueprint that gives your genes information on how to function. Each meal affects the way your genes interpret this information, for example eating fast food may tell your cells to start producing more fat and spike insulin. A regular spike in insulin potentially then tells your body to become insulin resistant, as it becomes unable to deal with the constant spike of insulin. This can of course lead to diabetes, that in turn can result in limb loss and blindness if it's not managed correctly. Look after your genetic makeup, not just your beauty makeup; each thing you do affects your longevity, your skin age, your risks of certain diseases, your mood, energy levels, concentration levels, weight and so much more- the list goes on… You can inform your genes that your body has enough nutrients to concentrate, give you good energy levels by eating right and regular heart rate increasing exercise.

The effects of genes on your health
Well we cannot rule out gene influence on your health completely, as some people are more susceptible to have certain conditions. This means that even with a good lifestyle people can still have certain conditions as they may be more prone with lesser environmental factors. The conditions that may have a genetic link include digestive problems, thyroid issues or emotional issues, which could effect your weight and your health. Let me explain how each one effects your health and how to get help with this. Having a family member with certain conditions does not necessary mean you will definitely end up with certain conditions but does mean you may have to live a healthier lifestyle than an average person to reduce the risk.

Digestive issues effects on weight
Digestive issues can be anything from a slow metabolism to irritable bowel syndrome known as IBS. Metabolism is a combination of hormones and tells your body how fast or slow to process foods. Also, IBS effects how food is processed. If you have a digestive health issue a doctor may be able to refer you to a specialist. Healthy lifestyle including a varied colourful diet with plenty of fibre can health with digestive health. Also, regular exercise encourages the bowel to become more regular.

Thyroid issues effects on weight
Thyroid issues causes weight gain or weight loss depending on which type you have, can cause confusion, irritation and a long list of other health issues. Thyroid issues are managed by the doctor, even though good nutrition may be beneficial, the doctor is likely to trial medications and you should always take your doctor’s advice.

Emotional issues effects on weight
Emotional issues is linked with genes as twin studies show that certain mental health issues may be inherited. Emotional issues can cause people to eat too much to not at all. Psychologists are still unsure how much environment has to play in mental health issues. Environmental factors may include the home you were bought up in, the family dynamics, peer influence, trauma and even the food you ate growing up. If anyone has emotional issues, then seeking support from a psychologist or psychiatrist to work through these issues. The key difference between a psychologist and a psychiatrist is that a psychologist focuses on psychological issues looking at techniques including retraining the brain to think differently, whereas a psychiatrist will focus on medication to treat symptoms of emotional issues; which may include low mood, energy levels and/or psychotic symptomology. 

How to eat a diet that’s right for you?
I would always recommend seeing a specialist to assess what your body needs to function in terms of calories and the right nutrition for you, as nutrition is so individual. Unfortunately, it does come down to calories, if you’re eating too many then you’ll put on weight and if you’re eating too little you’ll lose weight. This also considers the amount of exercise you do and the quality of the food you're eating. If your body is lacking in nutrients this may cause severe weight gain or even severe weight loss. Pick a healthy eating plan that suits you and you can see yourself doing forever, including the occasional treat. Notice I avoid the word diet here as it has a negative connotation. For instance it has the word ‘die’ in it and if you have ever done a fad diet you feel like you are literally dying of hunger. For a healthy lifestyle plan you will need a well balanced, colourful diet. Eating mostly non-starchy vegetables, leafy greens, some starchy vegetables and some fruits. With plenty of proteins including pulses, beans and lentils. Also, some whole-wheat, found in breads, pastas and rices has been shown to improve digestive health. Limiting fish, eggs, meats and poultry. And using sparsely dairy due to a lot of people being lactose intolerant, and the nasty stuff including puss, antibiotics and steroids found in milk. I'm sorry to say but organic foods are the best, expensive for sure but they have no harmful chemicals, antibiotics, steroids, bleaches, and fertilizer that make the crop grow as well as you. The down side the this is the expense as organic foods may be expensive, however buy dried beans, pulse, rices, pastas and lentils in bulk to avoid over spending. And just think if you could buy a few extra years to your life you would.

Other things you can do to look after your genes?
Pollution affects your skin health, lung health and even been linked to lung disorders. Even though you may think that you have no control on this you do. Watching the amount of plastic you use, recycle and potentially reduce you meat intake (click link for more information on becoming a flexitarian).

What influences weight and metabolism? 
The number one thing that effects weight is what you eat, how much you eat and whether you are active or not. Please note that eating too little may have the opposite desired effects when trying to lose weight. This in turn affects the speed at which your metabolism works. Pollution effects our health and chemicals/hormones in our bodies. The food we eat and the chemicals used in producing these can increase progesterone levels and research suggest that this can even lead to fertility issues, as well as poor metabolism that is unable to absorb proper nutrients from foods . Also, cleaning products and products we use on our skin are absorbed though our pours and effect the bodies chemical balance. 

Let food be your medicine
Please don't think that you can have a good diet and not need medication if prescribed by your health practitioner, it's important that we understand that this is about nutrition and not replacing the medical. The statement let food be your medicine may be more of a preventative method to stop diseases occurring in the first place. A lot of diseases including certain dementias, certain cancers, heart disease, stokes, high bad cholesterol and blood clots have been associated with poor diets. A healthy well-balanced diet could help reduce the likelihood of developing certain diseases, manage symptoms of disease also and been shown to help reduce symptoms of mental health issues.

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