Epigenetics is a newer field of study in which scientists are observing whether or not genes can either be ‘turned off’ or ‘turned on’ due to external factors.
What does this mean? There are four building blocks that create the base of our DNA. The arrangement of these DNA bases determine the instructions for our life. What color our hair will be, how outgoing we are, what diseases we will have… Genes are a specific number of bases in a certain order and these genes provide instructions on how to make proteins which will then carry out our life’s functions.
Certain circumstances in life (diet, stress, environment) can either ‘turn on’ a gene or ‘turn off’ a gene. By ‘turning on’ a gene, this means to be expressed. Whether that means ‘to have brown hair’ or ‘to get Alzheimer’s at 60 years old’.
So the exciting part: while we may have the gene for Alzheimer’s, we can turn it off! Through our lifestyle (diet, exercise, mindset, environment) we can make the gene inactive. We can theoretically control our genes as long as know how to flip the switch. Now we know how to ‘turn on’ switches: smoking = lung cancer, drinking = liver issues, poor diet = heart disease, but what if we could turn them off?
Example: breast cancer runs in your family. Your mother, sister, and aunt. You test positive for the active gene, however through eating a certain way and following a protocol, you are able to avoid breast cancer all together.
We could possibly choose our life’s course.
Your intestinal wall is a tightly woven chain-link fence and your veins (and body by extension) are a body. The holes with-in the fence just small enough so that the breeze and sunshine can pass. Now this fence is supposed to be the first line of defense for your garden. It’s supposed to keep nuisances and allergens out of the bloodstream where they can wreak havoc on your body.
Many issues can cause these links in the fence to widen such as: dietary indiscretion (undigested fats, poor-quality proteins, industrial processed foods, gluten), chronic stress, inflammation in the gut due to low hydrochloric acid (which is a bigger problem than Western medicine will have you believe), and medications.
One these links have widened, now all sorts of animals and bugs can crawl into your garden and start disrupting the natural flow. While your garden used to have no problems flourishing, now it is slowly dying due to these invaders.
This is true as well for your intestines and immune system. Your immune system only knows that these particles of food are not supposed to be in your bloodstream, so when it mounts a full-fledge immune response, your body starts to suffer.
Although your food may be healthy and high-quality, your immune system still sees it as a danger. Not until you fix your fence can your garden grow again. There are a few things that can help your gut heal…
I would start with an anti-inflammatory diet.
Anti-inflammatory List – Rather than focusing on pushing out your usual food, focus on consuming these foods and you’ll find you don’t have room for the other.
Bone Broth – the collagen/gelatin in bone broth helps the intestinal lining heal.
Make sure you’re getting adequate amounts of Vitamin D, Zinc, and probiotics as well.
Do you suffer from light-headedness, poor concentration, heart palpitations, or muscle cramps?
The answer could be your daily water intake. We all know that dehydration can hinder your athletic ability and be a HUGE health risk.
However for those water obsessed individuals, drinking too much water without replenishing your electrolytes can be highly detrimental to your health as well.
A few of the best natural mineral supplements are a higher quality salt supplement such as pink Himalayan sea salt, citrus, coconut water, or bone broth.
Pink Himalayan Sea Salt – sprinkle a bit in your water through-out the day. You shouldn’t be able to taste the salt.
Coconut Water – packed with electrolytes and perfect to put in a smoothie or to chug on its own. I prefer this brand due to zero additives. Look at ingredients and make sure it isn’t from concentrate.
Bone Broth – try and get grass-fed, pasture-raised bones for your broth. And don’t be afraid to use the odd parts such as the feet. I love Wellness Mama and her recipe is amazing!
Lemon juice is also another source. Squeeze some in your water and you can also get a boost of Vitamin C.
Try and avoid the artificial electrolyte supplements such as Gatorade and Power-ade. They just provide excessive sugar, artificial flavors, and color dyes. These three ingredients can lead to full-body inflammation and drastically slow your recovery process.
Growing up we were taught that bacteria is bad and should be eliminated at all costs: hand-sanitizers, fully washing our fruits and vegetables, and taking courses of antibiotics for the most basic sniffle. What if you knew that these little bacterial organisms were not actually enemies, but some of our greatest allies?
Humans have over 1,000 different types of friendly bacteria that lives not only on our skin, but also in our gastrointestinal tract. These friends are responsible for a number of body functions including: production of vitamins like B12, folate, niacin, and vitamin K, maintenance of the stomach wall and protection against bad bacteria, regulation of the immune system and inflammation, production of the short-chain fatty acid butyrate that fuels the brain and intestine, weight loss and appetite regulation, and production of neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin.
In some studies, a change in the microbiome of the gut has been linked to heart disease, type 2 diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, and obesity. This could be due to overgrowth of the bacteria or undergrowth.
Signs that your gastrointestinal flora is out of whack: infections such as Lyme disease, mold, or autoimmune diseases, hormonal imbalances, poor diet of simple sugars, processed, and low-fiber foods, and overuse of antibiotics, NSAIDS, and acid-reducing meds.
There are a number of foods that can help the microflora grow and develop into its fullest self:
These are a few of my more favorite probiotic brands. I make sure to rotate them to get the best benefits from each.
Artificial sugar, alcohol, and processed foods have been linked to inhibit these little friends by increasing insulin resistance and creating cravings of poorly made food. One of the largest culprits for killing off our little friends though is antibiotics. Be mindful when taking a course of antibiotics to supplement pre, during, and post exposure.