Before you blame mom…
I’m sure you’ve heard someone playfully (or not) ask to see someone’s mother or father to determine if someone will age well.
“Let me see your mother so I know what I have to look forward to someday…” Sound familiar?
But not so fast…
Genetics can account for 10-50 percent of any given disease. Some diseases have more of a genetic component than others.
Why do I mention disease? Because today, disease is ultimately what is aging us in one way or another.
Now, before we blame our parents, let’s take a look at how WE can control our genetics and take an active role in our own aging process.
Certain genes can be turned on and off like a light switch depending on what you eat. There are three branches of science that come into play when talking about nutrition and genes:
Epigenetics: The study of how genes are turned off and on
Nutrigenomics: The study of how genes and nutrients interact at the molecular level and how what you eat influences WHO YOU ARE.
Nutrigenetics: The study of how a genetic variation affects nutrient absorption.
Now, let’s look at other internal, environmental, and behavioral factors that influence our genetic expression.
Internal Environment: This includes symptoms you are experiencing, nutrient deficiencies, and internal biological factors such as metabolism, the microbiome, inflammation, hormones, aging, and oxidative stress.
Specific External Environment AKA LIFESTYLE: Diet, physical activity, quality of water, personal care products, lifestyle choices such as smoking, infectious agents, chemical pollutants and soil contaminants.
General External Environment: climate, urban/rural setting, traffic, Cultural influences, socio-economic status, education, green space accessibility, occupation, and stress.
All three exposome environments interact with each other creating a combination of internal and environmental factors that influence health and disease.
Now, on to THAT GLOW we’re always talking about!
Did you know that EVERYONE, regardless of age, SHOULD have a healthy, YOUTHFUL GLOW? If you don’t, chances are there’s something lurking underneath the surface.
Your aging process is tightly wrapped up in mitochondrial function. If these cellular power-generators are functioning poorly, your aging process speeds up. If they are functionally optimally, your aging process will slow down.
Factors to consider addressing on your journey to healthy aging:
Pay attention to symptoms you’re experiencing: Physical symptoms are a good indicator of how the body is currently working. Remember, seemingly unrelated symptoms may actually be connected.
Nutrient Deficiencies: Subpar nutrient levels decrease your overall bodily function as the body struggles to eliminate waste.
Inflammation: an extremely common, and often painful issue. Short term is, of course, an important part of healthy aging. But, chronic inflammation goes hand and hand with disease.
Hormones: A hormonal imbalance can wreak havoc on not only your skin but on all systems in the body. These chemical messengers can prepare the body for battle or facilitate digestion and relaxation. Sex hormones, particularly testosterone, can shield the body from the effects of stress.
Oxidative Stress: When you’re stressed, you often forget to exhale as much as you inhale. Over time, this can create oxidative stress, which is the body’s inability to counteract the harmful effects of free radicals.
Self-awareness is the stepping stone to all healthy aging while advocating for our own health, taking control of our lives, and dissecting the root cause of all of the symptoms is ultimately your journey to health and age management. Feel overwhelmed by this info? Don’t. Step one is being aware of what you’re feeling and listening to the signals your body is communicating. Once you listen and acknowledge, acting upon it is so much easier.
We will go through this journey together while dissecting the steps to healthy aging.