This week at The Ranch we had an inspirational class, Improving Vitality: Food Talks to your Genes, by Oriental medicine doctor and licensed acupuncturist, Dr. Iris Gold. The class was packed with great information.
The gist of the class is that you may not always be stuck with predisposed genes that lead to a host of diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases, osteoporosis, and Alzheimer’s disease. It could be possible to change your gene expression. According to Dr. Gold, genes are a predictor and can be turned on and off depending on the food you eat, the water you drink, the air you breathe and the chemicals you’re exposed to on a daily basis.
Dr. Gold believes that all diseases have one thing in common: inflammation. Again, lifestyle choices can contribute to inflammation in the body.
So, how do we prevent inflammation and therefore help to prevent genetic diseases? Here are five lifestyle changes Dr. Gold recommends that do just that:
- Reduce toxic exposure. Be aware of the products you use in your home and on your skin. For example, buy cleaning products without harsh chemicals, use natural skincare products, and add house plants to your home to add fresh oxygen to the air.
- Improve detoxification ability. By eating fresh fruits and vegetables high in enzymes, you naturally detoxify your body. This helps flush toxins out of your system. Some examples of foods high in enzymes include pineapples, papayas and sprouts.
- Increase antioxidant activity. This is similar to improving your detoxification ability because it comes down to the foods you eat. Examples of foods that are high in antioxidants include wild blueberries, red kidney beans and pinto beans.
- Reduce stress, reduce cortisol. Stress can make you more susceptible to disease because it lowers your immune system function. Essentially stress is fight or flight mode, and when you are stressed, your body is busy fighting what it considers to be dangerous situations rather than boosting the body’s natural defenses against disease and illness. When you reduce stress, you boost your immune system function and can turn off genes that cause illness. Stress can be reduced by exercise, sleep and meditation.
- Let your body regenerate. The importance of sleep came up in this class as one of the top factors that affect genes. Sleep reduces cortisol, which our body produces when it’s stressed. Sleep also balances leptin, which determines how much food we eat. If our leptin is off balance, most likely the body will feel that it never gets enough food, which leads to overeating. Sleep is also the time when our body regenerates so it’s important to get seven to nine hours of sleep each night.
While it may take a bit of effort, Dr. Gold suggests that by making these healthy lifestyle choices we can increase our likelihood of living longer, healthier lives.
Interested in learning more about achieving a marvelous balance of mind, body and spirit? Join us for a week at our 3,000-acre health and fitness resort in Tecate, Baja California, Mexico—about an hour’s drive from San Diego, all with transportation provided. Make your reservation or request more information by calling 800-443-7565, or use our convenient online reservation form by clicking below.