Our body isn’t what we once thought it was. Over the last 10-20 years scientists have discovered information about the body that disputes previous understanding. Here 5 of the things you should know that may impact your health and that of your kids.
Genes predetermine disease!
If you have a gene for an illness, doesn’t mean you are guaranteed to have the illness. We used to believe that genes determine what disorders we would get. Now we understand that the environment is what triggers the gene. For example, you may have a gene that makes you more likely to have cancer or diabetes, but unless the gene is turned on by something in the environment it is not likely to cause the change in your body. So if you eat a lot of sugar, this may trigger the cancer or diabetes gene to express itself. This is called Epigenetics. Epi means around or about, so it really focuses on things that are around or about the genes that cause them to trigger. As one saying goes, genes load the gun, environment pulls the trigger of disease.
Antiseptics are good, we need to be clean!
We use hand sanitizers regularly. Soaps have antibiotic agents in them. Foods have antibiotics in them. We have become a very sanitary society, to the point that it may be jeopardizing our health. We have discovered that exposure to small amounts of “dirt” regularly is really good for us. It trains our immune system to fight off microbes that may make us sick.
Low-fat is healthy!
In 2015 the Office of Disease and Health Prevention quietly reversed the recommendation that Americans follow a low-fat diet. After the initial recommendation in 1977, low fat milk and 100 calorie snack packs became the norm. Americans became sicker, fatter, and hungrier. What happened? When fat was removed from foods, sugar was generally added. The body has trouble processing large amounts of sugar and stores it as fat for later use. There are healthy fats and fats are necessary for proper functioning of the body. They are needed for proper brain development and function. They are necessary for hormone production.
Once you have a brain disorder, you will have it for life.
If you have ADHD or Autism you will have it for life. If you have a traumatic brain injury, there is no hope for recovery. We thought that once the brain was developed, no changes happed in the brain. We have learned that this isn’t necessarily true! The brain grows and evolves throughout life through a process called Neuroplasticity. This means new connections are being developed in the brain each and every day. Feeding these new connections can cause significant improvement in many neurodevelopmental disorders.
The gut is just for digestion!
Boy were we wrong about that. We have over 3 trillion bacteria, yeast, viruses, and parasites that make up the microbiome. Scientists are even considering this as a “new” organ! The microbiome is responsible for not only digesting food, but for producing hormones (including serotonin). It plays a huge role in how our immune system responds to threats from our environment.
So now you know, what can you do about it?
- You have a say about what you eat and some of what you are exposed to in your environment. Eat whole, clean foods. Learn about substances that may be harmful to you and your family. Use the Environmental Working Group information when selecting cleaning and personal care solutions. https://www.ewg.org/
- Play in dirt, let your kids play in dirt. Wash your hands with soap and warm water. Avoid sanitizers and antibacterial soaps.
- Eat healthy fat – plant-based fats, fatty fish, and grass-fed meat. Reduce intake of processed fats, as they cause inflammation and disease. Reduce your intake of added sugar.
- Try something new and repeat it until the brain builds a new pattern. T
- Eat fermented foods and drinks. Fermented foods have good bacteria that help make the microbiome healthy! Consider a probiotic supplement to help restore the microbiome.