One of the best ways to achieve a healthier life is through good nutrition. Your nutritional choices play a big part in your overall health. That's why it's so important to nourish your body with healthy foods. Food is powerful. It can fight off depression, boost your mood and even help prevent cancer and other illnesses. Food is medicine, and when you use food this way, you're committing to a beneficial lifestyle change.
This makes healthy nutrition an important tool in your fight against disease and obesity. It's arguably a "Health Hero's" most powerful ally in the quest for a long and healthy life because what you eat can actually change your genes and transform your biology.
New research is changing the game.
Each day brings new evidence that how you live affects you right down to your genetic level. Your stress levels, social surroundings, physical activity and overall lifestyle all contribute to your gene expression - or how your cells respond to their changing environment.
What you eat is no exception. The nutrients in your food interact with your genes. The study of this interaction is known as "nutrigenomics." It's changing everything. Where we once thought we were powerless is now an area over which we have at least some control.
The ability to use nutrition to affect our genes means that we're no longer at the mercy of our DNA. This is especially exciting when it comes to fighting and preventing disease.
You are not your genes.
Let's mention the obvious. You can't control everything that happens to you. You're going to face health challenges and adversity. But when you take advantage of the power you do have, you give yourself every possible opportunity to live your best and healthiest life.
Nutrigenomics is creating a power shift, putting some newfound power into your hands. What does this mean? Think about inherited diseases like heart disease, obesity, diabetes, cancer and Alzheimer's.
If these, or other inherited diseases, run in your family, you're not doomed to suffer. The fate of your health is not set in stone. If your mother is a diabetic, it's not a given that you'll eventually become a diabetic.
Again, we don't have absolute control. If that were the case, we'd all eat healthy and never get sick. However, what you choose to eat can significantly increase or reduce your risk for future illness.
Use your power wisely.
Imagine how your life could change if you took advantage of every drop of power you have to transform your health - right down to the genetic level. Would you commit to making convenient and realistic nutritional changes? Would you feel less anxious or enjoy a greater sense of purpose knowing that you're stepping up and taking action to improve your chances of a longer and healthier life? You might find yourself enjoying life more than ever before.
My prescriptions for better nutrition.
Make the commitment to nourish your body with good nutrition every day. Even small, manageable changes will get you on the right path. Your doctor can make recommendations based on your unique requirements. But, whole and natural foods, healthy fats, lean proteins, balance and moderation are great places to start. The more you practice making good nutritional choices, the greater impact you'll have on your health.
I encourage you to use food as medicine and take advantage of the power to alter your genes for improved wellness. The fate of your health is not set in stone. Nutrigenomics has changed the game. You have the ability to transform your biology and change your health journey. Be your own "Health Hero" by taking advantage of this power and prioritizing your commitment to greater health and longevity.
Dr. Partha Nandi is a creator and host of the internationally syndicated, award-winning medical lifestyle television show, Ask Dr. Nandi and author of the upcoming book, "ASK DR. NANDI: 5 Steps to Becoming your Own #HealthHero for Longevity, Well-being, and a Joyful Life". For more information, visit askdrnandi.com.