Laurel Dierking MEd, NFPT

Did you know that you can influence your susceptibility to certain diseases with the very next bite of food you take?

Most people know the importance of a well-balanced diet and its role in sustaining our health, energy levels, immunity, and overall functioning of the body, but to what extent does what we eat influence our ability to stay disease-free?

According to research from The Health Sciences Institute, genetic defects only account for about five percent of all human diseases (Antonarakis, Chakravarti, Cohen, Hardy, 2010). Genetics merely determine how susceptible a person is to a particular disease — it is our diet that ultimately influences the expression of our genetic coding. No longer can we entirely blame our health outcomes on our parents and grandparents.

Beginning in utero, the substances that support the development of a baby’s physical body is derived from the nutrients in the foods ingested by the expecting mother. This initial make-up creates the foundation for longevity of every human being. The human body is resilient when it comes to dealing with matter such as processed foods, tobacco, harmful chemicals, artificial sweeteners and other hard-to-digest substances. Over time however, persistent damage to cells and organs through malnutrition can lead to permanent damage of our body tissues.

Histopathology (the study of the connection between body tissue and disease) has yielded tremendously valuable research linking the quality of our bodies tissues to the likelihood of the development of certain diseases. Our bodies are only able to maintain a certain level of homeostasis (the healthy balance of internal conditions within the body) depending on what is provided for fuel and support to ensure the correct functioning of our systems. This is indicative of most chronic diseases developing later in adulthood.

For example, cancer often-times develops when a cell does not die, is unable to properly flush stored waste and becomes toxic or when it is malfunctioning and loses the ability to communicate with other cells. When an unhealthy or mutated cell does not self-destruct, the cells may grow and multiply into what then becomes a lump or tumor. Risk of diseases such as type II diabetes, cancer, heart disease, obesity and stroke can be drastically reduced through a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, protein, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats..

Not only is it critical for you to take ownership of the development and maintenance of your body, but it’s important to realize that you have control over what comprises the structure of your cells — the very cells diligent in restructuring, maintaining function of and sustaining the organs driving your life force.

Through mindfulness and awareness of your diet, you can reduce your susceptibility to chronic diseases and take more control over your long-term health than ever thought before. An active lifestyle coupled with a nutritionally dense diet is two major ways to take charge and influence your longevity. It is never too late to get on track with your health. You can make a difference with your very next bite!

About the Author:
Working within the health field for four years, Laurel Dierking MEd, NFPT, is passionate about cultivating body, mind and spirit awareness through holistic health practices. As a Health and Fitness Professional and yoga instructor at JKFITNESS, Laurel strives to guide individuals on a path to self-awareness, long-term functional fitness, and weight-loss management.

Disclaimer: This blog post does not reflect the views of the OAC, the National Board of Directors or staff. The OAC does not endorse any merchandise, program or hyperlinks mentioned in this blog post.