Epigenetics and diet

Epigenetics is the science of how the environment affects gene expression. One of the most important elements of this environment is our food, after all, “you are what you eat”;)

What we provide our body in the form of food has a colossal impact on the way cells reproduce, i.e. on methylation. Methylation disorders are very often caused by an improper diet that causes nutritional deficiencies. To increase the efficiency of methylation processes, it is worth supplementing their level and, above all, ensuring a proper, balanced diet.

A healthy, balanced diet is a diet in which we find a wealth of green salads, vegetables, fruits, various groats, seeds, nuts, healthy oils and protein sources.

The elements necessary for proper methylation are: methionine, vit. B9, B12. Methionine is a type of protein, so it is found primarily in protein foods such as meat, fish, eggs. We can also find it in Brazil nuts, sesame seeds and cereal products. In smaller quantities, vegetables such as Brussels sprouts, spinach, broccoli, peas, and beans are also a source of methionine.

Now let’s look at the vitamins.

Folic acid or folate?

A folic acid is a synthetic form of vitamin B9, widely available in vitamin preparations. In many countries, synthetic folic acid is enriched in bread, pasta and even flour. Unfortunately, people with polymorphism MTHFR are unable to absorb it. In this case, synthetic folic acid accumulates in the body, while taking the place of real folate and preventing it from accessing cells, it can cause many problems. In nature, folic acid occurs in the form of folates and this form is much better absorbed by us. 

The name folic acid comes from the Latin word folium or leaf. As you can guess, the largest amount is found in leafy vegetables, mainly in spinach, kale, lettuce, cabbage, chard, broccoli, asparagus, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and in smaller amounts in tomato, peas, soybeans, beetroot, beans, lentils, nuts, sunflower, brewer’s yeast, liver, egg yolk, wheat, orange, banana and avocado. 

Unfortunately, folic acid is sensitive to light and temperature. Stored food exposed to sunlight for too long can lose up to half of the folic acid it contains. Therefore, the most vitamin B9 will provide us with raw fruits and vegetables, and the least long-cooked, baked or stewed dishes.

The body is unable to store this vitamin for long. Therefore, it should be delivered daily, i.e. eat as many raw vegetables as possible, especially those in which vitamin C is also present (its addition protects folic acid from degradation to some extent).

A good solution is green juices with the addition of spinach leaves, kale, parsley, broccoli, also mixed with citruses, blueberries and raspberries.

Folates interact synergistically with other vitamins from B, so you should also keep in mind vitamin. B12, B6, B2. Vitamin B6 is found in both plant and animal products. In the largest quantities, it is present in brewer’s yeast and whole mill products (wheat bran, buckwheat, brown rice). A good source of vitamin B6 is also walnuts hazelnuts and, pulses and wheat germ. Vitamin B6 is also found in animal products such as milk, eggs and pork meat. B vitamins are broken down during thermal processing – losses reach up to 70%.

In addition, to support methylation, you also need to optimize magnesium and zinc.

In order for digestion to occur properly, the following situations should be avoided: 

  • too heavy or too frequent meals,
  • snacking between meals,
  • reading and watching TV while eating.
  • taking meals late in the evening or at night,
  • eating stale food in which decomposition processes began,
  • prepared in the wrong way – the wrong combination of products (e.g. salty dairy products)
  • too dry or too cold dishes (e.g. ice cream),
  • not adjusting the food until the season,
  • alcohol, cigarettes and other stimulants, meat, eggs,
  • highly processed food, with lots of artificial additives,
  • irregular consumption of meals,
  • restraining the physiological needs of the body,
  • stress and intense emotions.

Incompatible food, i.e. what products should not be combined during one meal, so that additional toxins do not form in our body: We

  • do not combine milk and dairy products with:
    • meat, fish,
    • sour vegetables and fruits, melons, bananas,
    • fermented (e.g. alcohol),
    • with coffee, tea,
  • Honey:
    • it becomes toxic at temperatures above 400C,
    • do not combine with butter/ghee in a 1: 1 ratio, but only in the proportions: 1 (honey): 3 (butter),
    • do not combine with meat, with Fish,
  • Yoghurt:
    • do not combine with meat,
    • do not eat salty,
    • do not digest at night,
  • We do not deep-fry French fries, pakora, dumplings, donuts.
  • In humid and wet weather we do not eat products that increase mucus, e.g. milk, similarly dry and hot – driers, e.g. coffee, tea; cold – cold (raw salads), hot – warming (salty, sour, spicy)
  • We do not eat left food for later, the next day – histamine, more about histamine here https://qualitylife.pl/6394/nietolerance-histamins/

Our genetic code can motivate us to eat fatty, salty or sweet things, thus obtaining additional substrates for the production of neurotransmitters, i.e. dopamine, which directly affect our mood. On how to help yourself free yourself from such motivations, in the next article 🙂