You get half your genes from your mother and the other half from your father, and those are the genes you’re stuck with, right? Not quite. According to epigenetics, outside factors (like what we eat) have a ton of influence over the way your genes actually behave. And while most of us know that eating well can make us feel great, we might not realize just how far the power of nutrition actually reaches, especially when it comes to our DNA. In other words, the genes you’re born with aren’t the end of your story. In a way, they’re just the beginning.

We’ve all seen how important it is for moms and dads to watch over their growing children and to stay connected as they mature and what a vital role that can play in the child’s development. Caring parents even continue to advise their children after they leave the nest, offering wisdom that can help shape career choices, child-rearing decisions, and more.

In my 20-plus years of clinical experience I’ve witnessed how powerfully maintaining an ongoing relationship with our elders can help to ensure the mental and physical well-being of the younger generation.

And it’s every bit as important to stay in touch with your third parent—not for financial or social counsel—but for epigenetic advice. This is the information your genes have come to expect and now require in order for you to grow up strong, give birth to the healthiest possible children, and enjoy a long, active life. In writing Deep Nutrition, I analyzed the strategies that all traditional cultures shared in common that enabled them to provide their genes with the epigenetic wisdom that our genes need to function at their very best.

Go online to to learn of the seven nutritional strategies you can use to boost the signal between your genes and Mother Nature.

Catherine Shanahan, M.D. is a board certified family physician. She trained in biochemistry and genetics at Cornell University before attending Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. She practiced medicine in Hawaii for a decade, where she studied enthnobotany, as well as the culinary habits of her healthiest patients.
She currently runs a metabolic health clinic in Denver, Colorado and serves as the Director of the Los Angeles Lakers PRO Nutrition Program. She is also author of Deep Nutrition: Why Your Genes Need Traditional Food.


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