I remember this from high school biology.
The observable characteristics of an individual are the result of your genetics and your environment. Pretty basic stuff.
Blue eyes and flat feet? Fair to say these are genetic traits. Obese and with diabetes mellitus type 2? Fair to say this is environmental (poor food choices over a lifetime).
Some aspects of your health, performance and longevity are indeed genetic but I would argue that mostly they are environmental. And even if you disagree, there isn't much you can about non-environment factors anyway so let's move on...
"Environment" is a broad term. It encompasses everything outside of yourself: the amount of chlorine in your water, the attitude of your boss, the type of material your yoga mat is made out of...
Even within our environments there are many things we cannot easily change. Live in Alaska? It's going to be hard to get enough vitamin-D from the sun year-round. Born in outback Australia? Good luck getting fresh seafood!
Many environmental factors are critical to our health, especially sleep, stress management, exercise, relationships and even climate. Yet I maintain that nutrition is the most important environmental factor overall.
Every substance you put into your body has an effect. Every food choice - conscious or not - will influence your health and wellbeing.
The aggregate effect of all these individual nutition decisions over time ultimately determines your physical existence (phenotype) - appearance, productivity, attitude, fertility, health... everything.
Eat crap and your quality of life will suffer. You will likely spend your later years diseased and die prematurely. I'm not being dramatic - this is the reality.
Almost 70 percent of Americans are overweight or obese. That is, only 3 out of 10 people in this country (including children) express the phenotype of a healthy human weight! This is nothing short of an anthropological tragedy. Clearly our environment is conspiring against us! [I'm looking at you, Monsanto!]
So what is the answer? Proper nutrition.
Modern industrial agriculture (among other things) has sent us on a devastating trajectory of disease and morbidity. We need to rein it back in towards our true evolutionary path if we are going to improve the current dire state of health in the Western world... It worked pretty well for 2.5 million years.
Before you freak out I'm not talking about abandoning modernity and returning to hunter-gatherer tribes of disheveled grunting ogres.
I love a nice civilized dinner with some Chilean red wine, Spotify playing mellow tunes from my smartphone over wifi and my friends tagging each other on Instagram (#CabSav) as much as the next H. sapien!
I'm just saying that if you wanna be optimal you'd better be eating a Paleo meal while you're at it!
"Eat Paleo. Train. Live life."
What is Paleo? My practical guide to Paleo nutrition
Insulin 101: Why I don’t Eat Carbs in the Morning
Why White Rice is Healthier than Brown Rice
Paleotyping: Why "Paleo" is a Flawed Term
The Big Three Weight Loss Myths: Or how to get lean by defying conventional wisdom - INTRODUCTION
My Big Four Paleo Exceptions
Anti-nutrients: And why I don't eat peanut butter
Fat Eggs, Rabbit Starvation and the Mercury Myth
Crappy Carbs Can Kill
Eat More Fat!
My Ideal Paleo Eating Day
Seven Controversial Health Tips to Getting Lean
[Image 1 source: www.wecanblaze.com]
[Image 2 source: www.v1tal.com]