It’s well documented that genetic expression is sculpted by environment.
“A substantial body of research reveals that specific genes can be expressed at different times in an organism’s life. Whether a particular gene is expressed and the degree to which it is expressed depend strongly on the environmental conditions experienced by the organism.” (1)
Epigenetics is a word for this fascinating study, of how our genes are affected by stimuli and behaviors. One simple example is temperature or climate, and resultant adaptation. It stands to reason that a person who has experienced and adapted to both tropical and wintry climes would be more resilient. Or that an athlete well trained at altitude in either hot or cold, dry or humid, would have an overall advantage in international competition.
There’s also a growing body of Nutrigenomics research concerning how food is biological information the compounds of which interact with the genome. This knowledge we have some of already, in ingesting different foods for specific and medicinal effects.
More than nourishment, food can be used to trigger or “unlock” genetic enhancement. (2) This is taking more of a programming approach.
Furthermore, the microorganisms or bacteria involved may exchange information from the food matrix via horizontal gene transfer to help adapt to surrounding environments and achieve upgrades, an extraordinarily complex and benevolent partnership. (3)
Adaptogens are plant substances, or medicines, that enhance performance, well being and reduce stress.
Among those well known for potency are: Astragalus, Ashwagandha, Ginseng, Turmeric, Chaga, Holy Basil — that is naming just a few. Their medicinal properties and uses have been established by centuries of study and tradition — traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurveda for example provide a lot of information — and the discoveries of the extent of Earth’s bounty of course continue.
Adaptogens may be ingested to achieve a beneficial genetic activation or horizontal gene transfer through their valuable compounds and microorganisms, the result of that plant’s evolutionary path and *its advantageous adaptations. In a way this could be viewed as an exchange of currency or information, even a sort of social interaction.
Including varied vitamin and mineral rich foods as well as the deliberate inclusion of adaptogens for specific issues optimizes health by prevention and by enhancing overall performance. Especially beneficial are nutrient dense foods to which one hasn’t been exposed to before.
One can also best set oneself up for longevity and optimal health by believing in it and by enjoying an indefinite life worth living.