Photograph by Skica911
DNA Repair and Plants.
This April it will be my fifth year since I adopted a plant-based diet and to say the least I am jubilant with myself. This way of eating is so rich and with endless possibilities that I now know that I will never get tired researching and learn about it.
Except being a plant-based eater for the last four years. I also did not stop running which is another item in my life that I feel proud of. I started, as I said in many other articles and in my first book Thirsty for Health, running as a way to lose the extra pounds that were occupying mostly my middle section back in 2010.
After I quit smoking in 2009, I replaced the deadly addiction of smoking with food resulting in me gaining a total of 44 pounds that I did not need, and I was flirting with obesity. I minimized the danger of me dying from hurt attack because I was a smoker. Being overweight though put an unnecessary burden on my heart.
The plant-based lifestyle I have been following for the last 4 years prove to me that is a much better and healthier choice than eating meat, milk and its products. Generally, anything that has a mother a face and a nervous system and its products, in the long run, it’s not healthy for the human body..
I saw radical changes in my body, my skin got clearer, I stop having pimples on my chest, my hemorrhoids almost disappear after 4 years of plant-based diet with no use of pills or surgery!
Now I breath better than before, I can smell better than before, I am more able to taste better than before, I have more energy than before, and I rest with less sleep than I used to. The positive effect of this lifestyle made me a “believer” and a follower.
Now in this article, I want to bring to your attention something that I wanted for some time now to research a bit more, but I couldn’t find the time.
When you do exercise and I mean any kind of exercise what we do in reality is we stress our body to a certain degree, we break it down. Then through recovery periods allow it, give it time to rebuild itself, and hopefully, it will rebuild itself stronger so we can go out again and stress it more enable it to recover again and the cycle goes on.
That’s how you get bigger and stronger muscles, that’s how you get firmer and stronger bones and so on.
The beneficial aspects of exercising.
When you exercise there are two crucial issues that you need to be aware, the intensity of it, and the duration of the training.
If both the intensity and the duration of the training are at high speed and volume then more damage is caused to our DNA. Yes, you heard right, when we exercise we are causing damage to our DNA and not only when we are exercising. Other external factors cause DNA damage like the food you eat, environmental agents (water we drink, poisonous gasses in the atmosphere, chemicals we put on our body like colognes, perfumes, etc.)
One of the reasons I adopted a plant-based diet except the health benefits is because it allows me to recover faster after a workout. When I was training for a 50k race which was held end of May of 2017, it was my plant-based diet that allowed me to recover faster. This way I was able to train more and harder. My plant-based diet allowed me to log more miles per week.
Long and Hard Exercices.
Now studies(1) have shown that the longer and harder the exercise the more DNA damage you cause into your body.
Someone that runs a 10k has less DNA damage from someone that runs a half-marathon or a marathon.
A plant-based diet which is rich in antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, phytonutrients repairs DNA damage better and faster than someone who does not have as plants as its main stable.
You need to be able to fix the DNA damage that was caused by exercise; otherwise, it annuls the whole point of applying in the first place.
If we do not succeed in repairing the damaged DNA, the consequences, in a nutshell, will be the manifestation of early aging, cancer, arteriosclerosis, neuropathy, and inflammation which is something that we do not need or want in our life.
So I set up to find which fruits, vegetables, and herbs were the champions of repairing DNA damage and this is what I found.
Fresh fruit and vegetables that boost DNA Repair
Studies showed(2) that eating one to three kiwis every day we have significantly less DNA damage and also better DNA repair! I try to eat at least one kiwi every day thus protecting my DNA from damage.
Except for Kiwi that we already mentioned does both, namely protects from DNA damage and also repairs DNA there are a plethora of other fruits and vegetables that also aid in DNA repair. Lots of epidemiological studies confirm that a diet rich in plants has these beneficial effects.
Fruits and veggies contain antioxidants, micronutrients and help our body with the detoxification process. Studies done on identical twins showed that DNA repair is depended on in heredity in an estimated range of 48% to 75%. This means that the rest it’s caused by environmental and lifestyle factors. What that means is that we are not hostages of our Genome. We are able to control a big chunk of our health. We can do that by controlling what we put in our mouth every time we sit to eat.
What studies say.
Studies(3) showed that we get 800 hits on our DNA every hour which translate to 19200 damage hits a day! But do not despair since we can control the food we eat we can monitor the damage to our DNA and also be able to partially repair it.
Lemons, Persimmons, Strawberries, Broccoli, Celery, and apples are proven to help repair DNA in small dosages.
Studies were done on smokers(4) showed that smokers who ate more broccoli had 30% less DNA damage. It seems that Broccoli helps the detoxifying enzymes in our liver to work better. In a nutshell, eat more broccoli, and you won’t lose.
They even removed vitamin C from the lemons and still the DNA ability was not lost. This showed that it was not just Vit. C, the DNA repair ability stopped when they heated the lemon juice for 30 minutes.
Contains Curcumin which studies(5) shown that it blocks every stage of cancer formation! Now that’s a spice that will spice up your life and should definitely incorporate into your diet. I personally use it in my salads, smoothies and in my daily oats that I have for breakfast. You don’t need much a tip of a teaspoon and you are set.
Eat your Greens, and you won’t regret it, studies(6) showed that Greens because they contain chlorophyll protect us from carcinogenic effects. Incorporate as many dark green leafy vegetables you can into your diet namely, start eating more salads. I eat a big salad around 1 p.m. every day. I make sure to have lettuce, green onions and avocado in it with lots of lemons.
I know a lot of you don’t like this miraculous plant because of its smell well I don’t know what to say to that, but I always eat some garlic with my lentils, with my fava beans and I know I have another ally against cancer. Studies have shown(7) that garlic and also fruits and vegetables that contain flavonoids are effective against cancer cells!
Green and White Tea
Studies(8) shown that green tea has a protective effect and also halts cancer cells. I drink green tea often, and I also drink lots of herbal teas like nettle tea. Also, white tea has a protective effect on our DNA, the longer you boil it, the better it gets.(9)
A study(10) shows in black and white that meat eaters have more DNA breakage than Vegetarians. A 65-year-old Vegetarian has the DNA damage of a 25-year-old meat eater!
Also, grapes, almonds, and Brussels sprouts aid the enzyme that is responsible for repairing our DNA.
My advice is to make plants the bulk of your diet, and you will see beneficial results that hopefully will turn you into a “believer” like me and start researching more the direct connection between food and diseases. Between consumption of animal products and chronic illnesses. Start with small snacks that don’t take too much time to prepare and see how it goes.
Also, I urge you to visit Dr. Michael Greger’s web page http://nutritionfacts.org and also buy his book How not to Die I am sure if you are really interested in your health you will have everything to gain by doing this.