Why is DNA Repair so very crucial? How much does our diet and environmental exposure have to do with it? Watch this short video to put it in better perspective why this is so vital to our lives.
About 1/2 of DNA function is genetically determined and the rest is may be controlled by environment and lifestyle factors such as diet, smoking, etc. On average we experience about 800 incidents of DNA damage per hour (about 19,200 per day). If not repaired, this can cause cancer and other ailments.
So let’s dive into this list of top foods that repair DNA:
Although not a fruit or vegetable, supports neurological function, helps with formation of new DNA and red bloods cells and helps the gut to be healthy.
Cruciferous vegetables such as kale, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, bok choy, watercress, spinach, brussel spouts, horse radish all contain glucosinolate. Glucosinolates are sulfur- and nitrogen-containing compounds found in many plants and vegetables and are derived from amino acids and glucose. These foods are natural histamine blockers and provide protection from serious diseases such as a variety of cancers and heart attack. They are also loaded with isothiocyanates which reduce the activation and the detox of cancer causing substances as well as decrease oxidative stress.
Fish is loaded with Omega 3, especially Salmon and Tuna. It’s loaded with long-chain Omega-3 EPA & DHA which is a necessity for our neurological and cardiological health. Studies have been done that show with higher levels of these substances there is less DNA damage that occurs.
Berries are high in anti-oxidants which has been shown to help to battle cardiovascular diseases, help prevent cancer, and treat Alzheimer’s Disease. They prevent free radical damage which is the cause of many chronic diseases.
Green Tea has several mechanisms to prevent cancer and shut down a key molecule that plays a role in cancer development. It has powerful anti-oxidant properties as well. Some of it’s benefits are due to polyphenols. These are micronutrients that are naturally occurring in plants.
This plant food is rich in phytochemicals and high in oleic acid, lutein, xeoxanthine among other great things. Oleoic acid is a type of fatty acid that switches off cancer causing genes. It’s rich in potassium, an assortment of B vitamins as well as folate and vitamin C. Folate is so important that it is crucial to our development in the womb in the first few months of pregnancy. Also Avacado is rich in magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, copper, iron, zinc and vitamin E. It’s a SUPERFOOD!
This food is rich in fiber, manganese, magnesium, iron, phosphorous, potassium, copper and zinc. Like avacado, it’s also rich in oleic, stearic and palmitic acids (similar to olive oil in their health benefits). It’s a power source of antioxidants, increases blood flow, lowers blood pressure, raises HDL (the good cholesterol) and lowers oxidized LDL. The flavanols in dark chocolate can help to reduce insulin resistance as well. There have also been studies that show that it can prevent heart disease risk and improve brain function. Here is a link to choosing a healthy dark chocolate:
Citrus Fruits and Vegetables
In addition to their many vitamins and minerals they also contain phytonutrients, folate and the water soluble vitamins act as coenzymes which are involved in so many biological processes in the body such as DNA repair and growth of new cells. How does this work? In addition to the phytonutrients, there are multiple mechanisms in which fruits and vegetables help us: they are vehicles for antioxidants, they may boost our enzymes responsible for detoxification, modulate gene expression!!!!
Tofu protects DNA and the white blood cells (extremely important to our immune systems) from damage.
It’s rich in protein and other healthy nutrients. Eating tofu may protect against a variety of health conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes and more. It’s also extremely versatile, however, make sure that the serving is no more than 2 ounces and choose an organic and fermented source for maximum health benefits.
Tumeric and Curcumin
Both of these possess detoxifying enzymes and are very strong against fighting inflammation in the body. They prevent DNA damage and help with it’s repair. They decrease mutations and tumor formations as well. There are so many studies that show many more benefits. See my post on the healthy benefits of tumeric below:
Of the nuts, pistachios, almonds and walnuts rank very high. These are rich in the healthy fats, vitamin E, fiber, magnesium and protein. Brazil nuts are being studied in how they may prevent oxidative DNA damage in Type 2 Diabetes and Pistachios have been shown to reduce the rise of blood sugar after a meal. Nuts are anti-inflammatory and overall help to lower LDL cholesterol. Walnuts may actually have a beneficial effect on the brain.
Keep in mind that this is not at all a conclusive list. There are so many other foods that I could go on and on. This is just to get you started in doing your own research. Now it’s up to you to get started on preventing your DNA damage and repairing it by incorporating healthier lifestyle choices and eating habits.