Maybe your DNA says you have an increased risk for high cholesterol, but your DNA can also tell you how you process different foods and respond to various exercises so that you can limit that risk. This is where Vitagene comes in – they analyze your DNA alongside your lifestyle factors to help you understand your DNA, what it says about your health, and then give you actionable recommendations to diet, exercise, and safely supplement to achieve your optimal health. How cool is that?
My Ancestry results
That large percentage of Northern European heritage doesn’t come as a surprise, but the Asian part yes. I’ve been quite obsessed with India since I was a teenager and even visited India and Nepal twice in my teens.
- 93.19% Finland (Primarily located in: Finland, Norway, Sweden, Russia (Western Border))
- 4.99% British Isles (Primarily located in: England, Ireland, Scotland, and Orkney Islands)
- 1.2% Central Asia (Primarily located in: Pakistan, Kashmir, Northern India, and Western Nepal).
Folate is a B-vitamin our bodies need for growth and metabolism. Having too little can lead to fatigue, anemia and irritability. The MTHFR gene makes an enzyme that converts folate into its usable form. This enzyme also converts homocysteine into methionine. Having high homocysteine levels causes inflammation and heart issues. Your body needs methionine to grow new blood vessels (super important!).
I do not have a risk of low folate levels based on not having the MTHFR gene mutation (whew!). Diet is the most important source of folate. Although I don’t have a genetic risk factor for folate deficiency, I make sure to follow dietary guidelines to prevent a diet based deficiency. Folate can be found in dark leafy green vegetables, peas, beans and nuts. Yay for discovering green smoothies over a decade ago!
My Diet Snapshot
My DNA attributes tells that I have a risk for high B-12 levels (!?), I’m able to metabolize folate well (no MTHFR mutations), and my body is able to use iron and vitamin D just fine. So no worries about those, although I will keep supplementing since vitamin D plays an important role in breast cancer prevention, and iron, since I eat mostly vegan.
What caught me by surprise was Vitamin A and the information that I might have decreased ability to convert Beta-Caroten into vitamin A. I have completely ignored this vitamin and have focused solely on the big ones such as B-12, iron and D.
To achieve healthy levels of vitamin A, I should look for sources of preformed vitamin A and check the ingredient labels of supplements to make sure I’m taking preformed vitamin A rather than beta-carotene. Vitamin A is important for vision, immune system, skin, hair, and nails. Vitamin A can be found in its pure form or can be made from plant pigments. One of these pigments is betacarotene, which is a common nutrient found in carrots, kale, sweet potato (1 cup=over 100% DV), spinach (1 cup raw=56% DV), apricots (1 fuit= 13% DV), broccoli (1 cup=11% DV) and winter squash (1 cup= 10% DV), all foods that I consume regularly.
I researched how I can help my body to absorb it better and found out that I can:
–Eat a meal containing fat with your vitamin. Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that is best absorbed by your body when you eat it with foods containing fat. If your overall diet is very low in fat, you may not absorb vitamin A efficiently. Will add MCT oil to all my foods now!
–Avoid taking vitamin A supplements on an empty stomach. Taking your supplement when you haven’t eaten anything, or even with very low-fat foods, may cause stomach upset, indigestion or heartburn. This also increases the chance that the vitamin could pass through your system without being fully absorbed by your body.
–Eat avocado. Avocado contains a high amount of “good fats,” and studies have shown this food might help your body absorb vitamin A. Adding one whole avocado to your meal may even double the amount of vitamin A you can absorb.
–Get enough zinc. You need to have enough zinc in your diet in order to fully absorb vitamin A. plant foods high in zinc include fortified cereals and oatmeal, cashews, almonds, chickpeas, and kidney beans.
More Diet Related
My BMI: 19.0.
My recommended intake of:
- Calories/day: 1,800 (I don’t calorie count so no idea what I get)
- Protein/day: 45 g (I think I get more than this from plants…)
- Water/day: 6 glasses (I think I get more because… hot yoga)
There were tons more information and it would make extremely long post to include everything. The information included also for example how I metabolize foods, risk for micronutrient deficiencies, how I can diet to lose weight, how I can exercise for peak performance and how I can supplement to increase energy or lower stress.
If you’re curious you can order your Vitagene DNA test HERE. It takes just 3-5 days for the kit to arrive to your doorstep, and once you send it back, about 4-6 weeks to receive your results by email (and they’ll also send you a cool book filled with information about YOU). Use promo code: FRIENDS20 for 20% off any Vitagene product!