The Present is the Future

We are in the season of fresh fruits and vegetables, abundant with superfoods and antioxidant-rich produce that thrive in the summer weather. During this time, I always indulge in these seasonal benefits, but some teens may not see the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. When we are growing up, many things influence the adults we will become. Often, we are so caught up in SAT scores, college applications and maintaining relationships that we forget about maintaining a healthy lifestyle and don’t realize that failing to be concerned with proper self-care can be extremely impactful.

          Epigenetics studies how external factors, such as diet, exercise and environment, can potentially affect the expression of our inheritable genes. What we do in childhood and young adulthood can possibly impact not only our future health, but also the health that we pass on to our children. Studies are exploring how substances like curcumin, resveratrol and polyphenols from green tea, apples, coffee and other sources might modulate biochemical pathways and have effects on future health outcomes.

          In order to be well, we must not only have concern for our dietary health, but also our mental health. Last August, I unfortunately lost my grandmother to lymphoma that was in her bone marrow and spleen. She emigrated from Poland after WWII through England and Argentina, landing in the United States at age 12. She had a very rough childhood. I can’t help but wonder if any of her health issues were impacted by past stressors. Many studies have looked at the association between adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and adverse health outcomes in adults. The first study was published in 1998 and showed a clear relationship between the two.

          We may not be able to control what happens to us, but we can control how we react to certain events. Whether we’re putting processed foods into our bodies or holding in deep-rooted stress, we are potentially altering ourselves negatively. Especially now, faced with the stresses of starting a new academic year, we need to be consciously aware of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Exercise, relaxation and meditation can be extremely helpful in relieving the mounting pressures. Overall, it is important that we have an awareness of how we are affecting our bodies, both physically and mentally.


Isabella Dussias is a 16-year-old singer-songwriter/composer from New Jersey. She enjoys writing about issues that are important to today’s youth, and she believes music is an important outlet to connect people and share messages through the creativity of lyric and melody. For more information, visit


Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Qigong Healing:

Five thousand years ago, Chinese medicine said, “Qi moves the blood.”


Some people are more welcoming and tolerant of change than others. Those that enjoy an opportunity to learn and grow personally or professionally will see it as a good thing.

Inaugural Bison Crawl to Celebrate National Bison Day

These massive animals, characterized by long, shaggy brown coats, have poor eyesight, but acute hearing and an excellent sense of smell.

Blending Business and Spirituality

Fetzer started a long preoccupation with radio in 1922 and built an empire to become one of the 400 richest Americans by participating in new communication technology, including radio, television and even cable.


Lisa Nichols, the keynote speaker for the Celebrate Your Life event, from June 8 through 11 at the Westin Lombard Yorktown Center, is a popular motivational speaker and media personality.

Add your comment:
Edit ModuleShow Tags

See More »This Month

Acupuncture Made Convenient

Nirvana Naturopathics, in Deerfield, offers National Acupuncture Detoxification Association (NADA) Community-style auricular (ear) acupuncture for $35 in their waiting room.

New Lisle Location for Veggie Fest

Veggie Fest Chicago, now in its 13th year and one of the largest vegetarian food and wellness festivals in North America, has moved to a new location—Danada South Park at Navistar Drive, in Lisle.

Happy Feet Are Wandering

Jasmin Reflexology has relocated to a new location in the near northwest suburb of Norridge. In-home reflexology treatments are also available.

Flotstone Outreach Events in August

Flotstone Float Therapy will feature guest speakers Bridget Wennerbeck and Shayna Olufs, from Conscious Circles, at 5:30 p.m., August 13.

Rare Habitat Hosts Unusual Species

There are about 1,000 acres of dolomite prairie on the Midewin. At the core of dolomite prairie is magnesium-rich dolomitic limestone that is home to specialized plants evolved to take advantage of poor, shallow soils.

Mycelium Mysteries Mushroom Retreat

The third annual Women’s Mushroom Conference, Mycelium Mysteries, will be presented by Midwest Women’s Herbal from September 27 through 29 at Camp Helen Brachman, in Almond, Wisconsin.