Guest Post by Philippa Taylor of Feel Fab Naturally.
I've heard a lot about "bio-hacking" recently, so I asked Philippa to explain what it is and what it could mean for us as we get older.
**NB: as with anything, please do your own research. The Midlife Movement does not endorse any product and the views in our guest blog posts are the authors' own. **
If you haven’t heard the term biohacking, you’re not alone. Biohacking is the future, and its development has been rapid and recent. Biohacking will impact your life sooner or later — and maybe it already has. If you’ve taken steps to better understand your body, your DNA, and your potential, that’s biohacking. If you’ve pursued ways to improve your physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, or cellular health, that’s biohacking.
Biohacking: In a Nutshell
Biohacking is using science and technology to become the absolute best version of yourself. Essentially, it’s using all of the tools we now have at our disposal to improve our lives. Modern science is addressing every potential concern, inconvenience, or physical limit facing human bodies today. We are learning everything we can about our own biology, as well as finding ways to “hack” that biology.
“Hacking” has long had a negative connotation. But as you probably know, we now use “hack” to define any type of creative optimising. For example, when you find a creative solution to an everyday problem you may call it a “life hack.” A tweak to how furniture is assembled from the manufacturer’s instructions is an “IKEA hack”—you get the drift. Hacking is creative problem solving to help improve one’s life, and biohacking turns the focus on our bodies and biology.
Biohacking has actually been used for centuries. Human beings have always looked to maximise their performance, from the days of hunter-gatherers to modern Olympians. It’s not just about being bigger and faster, either. It’s about whatever is important to you and your body’s functioning. Science and technology are focusing intensely on biohacking to change lives.
Biohacking: Taking Control
Nutrition has been a foundation of health and medicine from the Dark Ages. And now we know so much more than the Dark Ages. Of course, we all know not to overeat or to forget fruits and veggies, but nutritional biohacking is so much more important than that. Biohacking nutrition means identifying desirable goals we wish to achieve, then creating a nutritional portfolio designed to achieve that biological outcome. Controlling what goes in and on your body is the simplest and most immediately applicable form of biohacking — to great effect.
This is why nutrigenomics is a fundamental part of biohacking a healthier life. Based on the study of the effects of nutrients and natural compounds on our genes, scientifically-backed products that support healthy ageing on a cellular level are now available to add to your biohacking toolbox.
Nutrigenomic products support the body’s natural cellular function by targeting the main biochemical effects of ageing, issues like oxidative stress, natural mitochondrial deterioration and more. By reactivating your body’s ability to do what it used to do – such as triggering your genes’ ability to produce their own antioxidants and your cells‘ ability to produce mitochondria - we can now feel as fab as possible for as long as possible to get the most out of life.
Biohacking: Antioxidant Activation
So why are antioxidants so important if you’re looking to keep feeling like you for as long as possible? When you cut open an apple and it goes brown, it has basically oxidised which has caused a rapid increase in its ageing process. As we age, we oxidise just like the apple because over time - from our 20s onwards - our bodies produce fewer of the antioxidants needed to neutralise the cellular damage caused by free radicals, which are all around us. This means we have a high oxidative stress level so our cells don’t function quite as well as they did and typically our energy levels drop, our sleep patterns change and our inflammation levels rise as just three results of this process.
So what are our options to get more antioxidants into our bodies? How it works is that one antioxidant basically hands over an electron making one free radical happy so that it can continue on its merry way without causing damage. The problem is that you can’t eat enough antioxidant rich fruit and veg or take enough antioxidant supplements or drinks to deal with the 300 sextillion or so (that’s 300 plus 21 zeros!) free radicals your body has to deal with every day. Up to recently, these were our only strategies to counter free radical damage but in reality they’re like throwing a glass of water on a bonfire and hoping it will put it out…
By naturally reactivating your own antioxidant production through biohacking you’ll support your cellular health from the inside out. The good news is that you can now trigger your body to produce its own antioxidants again with a natural product which is patented and clinically proven to lower your oxidative stress level by an average of 40% in just 30 days for the price of half a cup of coffee a day: Protandim Nrf2.
Here are some more tips to help you get started on biohacking:
1. Always make the healthier choice.
Don’t let an overabundance of food choices overwhelm you. Instead, try to break your choices down into two options — and then make the healthier choice. Choose chicken over fattier cuts of meat, a dark leafy green salad over iceberg lettuce, or a piece of whole fruit over a chocolate bar. This makes food decisions infinitely simpler.
2. Eat in seasonal technicolour.
Many of the healthiest nutrients in fruits and vegetables (these are often referred to as phytonutrients) come in bright, vibrant colours. Your goal at mealtimes should be to make your plate as colourful and as seasonal as possible.
3. Stay hydrated.
Drink plenty of clean, pure water. The amount we should drink varies from person to person, but we’re all equipped with a built-in hydrometer. Pay attention to the colour of your urine. Clear or slightly yellow is good – and we should be visiting the loo every one to two hours.
4. Skip sweet drinks.
Say no to fizzy drinks and fruit juices. Fizzy drinks are basically empty calories. And yes, even though fruit is good for you, fruit juice has been stripped of fibre, until it becomes a high sugar, high glycaemic drink. In fact, studies are showing the same negative health consequences between fruit juices and other high sugar beverages. And I know what you’re thinking: diet drinks are also bad for you. These drinks are usually associated with obesity because they trigger overreacting and snacking. Sorry.
5. Move your body.
Yes, I’m referring to that dreaded eight-letter word, e-x-e-r-c-i-s-e. But exercise doesn’t have to be a chore if you choose activities you actually enjoy. Remember how much fun it was to play as a kid? Just think about exercise as play rather than a workout. You don’t have to look like a bodybuilder or spend hours in the gym to significantly improve your health. Something as simple as walking 30-60 minutes during the majority of the week will yield measurable improvements in your health.
If you’d like to find out more about how you can help yourself to feel as fab as possible for as long as possible, please get in touch.