Biohack your way to better health
For many, 2020 has been the year that they have committed to optimising their health and wellbeing, in the hope of strengthening their immune systems and preventing any unwanted illnesses.
It’s therefore no surprise that recently the wellness trend of biohacking has gained huge momentum. Biohacking is an approach to optimising or boosting health using biological experimentation. The activities used can include everything from tracking your blood levels, using cold therapy, bio-tech implants, influencing genetic expression, transforming your microbiome or experimenting with your diet.
Whilst some of these strategies might be a little extreme, there are some very simple and safe ways that you can try to boost your health and introduce a little biohacking into your lifestyle. Here nutritionist Clarissa Lenherr, from biohacking platform, bioniq, reveals her top five tips for biohacking your way to optimum health.
1Focus on your diet
Whether you are looking to improve energy levels, banish brain fog, boost performance or maintain a youthful complexion, cleaning up your diet is one of the best places to start. Some of the things to tick off your list include: Eating enough protein (0.8-1g of protein per day), drinking plenty of water (1.5-2 litres), reducing your sugar and alcohol consumption and filling your plate with colour and fibre from plant-based foods. If you know you have an intolerance or find that you react to certain foods, try to eliminate them for one month and then re-introduce them whilst keeping a diary, so that you can spot any potential trigger foods.
2Use blood results
Blood work is a great way to monitor and optimise your health and wellbeing, but there is a difference between a routine blood test and a comprehensive blood profile. A comprehensive blood test can assess markers such as CRP, which show inflammation levels in the body, vitamin and mineral status, hormones levels and look for cardiovascular health markers.
This in-depth information gives the biohacker an opportunity to check if they are absorbing nutrients from their diet, assess whether their supplements are doing their job, find out if they are eating too much or too little of something and potentially spot disease progression or chronic illness before it becomes serious.
For those looking for a comprehensive blood test, the new bioniq BALANCE programme is a great option. Alongside an initial blood test analysing 35 principle markers, bioniq BALANCE provides a personalised supplement formula based on the results of your blood work, so you can give your body exactly what it needs to optimise specific deficiencies and enhance your health and wellbeing.
Good sleep – both in quality and quantity – helps to boost mood, improve energy levels, supports the immune system, optimises weight loss and reduces cravings, as well as contributing to overall digestive and cardiovascular health. So, with this one biohack, you are looking after many different aspects of your health in one fell swoop. Some simple tips to follow in order to optimise sleep include: removing phones from your bedroom, dedicating the last hour of your day to non-work-related activities, reduce sugar and alcohol consumption (particularly three hours before bedtime) and halt your caffeine consumption by 2pm.
Meditation can be used as a form of mental biohacking, as regular practice promotes relaxation and emotional stability, as well as reducing stress. Contrary to popular belief, meditation doesn’t have to be “om’ing” for an hour each morning. A commitment of just ten minutes each day may be easier to implement and can help you to reap great rewards. I recommend apps, Spotify playlists or online classes, but one of the easiest ways to meditate is to practice mindfulness. To begin with, simply focus on what you are doing in the moment, such as following the journey of the breath as you inhale and exhale and build your habit from there.
Intermittent fasting is an approach whereby you only eat between certain times, then fast until your next designated eating period. A common method is the 16:8, which is 16 hours fasted with an 8-hour window to eat. Of all the dietary concepts to subscribe to, those who follow intermittent fasting are probably least at risk of adverse side effects as there are no foods that are reduced or eliminated, and the focus is simply on the fast. This popular diet has been linked with improved blood pressure and cholesterol levels, decreased levels of inflammation and enhanced weight loss.
If you want to introduce fasting to your diet, start slowly and see how your body tolerates it. Begin with a 12 hour fast and increase the hours every few days until you get to 16.
The views expressed on these pages are the views of the cited experts only and do not necessarily represent the views of Wellness Edit. Please always get a second opinion where specific medical advice is required.
All Content © Copyright Wellness Edit 2020. All rights reserved