[00:00:47] About This Podcast
[00:02:10] Podcast Sponsors
[00:05:35] Inspired LifeStyle Podcast Intro
[00:06:35] Details on Ben's Trip to India
[00:09:57] A Wise Approach to Ayurvedic Herbs and Supplements
[00:15:55] The Role of Meditation in Improving the Health of One's Mind
[00:24:29] Mindful Eating Practices
[00:36:36] Podcast Sponsors
[00:40:16] Big Problems with The Modern Indian Diet
[00:46:26] Responsible Use of Cell Phones
[00:54:22] How to Live Healthily in An Unhealthy Environment
[00:58:03] How to Drink Socially Without Damaging the Body
[01:03:21] What India Needs to Do to Up Its Game Regarding Health and Biohacking
[01:09:00] The “Boundless” Book
[01:13:32] Ben Greenfield's 10 Favorite Biohacks
[01:15:57] End of Podcast
Ben: On this episode of the Ben Greenfield Fitness Podcast.
It's just a matter of being comfortable, being an informed consumer, and being comfortable putting your foot down and saying, “My body is precious to me. I love my body. I love myself.”
Kris: But the thing is when you are trying to serve for the happiness of the chef or the waiter to bring whatever's convenient, then you're just not serving yourself.
Ben: I could tell my kids how much you love God and love others is a lot more important than how you eat or how you look.
Health, performance, nutrition, longevity, ancestral living, biohacking, and much more. My name is Ben Greenfield. Welcome to the show.
Well, folks, I recently had a chance to hang out in a hotel room with a couple of my buddies. And if you think that sounds absolutely boring and like a sausage fest, then please think again because the two guys I was hanging out with are super smart biohackers and fitness enthusiasts, Jag Chima and Kris Gethin. If you listened to a podcast episode that I recorded in Delhi when I was in India, you heard both of these cats on a big biohacking Q&A and panel that we did. And then we did another panel and Q&A in Mumbai.
Now, I already released that panel and Q&A from Delhi and I will link to that in the show notes for this episode. I'm going to be releasing one from Mumbai soon, but we actually had a chance to just sit down in the hotel room and shoot the shit about everything from vegetable oil to alcohol to immune system enhancement and a whole lot more, and we had such a great discussion that we flipped on the recorders. We recorded it for you. And I think you're going to dig this one. So, I will put the show notes for everything that you hear us talking about over at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/hotelhangout. That's BenGreenfieldFitness.com/hotelhangout.
This podcast is brought to you by what I would consider to be the Swiss Army knife of supplementation. This is a product that helps to stimulate faster muscle growth, recover more rapidly from exercise, become more resistant to fatigue during a grueling workout, and even support diets that tend to be deficient in bioavailable amino acids, like for people who are aging, or a vegan, or a vegetarian, or even a higher fat lower protein ketotic type of diet. This thing covers the basis for all of those issues and much, much more. It's got 99% amino acid utilization. I mean, when you compare that to like egg protein, which is I think 48%, 32% from meat and poultry and fish, 18% for whey protein and soy protein, and only 1% from, say, branched-chain amino acids, which I consider to be just basically like overpriced flavored water. This stuff beats the pants off of all of those.
It's essential amino acids in the Kion Aminos, our top-selling product at the Kion for good reason. People come back to over and over again can also help to boost immunity as well, which you can hear about if you listen to my podcast interview I did with Dr. David Minkoff on my website about essential amino acids. So, anyways, I'm going to give you 10% discount on this stuff. You can get the cool lime flavor, you can get the berry flavor, you can get just the swallowable capsules if you don't want the powder, and it's very simple. You just go to getkion.com. That's getK-I-O-N.com and use code BEN10 to get that 10% discount.
Now, speaking of immunity, another thing that keeps popping up over and over again for enhancing your immune system because the lion's share of the immune system lies within your gut is the use of probiotics supplementation. The problem is most probiotic supplements simply degrade and get nuked by the acidic nature of the stomach immediately after consumption making them into expensive pee, if anything even winds up in your urine. Now, the thing that the folks at Seed have done is they've wrapped the probiotic in algal medium that resists the acidic nature of the stomach. They've shown that this thing can get all the way down to the lower GI tract, and then they combine it with a bunch of prebiotics that the probiotics can feed on to produce what are called postbiotics, one in particular called urolithin A, which in and of itself is amazing for skin health and urogenital health, but also has some really cool anti-aging effects.
So, this particular probiotic is really good for easing bloating, alleviating constipation, supporting the gut barrier integrity, and re, as the name would imply, seeding the gut in an efficient manner that other probiotics simply do not do. These guys have cracked the code. They're a big biotech company that is pioneering the application of bacteria to improve not just human health, but now they're using some of their same biome technologies to save the bee population. So, they're doing tons of cool things, super-smart company. I interviewed the formulator on my podcast a while back. It's called the Seed, the Seed Symbiotic, because this is probiotic. You get a 15% discount. You just go to seed.com/ben. That's S-E-E-D.com/ben to get your hand on the seed daily symbiotic.
Jag: You are listening to the Inspired LifeStyle Podcast with myself, Jag Chima. And guess what, we're back in Mumbai. We've had quite a hectic travel schedule. Today's podcast is a little bit special because I've got Kris Gethin who's going to be my cohost? Hey, how's it going, Kris?
Kris: It's going okay after the recovery following our guest workout earlier. I'm on the mend.
Jag: Awesome, awesome. Well, today's podcast is definitely one that a lot of people are going to be inspired by. We are joined by one of the leaders in the biohacking space, none other than Ben Greenfield. Ben, how's it going?
Ben: I guess if perky is the word of the day, I feel pretty perky, too.
Kris: Awesome, awesome.
Jag: So, Ben, this is your first visit to India.
Jag: Tell us about some of your experiences of the current towns and cities that you visited. And also, you've done a biohacking forum, the very first one in history that has taken place in India.
Ben: I have. According to my calculations, that was, what, yesterday? Day before yesterday. It's like three hours of amazingness. Hopefully, folks can get a chance to listen where we put that out. And I have not gotten Delhi belly or coronavirus or any of the other things that people try to scare me about coming over here. As a matter fact, it's been the clique opposite. It's been amazing. The food is wonderful. I'm a huge fan of spicy spice as you guys have witnessed. So, I'm down in the chili peppers. I'm eating the chicken tikka. I'm enjoying the curries and even the flatbreads. And the people are very generous, they're hospitable, very happy. The entire experience has been absolutely, absolutely wonderful.
Kris: Alright. Okay. So, in regards to the biohacking forum yesterday, it seems like there's a lot of people very motivated to ask you a lot of questions at the event, and there's some real good questions as well. Do you feel like India is, actually based on that forum, really hungry ready for biohacking?
Ben: Yes. I think not just biohacking, but just generally kind of an upgraded view of fitness, health, nutrition in general because obviously, a lot of what we talked about would not fall under the biohacking umbrella per se, but just general lifestyle concepts that make sense. Air quality, water quality, sleep, grounding, and earthing, sunlight, hyperthermia and heat, hypothermia and cold thermogenesis, water, minerals. We talked about a lot of basic foundational principles that people seemed pretty interested in. But also, we did cover a lot of biohacks. I mean, we geek down on sleep for–it must have been like 45 minutes talking about everything from chiliPADs under your sheets to different ways to biohack light.
We talked about different immune system enhancers. We talked about ways to get the minimal effective dose of exercise. There's a lot that we went into that I think would fall under the category of biohacking. And yeah, the audience seemed pretty educated, pretty keen, and pretty open to a lot of these ideas. So, absolutely, I still am foggy as to how much of what we have in America as readily available here, anything from like a photobiomodulation panel for red light treatments to some of the sleep technologies we talked about like a chiliPAD, like a grounding or an earthing mat. But ultimately, I don't see that being a barrier. I simply see those type of products being, I would imagine, manufactured over here as they become more popular or in more demand.
Kris: Yeah, definitely in the future. The barrier at the moment is I think like with the photobiomodulation, [00:09:40] _____ the Joovv panels. But a lot of the time, you have to pay 100% tax. That's a lot that you have to pay on top of the shipping, you know. So, in fact, there's a bit of a barrier, but like you said with the manufacturing and stuff in the future, that is definitely a possibility. Now, just switching gears onto Ayurvedic herbs and supplements. Obviously, that's one of the big things that have come out of India like the ashwagandha and stuff. Do you see that falling under like the biohacking umbrella?
Ben: No, that's more ancient wisdom and it's ancient wisdom that should be approached with caution because a recent meta-analysis of a lot of these herbs, Chinese traditional medicine and Ayurvedic herbs showed hepatotoxicity and some pretty serious liver issues because many of these are tainted with metals, they are not pure, they may be laced with herbicides, with pesticides, getting sprayed with ethylene oxide. And so I think that these compounds can be useful. And as the knowledge of them becomes more widespread, people could hurt themselves if they're not paying attention to quality sourcing.
I mean, I use Chinese herbs myself, but I have one guy that I go to, a Chinese herbologist. He's a diplomat of Chinese medicine in Oregon. Everything he has is wild crafted. He stands behind it. I know where he's getting it. I rarely order herbs off of, say, Amazon for that reason unless there's a laboratory certificate of analysis or an NSF certification, the Certified Good Manufacturing Practices Facility, the CGMP. That's a decent stamp to look for, but sometimes you got to go even more strict than that, especially when it comes to some of these herbs because many of them are first-pass liver. Many of them can be processed in a way that's very similar to a pharmaceutical compound. And if there are toxins onboard, that also need to be processed. I mean, you're essentially putting a pretty hefty load on liver.
So, valuable, but you do need to be careful with them. And the fact is you can, using any compound, incorporate biohacks to make them more effective. Like for example, any nootropic compound out there, like lion's mane or any of the done-for-you stacks that exist, like Qualia or Ciltep or Alpha Brain. You can actually enhance mitochondrial activity in neural tissue and blood flow to the brain and increase the effectiveness and the uptake of those compounds. Two things that I use for that. One is called a Vielight, V-I-E light, and it's a head warm, red light therapy device originally developed for Alzheimer's and dementia that can be used in conjunction with some of these things to amplify their effects in neural tissue.
Another example would be pulsed electromagnetic field therapy or PEMF. And these are treatment devices traditionally used for things like inflammation, bone healing, stem cell production, but they can also be targeted right near the head and increase blood flow to the head. They open and close cell membranes. And so you can take a traditional, say, ancestral compound such as an Ayurvedic herb like an ashwagandha or anything else, ginkgo biloba, Bacopa. And you can combine it with the technology to upgrade the effect, which I think is kind of cool.
Kris: Interesting. I didn't know that about the PEMF, like you could increase the uptake. So, would that be like the electrodes or like the pillow that you can get with the bio balance?
Ben: Yeah. PEMF is–so the electrodes, those would be typically cranial electrical stimulation.
Kris: Okay. So, not like a Flex Pulse that you put under [00:13:17] _____?
Ben: Yeah. There's a lot of different ways to stimulate the brain or the body. Cranial electrical stimulation is typically used to calm someone, to put them in a parasympathetic state. That would be something like the Circadia, Fisher Wallace device. Then you have trans direct cranial stimulation, which is typically a head-worn device that's used to enhance motor neuron activation. So, you're increasing the speed or the extent to which the brain is talking to the muscles. And that would be something like the Halo head-worn device.
And then PEMF, yes, it would be something like the Flex Pulse, but using it in a setting that is closer to, say like, the pad placement of the occipital bone at the back of the head, or even using a larger mat, like I use the Pulse Centers PEMF table when I'm at home, and I can simply lay on that thing or put the pad directly under my head and lay there while I'm reading the books, going through some emails on my phone and get that same effect.
There's a lot of different ways to target the brain using biohacking technologies, and many of them work on different mechanisms of action. So, tDCS for motor neuron activation, cranial electrical stimulation for calming yourself down, PEMF for opening and closing cell membranes and decreasing inflammation, or even something like the photobiomodulation device that I talked about, that Vielight for increasing mitochondrial activity in neural tissue and a listening certain brainwaves, like alpha or gamma are the two most popular that would be used or that'll be targeted with a device like that.
Kris: So, just going back to the Ayurvedic herbs a second, because not everybody's going to have access to a Chinese medicine doctor. So, should people, given the option, I assume go for like a patented version of that ingredient such as like KSM-66 when they're got the third-party testing, maybe Prop 65 act of heavy metal contaminants, they should focus on something like that?
Ben: Exactly. Any of these patented versions of a compound like Relora for curcumin or KSM. I believe that's for ashwagandha.
Kris: Yeah, that's right. We actually [00:15:22] _____ the headquarters.
Ben: Right. Citicoline for one of the choline compounds. Yeah, there's a lot of these patented molecules that were quite well. Not just in Ayurvedic medicine, but across the board, you're typically going to get what you're looking for. Creatine, you look for Creapure. Creatine theanine, you look for something like Theacrine. And so that's one of the things if you see like a TM or a trademark next to the actual ingredient itself, usually, it's coming from a lab that you can vouch for.
Jag: There's a lot of talk about mind health in the biohacking space. Do you think meditation plays a big role in that?
Ben: Well, absolutely. I mean, I think that's pretty common knowledge that meditation is good for the brain, is good to lower salivary and plasma cortisol. It's good for sleep onset. It's good for mimicking sleep cycles. It's good for that spiritual connection to oneself that many people should be focusing more upon. As we talked about during the panel, people care for their body, people care for their brain, but often they aren't caring for their soul. And things like meditation, and yoga, and fasting, and study, and solitude, and silence, and these type of things, these so-called spiritual disciplines are all fantastic, and meditation falls under that category.
I think sometimes the merging of biohacking and meditation can get a little bit gimmicky. Meaning, apps like Headspace, Calm, Muse, et cetera, to the extent to where people feel as though they need a technology, they need an app, they need something wrapped around their head or cradled in their lap or attached to their body to meditate. And I would like to see more people simply sitting and meditating without the use of technology. Yes, something like Headspace, for example, can gamify each of your meditation sessions.
I have another app that I use called Pause, which allows me to drop in for a quick one, three, five, or ten-minute meditation. But I, in no way, rely upon that to meditate. I teach or I taught my kids to–the first two ways I taught them to meditate was a traditional Native American sit spot by just sitting outside in nature, smelling, hearing, sensing and feeling, and seeing and simply learning mindfulness-based meditation in nature. And this meditation technique works quite well if you return to the same spot to meditate on a repeated basis because it trains your senses to notice changes in the environment during each meditation session that you do. Another way that I taught them to meditate was a very basic candle and hourglass meditation, sitting cross-legged. In this case, in the floor of our sauna, or I would simply have–I have a 20-minute hourglass in the sauna, like where the sand drops in the hourglass and their role would be to simply observe the sand as it fell through the hourglass for 20 minutes. No technology, no app, nothing, a device I suppose you could say, but that or a candlestick meditation where you're simply watching the flickering flame for 10 to 20 minutes.
I mean, these are all ways that you can meditate without necessarily having the use of a technology or an app. And one thing that's important to realize about that is we know that a phone can be distracting. We know it's something that we associate often with work or a sympathetic response or socializing. It's been shown that the mere presence of a phone on the table during dinner decreases the quality of the conversation and causes distractibility during the conversation versus if that phone were under the chair or off the table. And so I suspect that the presence of your phone during meditation may actually slightly detract from the quality of the meditation. But at the same time, if it takes an app to gamify meditation for you or to teach you about meditation or to make meditation more interesting for you, then I think the pros would still outweigh the cons. But long response to your question, I think meditation is absolutely fantastic for the brain.
Jag: Sure. A lot of people say that meditation originated from India. There's a lot of camps, a lot of places where people actually travel from around the world to actually learn meditation and then they go and teach around the world. So, there's a big expectation when we talk about biohacking. People have this expectation of all of this technology, but I think people kind of felt, realize that sometimes it's quite simple. You don't need to actually go through apps to disconnect. Do you feel that there's more and more people around the world that find it difficult to disconnect and meditate now?
Ben: Yes. I mean, it's very easy in our day and age to not be mindful. It's very easy to live in almost like this hypnotic trance of constantly having something that you are listening to, having a screen that you are staring at, having something blasted into your ears or across your eyes, having notifications, having meetups, having calls. And so yeah, the distraction that is available to us in the information era, in the internet era is staggering. And it can be very difficult to simply tell someone, “Okay. Go on a one-hour hike without your phone.” That's even difficult for a lot of people.
So, yeah, I think that we are fighting an uphill battle in this age of distractibility. And I think that really one of the best things that you can do is incorporate times that you are not with technology. I mean, for us, it's our family dinner each night at the Greenfield home where we're just playing board games from an hour and a half or two and then playing some songs and music afterwards, then going to bed, and the technology just isn't even around. No laptops, no TVs, no phones, and that's a way for us to learn how to just be people with each other without technology.
Another example would be workouts, right, like workouts, I think our wonderful workouts, hikes, hitting the weights, whatever. They can just take us away from that hubbub of technology and sometimes it's good to work out with just no sound, listening to your body, being attentive to your breath, being attentive to your muscle recruitment patterns. And I think that there are ways that we can escape, and escape justifiably. Nobody's going to get on your back for having a family dinner and not responding to text messages between 7:00 and 10:00 p.m. because you're engaged in something that's arguably more important than that. Nobody's going to get on your back for disappearing in the morning to the gym for an hour and not being available on technology. But yeah, it certainly isn't an uphill battle that we fight.
Kris: Yes. It's funny when you spoke about it. Just putting the phone away in the morning and evening is something that I try to encourage people that follow me. Sometimes I'll do a month challenge, and then occasionally, because I can't always come here, and when I do come here, it's definitely not of a retreat. So, what something that my fiancé, [00:22:31] _____, actually came up with was let's have an [00:22:34] _____ where the phones, the computer, everything gets locked up in a safe for like three days, and then we pre-plan a lot of things. So, let's say someone's going to come around for acupuncture and massage maybe, a meditation session, and we just go for a hike or whatever. It's all pre-planned. So, it's very easy. You don't have to find a phone and call someone. On June that time, we'd like to maybe like a vegetable juice fast as opposed to a clean fast. But I think that's something that everybody should incorporate into their lives every now and again just two or three days. It's over a weekend where no one's really going to be on your back.
Ben: Yeah. I have a friend who recently went on a yoga retreat, and I think it was like a five-day retreat. And he took his phone, but he did not take any charger at all. So, he had his phone with a full battery should he need to reach out for an emergency, make a call, et cetera, but he knew every time he turns that phone on, it was that much less battery life that he'd have available. And so that's something simple that you can do as well. And then we, of course, need to be aware of the biological impact of phones. We know, and we talked about this plenty on the panel, about the damages of EMF and Wi-Fi on cell membranes, on DNA. I mean, this phone here has at least–well, it's got kind of a weak Wi-Fi signal and two bars on it. Man, this phone is turning out massive amounts of EMF even compared to if it had a strong Wi-Fi signal and a strong cell phone reception because any time it's searching because the signal is weak, it's going to turn out even more EMF.
So, that's why whenever I have the option to have the phone in airplane mode, it's in airplane mode just because–I mean, you only have so many times in your life that you have the option to protect yourself from a lot of this EMF. And so if it's an option for you to not have it on, you just don't have it on. So, that's certainly a rule that I follow. Is everyone in the room starts reaching for their phones?
Kris: Yeah. I'm on the airplane mode now. Good call.
Kris: Good flip of the switch.
Jag: Alright. So, this is the one question that I really wanted to delve into is that the perception here in India, because I've dealt with a lot of foodies and the food is definitely a part of the culture, and unfortunately, people are not cooking as healthy as they once were. As I mentioned yesterday, there was a pocket down South India that was a Blue Zone. Now, it's dealing with the worst epidemic of diabetes and all these other health complications. And part of the perception here in India is that they think not everyone's working out like or as lean or healthy as you, but they are eating plenty of ghee. Of course, ghee in moderation for some people is fine. They put ghee on everything. And do you know what jaggery is?
Ben: Jaggery is–it's a sugar from the sugarcane, but the way that they extract it is unlike ultra-processed sugar, it is white, it has all the minerals, it has nutrient density, it has vitamins, it's still sweet, it's still going to raise your glycemic index. But like coconut sugar or molasses, like a black strap molasses or like a syrup, a maple syrup sweetener like Stevia or monk fruit, like any of these are more nutrient-dense than processed sugar. So, yeah, I actually have not a whole lot against sugar. In a hypercaloric state, both sugar and also fructose can, not only be fattening but cause a great deal of inflammation. However, if I'm burning 2,000 calories a day and eating 1800 calories a day and my diet is 80% to 90% carbohydrate with an appreciable amount of that being sugar, it's not going to be that big of an issue because just about all of that is being metabolized.
My energy levels might not be quite as stable as if I were burning fatty acids or ketones as a fuel, but the actual metabolic problems with sugar–kind of go out the window if you're absolutely cognizant of your total calorie intake. That's a whole can of worms that we get open when it comes to the physiological benefit of burning fats, which is burning sugars. But I think that sugars are unfairly vilified. What should be vilified is sugars, and fructose would fall into that category as well, in a hypercaloric state because, in fact, there's even studies that have shown a pretty hefty amount of fruit consumption, which folks like Robert Lustig, for example, would say is pure poison can actually result in stabilized appetite, weight loss, and favorable metabolic responses and a favorable gut microbiome assuming someone is in a hypocaloric state. So, the trick is if you're going to have sugar, be very cognizant of your total calorie intake because that's the issue, sugar in a hypercaloric state.
Kris: Yeah. And that is the issue that we're having in this country at the moment. Jag will move onto some of the issues that we're seeing here worse than other countries at the moment. But one of the issues is is that they're having a lot of jaggery thinking, “Okay. There's a lot of nutrient-dense food over your typical cane sugar. So, I'm going to eat a lot of it, and ghee.” I've heard that's good. So, they overconsume it and they don't have the activity to accompany it. So, we're seeing major issues, especially within the teenagers, and the young adults, and obviously the older adults across the board just dealing with major, major weight gain, which is going through a lot of these health issues such as diabetes, obesity. Yeah.
Ben: Yeah. And it's kind of interesting. By the way, in the U.S., there's a growing number of people who are shifting instead to high-fat, low-carb intake, and we see a different set of metabolic issues in those folks. We see things like, especially the absence of a decent amount of plant matter, kind of a lower amount of butyrate, and lower bacterial diversity in the gut. We see people with some issues as far as liver and gallbladder bile production not being able to keep up with the amount of fat being consumed. So, there are digestive issues with gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, et cetera.
We see people with massively elevated triglycerides, which can be a cardiovascular risk factor as a result of extremely high intake of saturated fats, butters, marbled meat, et cetera. Not that I have anything against those, but I think that everything must be considered in the context of moderation. And so yeah, you can create a lot of issues on the high-fat diet, you can create a lot of issues on a high-carbohydrate diet. It really returns to that concept of choosing a diet that is appropriate for you based on your genetics, your bloodwork, your health history, your activity levels. And then in addition to that, understanding that no matter the diet, there are certain things that are going to make that diet healthy and successful long-term.
Things that we actually discussed in that panel we did, eating in a parasympathetic state. Meaning, breathwork, or gratitude, or prayer prior to a meal, chewing your food a pretty significant number of times. You have 25 to 40 chews per bite is what you should be doing. And if you're eating slowly in an unstressed state, that's a lot easier to do, being mindful of your food, the taste, the color, the preparation methods, the ingredients, how it makes you feel. And we also know that eating with people is another dominant characteristic we see amongst a lot of these Blue Zones. Again, despite or no matter the diet, plant-based or omnivorous or anything like that, eating with people, being around people as you celebrate food, that's another really, really big one.
I mean, I recently tweeted this that I think a lot of dietary arguments would go out the window if people simply learned to love their bodies, which also incorporates kind of being aware of how their bodies are responding to foods that they're eating, and that could include something as potentially woo-woo and esoteric as intuitive eating, does it feel good to me as I'm eating this. Loving your company, meaning, loving the people that you're with and loving to be with people as you eat. And then finally, loving your food. And what I mean by that is everything from where was this meat raised? Was it ethically raised? Is this a regenerative farming practice or is this cow or beef, or lamb, or fish, or whatever contributing to environmental damage? Was it spraying with herbicides, pesticides, glyphosate? Was the plant harvested properly and was it grown in soil rather than dirt and be a permaculture rather than monocropping?
And so once we get into our food, we begin to become more aware of where it came from, and also a lot of the health characteristics that determine whether or not that food is healthy for us. And so all of these concepts would apply whether you're eating a plant-based diet, or an omnivorous diet, or a carnivorous diet, or a keto diet, or any other billion different diets out there, you need to step back and apply some basic principles that we know makes a diet healthy. And when you combine that with knowing your body and self-quantifying and choosing a diet appropriate for your genetics, and your activity levels, and your bloodwork, then you're on the road to setting up a diet for life that you're going to feel good on.
Jag: There's a lot of people in India who actually compare some of our ancestors, even people just as close as 1940s and 1950s. There wasn't a lot of activity then as compared to now. For example, if you wanted to order a meal right now, food, you can just press a few buttons on your phone and they'll be in your doorstep. And most likely, it'll be unhealthy food. So, when we talk about ghee and jaggery and some of these foods that people think are good for you, there's a lot more actually comes into it because those people in those times used to actually have to move a lot more naturally. Like what you say, they probably were burning a lot more calories and eating these foods and still being okay.
Now, the thing is that in the sports industry, [00:32:42] _____ wrestling is quite traditional in India, and there are still places in India where they're still training the old-fashioned way and they have loads of ghee. In fact, I was talking to somebody who came from a place called [00:32:53] ____ to see us a few days back and he said they even put ghee in the sand where they wrestle. And I think there's a story behind that, too. So, would you say that–like, people think jaggery is actually good for digestion. We actually put a post out on one of our socials a few days ago, and we were surprised there was 90% of people from India who says jaggery is good for you and you should have it after every meal to help you digest your food. What do you think by that?
Ben: You know, I'm not familiar with the complete nutritional composition of jaggery and whether it actually includes any of these bitter compounds that would enhance digestion, right? We know potentially acidic foods like vinegar may enhance the insulin response to a meal. We know the same could be said of things like bitter melon extracts or the bitters you might have at a bar when you're having a cocktail. And so it's possible that there may be a digestif quality to jaggery. But again, in the absence of physical activity or in a hypercaloric state, probably the cons outweigh the pros, and I would say why not just have something like Ceylon cinnamon, or apple cider vinegar, or lemon, or bitters instead?
I guess it's an issue also what you brought up as far as foods that would be superfoods and would be healthy foods in an ancestral context of physical movement, some elements of fasting, some elements of caloric restriction, compressed feeding windows, intermittent fasting. A lot of these foods really are healthy in that context, but then you take your macadamia nuts and your organic blueberries, and your bone broth, and your sea salt, and all these things, and people shoving these foods down their gullets while sitting on their butts at the office at work. These same foods, in the end, can be inflammatory.
I mean, we know that any food is going to produce free radicals upon its metabolism. And if you are in a state of constant overfeeding, even if it's on healthy foods, the amount of inflammation that's going to be present, the amount of glycemic variability that's going to produce, the impact that's going to have on your triglycerides is still going to be pretty significant. So, yeah, you can overeat superfoods. It's more difficult in many of them because their nutrient density and fiber content or protein content are more satiating, but we do live in an era where the knowledge and access to many healthy foods can be dangerous.
There's this one beef that I have with like Trader Joe's in the U.S. Trader Joe's, you can walk in there and everything kind of sort of looks healthy, like turbinado dark chocolate almonds and giant burritos full of all these superfoods wrapped in some kind of a thick whole-wheat wrap. Many of the foods are packaged, many of them are processed, and you walk out there and you fill your pantry with these foods and it's very simple. Just mow through them because they're highly palatable, they're processed, they're fun to eat. You open the crinkly package and they smell nice. I mean, you can so easily just become morbidly obese or inflamed eating at a healthy grocery store like that.
It's probably still arguably healthier than you shopping at, say, Costco and filling up your grocery shopping cart there to top off the pantry. But yeah, I mean, we do need to be careful even with healthy foods and we need to understand the context in which they're eaten, the amount to which they're eaten, and whether or not we are living in an ancestral state or whether we're just marrying those foods to sitting in boxes and tubes. In which case, we probably better served fasting, having some water and eating more plants.
Well, I want to interrupt today's show because I'll bet that many of you sitting at home right now are doing some shopping online, and many of you are also forgoing your trip to the grocery store if you're on quarantine or trying to avoid exposure to coronavirus. And the problem is that a lot of healthy organic food is not available on Amazon or Amazon simply doesn't carry the good stuff in their catalog. We're talking organic, non-GMO, clean, beauty supplements, non-toxic home products, ethical meat, sustainably sourced seafood, clean wine. Well, the company Thrive Market is an online membership-based grocery store. You pay a membership fee and this drops all the retail prices way, way down.
You get 25% to 50% off traditional resource retail prices from a bunch of products you can't find at other websites. And everything is shipped in a planet-friendly packaging. They have a really helpful app that allows you to skip the store and the line, shop straight from your phone. You can filter things by keto, paleo, gluten-free, vegan, non-GMO, Fair Trade Certified, BPA-free, everything. It's like a mix of Whole Foods and Costco shipped straight to your front door. A 12-month membership comes out to about five bucks a month, and it's risk-free. Meaning, you can take 30 days. If you don't like it, you cancel it. They give you a full refund.
So, Thrive Market is giving all of my listeners not just that offer for the 30 days with full refund, but they're also going to give you a $20 credit for shopping so you can get started and add–you can add some pretty cool shit to your car for 20 bucks, like maybe some spirulina or some other wonderful coconut flake cereal. They got a lot of good stuff. Anyways, to get that offer, you just go to thrivemarket.com/ben.
And while you're out shopping for healthy food, healthy comfort food, you need to get yourself some of my favorite, favorite, favorite cereal. That is nostalgia cereal. At least that's what I call it because they took all the flavors like Fruit Loops and Cocoa Puffs, and what are few of the others? They've got the cinnamon. I forget–what was the old school one? You guys are with me now. Cinnamon crunch I think it was called. And then there's another one. They had like a blueberry flavor. They had for a while a pumpkin spice flavor, which was amazing. They have one that's–oh, Frosted Flakes.
So, they've replicated all these flavors, but they've done it gluten-free, grain-free, high protein, meaning, 12 grams of protein per serving, zero sugar, and only three grams of net carbs per serving, meaning, it's basically keto-friendly cereal. My kids are punishing bowls of this stuff with some coconut milk or some goat milk while they're at home. And I really like to take it and I'll throw like some macadamia nuts and some spirulina in there, which you could actually get from my other sponsor I just mentioned, Thrive Market. And I kind of take the cereal and turn it in almost like a trail mix, pour some milk over it, and it's absolutely stellar.
So, you get free shipping on this cereal. It's made by the company Magic Spoon. All you do is go to magicspoon.com and use code BENGREENFIELD. That gets you free shipping. So, magicspoon.com. Use code BENGREENFIELD for free shipping. They have 100% happiness guarantee. So, if you don't love their cereal, which you will, they'll refund it, no questions asked. So, grab the Magic Spoon cereal today. It's absolutely mind-blowingly amazing.
Jag: According to a study, India is now known as the diabetic capital of the world. The diabetic population is hitting close to 69.9 million, and they say by 2025, it will be 18 million. That's the population of the UK.
Jag: It's crazy. Just going back to what Ben just said, I walked into a place called Food Hall. Now, they have some amazing foods here in India, which I saw them–they were imported, so I recognize the labels. But there were a lot of local brands that say sugar-free, but then when you read the label, they contain ingredients which is probably worse than sugar. Would you agree with that?
Kris: [00:40:59] _____.
Ben: You know, if a food is sugar-free or fat-free, it should cause you to raise an eyebrow. For example, we know that high amounts of acesulfame potassium or sucralose or any of these artificial sweeteners, even sugar alcohols can contribute to mild amounts of neurotoxicity or gas, or bloating, or small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, and many of them are simply being used as substitutes for sugar in that sugar-free compound. When you look at fat-free, well, I mean, fat-free yogurt, fat-free cottage cheese, fat-free milk, dairy was meant to be in its raw form with the fats and the proteins kind of globule together, and the enzymes present, and the probiotics present.
And when you homogenize, ultra-pasteurize, and then filter all the fat out of dairy, it becomes a far different food. It essentially becomes, in most cases, lactose sugars combined with proteins that are in a format that winds up allowing them to cross the gut, wind up in the blood and cause autoimmune issues. So, just something as simple as like fat-free yogurt or sugar-free Coke. Yeah. I mean, that can definitely create issues. And I think when you talk about diabetes, I don't think it's any secret that eating a lot of processed carbohydrates, eating a lot of sugar would contribute to diabetes.
But really, if you look at things from an insulin sensitivity standpoint, one of the biggest contributors to a diabetic state is inflammation. And inflammation is actually more readily caused by vegetable oil consumption than it is by sugar. And I think that if you look at the diet of someone who's developed diabetes or the diet of a largely diabetic population, you would probably pretty shocked to find out that just as big an issue or bigger an issue than carbohydrate or sugar consumption is the consumption of vegetable oils, which place the body in an inflammatory state, which then renders you insulin insensitive, and that's what can cause that diabetic cascade that becomes all the worse in the context of sugar.
But I think that a diabetic who decides that they're not going to eat sugar, and all of a sudden, here in this country start eating chicken tikka and stews, and curries, and foods that are cooked in soybean, safflower, canola oil, et cetera, they're really leaving themselves in a state where they're going to be on a path of continued insensitivity, insulin insensitivity, and worse than inflammation unless they also clean up the vegetable oil component of inflammation.
Jag: So, we were at a restaurant the other night and when we were ordering the food, you and I, the waiter actually gave us limited information on how the food was cooked until the chef came out. And when Ben actually asked the chef specifically, how is the food cooked? Is it in vegetable? He says, “Well, yes.” He's, “No, but we use soybean,” thinking that that is not what it would have been.
Jag: I have [00:44:13] _____.
Ben: [00:44:14] _____ soybean oil is vegetable oil. Just because it says sunflower or safflower does not mean it's healthy. Yeah, it's interesting. You know, I made us a reservation actually just about two hours ago for dinner tomorrow night, and I told them when I made the reservation, I said, “Please tell the chef that we prefer for him to serve us items from the menu that he's able to cook in ghee or extra virgin olive oil rather than vegetable oil.”
In many cases, especially if you alert a restaurant ahead of time, which I think is prudent to do versus throwing them a curveball right when you arrive, they're happy to oblige. It's just a matter of being comfortable, being an informed consumer and being comfortable putting your foot down and saying, “My body is precious to me. I love my body. I love my cells. I do not want my cell membranes to be comprised of rancid oils that are going to affect every single transporter and receptor on that cell membrane surface.” Because again, you can eat a stick of cotton candy or pound through a bowl of processed sugar, and technically, you could go for a long walk or do some hard weight training and burn that sugar as fuel, but you cannot do the same for vegetable oil. You cannot burn off vegetable oil. That's what your body is going to use to comprise its cell membranes and tissue structures.
Jag: Yeah. I think a lot of people go for convenience. I mean, we've noticed on the toll when we make a request for anything, it takes quite a while. So, for example, you go to a restaurant, you make an order, and most people actually give in once they make a request. If they don't understand, say, “You know what, I'll just have whatever you've got.” And I think it comes down to actually understanding how precious your body is. And if you want to live longer, it's going to take a little bit effort, right?
Kris: Or you're going to prioritize yourself I think more than anything because we're always here to serve, aren't we? What we do, we serve, but the thing is when you are trying to serve for the happiness of the chef or the waiter to bring whatever's convenient, then you're just not serving yourself. So, what are the other things that we've mentioned about in regards to India's being the world leader in diabetics? They're also the world leader in the purchases now of mobile phones. Everybody's on a mobile device. Not everybody has a computer, but mobile devices now have become very affordable that everybody's got one and the population here. So, could you briefly explain, number one, the damaging effects of the mobile use here for people in India, and what can people do to hack their way to health while still having the use of their phone should they need it for business?
Ben: Probably the three biggest issues to be cognizant of when it comes to so-called non-native EMF, electromagnetic signals that our human bodies have only been presented with in the past 100 years or so versus electromagnetic fields that would be produced from, say, lightning striking the surface of the planet or the natural electromagnetic frequencies that we know the Earth emits, which are actually very natural frequencies that can be good for the body, or even the frequencies we would get from photons of sunlight, for example, right?
So, electricity is not an issue, electromagnetic frequencies are not an issue, but these non-native frequencies that are typically, for example, in the case of 5G, very small millimeter waves that can penetrate tissue and we know may affect plants and insects or operate, in the case of 4G or LTE and higher power, especially when placed near the body, we're presenting our bodies with a biological assailant in terms of a power or a wave frequency that we have simply not, from an evolutionary standpoint, developed the ability to be able to deal with. And as a result of that, a few things that happen is, A, you see a pretty significant influx of calcium into the cell when a cell phone is placed near the body, or a Wi-Fi router is placed near the body, or you're standing next to an appliance, like a dryer or a washer that's running on that AC circuit that travels through the house.
Now, the problem with that is calcium is positively charged, and the inside of a cell is supposed to be negative compared to the outside of the cell which should be positive. So, all of a sudden, you're shifting a cell from a millivolt potential that should be like negative 60 millivolts, and you're shifting it towards, whatever, negative 30 millivolts or 0 millivolts, and that affects every metabolic process within the cell. So, that's one issue is you're producing a positively charged cell when it should be negatively charged.
The second issue is we know that these things can cause DNA damage. You can cause unraveling of DNA, you can cause protein damage, you can cause misfolding of proteins, and that's another big issue. And then finally, we know that they can downregulate the sensitivity of an inflammatory pathway within the body called NF-kappa B. NF-kappa B is very important for modulating inflammation, for raising it when it needs to be raised, for lowing it when it needs to be lowered. And that pathway gets downregulated, your sensitivity to that pathway gets downregulated directly in response to non-native EMF.
And so this begs the question, are there other things that you can do to offset some of that damage? And there absolutely is. This shouldn't be something that you use an excuse to just use your cell phone more or to just blast yourself with Wi-Fi all the time. But at the same time, you can prudently address some of the damage, especially when you're in an environment in which you have no control, like say you're traveling on an airplane that has Wi-Fi enabled that has probably at least 20 people that did not put their phones in airplane mode when the plane took off. So, all of the phones have zero bars, meaning that every single one of those phones has amplified at least 10 times over its EMF that it's putting out because the phone is now looking for a signal during that entire flight at a much higher level than it would be if the plane was grounded and everyone had four or five bars of service, right? So, there's a lot of issues in your captive audience, right?
So, what can you do about that? So, for the calcium, we know that the pharmaceutical calcium channel blocker that would be given for a heart condition can actually limit the calcium coming into the cell, but most of your doctor is not going to prescribe you a calcium channel blocker if you come to them and tell them you want it because you're using your phone a lot. However, magnesium can cause a similar effect, like using a good absorbable form of magnesium every night before you go to bed, and then if you're traveling on an airplane both before and after the flight so that you offset the calcium that's influxing into the cell.
When it comes to the DNA damage component, there are two things that repair the DNA. Two things that repair the DNA, NAD and sirtuins. So, NAD is something that you can upregulate via fasting, which is why it's a good idea not to eat a lot on an airplane, for example, or when you're around a lot of electrical signals. But you can also upregulate NAD through a high consumption of fermented foods, like kimchi, sauerkraut, yogurt, kefir, probiotic-rich compounds. And you can also use NAD supplements and get NAD IVs. I get an NAD IV every month. When I am on an airplane, especially a long-haul flight, I actually wear what's called an electrophoresis patch, which is an NAD patch that slow bleeds 1,000 milligrams of NAD into my body over 12 hours. I just slap it on my inner thigh during the flight. So, my DNA is being repaired as it's being damaged.
You can also use oral supplements. Two popular ones are NR and NMN. NAD is very bioavailable if you supplement with it orally, but NMN and NR are, and those can actually become bioavailable NAD within the body. So, what I do is I get an NAD IV once a month and then I just use oral NR or oral NMN in between those IVs. NAD will not be able to repair DNA unless you also have sirtuins present in your system. And sirtuins are something you're going to find from things like blue and purple foods or darkly colored foods like cacao, blueberries, red wine, purple cabbage. You can also supplement with things like resveratrol.
Another sirtuin-based compound that's about 100 times more powerful than resveratrol is pterostilbenes. It starts with P, P-T-E-R-O, pterostilbene. And there are a variety of different sirtuins. Green tea is rich in sirtuins. If you just google sirtuin-rich foods, you'd find a whole host of foods that you can weave in throughout your diet. And if you're also fasting, eating fermented foods, and even supplementing with NAD, that's something that can help to repair the DNA damage that occurs in response to these Wi-Fi signals and cell phones, et etcetera.
And then the final thing, the NF-kappa B pathway. There's two things that really help to modulate and upregulate that pathway. One is fasting. So, intermittent fasting or compressed feeding windows or eating minimally, especially when you're on long-haul travel. And then the other one is the use of supplements, specifically ketones, ketone esters or ketone salts. So, to put these boots to the streets, I'm on that airplane, that metal tube. I got to fly back from Delhi or from Mumbai back to Spokane, Washington on Saturday.
So, I will have, and I have it in my refrigerator down in my hotel room right now. I have one bottle of ketone esters. I'll drink half that bottle before the flight takes off. I'll drink half that bottle when I get to where I'm going. I have a bottle of magnesium capsules. I'll take four before the flight takes off. I'll take four when the flight lands. And then I'll have that NAD patch that I'll put on. And I'm always eating a diet that's pretty wide in a variety of colored food. So, I already know my sirtuin levels are doing pretty well. But that's how I would hack a long-haul flight to at least minimize some of the damage that's going to occur from this non-native EMF in that very non-native EMF-rich environment.
Jag: Talking about environments, the Indian air pollution is amongst the worst in the world, and some cities in India are deemed to be hazardous air quality. And these people actually had studies which states almost like smoking two packs of cigarettes a day. What kind of biohacks would you say that people could do to actually combat these problems?
Ben: Yeah. Well, first of all, there's a company called Atmos that's developing almost like a mask that's like a HEPA air filter, a wearable HEPA air filter. It's called the Ao Air. They debuted at the Consumer Electronics Show this year, and I'm actually going to try to get my hands on one of those for a future trip to India. Right now, I just use those, and I believe it's called the N95 disposal mask, which is a pretty good mask, and that could of course help with some of the issues when you're walking through the streets or the airport.
You can also, if you live in India–and for example, I have a client in Bangalore and he has these molecule air filters spread around his house. It's different than HEPA air filtration, which is good, but it's a microfiltration system that is about 100 times more sensitive than even a HEPA air filtration. But these standalone air filters planted throughout your room or throughout your office, I think the two best ones out there are the Air Doctor and then the Molekule. That one I just mentioned, the Air Doctors is a HEPA, so it's not as sensitive as the Molekule, but it's also not as expensive.
We also know that in studies done on smokers, there are certain things that can reverse the lung damage caused by smoking. And of course, we can extrapolate those studies to air pollution. Taurine is one example. So, you just have a six-pack of Red Bull every day or supplement with something like Now Foods taurine powder or a good taurine supplement. Full-spectrum antioxidants, as long as you don't consume them right after a workout, things that are rich in vitamin C and vitamin E and vitamin A, some of your tocopherols, your tocotrienols, all of these are very potent antioxidants. So, there's one that's a mix of the eight different forms of vitamin E are called annatto, an extract of the annatto plant. And that one's a fantastic form of vitamin E. Astaxanthin, very good DHA-rich omega-3 fish oil. Any of these things that would be considered pretty potent antioxidants can also help to not only reverse the damage caused by cigarette smoking but almost kind of scrub the arteries.
There's a fantastic book called “Eat to Beat Disease” by Dr. William Li. And that book has a whole host of flavanol and polyphenol-rich strategies that essentially scrub the arteries and repair a lot of the damage that's caused by pollution. And essentially, it comes out in eating a widely varied diet rich in a rainbow color to foods with lots of phytonutrients and herbs and spices, but there are specific compounds that are especially effective, like astaxanthin and like taurine. So, that would be a good book.
And by the way, I would be remiss not to mention as we were talking about EMF, for people who just want to better understand and wrap their heads around the idea of the human body being a battery, there is a book by Robert Becker called “The Body Electric,” which is quite good. And then also a book by Jerry Tennant called “Healing is Voltage,” which is quite good. And then when it comes to air pollution piece, I would get a copy of Dr. William Li‘s “Eat to Beat Disease” and weave in some of the foods that he's identified at his Anti-Angiogenesis Foundation for helping to undo a lot of the damages of air pollution.
Jag: India has a huge problem with alcoholics. There's alcohol available absolutely everywhere. You can be at an airport 6:00 a.m. in the morning. It'll be harder to find a bottle of water than it would to find two beers. It's like buy one, get one free. A lot of people who consume alcohol at high levels think that they combat any damage by going to the gym and probably sweating out in the morning prior to sitting at the sauna. What do you have to say about that?
Ben: That's kind of synonymous with vegetable oil. You just burn it off because the acetaldehyde produced by alcohol can actually damage the blood-brain barrier and cause neurotoxicity. And so you can heal the blood-brain barrier with things like cold water immersion, cold water face dunks, the use of magnesium, that pulsed electromagnetic field concept that I talked about that's also very healing, the blood-brain barrier, probiotic compounds, even lifestyle tactics like meditation and yoga, those have been shown to have an impact on the blood-brain barrier. So, of things you can do to undo some of the damage of alcohol, you can also incorporate strategies to mitigate the effects of the dehydration, like using good trace liquid mineral compounds and sea salts, and take activated charcoal after you've been out drinking.
But ultimately, at some point, you have to realize that there are ways that you can enjoy a social night out, or that you can enjoy a dinner party or a cocktail party without drinking copious amounts of alcohol with the basic most simplistic concept being that you get things from the bar that don't have alcohol in them or very trace amounts of alcohol in them so you still fit in with a drink in your hand and still don't feel awkward socially, but you're able to still have a drink and enjoy yourself. So, an example of that would be you walk up to the bar or the waiter comes and you say, “Well, I'd like a sparkling water on the rocks, lemon or lime, a splash of house bitters, and maybe a little splash of pomegranate juice or something like that.” So, essentially, you're drinking something kind of fun and fizzy, but it doesn't have actual alcohol in it.
The next level up is that there are a lot of companies now producing mixes of things like adaptogenic herbs and different nootropic compounds that give you a really feel good dopaminergic effect, but do not contain alcohol. Kin Euphorics, K-I-N Euphorics is one company that makes kind of like a done-for-you cocktail that doesn't have alcohol in it. I recently gave “Boundless” book launch talk at the assemblage in New York City, and the entire event was catered with 12 different drinks that were all mixes of cacao, and reishi, and chaga, and cordyceps, and astragalus, and ashwagandha, and all these wonderful drinks, and you could just choose. Oh, I want the one that makes me more loving, like the heart opener drink, or I want the one for energy, or I want the one to wind down at the end of the day, but none of them actually have alcohol in them.
Similarly, when I gave a talk just this week in Bangalore, there was a hotel down there, the Radisson Blu down there, their bartender actually specializes in non-alcoholic cocktails and they just have a selection of house bitters like mole bitters, and tie bitters, and elderberry bitters, and they blend those with ices and fresh juices and different fruits and make an amazing drink that gives you a feel-good effect without alcohol. And then if you guys are familiar with GHB, the old date-rape drug, really, that was very similar to a ketone body called 1,4-Butanediol. One of the reasons it was so effective was because it had like this really sedative effect. It was like alcohol on steroids.
Well, it turns out that there's a very similar cousin to 1,4-Butanediol. It's a slight molecular configuration. It's called 1,3-Butanediol. 1,3-Butanediol is a ketone. And you can have a cup of tonic water on ice with a squeeze of lemon and put about 10 to 50 milliliters of 1,3-Butanediol in there. It will not roofie you like GHB, and you get this amazing feel-good effect that mimics alcohol with none of the toxicity and none of the acetaldehyde production. So, what I'm excited about is the future of like alcohol-free cocktails that not only tastes pretty good but also make you feel good in a similar way to alcohol with none of kind of the poisoning effect.
Jag: That's awesome.
Kris: That's fascinating. Does that help with a deep sleep cycle as well? I know a butt load of bodybuilders back in a day would take that to help them sleep to recover.
Ben: So, I've experimented with 1,3-Butanediol and you get this feel-good buzz. It's definitely not an “I want to go to sleep buzz.” It's more like “I'm ready to socialize” type of buzz. However, I have mixed it a couple times with alcohol and literally felt as though all I can do is crawl into my bed afterwards and slept pretty soundly. My deep sleep was not much higher than it normally is, but it's certainly knocked me on my ass when I had 1,3-Butanediol and this kind of defeats the purpose of what we're talking about. We put a little vodka or gin in there. I was out like a light. So, yeah. Ultimately, alcohol does impact sleep cycles pretty significantly. So, any of the things I just mentioned are going to be better for sleep than alcohol.
Kris: Well, this will be my last question before Jag wraps this up, but being an Indian over the past week–and you mentioned earlier that maybe in the future, there will be places here that will start building out photobiomodulation devices or whatever. But what does India have to do do you think to catch up with the rest of the world? In the U.S., there's people such as yourself that have great platforms and podcasts and books, and in there, we have Paleo f(x). And then in the U.K., we have the health optimization summits and a lot of biohacking meetups and stuff like that, but nothing as such yet in India. What does India have to do, do you think to catch up with the rest of the world?
Ben: It's a multimodal approach from a very big picture overview. India, like the U.S., largely relies upon an agrarian economy based on monocropping, monocropping of compounds, like corn, like wheat that ultimately wind up creating ultra-processed carbohydrate-rich foods that contribute to a lot of the problems that they're having. In vegetable oils, very similar, many of these are monocrops as well, like grape seed for canola, et cetera. So, one thing that has to change is the actual farming practices, more regenerative agriculture, more permaculture, more of an awareness, a lot of times top-down of the way that food is grown and the type of food that is grown and is subsidized so that it is basically–it's more expensive to eat unhealthy food, right? That's essentially where a part of that will come down to less availability of these highly processed carbohydrates because they're not subsidized or these highly processed vegetable oils because they're not subsidized. So, that's one thing.
Another would be, and we see this increasingly in the U.S., greater availability to food that is healthy that has been vetted. So, we have websites like Thrive Market in the U.S. We can go. You can chop on that website and you automatically know everything is curated to be non-GMO, organic, sustainably sourced, ethically sourced, and you don't even ship in recyclable packaging. And so services like that that can actually deliver things to people that they don't have to question whether or not are healthy, but that have already been vetted to be healthy, and very similarly, boots on the ground, brick-and-mortar style grocery stores. And Whole Foods certainly has its set of issues just like Trader Joe's does, but a series of grocery store chains that actually allow people to have access to really good, healthy food.
I think that the prevalence of content produced by guys like you, Kris, that's also something that is important, more podcasters, more bloggers, more content, more authors who are putting out information that's scalable and accessible to the entire population that specifically flies in the face of the old school message of fitness and nutrition, which is drink a lot of whey protein, eat a lot of maltodextrin and fructose, and juices, and beat yourself to a pulp in the gym. More of a message of natural living, ancestral living, sun, light, air, water, electricity, low-level physical movement throughout the day, intermittent fasting, love, relationships, social life, like people realizing that fitness goes a lot further than just like, whatever, walking into a globe gym in your spandex because as you know, Kris, we could go to a bodybuilding show in the U.S. or anywhere and see people who look like Adonis from a distance. But when you get up close to them, they're inflamed, their skin is red, their farts could just kill everybody on an elevator, and it's because they are “healthy” as far as what society would expect on the outside, but unhealthy on the inside.
So, redefining what fitness means by having actual smart fitness influencers preaching a message that's more holistic rather than kind of like the dyed-in-the-wool fitness message from the '80s and from the '90s, which it seems like a lot of people are still caught up in. Those would be just a few of the small things that I think could be implemented. And probably the final thing, the elephant in the room is that all of this, just like any change starts with our children, right, because even though our generation may be mildly screwed from what we've grown up with and the way that we were raised, we have a lot of power over how we can influence the direction of future generations by simply starting at home, starting with educating our kids, starting a patio or a backyard garden where they learn to love their food and they grow relationship with their food, teaching your children how to cook in the kitchen, teaching your children how to naturally move throughout the day, showing your children that physical fitness does not have to be a suffer-fest unless that's what you enjoy, like you and me, Kris, but can instead just be movement, physical activity, and sporting.
If we can begin with the children, that's going to make a huge impact on the future of any country, any organization. And so I think that's important too, and that's like what Steven Kotler and Peter Diamandis talk about in their new book, “The Future Is Faster Than You Think,” that education is to be completely transformed. We live in a different era and I think a big part of transforming education is also giving kids a more holistic view of health and fitness and nutrition in general.
Jag: Awesome. You mentioned authors and I just want to congratulate you on your new book, “Boundless,” which is the number one best-seller on Amazon in eight different categories. And you've also got an audiobook.
Ben: Wow. You know more about that than I do.
Jag: I most certainly do. I can't wait to get my hands on it, but I've heard that I have to pay for extra luggage if I'm going to travel with it because it's a big book. Can you tell us a little bit about that book and how people may be able to access it?
Ben: Yeah. It's about three years' worth of writing and accumulation of all the research I've done over the past several years on a lot of these concepts, not just muscle gain and fat loss, but digestion, sleep, hormone enhancement, immunity. There's chapters over 100 pages long on anti-aging and longevity tactics that range from, everything from fasting techniques all the way up to fringe peptides from Russia. There is a lot in there even on concepts that I've only grown to appreciate much over the past several years, spirituality like we're talking about earlier, meditation, yoga, love, sex, relationships, gratitude, a lot of these things that affect our cells from an energetic frequency standpoint and also affect the one single part of us that I think is the most important that tends to be the most shriveled up and neglected.
Our souls, our spirits, our purpose, our meaning in life and our fulfillment is ultimately not derived from six-pack abs and having the perfectly prepared rotisserie chicken and ghee, but instead by how much love, how much, like I tell my kids, how much you love God and love others is a lot more important than how you eat or how you look. And so I weave a lot of that into the book as well because I think that that's a message that people need to learn more about, how to practically implement a lot of these spiritual disciplines into their life. It wound up being like 1,200 pages when I turned it into publisher and we kind of refined it, and with a scalpel got it down to about 650 pages.
And every single chapter has a website that people who buy the book get access to that has all the podcasts, all the books, all the resources, all the articles, all the references, like everything you can do to take a deeper dive into anything you find interesting. So, I created it to almost be just like a cookbook for anything that you would want to explore about your body, whether it's your immune system, or your home gym, or your rate of fat loss, or figuring how to actually customize a diet for you. I've got like 12 to 13 different dietary kind of like models in the book that you can choose from based on your bloodwork, your biomarkers, your saliva, your stool, et cetera.
So, yeah, it's comprehensive. It's a tome and I'm glad that it's over with now, but it is now available on Audible. It's available on Kindle. It's available as my favorite, a big, beautiful, like hardcover coffee table kind of book that's almost like a collector's edition that you can just have around as almost like an art piece. And internationally, the best way to get it would be go to boundlessbook.com/book-depository. I know that's a mouthful, but it's boundlessbook.com/book-depository. And otherwise, I know in American Canada, you just go to boundlessbook.com or to Amazon. You can get it pretty easily.
Jag: Awesome. Although there's audio versions, audiobooks available, I always prefer to actually have a hard copy of any book I get.
Kris: It will give you a crazy dealt workout because I usually sleep in bed for last 30 minutes before I low myself off. And I like to have it in this position as opposed to like in that position, but I'm forced to sit up with this thing because it is huge. But it's a phenomenal book. I could only imagine what it was like to read through it again when you have to edit that thing.
Ben: The editing process is long. It's like six months long.
Kris: I should imagine. Yeah.
Ben: But one thing that will stand behind is there are over 3,000 scientific references in that book. There were so many scientific references. We couldn't put them in the book because it took up too many pages. And so you actually have to go to the chapter, the website, or page for each chapter and there you can see hundreds where anybody's a geek and just wants to go to every PubMed study that's referenced within the book. So, it is robustly scientifically referenced as well, which is something that I really wanted to ensure happen with that book.
Kris: Yeah. It is phenomenal. Well, congratulations on that, Ben.
Jag: So, before we wrap up, I just like you to list 10 of your favorite biohacks.
Ben: Seriously, 10? Okay. Red light therapy, cold, heat, grounding/earthing, the use of NAD and sirtuins, the use of peptides like Epitalon or BBC-157 or TB-500 for healing or for longevity. I've been really getting into blood flow restriction training, which I would consider to be a biohack, but you can take that from a $40 set of blood flow restriction bands on Amazon to $1,200 Kaatsu training device to a $75,000 Vasper training machine. I just think the idea of blood flow restriction training is amazing. Single set to failure training, using something like a PeakFitPro or an ARX Fit. I also think that's a very cool exercise biohack. Anything that biohacks breathwork, like PowerLung or Relaxator, or a training mask or anything that allows you to use like a wearable to train inspiratory and expiratory muscles, diaphragm, CO2 tolerance, et cetera.
I think–what have we got, seven?
Kris: We're at nine now.
Ben: And then–let me see. If we're at nine, I guess I better go big with 10. I would say the last thing–let me think of something that's–so how about for immunity? I'll give you one last one for immunity because I've been using a lot here in India, every day here in India. I've been nebulizing glutathione. So, you can get this liquid glutathione substance called GlutaStat. And I've written about it before in my website, if you do a search for it at BenGreenfieldFitness.com, but I have a small portable nebulizer, which is like a mask that you put on. You put a little bit of this liquid glutathione in your nebulizer. And essentially, it just like fills my nasal passages with glutathione, which is one of the most potent ways to knock out mold, mycotoxins, airborne pollutants. It helps to eliminate your risk for getting upper respiratory tract infections when you travel, et cetera. So, I would say nebulized glutathione is one that's hot on my mind right now because I've been using it every day since I got here.
Jag: Awesome. There you have it, ladies and gentlemen, Ben Greenfield's top 10 biohacks. Ben, I just want to say thank you very much for taking the time out to be on my podcast and my co-host, Kris Gethin. Awesome. Thank you.
Ben: Well, thanks for listening to today's show. You can grab all the show notes, the resources, pretty much everything that I mentioned over at BenGreenfieldFitness.com, along with plenty of other goodies from me, including the highly helpful “Ben Recommends” page, which is a list of pretty much everything that I've ever recommended for hormone, sleep, digestion, fat loss, performance, and plenty more. Please, also, know that all the links, all the promo codes, that I mentioned during this and every episode, helped to make this podcast happen and to generate income that enables me to keep bringing you this content every single week. When you listen in, be sure to use the links in the show notes, use the promo codes that I generate, because that helps to float this thing and keep it coming to you each and every week.
On my recent whirlwind media and Boundless book tour of India, I hosted—along with my friends Jag Chima and Kris Gethin—a massive biohacking Q&A and panel in New Delhi, which you can listen to here. We covered an enormously wide range of topics, including:
- How to have energy at your beck and call, all day long…
- Hidden environmental killers and how to hack your environment to remove them…
- Ben and Kris' latest updated sleep and jet lag tips…
- Eating for anti-aging and longevity…
- How to lose fat fast…
- And much more!
Later, we flew to Mumbai, crashed at a hotel, and slipped into a hotel room to record (for your listening pleasure) a few guys shooting the sh*t about everything from my 10 favorite biohacks, to how to drink socially without damaging the body, to Ayurvedic herbs and supplements, meditation, responsible use of cell phones, and much more—all released on today's show!
Jag Chima, born in England, is an entrepreneur, investor, visionary, health and fitness enthusiast, and philanthropist with business interests that include real estate, construction, finance, lifestyle, and health and fitness. Jag is the founder of The London Group, a diversified conglomerate with extensive operations in the UK, India, and other parts of the world. The London Group is comprised of companies in property consultancy, property development, estate agents, lifestyle brands, fitness education, talent management, and health clubs.
Jag has carved a niche for himself as a passionate and astute professional, with experience that started in 1998. He has also been featured on many media platforms including BBC News Asia, BBC Asian Network, and MATV. He is a sought after speaker and strategic advisor on business affairs and believes in facing fears and taking on challenges for growth and personal development. Jag recently completed a triathlon and also a 1450 km bicycle ride from Delhi to Mumbai. He is a proud supporter of The Unique Home for Girls in Jalandhar India, a home for unwanted, abandoned girls in Punjab, India.
Originally from Wales, Kris Gethin has established himself as one of the most versatile fitness entrepreneurs in the industry. Before founding Kaged Muscle, Kris competed as a lifetime natural pro bodybuilder, placing as high as second place in the Natural World Championships. As a personal trainer, his clients have included Bollywood celebrities, billionaire businessmen, and champion athletes. In between training clients, he has certified more than 800 personal trainers. Somehow, this tireless innovator found time to co-found a health club franchise called Kris Gethin Gyms. He has shared his extensive knowledge through books, newsletters, videos, and podcasts.
In this episode, you'll discover:
-Details on Ben's trip to India…6:30
- Is India ready to embrace biohacking?
- Barriers to biohacking technology are falling
-A wise approach to Ayurvedic herbs and supplements…10:00
- It is ancestral wisdom, not biohacking; use with caution
- Tainted with metals, may be laced with herbicides and pesticides
- Can hurt yourself if you're not aware of the sourcing
- Biohacks to increase the efficacy of Ayurvedic herbs
- Herbs Ben recommends:
-The role of meditation in improving the health of one's mind…16:00
- Spiritual connection
- BGF podcast on Spiritual Disciplines
- Don't be dependent on biohacks for meditation
- Meditate in the same spot
- Candle and hourglass meditation in the sauna
- The presence of a phone on the table can decrease the quality of conversation at dinner
- Very easy to get disconnected from mindfulness in modern society
- Incorporate time when tech isn't present into your daily routine
- Be aware of biological impact of smartphones
- BGF podcast with Dr. Mercola on 5G technology
- Keep phone in airplane mode as much as possible
-Mindful eating practices…24:30
- Jaggery, monk fruit, stevia, etc. are good alternatives to processed sugar
- Over-consuming jaggery, ghee, etc. resulting in weight gain
- Eat in a parasympathetic state
- Be present and aware of the taste, how you feel, etc.
- Eat with people while celebrating food
- Love your body, love people around you, and love your food (where and how was it sourced?)
- People move much less than their ancestors
- Any food can become inflammatory, even healthy foods
-Big problems with the modern Indian diet…40:15
- India is currently the diabetic capital of the world
- “Sugar-free” is oftentimes a misnomer
- Many foods in their natural state are intended to have healthy fats
- Processed carbs and sugars are particularly problematic
- Vegetable oils are the biggest culprits
- Prioritize your body over convenience
-Responsible use of cell phones…46:17
- 3 major issues with non-native EMF:
- Influx of calcium in cells
- DNA and protein damage
- Downregulate NF-kB pathways
- How to offset some of the damage:
-How to live healthily in an unhealthy environment…54:17
- Aō Air (HEPA face mask)
- N95 mask
- Molekule air filters (use code BEN to save $75)
- Air Doctor HEPA filter (Save $300 with my link)
- Now Foods taurine powder
- Annatto (Vitamin E)
- Book: Eat to Beat Disease by William Li
- BGF podcast with Dr. Li
- Book: The Body Electric by Robert Becker
- Book: Healing is Voltage by Jerry Tennant
-How to drink socially without damaging the body…58:03
- Consume drinks that contain little to no alcohol
- Kin Euphorics
- New drinks on the horizon which contain no alcohol and improve social functions
- 1-3 Butanediol
- Alcohol significantly impacts sleep cycles
-What India needs to do to up its game regarding health and biohacking…1:03:22
- Farming practices: India relies upon mono-cropping (as does the U.S.)
- Thrive Market
- Stores that allow people to access high-quality foods
- Podcasters, bloggers redefine what health and fitness means
- Any change begins with our children
-Ben Greenfield's 10 favorite biohacks…1:13:30
- Red light therapy
- NAD and sirtuins
- Blood flow restriction training
- Single set to failure training
- Breathwork (Power Lung)
- GlutaStat nebulizing glutathione
Resources in this episode:
– Circadia by Fisher Wallace (use code GREENFIELD for free FedEx shipping)
– Halo Sport (use code GREENFIELD)
– Gold Nugget Ghee (use code BEN10 for a 10% discount)
– Pique Green tea (use code GREENFIELD for a 15% discount off a minimum $60 purchase)
– KetoneAid ketone salts
– Molekule air filters (use code BEN will save you $75)
– Air Doctor HEPA filter
– Book: Eat to Beat Disease by William Li
– Book: The Body Electric by Robert Becker
– Book: Healing is Voltage by Jerry Tennant
– BFR bands (use code BEN20 for a 20% discount)
– Kaatsu training device (use code BEN for a 5% discount)
– Vasper training machine
– ARX Fit (use code BEN for a $500 off shipping and installation)
– GlutaStat nebulizing glutathione (use code BENABC)
– BGF podcasts with David Minkoff
- Podcast Episode #26: The THREE Main Causes of Illness and Poor Performance.
- Episode #105: A Peek Into The Life of An Ironman, Natural Medicine Physician.
- Episode #143: Can “Prolotherapy” Make Your Injuries Vanish?
- Episode #168: How To Banish Chronic Pain Forever.
- How Hidden Sources Of Heavy Metals Are Destroying Your Health, And What You Can Do About It.
- Why More Kids Are Getting Exercise Induced Asthma, and What You Can Do About It.
- Why You’ve Been Lied To About Cancer And What You Can Do About It.
- The Search For The Perfect Protein (The Surprising Truth About A Little-Known Supernutrient For Weight Loss, Mood, Fatigue, Insomnia, and More).
- Amino Acids, BCAA’s, EAA’s, Ketosis, Bonking & More With 41 Time Ironman Triathlete Dr. David Minkoff.
– Boundless (in print and audio)
–Kion Aminos: Building blocks for muscle recovery, reduced cravings, better cognition, immunity, and more. Get 10% off your order of Kion Aminos, and everything at the Kion site when you use discount code: BEN10
–Seed Daily Synbiotic: A formulation of 24 unique strains, each of which included at their clinically verified dose, to deliver systemic benefits in the body. Save 15% off your order when you use discount code: BEN15
–Thrive Market: Organic brands you love, for less. Your favorite organic food and products. Fast and free shipping to your doorstep. Receive a gift card up to $20 when you begin a new membership using my link.
–Magic Spoon: A brand new company that has reimagined all your favorite childhood breakfast cereals. Low carb, keto-friendly, ZERO sugar, and tastes just like you remember. For free shipping on your order at Magic Spoon, use discount code: BENGREENFIELD