One misconception while aiming for a superhuman life is that superhuman efforts are required to achieve it. Not really. My new book, ‘The Making of a Superhuman’ explains several, easy-to-practice biohacking measures, though advanced diagnostics like Genetic Predisposition Test, Gut Microbiome Test, and personalized epigenetic lifestyle modifications in diet and exercise are necessary as explained in my book.
Here, I will describe two easy methods endorsed by recent international research. Both of them are related to mental fitness. Without mental fitness or sustained motivation, we cannot even imagine implementing major physiological rewiring. In these pandemic times, and the resultant economic crisis, mental stress has become a major problem for even the strong-willed. There is a widespread incidence of depression, anxiety, and panic attacks.
A recent British study has confirmed that prebiotics and probiotics in food items help reduce depression and anxiety. A probiotic is a food item containing beneficial bacteria. Common examples are curd, yogurt, fermented foods like idli, dosa, appam, etc, as well as probiotic supplements.
Prebiotics are mainly fiber-rich vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, whose insoluble fiber acts as ‘food’ for your gut microbiome or the good bacteria inside your gut. Prebiotic supplements are also available.
The study found that such foods improve depression and anxiety by possibly acting in multiple ways such as bettering the Gut Microbiome and Gut-Brain Axis (GBA), and by reducing cytokines and inflammation, and by modulating the action of the amino acid tryptophan, which is connected with various mental conditions.
The study, published recently in the prestigious medical journal ‘BMJ Nutrition, Prevention & Health’ is a classic example of an easy biohacking method to maintain mental health and stay motivated. For most of us, it just means eating more traditional foods like curd, buttermilk, idli, appam, etc. Incidentally, Ayurveda recommends buttermilk as a staple in our diet to ward off many diseases as, according to Ayurveda, the root cause of all disorders, including mental diseases, lies in our gut. Talk of gut instinct!
A second study, by Barcelona Institute for Global Health, proves that the place where we take a walk matters a great deal when it comes to mental well-being.
Short walks in natural blue spaces like beaches, rivers, and lakefronts, or in the proximity of fountains, etc have a positive effect on mental health, vitality, and mood, compared to similar short walks in urban settings or indoors.
Published in the journal, ‘Environmental Research’, the study is yet another easy-to-practice biohacking method that anyone can adopt easily. I believe water is the key here. The sight, sound, and feel of flowing water are all healing to the body and mind. You could get all these by just having a shower, too. I have come across traditional Ayurvedic texts that prescribe a bath as the first line of defense against fatigue and depression.
So, here’s the bottom-line: there are a lot of easy biohacking methods that you can start adopting right away. My new book, ‘The Making of a Superhuman’ is packed with such simple but powerful solutions. From there, one could progress to more advanced biohacking methods, which to I cover in detail in the book. Look out for it!