Biohacking Your Own Immune System

Let’s get one thing straight about hacking: it has incredibly great promise behind it for the results it can achieve, but the methods to get into a system of choice are not always clear or easy to do. The "system" being called to play in this article is your body.   

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There is a modern “transhumanist body modification movement” for obtaining control of your body. More specifically, I want to focus your attention on your metabolism. We see commercials and ads marketing weight-loss supplements and the trendiest workouts, but what we don’t see is how all of these leading experts in the field of health and wellness are actually living their daily lives. How are they maintaining such great shape, and most importantly, how are they so happy and successful while doing so?

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I believe that what you put into your body at different times of the day plays a key role in the functioning of your body’s metabolism. The types of macronutrients you consume at around noon versus eight o’clock at night will dictate the level of your body’s muscle tone and energy. The idea of biohacking has been used by the founder of the Bulletproof Diet, Dave Asprey, who also was the creator of the major Bulletproof Coffee trend. For those who do not know what “Bulletproof Coffee” is, it is simply the art of adding butter to your coffee without any sugar added at all. You cannot just add any type of butter though, it has to be the highest quality butter, free of any additives and artificial junk. Professionals and health experts recommend adding one tablespoon of Brain Octane Oil or organic coconut oil and one tablespoon of organic grass-fed Ghee and add stevia drops for sweetness, then blend up! To read more about how to make bulletproof coffee, just click on the links above!

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The point of this “Bulletproof” lifestyle is to teach your body how to enter ketosis and burn fat more efficiently as an energy source instead of sugars. Unfortunately, our society has been influenced to believe our main source of energy is carbs, carbs, and more carbs. That thinking needs to change, and has been changing based on the new health movements developing in our culture. Far too often, we see people experiencing mid-morning crashes from their standard bowl of oatmeal and toast. The problem is: you are consuming the wrong macronutrients in the morning and not giving your cells the proper compounds they need to function optimally all day!

 

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From my own personal experience and knowledge from fellow “biohackers," I have found a few key hacks on how to keep the body functioning in prime condition. Now, keep in mind, the body is a system that needs to be respected in order to function properly. When it is not, your body will let you know that something needs to change. Whether it be that you are gaining weight or breaking out or just feeling super lethargic, this is your body telling you to change something about your daily routine.

Perhaps your nutrition is down and you haven’t been getting enough sleep? Methods to hack your own biology would be consuming probiotics. I find the best sources of probiotics would be kombucha, grass-fed plain yogurt (to ensure your body stays in ketosis) or coconut yogurt (vegan) and kimchi/fermented vegetables. It is not always easy to find these products, but if you can, I highly suggest incorporating one or two of them a day to give your body some probiotic-loving goodness!

Do not forget to drink at least a cup or two of water immediately upon waking up, and before that morning coffee, to wake your cells up and prevent dehydration from too much caffeine. Similarly, sleep is a factor that not many of us college students get enough of. There really isn’t much you can do to make up for lack of sleep except sleep itself. Although, a hack for maybe not getting enough sleep would be to close your eyes in a really dark room and block out all the noise for about 15-20 minutes. The point here is to make your body think that it is going into a deep sleep mode, kind of like a hypnosis, but not actually going to sleep. You are hereby hacking your body’s normal sleeping patterns and controlling your own energy (in a sense). Obviously, you will not receive the energy boost you would have experienced after a full night’s rest, but you should experience a satisfying change.

Another bit of information I’d like to share comes from Melissa Ambrosini, an Australian health guru, that identifies the importance of food combining at different parts of the day. To achieve leanness and anti-inflammatory responses of the body, one should consume protein and fat in each meal and snack and, arguably, no carbs/sugars after mid-afternoon. The purpose of this is to make sure your body can fully break down the carbohydrates before you go to sleep, so your body will therefore not be inclined to store the extra carbs as fat. If you must eat carbs at dinner, it is recommended to have complex carbohydrates that won’t spike blood sugar, like roasted sweet potato or roasted beets or carrots. Instead of snacks like chips and fruits, even though you can eat low-glycemic index fruits like strawberries and green apples at least once a day, she recommends sticking to foods like lean protein and olives and/or almond butter. The idea is to keep your insulin levels low throughout the day and make any bad bacteria in your microbiome not be able to feed off those sugars. Too often, we see diseases in people with poor nutrition because these individuals do not realize that the chemical process of digesting different foods are triggered inflammation. Alkalizing foods like fresh fruits and lots and lots of vegetables (especially leafy greens) will do wonders for your metabolism. Dr. Axe, a leading expert on modern health trends and lifestyle choices, notes the benefits of bone broth and its incredibly anti-inflammatory effects on the body when consumed after a workout or when you are feeling run-down.  

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Okay. I know what you're thinking: how am I supposed to modify my diet and lifestyle now? Where do I start? Luckily for you, the desire to change your lifestyle choices is the first step! No diet or lifestyle is accommodating to everyone. The goal of this article is to give you a few ideas on how to hack your immune system and body’s metabolism, but in doing so, do not feel pressured to change. If you try one thing at a time and ease yourself into modifying your lifestyle, you may find the practices you implement are more sustainable in the long run. 

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