Kwik Brain 087: Protecting Your Brain from 4 Invisible Super-Villains with Ben Greenfield

Ben Greenfield
"Being aware of signal-emitting technology is smart for your health."

Ben Greenfield

Ben Greenfield is the New York Times bestselling author of Beyond Training. Ben dedicates his life to helping others achieve optimal health as a fitness, nutrition and lifestyle performance coach. Ben holds masters degrees in exercise physiology and biomechanics, and advanced certifications in sports nutrition, personal training, and strength and conditioning.

Ben is also an Ironman triathlete, Spartan racer, and professional obstacle course racer. He’s and completed the coveted Spartan Delta, trained with the Navy SEALs, competed across the globe in open water swims, mountain runs, and adventure races.

Connect with Ben: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Beyond Training Book

All of us want to change our brains for the better, but sometimes there are invisible forces holding us back that we wouldn’t normally think about. I’m excited about today’s conversation with guest Ben Greenfield—author of the New York Times Bestseller Beyond Training, fitness expert and host of the Ben Greenfield podcast—who is here to tell us how we can alter the shape of our daily routines through tiny, achievable changes.

In previous episodes, we’ve talked about a bunch of amazing strategies you can use to build a better brain—but what if there are brain ‘supervillains’ in our environment holding us back from achieving our potential without us even realizing it? Today we’ll be aiming to make your brain training even more effective by teaching you about some obstacles you’ll want to be aware of as you work towards a healthier brain. We’ll be helping you to identify whether there is anything in your environment holding you back and giving you some practical steps to protect your health.

The invisibility of these ‘supervillains’ means we need to stay aware of their influence on our brains and be vigilant in managing their impact on our health. These supervillains might not be obvious to us, so it’s helpful to stop and consider whether these factors might be preventing us from achieving our full brain potential—and put some strategies in place to stop this happening if need be!

In this episode, we’ll explain how modern life impacts our health, and why the four supervillains are found in air, light, electricity, and water. We’ll take you through the best research on each of these ‘supervillains’, and give you some quick tips to mitigate negative impacts to your health. We’ll also give you a bunch of practical ideas to help set you up for a healthier future, free from their effects.

Show Notes

MODERN LIVING

  • Four supervillains are the product of living in a modern era
  • Find that addressing these will help everyone, especially those who have perfect exercise and nutrition regimes but find their brain is still foggy

AIR

  • Indoor air quality is becoming as much of an epidemic as outdoor air quality e.g. mold, fungi, mites, cleaning chemicals
  • Many people breathe through their mouth due to stress—this activates a stress response and mean chemicals are inhaled directly without being filtered through the nose
  • Action steps: get a good HEPA air filter, or try a Molekule air filter or Air Doctor
  • 1989 NASA clean air study, the Japanese concept of shinrin-yoku (forest bathing)—try to include this in your home
  • You can also try essential oil diffusers, looking into the effects different oils have on your cognition e.g. rosemary, peppermint, cinnamon for alertness
  • Learn more about the Patrick McKeown book

LIGHT

  • Flight mode on the phone, f.lux program for your computer, blue light blocking glasses
  • Modern fluorescent lighting is composed of blue light spectrum: causing retinal damage, and flicker—a barely noticeable distraction that reduces your cognitive superpowers
  • Biological LED still produce a lot of flickers
  • Red incandescent is best for sleeping areas, and clear incandescent most accurately simulates sunlight
  • Good lighting=less brain fog and clearer thinking
  • Photobiomodulation—selling red light panels to bathe yourself in at night to help offset exposure to blue light during the day (Joovv)
  • Get as much sunlight as soon as you can after you wake in the morning
  • Wearing blue light glasses during the day can disrupt your circadian rhythms as it will block all blue light—have two pairs to alternate between (Ra Optics)

ELECTRICITY

  • Homes are cluttered with signals: turn wifi off at night—if you can’ remember to do this, buy an automatic timer to shut it off
  • Ben uses an ethernet cable to hardwire in—avoids the use of wifi, Bluetooth and cell phone signal
  • Damage tends to decrease in terms of distance from the router
  • Don’t wear or use technology that emits signals—known to cause issues with calcium channels in your cells
  • Keep your phone on airplane mode if possible
  • Book: Non-Tinfoil Hat Guide to EMFs
  • Mitigate damage by pushing reboot: getting hands and feet in touch with the earth, PEMF technologies (Dr. William Pawluck, Bob Dennis ICES technology)

WATER

  • Whatever you weigh in pounds, divide it by 2 and that’s how much water you should drink
  • Water is what helps to move nutrients between your cells—but it needs a charge to be effective: structured water or hydrogen-rich water
  • Filter your water (reverse osmosis or carbon block), and add minerals to your water: keep a Celtic salt shaker and add a little, Quicksilver Scientific mineral solution, AquaTru trace mineral drops
  • Purchase a structured water filter, or hydrogen-rich tablets or generator (trusii)
  • Avoid plastic containers and purchase water in glass containers
  • Remember: how you live matters to your grey matter

Related Kwik Brain Episodes You Might Enjoy

Episode 57: Protect Your Brain From EMFs with Dr. Mercola

Episode 74: 7 Steps to Healthy Brain with Dr. Daniel Amen Part 1

Episode 75: Understanding Habit Triggers with James Clear

Episode 82: Workouts That Boost Your Brainpower with Shawn Stevenson