May 18, 2024

There's a birth control pill for women that works without hormones
Saheli is a pill based on Ormeloxifene which blocks the function of estrogen without messing with the hormon system itself. It only needs to taken once per week and is just as effective as common birth control pills.
Unfortunately, it's only available in India right now.

Apr 14, 2024

44% of all humans have a MTHFR genetic mutation
Almost half of all people on earth have some variation of this genetic mutation which can result in health issues such low levels of folate and high levels of homocysteine in your blood.
I learned about it after both my dad and I had elevated homocysteine levels.

Jan 28, 2024

All plants contain all amino acids
There's this never-ending debate whether vegans can get enough protein and whether said protein provides the full spectrum of amino acids.
Turns out, all plants contain all amino acids, including the 9 essentials.
The only real difference is that their levels vary slightly. Generally speaking, beans have less methionine and grains have less lysin. Hence, as long as we eat a good mix of plants, we most likely get all important amino acids in adequate levels.
If you want to be sure, try to eat an extra 0.1 - 0.2 g protein per kilogram body weight.

Jan 19, 2024

Flaxseeds should be grinded right before eating
Whole flaxseeds may pass through your intestine undigested leaving all the omega-3 fatty acids and phytochemicals unabsorbed.

Jan 12, 2024

Chocolate and peppermint relax the esophageal sphincter
Another one I learned during my SIBO therapy.
There are a couple of foods that relax the esophageal sphincter which can increase acid reflux, especially chocolate and peppermint.

Jan 08, 2024

Starchy foods retrograde while cooling down increasing their resistant starch content
Starches are made up of long chains of glucose which are the main building blocks of carbohydrates. Your body breaks them down into glucose resulting in blood sugar spikes.
Resistant starch on the other hand is also a carbohydrate, but also considered a type of fiber. They are resistant to digestion and thus pass through the intestines without being broken down.
By cooling down starchy foods, those normal starches retrograde into resistant starches, making it a more healthy meal overall.

Jan 05, 2024

One should limit water intake shorty before and after meals
Drinking too much shorty before, during or shortly after meals can influence your digestions and lower nutrition absorption.

Jan 02, 2024

Apple Health sleep data is showing false values
In my recent Year in Review: 2023 post, I shared that I had an average of 7:58 hours of sleep.
Eventually I got suspicious because that felt a bit high so I checked the values per month and it turns out the average is actually only 6:37 hours.

Oct 21, 2023

Our stomach acid can dissolve metal
This one really blew my mind. Everyone knows that our stomach acid is very acidic and thus quite strong, but never did I imagine that it would actually be able to dissolve metal.

Oct 10, 2023

Slow eating has multiple health benefits
I've always been on the fast eating side, almost swolling foods without chewing at all. I knew that slow eating is a common mindfulness practice, but little did I know about the health implications of fast eating at that time.
Amongst others, eating slowly and chewing your food properly increases fat digestion and absorption of vitamins. It also reduces the likelihood of acid reflux and releases more insulin for better glucose control and therefore less glucose spikes after a meal.

Aug 18, 2023

Humans can't store protein
Learned it from Stanford's Professor Christopher Gradner (new tab).
At the end of the day, any excess protein is being turned into carbs and fat by taking off the nitrogen. This means, as long as we get enough protein through our diet - which actually is almost always the case - there's really no reason to take additional protein e.g. via protein shakes.
Apart from wasting money, it usually doesn't harm you though, as the nitrogen is turned into ammonia and then excreted by our kidneys.
But, if you already suffer from kidney problems, you should be cautious!

Check the full interview on YouTube (new tab)

Jul 17, 2023

One does not need a booster vaccination for tetanus and diphtheria
This is a weird one, but I recently realised that my last tetanus shot was over 11 years ago and I remembered that I was told to get a booster after 10 years.
As someone who's outside a lot - be it gardening, hiking or something else - I'm at high risk of getting a tetanus infection, so I was really keen to get my booster as soon as possible. But before wasting my time going to a doctor just to figure out I was wrong, I quickly checked the web and saw that the WHO changed their recommendations.
New studies found (new tab) that as long as you've had the full basic immunisation as a kid, the protection lasts a lifetime. The same is true for diphtheria.

May 21, 2023

Humans have a mild version of mono-hemispheric sleep
And yet another one from Why We Sleep (new tab)
You might have heard, that some animals, especially aquatic animals and birds, are capable of sleeping with only one half of their brain while the other half stays active. This is called mono-hemispheric sleep.
Have you ever thought whether we humans can do that to? Sounds weird, right?
But actually, we have a very mild version too! Studies haven shown that when we're in a new environment e.g. in a hotel room, one half of our brain stays alert while the other is fully asleep.

May 15, 2023

Preindustrial humans slept biphasic
Another learning from Matthew Walker (new tab)'s book Why We Sleep (new tab).
I always thought humans have slept monophasic forever, but it turns out that we actually slept biphasic before the industrialisation. In fact, some tribes whose lifestyle pretty much didn't change too much in the last 10.000 years are still sleeping biphasic today.
But how actually do they sleep? While they also sleep for 7-8 hours during the night, they add an additional 30-45 minute nap at noon.

Feb 26, 2023

Drinking coffee after noon drastically impacts your sleep
Matthew Walker (new tab), author of the book Why We Sleep (new tab) talks about caffeine's disruptive effect on your sleep on Dr. Ragan Chatterjee (new tab).
Caffeine has a halflife of about 6-7 hours and a quarterlife of around 12 hours.
Meaning, if you drink a coffee at noon, that means that a quarter of the caffeine is still in your system. That's equivalent to drinking a quarter cup of coffee right before go to bed.

Check the full video on YouTube (new tab)

PS: If you drink coffee purely for it's smell and taste, you might try some decaffeinated coffee next time. I switched over - for different reasons - and got happily used to it!

Feb 19, 2023

Grapefruits block enzymes that clear drugs
Another one from How not to die (new tab). This can be both positive and negative.
For example, if you use a painkiller, you can prolong it's effect by eating a grapefruit. But it's also very dangerous e.g. when you're taking multiple pills and they intefere with each other.

Feb 16, 2023

Chopping brokkoli 40 minutes before cooking preserves sulforaphane
I'm currently reading How not to die (new tab) by Michael Greger (new tab) and learned that brokkoli, which is super rich in sulforaphane, a substance that has many beneficial properties, needs to chopped 40 minutes before cooking in order to preserve it.

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