100 health tips

Discover 100 evidence-based health tips in this extensive list.

Learn simple ways to optimize your nutrition, circadian clock, sleep, gut health, fitness, and entire lifestyle.

To start from the first tip, click here. To select a specific heath tip, use the table of contents below.

100 Evidence-Based Health Tips

My Selection of 100 Health Tips

All the health tips I’ve included are evidence-based and practical in nature. You may already know some, but I’m sure most will be new.

I learned the practices, protocols, and principles in this list from different sources over the years, including podcasts about health like The Energy Balance Podcast with Jay Feldman and Huberman Lab with Dr. Andrew Huberman. Other key knowledge sources include Dr. Ray Peat’s work, encyclopedias like Examine which I absolutely love, peer-reviewed papers, scientific articles, and personal experience.

This list is for myself as much as it is for you. I personally follow many of the practices in this list, not all. I don’t need to follow or take everything listed herein, and neither do you. Some of the practices are absolutely vital for good health, while the others are good ideas but optional. 

Think of these tips as different ways of improving your health. Each one is a specific strategy you can investigate and try out. Follow the tips that you think will benefit you. Try one thing at a time, and pay attention to your body and mind.

Notes About the Health Tips 

  • Many of the tips are actually way more than just “tips”; they’re closer to short articles. The last tips are basically short articles, as you’ll see. 
  • Many of the tips build on top of others. 
  • The tips and sections are not in an exact order of importance; all sections are important and some tips are obviously more important than others. 
  • I recommend you read the tips in order only for coherence, but you don’t need to.  

Notes About My Explanations

  • I focus on rationales plus implementationhow to do something to attain certain benefits.
  • Rationales can include conclusions of published studies, basic physiology, mechanisms, recommendations from experts, biochemical and nutraceutical data, and/or insights from personal experience. 
  • I cite and link to my sources as often as possible.

List Order

I begin with nutrition, then move on to light exposure and sleep. Next, I focus on gut health and fitness. I recommend supplements throughout. I end with more general recommendations for improving your health and overall quality of life. 

Medical Disclaimer:
This blog is for informational and educational purposes only. Nothing in this blog is medical advice. Nothing in this blog can replace medical advice, diagnosis, and/or treatment from qualified healthcare professionals. No writer or editor of content on this blog takes any responsibility or whatever health outcomes, positive or negative, may arise from reading and following the content published. It is entirely up to readers to follow the information and recommendations in this blog. Readers are kindly advised to consult qualified healthcare professionals prior to starting any new nutrition, supplement or lifestyle program.

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100 health tips nutrition

1. Eat only/mostly whole foods.    

Whole foods are foods we readily find in nature or derive from it. Think fruits, vegetables, meat, dairy, eggs, etc. Whole foods = real food.  

Eating real food is just common sense. We weren’t designed to eat highly processed food. If you want to be truly healthy, ultra-processed foods have to go. If you eat out now and then, that’s fine, but make sure 90% of your diet consists of whole nutritious foods. 

Now, eating whole foods is not the be-all and end-all of nutrition. You can prioritize or minimize food groups according to different factors. Many people thrive on eating mostly meat, other people thrive on lots of dairy, and others yet on well-cooked vegetables and seafood. Some people eat from every food category and flourish. 

Hence, a whole foods diet is merely a good starting point. Whole foods receive only necessary human intervention—cleaning, cooking, fermenting, and similar processes are obviously fine. From here, you can optimize your diet according to various factors, including your preferences.

2. Eat high quality dairy. 

Many believe milk is the healthiest food on the planet, and dairy the healthiest food group. There are good reasons for this.

Real high-quality milk contains almost every nutrient your body needs to function properly, in appreciable quantities too. Besides being the richest source of bioavailable calcium, milk contains significant amounts of all your fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, K), all your B vitamins, magnesium, potassium, zinc, selenium, iodine, and CoQ10. It’s full of protein, protective fats, and carbohydrates. 

Aged hard cheeses are particularly high in vitamin K2. Butter, ghee, and cream are excellent sources of fat soluble vitamins and butyric acid. Yogurt, kefir, and sour cream contain probiotics in the form of live active cultures which support gut health. 

Real milk is raw, pure, whole milk from grass-fed cattle. Low-temperature pasteurized milk with no additives is your next best option. Conventional fully pasteurized milk is still highly nutritious and can benefit you if you digest it well. Just steer clear of additives, especially gums and carrageenan, since they can damage your gut lining. 

In the US, many farmers’ markets and health food stores sell raw milk. You can use this raw milk finder or this one to find raw milk near you. Start slow with raw milk to build up tolerance.  

In Canada, it’s a different story. Selling raw milk is actually illegal here. I just buy goat milk and sheep milk. These have mostly or only A2 beta-casein protein, which makes them easier to digest. So if you’re sensitive to cow milk, give goat or sheep milk a try. 

If you haven’t had milk in a long while, start with kefir. Kefir contains myriad beneficial bacteria that can drastically improve your digestion on all accounts. And it’s naturally very low in lactose.    

3. Eat red meat. 

Red meat is an incredibly rich source of complete protein; bioavailable iron, zinc, magnesium, selenium, and other essential minerals; bioavailable B vitamins; beneficial compounds like creatine, carnosine, carnitine, taurine, and anserine; saturated fats like stearic acid which benefit our mitochondria and hormones; and healthy cholesterol to aid optimal hormone production.

Make ground beef, lamb, and/or bison a staple in your diet. Steaks and whole cuts of meat are amazing, but they’re more expensive. Ground red meat is not only cost effective, but contains bits and pieces of ground up sinews, tendons, and soft bones, which means more beneficial amino acids like glycine and proline for you. 100% grass-fed and grass-finished is always best.

4. Eat organ meats from healthy cattle and poultry. 

Organ meats such as heart, liver, kidney, and bone marrow are the most nutrient-rich foods on Earth, especially when they’re from 100% grass-fed, grass-finished cattle or pastured-raised poultry. Here are the essential nutrients in my favorite organ meats, all found in high quantities:

Heart: riboflavin, vitamins B6 and B12, iron, copper, selenium, zinc, magnesium, choline, CoQ10

Liver: vitamin A, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, folate, vitamin B12, vitamin D, iron, copper, selenium, zinc, manganese, magnesium, choline, CoQ10

Kidney: vitamin A, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, folate, vitamin B12, vitamin D, vitamin C, iron, copper, selenium, zinc, manganese, magnesium, CoQ10

Bone marrow: vitamin K2, vitamin E, vitamin B12, selenium

Organ meats are very much acquired tastes. Some are absolutely delicious, like bone marrow. Heart tastes similar to muscle meat. Liver, kidney, and others have stronger, more distinct tastes. There’s a few things you can do to mask the taste of certain organ meats: cook them with muscle meat in equal portions, make pâtés, or use special seasoning.  

You can also take high-quality beef organ supplements. There are several good brands out there, but I like Ancestral Nutrition. Their beef organ supplements (organs + capsules) are the only ones I know of which are certified Halal. 

5. Eat ripe fruits of all kinds.

Carbohydrates are our primary source of energy. Ripe fruits are excellent carbohydrate sources as they contain potassium, antioxidants like vitamin C, magnesium, polyphenols, and fiber.

Mangoes, apples, bananas, dates, figs, cherries, berries, pomegranates, oranges, kiwis, pineapple, papaya, lychee, cherimoya—the list is long and colorful.  

You may not know that many vegetables are actually fruits: cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, avocados, and every type of squash. If it holds the seed of the plant, it’s a fruit. These are all great sources of different micronutrients, carbohydrates, and fiber. Eat whichever fruits you do well with and enjoy eating!

6. Eat vegetables as long as they help you. 

Vegetables stand out for their high antioxidant counts and unique chemical substances. For example, cruciferous vegetables like broccoli contain sulforaphane, a sulfur-rich compound with promising anticancer effects and several other benefits. 

The unique compounds, antioxidants, and high fiber content of many vegetables are all worth noting. They can definitely promote health and have been shown to do so.

However, not everyone handles vegetables well, especially those with autoimmune or immunological issues. Moreover, most vegetables are naturally high in plant toxins like oxalates, which can accumulate in the body. For this reason, I eat more fruits than vegetables. 

If vegetables seem to help you thrive, such that you have great mood, energy, digestion, and so on, then by all means keep eating them. But if you have persisting issues with your gut, thyroid, skin, hair, mood, and so on, try cutting down on the veggies and eating more ripe fruit instead. When I made fruit my main source of fiber, my digestion improved significantly.     

7. Eat raw honey.

People have cherished honey for millennia. Raw honey is rich in antioxidants, beneficial enzymes, and prebiotics. It has proven anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antiviral properties and corresponding effects in the body.

Honey has also been shown to boost nitric oxide levels, so it’s great for blood circulation and typically has a strong aphrodisiac effect. 

8. Eat starchy foods that you digest well.

If you have any gut issues, then consider only eating starchy foods that are easy to digest: white rice, real sourdough bread, masa harina (ground nixtamalized corn), and white potatoes. The resistant starches in these foods break down quite easily during heating and cooking. 

Heating and cooking really matter when it comes to foods high in resistant starch, like potatoes. Too much resistant starch in the colon can lead to increased endotoxins (lipopolysaccharides), which are bacterial toxins found in the outer membrane of gram-negative bacteria. But if you cook your starches thoroughly, you can enjoy potatoes, pasta, and similarly starchy foods every now and then, provided your gut and digestion are healthy. 

White rice (Jasmine, Basmati, etc.) is an essential for many people, and for good reason. It’s the base of many dishes across cultures and cuisines. The same is true for bread and potatoes. These foods can be extremely useful if you’re trying to gain weight. 

Starchy foods like white rice, white potatoes, and bread are easier to digest than whole grains, sweet potatoes, beans, and other extremely starchy foods. I think the latter foods are worth cutting down on, especially if you suffer from digestive problems.

9. Eat eggs from healthy chickens and ducks.

Eggs are full of true vitamin A (retinol), vitamin D, vitamin E, B vitamins, choline, lutein, zeaxanthin, selenium, zinc, and other key minerals and compounds for optimal health. The cholesterol in eggs supports optimal hormonal health. 

Egg yolks contain all the micronutrients, fat, and cholesterol, while egg whites contain all the protein, about 95% of which our bodies can readily absorb and use.   

Eggs from pasture-raised chickens and ducks are best. These poultry live as nature intended: breathing fresh air, drinking clean water, eating grass and insects, getting sunlight, and moving about as they wish.       

10. Drink bone broth.

Our ancestors would use the bones, marrow, tendons, ligaments, feet, and skin of various cattle and poultry to prepare nourishing broths and stocks. 

Bone broth is packed with collagen, proline, glycine and glutamine. These compounds have pro-metabolic and healing effects in the body. Bone broth is also a great source of B vitamins, potassium, sodium, calcium, magnesium, selenium, copper, and zinc. As such, drinking bone broth is a great way to replenish your electrolytes. 

Due to all its beneficial constituents, bone broth potently lowers inflammation, improves gut health, and supports skin and hair health. 

11. Consume extra virgin olive oil.

Olive oil is prized by chefs for its exquisite taste, richness, aroma, pungency, and versatility. But its health benefits are even more remarkable. Olive oil is known to reduce the risk of cancers, coronary heart disease, hypertension, and neurodegenerative diseases. 

The oil’s health benefits stem from three powerful phenolic compounds within it: oleuropein, hydroxytyrosol, and tyrosol. All three are powerful antioxidants and free radical scavengers. Olives and olive leaves also contain these compounds, just in different concentrations.

Rich in polyphenols and healthy monounsaturated fats, olive oil has been shown to support and improve heart, brain, gut, immune, skin, hair, thyroid, and sexual health. 

Even though there are many fake or diluted “extra virgin” olive oils out there, real extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) isn’t hard to find. Here are some of the best EVOOs: 

  1. Olive Oil & Beyond – Italian Coratina EVOO
  2. Olive Oil & Beyond – Greek Koroneiki EVOO 
  3. Kouzini – Greek Lakonian EVOO   
  4. California Olive Ranch – 100% California EVOO 

In the grocery store, look for extra virgin olive oils that are single-origin, first cold pressed, raw/unfiltered, and organic. The four above are wonderful options, but there are many good olive oil brands. Coratina and Koroneiki olives and olive oils have the most polyphenols.   

12. Eat shellfish.

Shellfish like oysters, mussels, shrimp, and lobster are mineral-dense treasures of the sea. 

Oysters have more zinc per serving than any other food. Zinc is critical for DNA creation, cell growth, tissue healing, immune function, thyroid function, GI health, nervous system health, hormonal balance, and fertility. Oysters are also very high in copper, selenium, zinc, and iodine.  

Shrimps have high amounts of selenium, a mineral you absolutely need for proper thyroid hormone metabolism. Mussels are high in vitamin C, thiamine, riboflavin, folate, vitamin B12, iron, zinc, selenium, and iodine. Really, all shellfish contain a range of important micronutrients. They’re all also super high in protein.  

Oysters are most beneficial out of all shellfish, since their bioactive peptides have positive effects on immune regulation, intestinal microbiota, and testosterone synthesis

13. Eat wild-caught fish.

WIld-caught fish is high in protein; minerals like selenium, zinc, and potassium; and vitamins A, D, B1, B3, B5, B6, and B12.

Wild-caught salmon stands out for containing two potent pro-longevity substances: astaxanthin and parvalbumin. 

Even though fatty fish like salmon are nutritious for the reasons above, they’re relatively high in polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). See tip 21 where I shed light on PUFAs. Long story short, these fats aren’t good for you in excessive amounts. 

Eating salmon a few times a week is totally fine, since you get metabolism and longevity boosting minerals that make up for any negative effects the PUFAs may have. Saturated fat actively counteracts the negative metabolism-lowering effects of PUFAs, so cook your salmon in butter, ghee, or coconut oil. 

14. Eat walnuts.

Walnuts are amazing for brain and heart health. Several animal and human studies show that walnuts can enhance cognition and lessen the risk and/or advancement of MCI (mild cognitive impairment) and AD (Alzheimer’s disease). The neuroprotective effects of walnuts, plus its other benefits, stem from its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory constituents.

In one noteworthy study, eating walnuts prevented the oxidation of LDL cholesterol that can occur after a fatty meal. Oxidized cholesterol is bad because it can accumulate on artery walls. Researchers attributed this benefit to the high vitamin E (gamma tocopherol) content in walnuts, as well as the ellagitannins.  

Walnuts have potent anti-aging and pro-longevity effects thanks to a polyphenol they contain called pedunculagin. This compound is an ellagitannin, which turns into ellagic acid in the body. In the gut, specific microbes interact with ellagic acid and transform it into something called urolithin A. And from urolithin A come other urolithins (urolithins B, C, D, etc.). Urolithins are incredible compounds with immense anti-aging potential. These secondary phenolic metabolites have promising anticancer properties

As for the PUFAs in walnuts, certain gut bacteria actually transform them into vaccenic acid and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), both of which are cell-protective. 

15. Eat macadamia nuts.

Macadamia nuts are special because, similar to olive oil, they contain mostly monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs). Macadamia nuts provide lots of manganese and good amounts of thiamine, copper, magnesium, iron, vitamin B6, and vitamin E. The tocotrienols (vitamin E) and flavonoids in macadamia nuts are powerful antioxidants that fight inflammation and aging. 

16. Eat pistachios. 

Like macadamia nuts, pistachios are packed with protein, monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs), fiber, vitamins and minerals, plus other highly beneficial compounds like flavonoids, anthocyanins, phenolic acids, and carotenoids. The well-studied antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of pistachios and other tree nuts are due in large part to their polyphenols. Such polyphenols can even exert antimicrobial and antiviral effects.  

Pistachios can boost cognition, positively modulate human gut microbiota, improve skin health, regulate glucose, and enhance sexual health

17. Small handfuls of (specific) nuts suffice.

You only need small handfuls of macadamia nuts, walnuts, and pistachios every day to reap all the benefits. A handful of macadamia nuts with breakfast can improve satiety and energy levels. It’s better to eat walnuts and pistachios at night, since they contain some melatonin. 

I personally never see a need to eat other nuts like almonds and pecans. Macadamia nuts are best because they contain mostly MUFAs. Walnuts and pistachios are worth consuming a few times a week for the reasons given in the previous tips (mainly high polyphenols).

But even these specific nuts shouldn’t become a primary source of nutrition. You still want mostly saturated fats from coconut oil, tallow, suet, butter, ghee, and fatty cuts of meat. Among other things, this will ensure you maintain a good saturated fat to unsaturated fat ratio, which is critical for healthy metabolism, mitochondrial function, thyroid function, hormonal production, and energy balance.  

In summary, don’t go nuts with nuts. Small handfuls here and there will suffice. Soaking and sprouting nuts (to reduce antinutrients) are great ideas. I’d ditch the nut butters. 

18. Drink freshly squeezed fruit juice.

Freshly squeezed, unpasteurized fruit juices are packed with vitamins, electrolytes, and other minerals. Orange juice is one of the best sources of fully bioavailable and bioactive vitamin C, thiamine, magnesium, and potassium, in addition to health-promoting citrus flavonoids like naringenin and hesperidin. Oranges on their own are naturally high in these vitamins, minerals, and bioflavonoids, but OJ contains and provides them in a highly concentrated way. 

Watermelon is our most potent source of citrulline, which boosts nitric oxide and helps with vasodilation. Watermelon juice is the perfect pre-workout if you want insane pumps and vascularity. Pomegranate juice, another one of my favorites, will give you the same amazing pumps and vascularity. 

Pomegranate juice is extremely beneficial for your entire cardiovascular system because of its potent and well-documented antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-atherosclerotic effects. It cleanses, protects, and strengthens the arteries. Pomegranate is also great for the gut due to its astringent and antibacterial qualities. There’s significant research to support the efficacy of pomegranate juice for boosting various health parameters. 

19. Drink real coconut water.

Coconut water is one of the best sources of potassium and magnesium. There’s a significant amount of magnesium in a glass or two of real coconut water. If you want to up your daily magnesium intake, drink coconut water every day. 

Unless you live near coconut trees happily bearing coconuts for you, Harmless Harvest is your best option. They provide the purest, freshest coconut water you can find in any grocery store. They only use organic Nam Hom coconuts from Thailand.

20. Drink spring or filtered water.

We all know how important water is, but not what kind of water to drink. It’s definitely not tap water. Tip 26 explains why.  

Switch to natural spring water or filtered water. Spring water is slightly better from a health perspective, since it contains trace minerals. Sparkling water is just carbonated spring water.

If you go with filtered water, you can always add in trace minerals from a pure trace mineral supplement. Reverse osmosis provides the best water filtration.   

21. Avoid ALL seed and vegetable oils.

Out of all things sold as food items, there is nothing worse for your health than seed and vegetable oils.

Canola, corn, peanut, soybean, sunflower, safflower, and other seed/vegetable oils wreak havoc on your health. They’re highly concentrated sources of oxidized polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) which are extremely unstable lipid (fat) compounds.

These oils drastically lower metabolism, slash cellular energy, inhibit thyroid function, raise estrogen, weaken immunity, and reduce fertility. 

There is an alarming amount of research showing that oxidized PUFAs and their metabolites actively contribute to major diseases like cardiovascular disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes, obesity, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, and neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.    

22. Limit/avoid seeds. 

Seeds contain high amounts of PUFAs, much like seed oils. And although seeds (chia, hemp, pumpkin, etc.) contain various nutrients, they also contain anti-nutrients like phytic acid which block nutrient absorption. Phytic acid binds to minerals like zinc and iron in the gut and thus inhibits complete intestinal absorption. 

Certain seeds like black cumin seeds have undeniable medicinal properties and uses. But even such medicinal seeds and seed extracts should be used purposefully and in small doses. For example, 1-2 teaspoons or a standardized extract of black cumin seed (nigella sativa) can be extremely therapeutic on multiple levels. See tip 54 to learn more. 

Many people use flax seeds as a fiber supplement, but this isn’t ideal for the reasons above. And it’s especially not a good idea for men, since flax seeds contain phytoestrogens, which are estrogen-mimicking substances found in plants. But some argue that the phytoestrogens in flax seeds aren’t really a problem. Seeing that flax seeds can sweep the GI tract and effectively relieve constipation, some people consume them daily and experience significant benefits.  

Some great alternatives to flax seeds with similar stool-bulking and colon-sweeping effects are psyllium husks and PHGG. Both psyllium and PHGG are extremely well-researched.  

23. Limit grains. 

Traditionally, grains were always put through a long and careful preparation process. Not one of your ancestors willingly ate raw grains. There was always some combination of soaking, sprouting, grinding, mixing with starter cultures, and fermenting that needed to be done. We now see the wisdom of doing all this in the scientific literature. Grains naturally contain anti-nutrients like phytic acid, lectins, and gluten. Processing grains in the ways mentioned above reduce many of these toxic compounds so that we can digest them better. 

If you know how to prepare grains properly, or you can find sprouted organic grains, and you have no problem digesting them, then by all means include them in your diet. Certain grains are healthier than others. Barley stands out as potentially being the healthiest grain due to its incredibly high magnesium content, and magnesium isn’t abundant in most foods.

Even if you include them in your diet, I would prioritize simple carbohydrates like fruit, honey, maple syrup, and white rice. These are way easier to digest and you don’t have to worry about anti-nutrients. You can get all your fiber from fruits and vegetables too.

24. Limit legumes. 

If you grew up eating legumes and have no issues with them, keep doing you. Falafels, hummus, dal, lentil soup, and so on hold special places in people’s hearts. Moreover, many studies point out some noteworthy benefits of eating legumes, be it for gut microbiota diversity, bowel regularity, heart health, or weight loss.

But if you experience any digestive distress after eating legumes, consider minimizing or eliminating them for a while to see if your symptoms improve. 

Traditionally, legumes would also undergo soaking, sprouting, fermenting, and germinating. Like grains, legumes contain the following anti-nutrients: saponins, tannins, phytic acid, gossypol, lectins, protease inhibitors, amylase inhibitors, and goitrogens. These compounds bind with nutrients present in legumes (or grains) and reduce their bioavailability. 

25. Limit raw leafy greens. 

Raw greens essentially fall in the same camp as grains and legumes. Due to all the anti-nutrient compounds in them, especially oxalates, it’s not wise to make raw greens your main source of fiber or certain micronutrients. 

If you must eat kale, collard greens, and other raw greens, cook them. Cooking raw greens decreases their oxalates and increases their mineral content plus lutein and zeaxanthin. Boiling is most effective at reducing oxalates. 

Raw greens undoubtedly have medicinal properties and uses. For example, you can chew on some arugula, which is especially bitter, before meals to activate the bitter taste receptors on your tongue. This in turn will stimulate your vagus nerve; boost thyroid function; secrete stomach acid, bile acid, and pancreatic enzymes; and ultimately enhance digestion. 

But putting medicinal uses aside, greens (leaves and stems of plants) were never a core component of any healthy person’s diet. Most of our ancestors knew that animal foods, ripe fruit, and honey were most nourishing and energizing, so that’s what they prioritized. You don’t need leaves and stems in your diet.   

26. Don’t drink tap water.

Tap water contains a host of nasty chemical contaminants that you don’t want in your body. The types and concentrations of contaminants in tap water vary from place to place. Common contaminants include:

Heavy metals, estrogen, pesticide residue, PFAS (polyfluoroalkyl substances), microplastics like BPA (bisphenol A), DBPs (disinfection by-products), and fluoride. 

All these substances and any others present in tap water are deleterious to human health. They end up in the water supply from various sources and your city’s water filtration system cannot completely filter out these chemical toxins. 

These toxins are all endocrine disruptors that harm your hormonal health. 

PFAS, polyfluoroalkyl substances, are particularly alarming because they can remain and build up in your blood for years without breaking down. They’ve been named “forever chemicals” for this reason. 

Solution: Find pure spring/well water near you and/or invest in a good water filtration system. Don’t sacrifice any of your hormonal health when you have safe alternatives. Bathing water is also a concern since it’s all the same water, so a whole-house water filtration system would be the wisest long-term investment. 

27. Use coffee strategically.  

Coffee is a gift that people tend to misuse. Coffee has numerous benefits ranging from the more obvious ones like improved mental alertness, cognition, motivation, and heart rate to less obvious ones like improved cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, hormonal, and neuronal health. 

Coffee beans are a rich source of antioxidants. Coffee polyphenols called chlorogenic acids have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, anti-diabetes, and antihypertensive properties.

To fully reap the performance-enhancing and neuroprotective effects of coffee and caffeine in general, delay your caffeine intake until 1-2 hours after waking up. This is what Dr. Andrew Huberman, a neuroscientist and professor of neurobiology at Stanford Medicine, recommends. Doing this will ensure that you don’t interfere with your early morning cortisol. Cortisol peaks in the early morning and naturally wakes up your system. 

Side note: If you haven’t done so already, do check out Andrew Huberman’s podcast, Huberman Lab. It’s a goldmine of sound health information, research, and optimization strategies.

Another good practice is to drink coffee after having some food. A light breakfast will do. Since caffeine is a stimulant, it revs up your metabolism, heart rate, and body temperature. If you ingest it after food, it acts like active thyroid hormone (t3) in the body and make you feel energized. But if you ingest coffee or any other source of caffeine on an empty stomach, you may feel jittery or wired afterward. This is a stress response mediated by a rise in cortisol and adrenaline. Note that some people can tolerate coffee, and caffeine in general, just fine on an empty stomach.

Coffee is also great for digestion, gut motility, and regularity. The phenolic compounds in coffee, mainly chlorogenic acid, along with caffeine make your colon and intestinal muscles contract, giving you an easier bowel movement. 

28. Give up alcohol. 

Alcohol is poison for your cells and organs. It especially harms your liver and spikes your estrogen. It even depletes your body of precious B vitamins and minerals. Alcohol should have no place in your life if your goal is consistent optimal health.  

I know there’s resveratrol in red wine. Resveratrol is known for its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and anti-aging properties. As such, the natural phenolic compound has promising cardioprotective, neuroprotective, anti-cancer, blood-sugar stabilizing, and pro-longevity effects. 

But opt for a high-quality resveratrol supplement in place of red wine. The harms of drinking alcohol far outweigh the benefits.

Light Exposure

100 health tips benefits of sunlight

29. View sunlight at dawn, or as early as you can.

According to Dr. Andrew Huberman, early morning sunlight viewing is the single most important thing you can do for your health. By getting outside and viewing sunlight within the first hour of waking, you set your body’s circadian clock perfectly. This primordial practice of witnessing the sun come up and enjoying its first light gives you lasting wakefulness throughout the day and deeper sleep throughout the night. 

It’s a simple habit. Within the first hour of waking, go outside and look at or toward the sun. In the early morning, the sun is low and easy to look at directly without harming your eyes. But looking toward (in the direction of) the sun is just as effective, since the sun’s rays will still be hitting your eyes. Blink as you normally would. 5-10 min of viewing is all you need. Huberman says eyeglasses and contact lenses are fine, but no sunglasses.

It’s important you do this on cloudy days too. Even when the sun isn’t visible, go outside within the first hour of waking and look at the sky. View your surroundings, but keep your gaze lifted. Look straight and upward, toward the sky. You don’t want to look at the ground. By doing this, your eyes will take in all the light energy (photons) you need to kickstart and conquer the day. 

Getting sunlight in your eyes early in the day triggers a key cortisol spike that makes you awake and alert. It also aligns your body’s circadian clock with nature’s, such that when it’s nightfall, you’ll fall asleep much faster and stay asleep much longer.   

30. Expose your skin to 20-30 min of sunlight around noon. 

While early morning sunlight viewing helps you wake up, stay awake, fall asleep faster at night, and stay asleep through the night, getting vitamin D from the sun requires another activity. This activity is exposing your skin to sunlight during midday for about 20-30 min. Midday means anywhere from 10 am. to 3 pm. 

The sun reaches its zenith at midday. When the sun is high above the horizon, between 10 am and 3 pm., its UVB light is most intense. UVB light is what our bodies need to naturally produce vitamin D in abundance. 

The sunlight needs to directly hit your skin for vitamin D production to take place. Looking toward the sun will ensure sunlight is hitting your face and getting in your eyes. If you’re darker skinned, you’ll need to stay out in the sun for a bit longer, since the melanin in darker skin affects vitamin D synthesis. I try to get 30 min of midday sunlight every day. 

If there’s cloud cover, extend your sun exposure by 10 min or so. Cloudy days just mean you have to stay out for longer, not skip sun exposure. One last thing: Don’t wear sunscreen or eyeglasses while you do this exercise, on sunny or cloudy days. Let the sun coat your skin. Once you’ve gotten enough sunlight, you can apply a safe sunscreen and cover your eyes.

31. Don’t get burned or hurt your eyes from sunlight exposure. 

This is an important safety tip. Health researchers and practitioners alike recommended safe sun exposure, as per some of the guidelines I outlined above. If it’s extremely hot out, do use a good sunscreen which has zinc oxide as its main ingredient and contains no toxins. If the light is so intense that it’s hurting your eyes, wear sunglasses. Common sense, I know, but good to emphasize nonetheless.  

Past the 30 min mark of midday sunlight exposure, sunscreen is a good idea. If the rays are weak, I push it to ~40 min without sunscreen. But if you’re out in the heat for any longer, a clean and effective sunscreen will protect your skin. 

As for sunlight viewing, just make sure your eyes don’t hurt. You can look toward the sun as long as there’s no feeling of discomfort or pain.  

32. Get sunlight throughout the day, if you can. 

Viewing sunlight in the early morning and exposing your skin to sunlight at midday are vital and doable, but getting 10 min of sunlight every few hours until sunset is ideal

Dr. Samer Hattar, Chief of the Section on Light and Circadian Rhythms at the National Institute of Mental Health, recommends people get as much light as possible, preferably from the sun, throughout the day (up until sunset). He emphasizes the benefits of safe sunlight exposure for optimal mood, mental clarity, learning, cognition, hormone levels, stress levels, and appetite.  

If you work on your own schedule and can afford to be outdoors often, then make the sun your steady companion. The benefits of sunlight vary depending on the time of day. Bouts of safe sunlight exposure spread out across the day will give you all those benefits. 

Sunlight boosts your mood, drive, focus, energy, passion, libido, and entire metabolism. It positively shifts your intestinal microbiota and diversifies your gut microbiome. It’s vital to cardiovascular, nerve, neuronal, and cellular health. It potently lowers stress and boosts immunity. I could go on and on. Essential to optimal physical and mental health, sunlight is a blessing to be especially grateful for.

33. View sunlight near dusk.

Viewing sunlight near dusk, which is when the sun’s going down, is also crucial for circadian alignment. Watch the sunset whenever you can. Seeing that last bit of sunlight before the sun finally dips below the horizon triggers calming mechanisms in your body, namely, the release and utilization of melatonin. This simple habit, along with viewing sunlight near dawn, will ensure your body naturally makes all the melatonin it needs by nightfall. 

34. Buy a vitamin D lamp if you’re mostly indoors.

If you’re mostly indoors due to work, school, or otherwise, and you can’t make it a habit to get adequate sunlight exposure to your skin midday every single day, a vitamin D lamp is a good idea. Vitamin D supplementation is also a good idea, which is tip 91, but you need actual light. Bright warm light provides plenty of benefits beyond vitamin D. 

A vitamin D lamp, like the Sperti Vitamin D Sunlamp, provides real UVB light which stimulates Vitamin D production. In an independent clinical study, the Sperti D/UV-Fluorescent lamp effectively raised levels of active vitamin D3 (25-hydroxy vitamin D3) in healthy adults after regular exposures over a four-week period. Measuring 25-hydroxy vitamin D3 levels is the best way of knowing your body’s vitamin D levels.  

35. Reap the amazing benefits of red or near-infrared light.

Red light or near-infrared therapy can effectively reduce stress and anxiety, induce wakefulness and alertness, increase energy, aid in wound healing and tissue repair, stimulate hair growth, improve skin conditions like acne and minor scarring, relieve arthritic pain and stiffness, relieve muscle soreness, accelerate muscle recovery, and more. 

For most of the listed benefits, you need to shine red light on certain parts of your body for certain amounts of time. For all the mental, cognitive, mood-enhancing, energizing, and calming effects, shine red light on the upper part of your body, especially from the shoulders up, for at least 10 min.  

36. Minimize bright light after sunset.

Dim down all your indoor lights after sunset. Once the sun goes down, your body prepares for sleep. It releases certain hormones and neurotransmitters post-sunset for proper sleep onset and through the night for proper sleep quality and duration. Bright light in the evening can disrupt this natural process. 

If you expose yourself to bright light of any color in the evening, your body will think you’re trying to stay awake. Bright light, especially into the eyes, always sparks a cascade of biochemical processes in the body that are designed to promote wakefulness and alertness.

Evening or nighttime events usually use bright lights. Go where you need to go. But once you arrive home, keep all your indoor lights turned off or low. 

37. Block blue light on all devices after sunset.

This tip builds off of the last, in that blue light is bright and promotes wakefulness and alertness. Simply change the display settings on each of your devices such that your screen gives off warm light from sunset to sunrise. But even with the warm (yellow/orange) light, you want to minimize your screen’s brightness after sunset.

On Apple devices, go to display settings and turn on Night Shift. Set Night Shift to turn on automatically from sunset to sunrise.  


100 health tips sleep like a baby

38. Embrace total darkness through the night. 

For the deepest, most rejuvenating sleep possible, you need to sleep in utter darkness. A very subtle, barely noticeable light may not pose a problem to sleep onset or duration, but close to complete darkness is preferred. If your blinds don’t completely block out all light, buy some blackout blinds.  

If you need to use the washroom in the middle of the night, use minimal light. It takes very few photons of light to initiate wakefulness mechanisms even at night.  

39. Your bedtime is when you first start feeling sleepy. 

For the vast majority of people, this is between 10-11 pm. You may be a 9 pm or 12 am person, that’s still fine. But you have to find your optimal bedtime. This depends heavily on your wake time, morning and evening activities, sunlight and artificial light exposure, macronutrient and micronutrient status, resting heart rate, hormone and neurotransmitter levels, stress, and so on. 

Pay attention to when you first start feeling sleepy in the evening. That’s your true bedtime according to sleep expert Dr. Matthew Walker. 

40. Time your caffeine intake; no caffeine past a certain time.  

Dr. Matthew Walker, the sleep expert (and diplomat) from UC Berkeley, recommends getting your last caffeine kick at least 12 hours before your bedtime, so super early. This is playing it super safe. Huberman says 8-10 hours before your bedtime is good enough. You don’t want caffeine messing up your sleep.

Note that caffeine’s effectiveness depends on a few factors, including your caloric intake, carbohydrate intake in particular, and blood glucose levels. If you’re eating over 2000 calories a day with much of that coming from carbs, you’ll feel less stimulated from caffeine. You’ll likely be able to push your last cup of coffee, yerba mate, or black tea well into the late afternoon. But this still isn’t ideal for sleep optimization. Experiment and see what works best for you. 

41. Use dim light at night.

Dim light is relaxing while bright light is invigorating. If you get up in the middle of the night for whatever reason, but you intend to go back to sleep, avoid looking directly at any kind of light while you’re up. Use dim lights to navigate your way to the bathroom and back. Any dim warm light works. Seeing bright light at 2 or 3 am could accidentally wake up your nervous system. 

42. Shorter naps are better.

This one may seem obvious. If you nap for an hour or more around midday or in the evening, don’t expect to fall asleep easily at night. Naps are both rejuvenating and invigorating. 20-30 mins, give or take a 10 mins, is all you need to quickly and effectively recharge your system. 

43. Sleep and wake up around the same time every day. 

Once you find your true/optimal bedtime, stick to it as best as you can. You can also find your optimal wake time; see the next tip. But it’s important that your sleep and wake times are consistent. If they’re always changing and fluctuating, you’ll see the effects in every area of your life. Aligning your circadian clock and listening to your body are fundamental ways of establishing a regular sleep and wake routine that works for you.

44. Exercise earlier on in the day. 

If you work out near late in the day and struggle falling asleep at night, then try working out earlier. Exercise increases body temperature, heart rate, cortisol, and adrenaline. But to fall and stay asleep, your body temperature needs to drop by a few degrees. Your resting heart rate should also drop a bit. Your cortisol and adrenaline levels should be low. Evening exercise will likely offset all of this. 

45. Keep your bedroom and bed cool. 

Building off of the last tip, your body is designed to sleep in a cool environment. Nighttime is when things tend to cool down. Wear light and loose pajamas and don’t use a blanket if you feel hot. If it’s extremely hot where you live, here are some cooling tools you look into:

46. A bedtime snack might just do the trick. 

This simple hack can help you if your issue is stress and anxiety. If you eat a snack about 30-60 min before bedtime that’s rich in natural sugars and electrolytes like sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium, then you can almost guarantee a good night’s sleep. 

Natural sugars lower cortisol, which drives stress and anxiety when elevated at the wrong times. Salt lowers adrenaline. Potassium regulates and calms your heart rate. If you struggle with heart palpitations or a “loud” heart beat, increase your potassium. Fruits, milk, and coconut water are some of the best sources. Magnesium has a similarly relaxing effect on the heart and entire nervous system. Real coconut water is also high in magnesium, but you can always supplement with magnesium bicarbonate, glycinate, taurate, or l-threonate.   

Some snack ideas: 

  1. A tablespoon of raw honey with a pinch of salt
  2. A glass of milk with some honey and a pinch of salt
  3. Fruit juice, preferably fresh, but organic fruit juice concentrates are great too  

47. Stretch before bed and once you’re snuggled in. 

Stretching relieves tension, improves joint mobility, improves muscle tone, stabilizes mood, lowers stress, and induces relaxation. Just a 5 min full-body stretch before bed is sure to relax your body and mind, especially when paired with deep and controlled breathing. 

Once you’re all snuggled up in bed, try stretching your legs outward, focusing on your toes. Curl your toes up, hold for 7 seconds, relax. Curl them down, hold for 7, and release. I do this every night and fall asleep a couple minutes later. It’s not one of my big sleep hacks; just an easy relaxation technique. 

48. Magnesium 

Magnesium is an essential mineral that plays numerous key roles in the body. It’s critical for good heart, brain, muscle, bone, and nerve health. Some of the best food sources of magnesium are oranges, coconut water, milk, meat, barley, dates, and some nuts.  

Magnesium supplementation can also be quite beneficial. The most effective supplemental forms of magnesium seem to be magnesium glycinate, taurate, and l-threonate. Huberman’s famous sleep cocktail contains magnesium l-threonate. 

I’ve personally tried and benefited from magnesium glycinate and taurate. Both induce whole-body relaxation, decrease sleep onset time, and increase sleep duration and quality.   

49. Taurine  

Taurine is a known as a conditionally essential amino acid because it’s not incorporated into proteins but abundant throughout the body and important for an array of physiological functions. It’s particularly abundant in nerves and heart muscles.  

Taurine aids in relaxation by agonizing GABA(A) receptors. I take 1 gram of taurine on most nights. I consistently experience a calming effect plus a complete cessation of any racing thoughts I may have.

But taurine has greater benefits than helping you fall and stay asleep. 

Epidemiological studies show that people who live the longest get plenty of taurine from their diet. Meat, fish, eggs, and dairy are the best dietary sources of taurine.

Taurine strengthens, safeguards, and prolongs the life spans of heart muscle cells. It can also help prevent atherosclerosis. Its cardio-protective effects make it great for enhancing athletic performance and endurance. 

Taurine promotes healthy digestion and metabolism through various mechanisms. Since it’s a good pro-metabolic substance, it has promising anti-diabetic and anti-obesity potential.

Note: Don’t take taurine if you have bile acid malabsorption (BAM) and GI issues tied to that condition.

50. Glycine

Glycine is an amino acid with many functions and benefits: collagen synthesis, muscle growth, tissue repair, glutathione and creatine production, stress reduction, and more. Glycine is abundant in gelatinous cuts of meat such as lamb shanks, beef shin, oxtail, and beef cheeks, as well as bone broth. I prefer food, but there are many high-quality gelatin powders on the market.  

Glycine is able to induce, prolong, and deepen sleep by calming the brain and dropping the core body temperature.

Note: Don’t take taurine if you have bile acid malabsorption (BAM) and GI issues tied to that condition.

51. Apigenin 

Apigenin is a flavonoid found in numerous plants and herbs. A flavonoid is basically a compound plants produce to protect themselves. But apigenin is specifically a flavone. Flavones are specific flavonoids with promising nutraceutical value. They’re non-essential nutrients.  

Chamomile tea is one of the richest sources of apigenin. Other food sources include parsley, celery, oranges, oregano, mushrooms, and onions.  

Apigenin is a useful tool for sleep because it is known to reduce anxiety at the right doses. It can even be sedative at a high enough dose. To exert its anxiolytic effects, apigenin acts as a benzodiazepine ligand

Besides promoting sleep, apigenin has been studied for a number of other benefits. Apigenin protects the body against numerous cancers by targeting cancer cells and evading non-cancerous cells. 

Apigenin can even boost testosterone in men by modifying a receptor in testicular leydig cells called TBXA2 and inhibiting the aromatase enzyme. 

You can get sufficient apigenin from diet alone. You can drink a cup of chamomile tea every night and eat parsley, oranges, onions, and other fruits and vegetables on a daily basis. 

52. L-theanine 

L-theanine, also called theanine, is non-protein amino acid which is naturally present in green tea and some mushrooms. 

L-theanine is another relaxing compound with well-established anxiolytic properties and corresponding effects within the body. Many people take l-theanine during the day to balance the stimulating effects of caffeine and negate any jittery feeling that may occur. At night, people take it to shut off stress pathways, feel relaxed, and fall asleep. A more relaxed brain state leads to better sleep.   

53. Ecklonia cava 

Ecklonia cava is a brown seaweed found in the southern coast of Korea and Japan. It’s rich in  polyphenols called phlorotannins which have powerful antioxidant properties. Ecklonia cava is one of the richest sources of phloroglucinols, which are antioxidant compounds unique to sea plants. The seaweed also contains other beneficial compounds such as peptides, fucoidans, and carotenoids. 

As far as sleep is concerned, Ecklonia cava can improve sleep onset and quality by acting on the central nervous system via certain GABA(A) receptors. Triphlorethol A, a special polyphenol present in Ecklonia, appears to reduce sleep onset latency (the time it takes for you to fall asleep) and boost non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep. 

54. Black seed (nigella sativa)

Black seed, also known as black cumin, is a powerful medicinal spice with a wide range of benefits and applications. Its most potent phytochemical compound is thymoquinone (TQ), a quinone with remarkable antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anticancer effects

Black cumin has the potential to fix insomnia because it drastically lowers cortisol. In a pilot sleep study, 15 subjects were given black cumin oil (BCO) capsules at a dose of 200 mg once every night after dinner. The researchers measured significant increases in total sleep time, sleep latency and sleep efficiency, coupled with a significant drop in cortisol levels.  

Black cumin potently reduces oxidative stress and inflammation and enhances immunity, cell survival, and energy metabolism. It exerts potent antibacterial and antiviral effects within the gut. Primarily due to its TQ content, black cumin is able to promote metabolic, digestive, hepatic, respiratory, cardiovascular, neurological, and reproductive health.

Black cumin can boost thyroid function. It’s been shown to significantly increase T3 and T4 and significantly decrease TSH. I always feel its pro-thyroid effects a short while after consumption.

Researchers have confirmed the wide-ranging benefits of black cumin: “Pharmacological studies on N. sativa have confirmed its antidiabetic, antitussive, anticancer, antioxidant, hepatoprotective, neuro-protective, gastroprotective, immunomodulator, analgesic, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, spasmolytic, and bronchodilator activity.” 

I always keep ground black cumin seeds on hand. I use them to alleviate allergies, quell anxiety, quash fear, improve digestion, and promote deeper sleep. I sprinkle half a teaspoon on whatever I’m eating for dinner. You can also add some to a spoonful of raw honey and eat it like that. Black cumin and honey work synergistically to kill off pathogenic bacteria and combat various ailments that stem from bacterial overgrowth and imbalance.  

55. Wear a sleep mask. 

Want to maximize your sleep quality? Use a 100% blackout sleep mask. The only one I know of is the Manta Sleep Mask by Manta Sleep. It blocks out every last sliver of light, which is why it promises to boost REM sleep and deep sleep.  

It’s a simple, cost-effective, portable intervention that you can use to sleep at any time and place. It’s especially useful for siestas, which people have around midday when daylight is often inescapable. 

The Manta Sleep Mask is lightweight, fully adjustable, and highly durable. It’s designed so that it won’t put pressure on your eyes or crush your eyelashes. 

This just seems like a no-brainer to me. Better sleep means better everything. 

56. Use nasal strips if you have trouble breathing correctly.

For most of your life, whether you’re awake or asleep, you should be breathing exclusively through your nose. Nasal breathing is our innate mode of respiration. If you’re doing strenuous exercise, it’s fine and probably necessary to breathe through your mouth from time to time. But breathing through your nose protects your body’s various systems: respiratory, circulatory, nervous, and all others, since everything is connected. 

Nasal breathing filters the air you breathe in, keeps all your airways healthy, increases oxygen uptake and circulation, creates nitric oxide (NO), improves lung volume and diaphragm function, and reduces stress levels, just to name a few benefits. 

Many people have become accustomed to mouth (oral) breathing, which is terrible for your health and facial aesthetics. One reason why people resort to mouth breathing is because their nasal passages get blocked. 

This is where nasal strips come in. Nasal strips can help you breathe better by relieving nasal congestion. They’re effective and cheap, and you can wear them day and night. You can find nasal strips on Amazon or at your local supermarket.     

57. Tape your mouth if you’re prone to mouth breathing.  

Taping your mouth before falling asleep is another way to ensure you only breathe from your nose while you’re asleep. You only need a little piece of tape. Porous tape is best. 

Gut Health

gut health tips

58. Prioritize your gut health.  

Gut problems will negatively impact your sleep and pretty much every other area of your life. Serious gut problems include small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), dysbiosis (imbalance of gut microbiota), slow transit time, poor gut motility, constipation, things moving too fast, any sort of abdominal pain, acid reflux, and several other conditions. You don’t want to deal with any of these. And if you do suffer from any, you want a solution more than anything else.

You want to feel energized after eating, experience no bloating or gas, have well-formed and complete bowel movements, achieve the legendary ghost wipe (or close) each time, take about 5 min to finish your business, feel light and relieved afterward, never have brain fog, and always have a flat tummy. 

The immense blessing of having excellent gut health cannot be understated. If you prioritize your gut health, I guarantee your entire life will improve. This is because your gut influences your brain, mood, energy, immunity, thyroid function, hormone levels, stress levels, sexual function, skin and hair health, and other key aspects of your physiology.    

59. Figure out your food sensitivities.  

The foundation of my diet is meat, white fish, fruit, fruit juice, olive oil, white rice, and honey. On this foundation, I tried introducing other foods, starting with dairy. I knew I couldn’t tolerate milk with mostly A1 proteins, so I tried milk with mostly or only A2 proteins: milk from jersey cows, goats, sheep, and water buffalo. I could digest all of these quite well, so long as I didn’t overdo it. 

Another realization I had was that fermented dairy products, even from regular A1 milk, are always easier to digest. Kefir, Greek yogurt, and Icelandic yogurt (Skyr) are incredibly nutritious, improve digestion, and increase gut microbial diversity. See tip 61

When I experimented with veggies, I realized all the “veggies” I could tolerate and digest well are just fruits: cucumbers, tomatoes, zucchini, pumpkin, bell peppers, and okra. I can also digest some well-cooked root vegetables like beets and carrots. 

Super starchy foods like potatoes, grains, beans, and legumes are my culprits. Raw vegetables are also a no-go for me.  

It’s important that you pinpoint your own food sensitivities. You can do this fairly easily by starting with a strong base of grass-fed red meat, ripe fruit, and raw honey, then adding back in different foods one at a time and seeing how you do.

Of course, if you seem to handle every kind of food well, then eat whatever you like. But prioritizing the most nutritious and least toxic foods just makes the most sense. 

60. Eat enough fiber to keep things moving. 

You need fiber to keep your gut microflora healthy, diverse, and balanced. Fiber feeds your gut microflora, hence all fibers act as prebiotics. There’s soluble and insoluble fiber, and each type has its benefits. 

My preferred sources of fiber are dates, figs, mangoes, strawberries, kiwis, sweet peas, and other fruits. I keep psyllium husk on hand, but when I’m eating lots of ripe fruit and fermented foods like kefir, I don’t need extra fiber. 

My two or three meals per day are all similar: some kind of animal protein, a bit of animal fat or olive oil, maybe some rice, and a good amount of fruits. Sometimes I’ll cook up some veggies or mushrooms. I also eat honey or drink fruit juice with each meal. My fermented food of choice is kefir, which I like to drink after meals. It’s the fiber from the fruits and veggies and the probiotics from the kefir that keep things running relatively smoothly.    

61. Eat some fermented foods.

Here are some fermented foods you can include in your diet: milk kefir, coconut milk kefir, water kefir, yogurt, cheese, sauerkraut, kimchi, miso, pickles, and brine. 

In a 17-week randomized, prospective study published in Cell titled “Gut-microbiota-targeted diets modulate human immune status” Drs. Erica and Justin Sonnenberg, Dr. Christopher Gardner, and their research teams assessed the impact of plant-based fiber and fermented foods on the human microbiome and immune system in healthy adults.

They showed that while a high-fiber diet changes microbiome function and gives rise to different immune responses, a fermented-food diet boosts microbiome diversity and reduces markers of inflammation.

The main practical takeaway from the study is to consume multiple servings of fermented foods every day to improve gut microbiome health and reduce inflammation.

I drink a cup of kefir/yogurt after each meal. Goat’s milk kefir is best, but other kefirs and yogurts are also effective. I notice better bowel movements and faster transit time.  

62. Consider taking a good probiotic supplement. 

Probiotic supplements are definitely worth considering if you react negatively to fermented foods. People with histamine intolerance and mast cell activation syndrome (MCAS) should be careful with fermented foods, since fermented foods increase histamine and can aggravate negative symptoms. Symptoms and signs of such conditions include allergies, asthma, and strong immune responses. 

I personally grew up with asthma and allergies. For years I struggled with on-and-off symptoms of histamine intolerance like nasal congestion, runny nose, dry/tickly coughs that would last for months, migraines, brain fog, and fatigue.  

Fortunately, I’ve found my workarounds: N-acetylcysteine (NAC) and collagen peptides (for glycine) to boost glutathione production, plus natural potent antihistamines and mast-cell stabilizers like quercetin, perilla extract, black seed, and Indian frankincense. Just as importantly, I prioritize foods rich in B-vitamins like red meat and eggs to ensure proper histamine metabolism. I can now consume certain amounts of fermented foods and reap the benefits. This wasn’t possible before my interventions. 

If you suffer from histamine intolerance and MCAS, certain probiotic strains can decrease histamine and help stabilize mast cells. Other probiotic strains have no effect on histamine; they’re neutral. This is why probiotic products can be useful, as they contain specific and often targeted strains. 

Bifidobacterium infantis, breve, bifidum, longum, and lactis, as well as lactobacillus gasseri, salivarius, and rhamnosus (particularly GG) are all excellent for people with histamine intolerance. Here’s a wonderful low-histamine probiotic formula I keep on hand: Sensitive Probiotic Powder by Smidge.  

63. Fill your cabinet with powerful herbs, spices, and pure salt. 

Coriander, ginger, clove, thyme, oregano, cinnamon, garlic, onion, and so on all have numerous beneficial properties. Not only that, most people can’t live without certain seasonings, flavors, and aromas. Others use little to no seasoning. These folk are either lazy or possess palettes devoted to salt. 

When it comes to salt, just make sure it’s pure. Salt naturally contains many trace minerals, no unhealthy pollutants, or additives. But we live in an unnatural world, so most salt on the market is stripped of trace minerals, polluted with microplastics, and packaged with additives. 

Of course, there are always good brands and products; you just have to find them. Redmond Real Salt® is one option. It’s an unrefined sea salt mined from an ancient seabed in Utah that’s free from modern pollutants. It’s pure, unprocessed, and packed with trace minerals. The distinct taste is unmatched. There are many other pure, unprocessed, mineral-rich salts you can find online.   

64. Eat gelatinous cuts of meat. 

Gelatinous cuts of meat like lamb shanks, oxtail, beef shin and beef cheeks are rich in glycine, which I talked about in tip 50. But not only glycine, these pieces are equally rich in proline, hydroxyproline, lysine, glutamic acid, other amino acids, bioactive peptides, growth factors, vitamins, and minerals that support your gut and overall health. 

Gelatin protects and strengthens the gut lining, and gut lining integrity is fundamental to good health. Leaky gut occurs when the enterocytes and tight junctions (TJs) that form the intestinal epithelial barrier become dysfunctional and increase permeation of luminal antigens, endotoxins, and bacteria into the bloodstream.

Gelatin from gelatinous cuts of meat, bone broth, and powders have healing compounds that can promote gut barrier integrity and potentially reverse leaky gut. 

65. Support your gut lining in other ways. 

Apart from gelatin, you can look into other supplements that can protect and heal the gut lining. These include zinc l-carnosine, colostrum, DGL licorice, glutamine, MSM, aloe vera, and BPC-157.  

66. Good gut motility and complete elimination are paramount.  

Gut motility, or gastrointestinal (GI) motility, refers to the movements of the gastrointestinal system and its contents. Each part of the GI tract (esophagus, stomach, small intestine, and large intestine) fulfills a unique digestive function that involves some kind of motility and sensation. 

Your GI tract should be propelling all its digested contents out of your body on a consistent basis. You need at least one full bowel movement a day for optimal health. This requires a robust digestion, for which you need sufficient stomach acid and digestive enzyme secretion, a mostly sterile small intestine, a healthy colon with myriad beneficial bacteria, healthy nervous and muscular systems, good thyroid function, and sufficient cellular energy. 

Poor GI motility results in constipation. 

Your diet and gut microbiome are the central factors governing gut motility and overall gut health, so I’ll briefly re-emphasize some nutrition tips:   

Eat red meat, especially gelatinous red meat. Red meat is rich in stearic acid, glycine, taurine, creatine, carnitine, carnosine, anserine, and 4-hydroxyproline. All these nutrients are pro-metabolic, pro-thyroid, hormone-protective, and anti-inflammatory. If your thyroid is functioning optimally and anabolic hormones are high, you’ll naturally have a fast metabolism, which goes hand-in-hand with good GI motility. An under-active thyroid and low levels of active thyroid hormone (T3) can lead to slow transit time and poor GI motility. Dairy and eggs are other basic pro-metabolic foods.

Fiber is crucial for gut motility, so eat fruits and maybe some veggies with each meal. Fiber improves stool formation, softens stool, shortens transit time, prevents constipation, and mechanically stimulates colonic mucosa. Fibers also feed your gut microflora.

The next 5 tips (up to tip 71) are some specific tools you can use to improve and optimize gut motility, prevent constipation, and completely empty your bowels every day. 

67. Ginger

Eat, garnish with, and make tea from ginger. Ginger is one of the absolute best spices to always have in your kitchen. Ginger acts as a natural prokinetic, meaning it promotes gut motility. Two bioactive compounds in ginger, gingerols and shogaols, are responsible for many of ginger’s benefits, including better gut motility. 

This study affirms ginger’s efficacy: “Ginger accelerates gastric emptying and stimulates antral contractions in healthy volunteers. These effects could potentially be beneficial in symptomatic patient groups.” 

68. Thiamine (vitamin B1) plus its cofactors

Get sufficient thiamine (vitamin B1) along with its cofactors: Thiamine is crucial for gut motility. Here’s why:  

Your nervous system needs sufficient thiamine, as well as the other B vitamins, to function. Firstly, thiamine helps with nerve transmission and is needed to produce neurotransmitters GABA, glutamate, aspartate, and acetylcholine. 

Secondly, without enough thiamine, your vagus nerve and entire autonomic nervous system cannot function properly. Your vagus nerve regulates gut motility, stomach acid and digestive enzyme secretion, and intestinal barrier integrity. 

Cofactors of thiamine include vitamin B5, choline, magnesium, potassium, molybdenum, selenium, and manganese. To get the full effects of thiamine, you need these cofactors. 

I supplement with 200 mg of thiamine HCL every day right after breakfast. Orange juice (OJ), fish, and meat are good sources of thiamine. OJ naturally contains many thiamine cofactors like magnesium and potassium in high amounts. Meat and seafood contain most of the cofactors too. Maple syrup and macadamia nuts are excellent sources of manganese. 

69. Perilla frutescens

Perilla frutescens is a plant native to the Himalayas and Southeast Asia. It goes by many names and has many culinary and medicinal uses. 

A comprehensive review affirms that P. frutescens contains roughly 400 different bioactive compounds, including alkaloids, terpenoids, quinines, polyphenolic compounds, flavonoids, anthocyanins, and tocopherols.

In the same review, the researchers affirm that “P. frutescens showed strong anti-inflammatory, antidepressant, anti-spasmodic, anticancer, antioxidant, antimicrobial, insecticidal, neuroprotective, and hepatoprotective effects.” 

Perilla frutescens can effectively improve gut motility and relieve digestive discomfort. In a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind human pilot study with 50 relatively healthy subjects with gastrointestinal discomfort and reduced bowel movements, P. frutescens significantly improved all GI symptoms over time during the intervention phase. The plant’s prokinetic and anti-inflammatory effects, as demonstrated in the promising results of this well-designed human study, are definitely worth considering.

I currently take a Perilla frutescens extract supplement from Pure Encapsulations. It’s a bit expensive, but lasts 90 days at one capsule a day. The prokinetic effect of this plant extract is undeniable, even at a small dose of 150 mg per day (morning/evening on an empty stomach). 

70. Butyrate

Butyrate is a key short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) produced when gut bacteria ferment dietary fibers in the lower intestinal tract. The functions and benefits of butyrate in the human body are well-documented.  

Butyrate helps your colonic mucosa maintain homeostasis and influences how excitable your neurons are. It also helps maintain gut barrier function by facilitating the assembly of tight junctions. 

Butyrate helps regulate the enteric nervous system (ENS) and colonic motility. In one animal study, butyrate significantly increased the proportion of choline acetyltransferase (ChAT), which is an enzyme your body needs to synthesize the vital neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Acetylcholine plays a crucial role in gastrointestinal motility. 

Hence, the authors of the study conclude that butyrate may be useful for treating gut motility disorders linked to slow colonic transit. 

I used this butyrate supplement for about a month and noticed better bowel motility, gastric clearance, and faster transit time.    

71. Coffee/black tea

This is my second mention of coffee (see tip 27). I previously mentioned the bowel-stimulating effects of coffee, but I thought I’d share my personal experience.  

I usually drink a cup of strong coffee after my first meal. Post-meal coffee revs up my metabolism and energy, but also stimulates a final bowel movement. I’ve gotten pretty good at reading my body, so I know whenever I need to go. 

Coffee is wonderful. The dark polyphenol-rich drink is known to stimulate colonic motor activity, especially in the distal colon. Just as importantly, coffee is known to stimulate gastric acid, biliary, and pancreatic secretion. This is why coffee is so beneficial for digestion.   

The phenolic compounds in coffee are primarily responsible for increasing gastrointestinal motility, but caffeine also plays a role. Any tea that’s high in phenolic acids like chlorogenic acid is great for stimulating gut motility. Decaffeinated coffee or tea is also effective, again due to the phenolic acids.   

Coffee is great for the gut microbiome because it increases Firmicutes bacterium CAG 95, a good gut bug that converts dietary fiber into butyrate. 

I understand coffee isn’t for everyone. If coffee affects you negatively in some way, or you feel you don’t need it, don’t force yourself to drink it. You don’t need coffee for energy or gut motility; it’s just a highly useful drink.  

72. It’s better to avoid artificial sweeteners. 

Artificial sweeteners can interrupt something called quorum-sensing (QS). 

Quorum-sensing is how your gut bacteria communicate to each other. QS regulates secretion systems (SS), among other things. Secretion systems are crucial for proper bacterial communication. 

Consuming artificial sweeteners with carbohydrates can negatively affect insulin sensitivity. Here’s a summary of the findings from an important study that many like to reference:

“These findings indicate that consumption of sucralose in the presence of a carbohydrate rapidly impairs glucose metabolism and results in longer-term decreases in brain, but not perceptual sensitivity to sweet taste, suggesting dysregulation of gut-brain control of glucose metabolism.”

Dalenberg JR, et al. Short-Term Consumption of Sucralose with, but Not without, Carbohydrate Impairs Neural and Metabolic Sensitivity to Sugar in Humans. Cell Metab. 2020

73. Go on short walks after your meals.  

A short post-meal walk can help get those digestive juices flowing, improve insulin sensitivity, and regulate blood sugar. About 7-10 min is all you need. 


health tips for fitness

74. Go on long walks in nature. 

Besides your short post-meal walks, which you can obviously do outside, it’s good to set aside 45 min to an hour in your daily schedule for a nice long walk. I typically go on a long walk soon after I wake up. It’s so basic but so effective at boosting my alertness, energy, and mood. 

The point of scheduling a long walk is to ensure you walk close to 10,000 steps a day. Any time of the day works, but the earlier the better. Soon after waking, I drink a glass of warm water with a pinch of salt, then head out to walk. Walking outside first thing in the morning just kick-starts my metabolism, activates my neurons, and primes my mind and body for a long day ahead.

If you have to rush to work early in the morning, a shorter walk, maybe 10-15 min, will suffice to wake up your body, increase blood flow, and so on. You can schedule a longer walk after work. 

The Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) published studies in JAMA Neurology and in JAMA Internal Medicine showing that walking ~10,000 steps a day improves cardiovascular and neurological health. People who walk ~10,000 steps a day are far less likely to suffer any kind of cardiovascular or neurological decline. 

Walking in nature is energizing, calming, and healing all at the same time. You feel physically and mentally rejuvenated after a long walk in the forest or over some hills, especially when the weather is great. Virgin nature is incomparably healing. 

75. Do compound exercises every day for a month.  

If you don’t have a daily/weekly exercise routine but want to start exercising seriously, do zero-equipment, bodyweight, compound exercises for a month. Compound exercises simultaneously train multiple muscle groups. Push-ups, pull-ups, and squats are prime examples.   

Your first goal is to make exercising an essential daily habit—something you need to do daily.    

I started exercising relatively seriously by doing around ~50-60 push-ups and ~50 air squats every day. I’d do 30 push-ups and 25 squats before each of my two meals. 

Slowly but surely, I was able to increase my reps and volume for each exercise. Now, even when I’m traveling, 80 push-ups and 60 air squats per day total is a really enjoyable way of maintaining a good level of fitness and muscle mass. 

Since I knew my daily exercise regimen consisted of just three exercises—walking, push-ups, and squats—I was more than willing to do them all, every single day. There was hardly ever any mental resistance. And two weeks in, my body just craved movement and physical exertion. 

Eventually, I started getting bored, but this was good. I was ready to introduce new exercises. I bought some resistance bands from Amazon, learned a couple new exercises from YouTube, and incorporated them into my routine. 

Now, I can go months doing only compound exercises using only my bodyweight, a pull-up bar, and resistance bands. I’m planning on buying some calisthenics equipment for my room, just to make my life easier. But yeah, I’m sticking to calisthenics for now.  

In the future, however, I plan to try out a comprehensive fitness program for optimal overall fitness that requires going to the gym a few times a week. The (weekly) routine is outlined below, from tips 76 to 83. 

76. Base your exercise routine on core principles. 

From here to tip 83, I outline a foundational and rather comprehensive fitness program designed to help you attain and maintain optimal overall fitness. This fitness program is based on the best science we have regarding movement, physical exertion, muscle physiology, cardiovascular function, connective tissue health, and various aspects and measures of fitness. I learned this entire program from episode 94 of the Huberman Lab Podcast. These are my refined notes.   

To begin, here are 12 core principles/concepts of fitness:

  1. Progressive overload is necessary for growth.  
  2. Focusing on one aspect of fitness (endurance, strength, etc.) per day is most effective.
  3. Every aspect of fitness is important for optimal health and increased longevity. 
  4. You may prioritize certain aspects of fitness over others according to your fitness goals.  
  5. You can improve or at least maintain ALL aspects of fitness on a weekly basis. 
  6. Train each muscle group twice per week, once directly and once indirectly, directly via resistance training and indirectly via endurance training. 
  7. You only need two good exercises per muscle group; quality over quantity. 
  8. In choosing specific exercises, prioritize safety and ability, then enjoyability. 
  9. For each muscle group, choose one exercise that primarily contracts the muscles and one that primarily elongates/stretches the muscles.
  10. For lower reps and heavier weights, do more volume (more sets) with longer rests in between (e.g. 4-8 reps, heavy weights, high volume, 2-3 min rests).
  11. For higher reps and lower weights, do less volume (less sets) with shorter rests in between (e.g. 8-15 reps, low-moderate weights, moderate volume, ~1 min rests)
  12. Proper recovery is necessary for growth.     

It may seem like a lot to remember, but the program below is based on them, so as long as you follow the program or some adaptation of it, you’ll automatically be following the core principles.  

77. Train for endurance on day 1.   

You can begin this fitness program on any day of the week. Let’s say Sunday is your day 1. 

Day 1 is endurance training. Your goal is to either build or maintain endurance. This requires doing some form of zone 2 cardio for at least 30 min straight. Over time, you can push it to 60-75 min, but going past 1 hour is unnecessary. 30-45 min suffices for building and maintaining endurance, and catabolic stress hormones rise with excessive exercise. 

Zone 2 cardio is cardio that requires you to push yourself and breathe faster than normal, but nonetheless allows you to hold a full conversation. If you were to push yourself more, you’d have to stop talking. Your pulse rate should be just high enough—not so much that you’re frequently needing to catch your breath. 

You can accelerate or decelerate from time to time within the 30-60 min of training. There’s no need to be in zone 2 the entire time. Catch your breath whenever you need to; don’t be neurotic.  

Example exercises include jogging, cycling, swimming, rowing a boat, and hiking steep hills. Longer hikes are equally effective and perhaps more enjoyable given the literal call to adventure and exploration. 

To increase difficulty, you can use a weighted vest, rucksack, or backpack. Wearing any of these will require more effort, but also less exercise duration (30 min tops).   

Doing adequate zone 2 cardio every week has significant benefits for your overall health: improved cardiovascular function, metabolism, energy balance, musculature, and functionality. 

Know that as you improve your endurance over time, you’ll need to push yourself more to stay in zone 2. But this is the sign to look for. It means you’re truly improving your endurance. 

78. Train legs on day 2.     

Day 2 is leg day, your first resistance training session of the week. You’ll never skip leg day if you begin with leg day. Strong quads, hamstrings, and calves are foundational, literally.  

Your legs are built of the largest muscle groups in your body. Training legs stimulates massive releases of vital steroid/anabolic hormones like testosterone and growth hormone, which both men and women need in healthy quantities to thrive. By kicking off resistance training with leg day, no pun intended, you set yourself up to conquer all upcoming resistance training sessions. The systemic hormonal and metabolic amplifications you acquire from training legs will last well into the week.

Even if you did endurance training the previous day, you should still be able to get in a good leg workout on day 2. 

Begin with a 10 min warm-up consisting of light dynamic leg movements. Dynamic movements are movements in which you repeatedly contract and relax certain muscle groups, as opposed to static movements in which you hold muscle contractions or stretches. 

Then, you begin 50-60 min of real work, which includes rest intervals between sets. 

Examples of good leg exercises are leg extensions, hack squats, air squats or free bar squats, deadlifts, leg curls, standing and seated calf raises, and glute-ham raises. 

Recall core fitness principles 6-8. You’ve already trained legs indirectly on day 1, and now you’re training them directly. Choose two exercises for each muscle group.

Recall principles 9-11. For each muscle group, choose one exercise that primarily contracts the muscles and one that primarily elongates/stretches the muscles. If you want to build strength, go for lower reps, heavier weights, more sets, longer rests in between. For maintenance, you want more reps, moderate weights, less sets, shorter rests in between. 

79. Rest and recover on day 3.     

Ah, rest day. But on Tuesday? Really?

Yes. The goal is to dramatically boost your growth hormone, metabolism, and blood flow midweek so that you’re physically and mentally primed for the next four days.   

You can achieve such drastic hormonal, metabolic, and circulatory enhancements through alternate heat and cold exposure.   

The hype is totally justified. Saunas and cold plunges (ice baths) have truly incredible benefits, especially when alternated back-to-back. Saunas induce vasodilation, whereas ice baths induce vasoconstriction. Multiple rounds of back-to-back vasodilation and vasoconstriction significantly enhances blood flow throughout the body. Beyond notable cardiovascular benefits, consecutive vasodilation and vasoconstriction via heat and cold contrast potently boosts growth hormone, testosterone, and dopamine levels.  

Here’s the full recovery protocol: 3-5 rounds of ~20 min of heat* (sauna or hot steaming shower) followed by ~5 min of cold** (ice bath, cold plunge, or cold shower) for a total of 1 hour.  

You want it cold or hot enough that you want to get out but can safely withstand

This 1 hour protocol will provide a massive—up to 16 fold—increase in growth hormone, which you need for proper recovery, growth, and metabolic health. 

And doing it once a week in the consecutive manner I’ve outlined is not only more convenient, but will provide the most benefits.  

* Men should consider wearing an ice pack under their testicles or scientifically backed cooling underwear to protect their sperm from heat. Heat exposure in general and saunas in particular can significantly alter spermatogenesis and reduce sperm count. Cold exposure and ice baths have a polar opposite fertility-boosting effect, but I’d air on the side of caution.

** Reserve all your ice baths for this recovery day. Ice baths and other forms of intense cold exposure can block key post-training adaptations for fitness.  

80. Train chest, back, shoulders, and neck on day 4.     

On day 4, you train your torso—chest, back, and shoulders—plus your neck. This is an intense resistance training session consisting of pushing and pulling exercises. The goal is to build upper-body strength and muscle mass over time.     

Training chest, back, and shoulders all on the same day will maximize hypertrophy. Training large muscle groups together triggers a greater, more systemic release of anabolic hormones and improves metabolic health. 

Pushing exercises include bench presses, shoulder presses, lateral raises, all kinds of push-ups, and so on. Pulling exercises include bent-over rows, pull-ups, chin-ups, and so on.

Truth be told, pushing and pulling exercises don’t need to be separated. You can do both on the same day. You can do push first, pull second, or vice versa. Or you can order your workout by muscle group.

Just don’t obsess over the order; do what you enjoy and find convenient. Enjoyment and convenience breed consistency.   

From our core principles, we know that it’s best to give each muscle group one peak contraction exercise and one stretch/elongation exercise. For example, to train your back, you can do seated or dumbbell rows as your peak contraction movement and pull-ups or chin-ups as your mostly muscle-elongating movement. 

Neck training fits well with torso training. A strong neck is vital for whole-body balance, stability, posture, spine health, brain health, aesthetics, attractiveness, and confidence. 

But you must know what you’re doing, especially when training your neck. Follow clear YouTube tutorials and prioritize safety.   

A basic neck exercise: wrap a weighted plate with a thick towel (to protect your face and skin), hold it against your face (front/side), move your head from side to side or front to back. 

Duration of torso plus neck training is ~60 of actual training after a 10 min warm-up. 

81. Do moderately intense cardio on day 5.     

On Thursday, or whatever your day 5 is, you do ~35 min of cardio. Pick your favorite form of cardio, be it running, rowing, cycling, jumping jacks, jumping rope, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, boxing, kickboxing, or whatever else. 

The goal of this workout is to maintain an elevated heart rate that’s just above zone 2 for roughly 35 min. Just above zone 2 means fast and intense but not all out. And fast and intense means 75-80% of your absolute maximum. 

Again, warm up for 5-10 min before starting the actual cardio to loosen up those joints and boost blood circulation. 

Try your best to maintain a steady pace. But it’s natural to accelerate and decelerate from time to time. 

Also try your best to breathe primarily through your nose, even though this will be difficult. Breathe through your mouth whenever you need to. 

Doing cardio with 75-80% intensity is a simple way to supercharge your entire cardiovascular system. Running is my go-to for cardio. 

82. Do HIIT on day 6.     

HIIT stands for high intensity interval training. There are various forms of HIIT, but all serve one purpose: to bring your heart rate to near-maximum

HIIT is done to either increase hypertrophy and power (strength plus speed) or just maintain speed.  

My favorite form of HIIT is near-full-blast sprints interlaced with resting intervals of light jogging. You just need a good pair of running shoes to sprint, but barefoot shoes are arguably better for overall foot health. You could also just sprint barefooted. 

Sprinting significantly increases total testosterone (TT), free testosterone (FT), and dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in healthy men, as well as growth hormone and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). BDNF is a growth factor that plays a critical role in neuronal differentiation, development, and survival; modulation of neurotransmitters; and neuronal plasticity. So, sprinting is clearly beneficial for your hormones, heart, and brain, besides your muscles, bones, and athleticism. 

Many people love doing HIIT on an assault bike, Airdyne bike, or SkiErg machine, so definitely consider those as well if sprinting isn’t your forte. Also, search up HIIT workouts on YouTube and see what you find. 

This HIIT session: 20-30 sec of intense exercise followed by 10 sec rest for 8-12 rounds.   

Reminder: proper form, movement familiarity, muscle memory, and adequate experience are all crucial for near-full-blast sprints and all other workouts. The eternal rule is do what you can and work your way up via progressive overload or intensification. Sudden overload will just shock your body.

83. Train arms, plus neck and calves, on day 7.     

This training program ends with an arms workout that indirectly works out your chest, back, and shoulders as well. The session also includes neck and calves training, since training each muscle group twice a week is ideal, and neck and calves workouts are quick.  

You want to focus on your biceps and triceps during the relevant exercises, but also ensure your chest, shoulders, and back are all properly aligned. 

Dip exercises, unweighted and weighted, are excellent for your triceps (primarily). They indirectly stimulate strength, hypertrophy, and so on, in the chest and shoulders too. Besides dips, do either tricep kickbacks or overhead extensions. Pick two exercises for triceps.

Wide-grip and especially close-grip chin-ups directly stimulate strength, hypertrophy, and so on in the biceps, but also stimulate those indirectly in the lats and entire back. You can also do classic dumbbell curls or incline curls for biceps, but again, you only need two exercises.

4 different exercises will suffice your arms. Choose two exercises for your neck and two for your calves. These are small muscle groups that you can quickly train a second time each.  

The total duration is 60 min of real training after a 10 min warm-up. Choose heavier weights, lower reps, more sets, longer rests or moderate weights, higher reps, less sets, shorter rests. You can alternate between these two protocols monthly.  

84. Add/subtract elements as needed, but follow the principles.

The fitness program I’ve delineated above provides a robust framework that everyone can work within and adapt according to their personal fitness goals. It’s a foundational fitness program for optimal overall fitness. As such, if your goal is simply optimal overall fitness, you really don’t need to make any adjustments.

You may add/subtract exercises, workouts, tools, etc. based on your objectives. You may focus on building muscle mass or on maximizing athleticism, performance, and functionality, for example. Adjust (add, subtract, or reorder) pertinent elements in each day as you must. Just make sure you’re not forgoing or violating the core fitness principles/concepts.  

85. Relax properly between sets. 

In every rest interval, bring your heart rate down as much as possible. The best way to do this is to sigh. 

More specifically, you want to do what Huberman calls the physiological sigh—physiological because you focus on your physiology and not your mind when you do this. 

The protocol is simple: 

  1. Take two consecutive inhales through your nose. Breathe deeply into your diaphragm. 
  2. Take one long exhale through your mouth. Saying aah out loud can help. 
  3. Feel relaxed. 

The physiological sigh is the quickest way to relax the entire nervous system. 

86. Either train fasted or at least 1 hour after a pre-workout meal. 

Option 1 is to train in a fasted state. Upon waking, drink a tall glass of warm water with a pinch of sea salt and go for a walk outside. After your walk, you can warm-up and start training immediately, either at home or at the gym. If your glycogen stores were adequately replenished the night before, you probably won’t need a pre-workout. 

But a small liquid pre-workout is totally fine and can help fuel your workout. Good options include a shot of liquid raw honey, some fresh fruit juice, coconut water, an electrolyte drink, coffee, or tea. After downing your liquid pre-workout, wait a few minutes before jumping into action, unless you want to burp through your workout. 

Option 2 is to eat breakfast before training. Wait at least 1 hour after eating so that your digestion doesn’t hinder your training or vice versa. 

87. Replenish your body soon after any intense workout. 

This may seem like common sense, but many people will train intensely and then wait an hour before eating, which isn’t ideal. 

Sure, if you had a proper pre-workout meal in advance, you can get away with not eating anything after training. Your glycogen stores were already replenished. 

But replenishment after exertion is a basic principle of fitness. The more intense and exhausting your workout, the more quickly you should replenish your body afterward, even if you had a pre-workout before training. 

After a workout, you want to prioritize natural sugars and electrolytes. Freshly squeezed fruit juice, coconut water, and milk are all great post-workout drinks. 

Your post-workout meal should prioritize protein, but also contain carbs and some fat. The individual amounts and ratios will obviously depend on your fitness goals.

88. Stretch properly and regularly to stay flexible and functional. 

You want to do dynamic stretches before exercise and static stretches after exercise. Dynamic stretches are stretches that you barely “hold” whereas static stretches are characterized by holding your postures and muscles in place. The former are better for warming up while the latter are better for relaxation and relieving tension. 

Dynamic stretches include shadow boxing, straight leg kicks, knee-to-chest walking, heel-to-rear jogging, arm circles, arm swings, lunges, and other movements. 

Static stretches include hamstring stretch, hip flexor stretch, butterfly stretch, back stretch, chest stretch, shoulder stretch, triceps stretch, and so on. 

Technique always matters, even in stretching. For example, in any static stretch, you want to hold a 60% intense/deep stretch while inhaling deeply and exhaling fully for a few rounds. As you move into each stretch, exhale and relax your torso. This promotes muscle relaxation and recovery. It’s also good for your tendons and ligaments which are innervated by nerves.

During resistance training, you want to create and amplify force. When you grip the weight or bar or handle, tighten your grip and contract your core by breathing deeply and holding your breath at every peak contraction. 

89. Test your fitness level every now and then.  

There are a number of movements that serve as excellent indicators of a person’s overall fitness and health. Such movements and their respective requirements and adaptations provide good benchmarks of fitness and health. 

These include grip strength, 90 degree air squat duration, leg extensions, dead hangs, farmer carries, and vertical jumps. You can watch tutorials on these movements, practice them, and ensure your results for each movement are to standard.

The movements and exercises listed are excellent tests for gauging strength. And strength (muscle mass plus musculoskeletal ability) is critical for longevity. Physical strength tends to have an inverse relationship with mortality. Basically, the stronger you are, the less likely you are to die at any given moment than a weak person. 

90. Creatine

There are many supplements that can help with muscle growth, cardiovascular function, energy, stamina, flexibility, and different aspects of fitness, but creatine monohydrate is arguably the most well-researched. 

Creatine is a substance which is naturally present in our muscle cells as well as in meat and fish. Creatine is extremely beneficial for muscular health. Its primary benefit is increasing muscle mass, strength, power, and recovery. Creatine has also been shown to be protective and beneficial for the gut, brain, and heart. Creatine plays an important role in the production of cellular energy (ATP).   

Creatine boosts ATP by increasing creatine phosphate (phosphocreatine). Muscles naturally contain limited amounts of ATP. When ATP is depleted, it needs to be resynthesized from muscle glycogen and creatine phosphate. Thus, creatine phosphate is a key energy source for muscles. Creatine phosphate boosts muscular strength and recovery via ATP regeneration. 

Creatine monohydrate, the standard and most well-studied supplemental form of creatine, is relatively cost-effective and highly effective. The purest creatine monohydrate on the market is called Creapure® and is produced in Germany by a brand named Alzchem Trostberg GmbH. 

The standard dosage range is 3–5 grams of creatine monohydrate daily. You may up your intake of creatine by a couple grams if you really feel the need. Creatine can be taken at any time of day, but right after exercise is ideal.  

91. Vitamin D

I’ve already stressed the importance of sunlight in my section on light exposure. Sunlight is the absolute best source of vitamin D. 

But I highly recommend you take a pure vitamin D supplement on the days you get little to no sunlight. Taking a vitamin D supplement is especially important during fall and winter. 

The best combination to ensure you have high vitamin D levels year-round: 

  1. Get midday sunlight on your skin (face, hands, etc.) every day if the sun’s out. A few times a week will do you just fine. 
  2. Take a high quality vitamin D supplement. 
  3. Eat foods which contain vitamin D like salmon, eggs, beef liver, cheese, butter, and whole milk. Liver and dairy also contain crucial cofactors of vitamin D like vitamin K2 and calcium (just dairy). 
  4. Use a vitamin D lamp a couple times a week. 

Vitamin D is absolutely vital for the health of your brain, bones, muscles, heart, gut, thyroid, skin, and hair. This fat-soluble vitamin is necessary for optimal hormonal production, mood regulation, bone development, and a host of key physiological processes. 

Many people struggle to build muscle and maintain good musculature but don’t know why. One genuine possibility is low or suboptimal testosterone levels. You need high or optimal testosterone levels to build and maintain muscle mass. And vitamin D is absolutely vital for testosterone production, in both men and women. Creatine also boosts testosterone. 

General Recommendations

general healthy habits

92. Maintain good posture and mew. 

Stand and sit upright with your neck, spine, and head properly aligned. You need to maintain good posture for various reasons. 

Respiration and Blood Circulation

Good posture facilitates deeper breathing, better respiration, and complete oxygenation of cells. Consequently, good posture enhances blood circulation to every part of the body, but more or less to certain parts depending on the activity you’re doing. For example, when you’re working on your computer, it’s important that your back is straight, not arched. Your back, neck, and head need to be correctly aligned for adequate blood circulation to your brain. Overall, good posture plays a key role in preventing the onset of various chronic health conditions.


Good posture is just as important for maintaining a high level of self-confidence and a good self-image. Scientists have put forth some fascinating explanations for why posture influences confidence, self-image, competence, courage, drive, and perception to the surprising extent that it does. When you see someone with an upright, confident, healthy posture, you immediately respect them. They radiate confidence, competence, professionalism, and purpose.  

Where to Learn More

There are many exercises you can watch on YouTube and implement to improve your sitting and standing postures. It’s also wise to invest in ergonomic furniture and tools to support your posture and prevent it from deteriorating in the slightest.  

There are equally as many videos on YouTube about mewing and correct tongue posture. Mewing is a practice where you press your tongue, ideally your entire tongue and especially the back portion of your tongue, up against the roof of your mouth while keeping your teeth aligned and nearly touching. The benefits are numerous and quite amazing. This [link] is the main channel that has educated millions about mewing and correct tongue posture.   

93. Take good care of your teeth and gums.  

It goes without saying that dental health and hygiene are absolutely vital for both health and attractiveness. 

Disease Prevention

Good dental hygiene is essential for preventing the onset of chronic diseases. Oral bacteria influence other areas of your body. If bad pathogenic bacteria take up residence between your teeth, on your gums, or on your tongue, then expect a cascade of inflammatory responses and infections deeper in your body.  

How to Maintain Dental Health

Luckily, dental health is easy to maintain. I think you know you should brush 2-3 times per day and floss often, ideally after every meal. Flossing is something many of us either forget or neglect, but it’s truly non-negotiable. If you want to keep your teeth and gums, don’t forget to floss. 

Nutrients which are essential for healthy teeth and gums are calcium, phosphorus, vitamin D, vitamin K2, vitamin A, and vitamin C. All these are abundant in high-quality dairy. Raw milk even contains vitamin C.

Conventional vs. Natural Oral Hygiene

Fluoride is beneficial for dental health, but the amount of fluoride in conventional toothpastes is way too high. There’s evidence suggesting that high amounts of fluoride in the body can disrupt the gut microbiome, damage the thyroid gland, weaken bones and disrupt bone homeostasis (skeletal fluorosis), disrupt enamel development (enamel fluorosis), and even contribute to neurological ailments. 

Conventional toothpastes also have sodium laureth sulfate, chemicals in nanoparticle form and carrageenan which are both also terrible for the gut, peroxides, and other toxic chemicals.

But don’t panic. All you have to do is switch to a natural toothpaste and other natural dental care products. Natural toothpastes use ingredients like specific plant extracts, essential oils, minerals, and baking soda, all of which fight off bacteria and inflammation. Two good options are Dr. Bronner’s All-One Toothpaste and Himalaya Neem and Pomegranate Toothpaste. 

94. Use safe personal care and household cleaning products. 

Known Toxins

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has analyzed tens of thousands of substances used to make personal care products. EWG’s Skin Deep® Cosmetics Database lets you search for nearly any ingredient, brand, or product and learn about it. A team of toxicologists, chemists, and epidemiologists is behind every ingredient and product analysis. You can find a huge range of EWG VERIFIED™ products on their site, which are all completely safe to use. 

Best Natural Ingredients

From my personal research and experimentation, some of the best substances for skin care are tallow, aloe vera, honey, bee propolis, squalene, niacinamide, and collagen peptides. 

Tallow might just be the greatest one-ingredient natural skin care product, simply because it’s so rich in all the fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E, K) and skin-protective fatty acids (palmitoleic, stearic, and oleic acids). Tallow is just as nourishing for your scalp and hair as it is for your skin. 

The other ingredients I mentioned are also extremely beneficial for your skin and hair. Aloe vera is one of the best ingredients to use on your sun after extended sun exposure. It’s the most soothing thing to coat your skin in after a long day in the sun. 

White vinegar and baking soda are my go-to duo for cleaning clothes, dishes, sinks, countertops, mirrors, and so on. I also like to add in essential oils (cinnamon, clove, lemongrass, etc.) for fragrance and some extra antibacterial and antiviral action. 

And as is the case with personal care products, there are many safe and effective pre-formulated cleaning products out there which you can consider and try out. 

95.  Avoid plastics as much as possible.  

Microplastics exist in soft plastics, canned foods, packaged drinks, container linings, tap water, cosmetic products, polyester clothing, and thermal paper receipts. Humans can ingest, inhale, or absorb microplastics.


There is good evidence showing that In living organisms, plastic particles of various sizes can pose serious health risks. Plastic particles can cause and/or accelerate cellular damage, apoptosis (cell death), and necrosis (death of localized body tissue). Moreover, plastic particles can directly drive inflammation, oxidative stress, and undesirable immune responses in the body.

We know that Bisphenol A (BPA) and its analogues are endocrine disruptors. We have reason to suspect that these microplastics can contribute to altered reproduction, stunted neurodevelopment, metabolic dysfunction, and other major health issues.   

In a study done on male mice, BPA exposure was linked to lower serum testosterone levels and sperm quality (via impaired germ cell proliferation). In studies done on female mice, BPA exposure was linked to lower serum estradiol levels, impaired ovarian development and function, as well as PCOS-like abnormalities. Even if these are animal studies, the findings are clearly important. It’s best to err on the side of caution. 

How to Limit Exposure

Avoid microplastics if and when you can. BPA-free plastic containers, which are opaque, are readily available now. Look for the “BPA-free” label

The best line of action is switching to glass, stainless steel, ceramic, and/or wooden kitchenware. Many people have switched to glass kitchenware. Glass items have zero chemical leaching risks while plastic items have many.   

Other ways to minimize your exposure to microplastics (outside the kitchen): 

  1. Don’t touch paper receipts from cash registers. Thermal paper, which is used to make paper receipts, contains anywhere from 250-1000 times the amount of BPA found in a typical can of food. Ask for digital receipts or ask the cashier to put the paper receipt in your bag.  
  2. Ditch polyester/spandex clothing, or at least avoid underwear and other skin-embracing pieces (t-shirts, socks, etc.) made of polyester or spandex. Polyester and spandex clothing, especially sportswear, contains high levels of BPA
  3. Wear undergarments (underwear, pajamas, t-shirts, socks, etc.) made from cotton, wool, hemp, or linen. 100% cotton clothing is the cheapest. Non-cotton overcoats and jackets are totally fine.
  4. Don’t become neurotic about this stuff. Make small easy changes. 

96.  Practice grounding (earthing) daily. 


Grounding, also called earthing, is the act of directly connecting one’s body to the Earth. Walking barefoot on grass, soil, sand, or any kind of earth is the primary way of grounding. Other ways of grounding include lying on the ground, submerging one’s feet or entire body in water, or using grounding equipment. 

Grounding is primordial. Our ancient ancestors were deeply connected to the Earth. Skin-to-earth contact was natural, commonplace, and encouraged across cultures and regions.


One review study states that grounding has a number of positive effects on health related to inflammation, immune responses, wound healing, and prevention and treatment of chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. The study points out that grounding alters concentrations of white blood cells and cytokines in living organisms. There are actually numerous benefits of grounding:

“Grounding appears to improve sleep, normalize the day–night cortisol rhythm, reduce pain, reduce stress, shift the autonomic nervous system from sympathetic toward parasympathetic activation, increase heart rate variability, speed wound healing, and reduce blood viscosity.” 

Chevalier G, Sinatra ST, Oschman JL, Sokal K, Sokal P. Review article: Earthing: health implications of reconnecting the human body to the Earth’s surface electrons. J Environ Public Health. 2012

A more recent review study published in 2020 examined the available evidence for the benefits of grounding. The review considered about 20 studies, all of which found fascinating evidence of myriad physiological benefits of grounding. The researchers state the following in the abstract:

“Earth’s natural electric charge stabilizes the physiology at the deepest levels, reduces inflammation, pain, and stress, improves blood flow, energy, and sleep, and generates greater well-being. Such effects are profound, systemic, and foundational, and often develop rapidly.” 

Menigoz W, Latz TT, Ely RA, Kamei C, Melvin G, Sinatra D. Integrative and lifestyle medicine strategies should include Earthing (grounding): Review of research evidence and clinical observations. Explore (NY). 2020.

97.  Maintain a high baseline of dopamine.   

High Dopamine is Vital for Health

You need high dopamine levels to feel motivated, driven, focused, excited, and happy in life,. Dopamine is the key molecule that makes you seek all kinds of rewards and goods (real or illusory), keeps you motivated in your pursuits, and produces physiological (or basic) happiness. 

Dopamine also helps you focus and deepens your focus so you take direct and prolonged action, stay goal-oriented, and feel driven to accomplish your tasks. Note that dopamine isn’t exclusively responsible for all this; other molecules are involved.  

As I mentioned above, dopamine drives physiological or basic happiness, which is happiness generated by and rooted in neurophysiology. If your dopamine levels are high, you feel euphoric, excited, and energetic. If they’re low, you feel depressed, unmotivated, and tired. 

You don’t want your dopamine levels to be too high, but just high enough. And you definitely don’t want low dopamine levels. 

Your baseline dopamine levels, also referred to as your baseline of dopamine, is what really matters. Factors such as sleep, diet, lifestyle, and genetics all affect your baseline of dopamine.

How to Maintain High Dopamine Levels

To keep your baseline of dopamine high enough for consistent motivation, focus, and that natural high (physiological happiness), do the following: 

View Early Morning Sunlight Daily (10-30 Min)

This is Dr. Andrew Huberman’s number one recommendation for increasing baseline dopamine levels, but also for optimizing overall health. Early morning means from sunrise to ~9 am. The earlier the better. See tip 29 for more information on viewing early morning sunlight. 

Eat Foods High in Tyrosine

The amino acid tyrosine is the fundamental building block of dopamine. Tyrosine-rich foods include:

  • Red meat (beef, lamb, bison, venison, etc.)
  • Dairy (especially hard cheeses like gouda, parmesan, etc.)
  • Poultry (chicken, duck, etc.)
  • Fish
  • Eggs
  • Nuts 
  • Jackfruit 
  • Avocados 
Get Enough Heme Iron, Zinc, B Vitamins, and Vitamin C

In addition to tyrosine, your body needs all these nutrients to synthesize dopamine and keep baseline levels high. Not surprisingly, animal foods like red meat, dairy, eggs, and oysters are extremely rich in all these essential micronutrients except vitamin C. Red meats contain an excellent balance of heme iron and zinc, as do oysters. Most of the B vitamins have important roles in or related to dopamine synthesis, but B6 and B9 (folate) are most vital. Folate and vitamin C are indirectly involved in dopamine synthesis. 

Eat Enough Calories and Carbohydrates

This will keep your metabolic rate high and your stress mediators (adrenaline, noradrenaline, cortisol) low. Dopamine is a precursor to adrenaline and noradrenaline, both of which induce the flight or fight response, which in turn can induce jitters and anxiety. This is one reason why dopamine-boosting substances like caffeine, when ingested on an empty stomach, can induce stress. Enough calories, and carbs in particular, keep stress mediators low.    

Keep Serotonin Low

In his articles, Dr. Ray Peat emphasizes the importance of keeping serotonin low. One reason why is because serotonin opposes dopamine and, if levels are high, it actually inhibits dopamine synthesis. You can keep serotonin low by boosting dopamine (via the methods listed here) and getting sufficient vitamin D, since vitamin D can inhibit serotonin synthesis by inhibiting tryptophan hydroxylase (TPH). Maintaining good intestinal health is essential for keeping serotonin low.

Consume Caffeine

Caffeine provides a moderate dopamine boost and increases the availability of dopamine receptors. With more available dopamine receptors, your body can use more of the dopamine circulating in your body.  

Consider Taking Other Dopaminergic Substances

Examples include l-tyrosine (supplement form), methylene blue, and pregnenolone. Read up on these before purchasing and using. 

What NOT to Do

To ensure your baseline of dopamine stays pretty high and never drops too low, its equally important that you avoid doing certain things:

  1. Don’t view bright lights between 10 pm and 4 am. Dr. Huberman says this is crucial for keeping dopamine high. Viewing bright lights during the specified time activates a part of the brain called the habenula and plummets circulating dopamine levels. It’s always a significant drop. Nighttime events aside, just use dim lights from 10 pm onward.  
  2. Don’t take melatonin supplements. Melatonin supplements have been shown to reduce dopamine levels and mess up natural sleeping patterns. If you view sunlight at dawn and dusk, your body will naturally produce all the melatonin it needs.   
  3. Don’t do activities that deplete dopamine. Binging on comfort food, YouTube videos, reels, tweets, shows, movies, music, or any other source of pleasure/comfort will lower your dopamine levels. The key word here is binging. There’s nothing wrong with taking a break and enjoying a good movie or using social media. Just make sure you’re in control. Self-control and discipline mean everything in this age of endless distraction and mindless pleasure. And that’s the problem right there: mindless, escapist, prolonged pleasure-seeking. This is what addictions are about. After any kind of over-stimulating activity, dopamine levels drop below baseline, which sparks an urge for another high. For some activities like viewing pornography, masturbation, smoking, vaping, and so on, the safest dosage, purely from a health perspective, is zero.            

98.  Pursue and achieve meaningful goals.    

The Many Goods We Seek

Most of us desire and pursue good health, strong relationships, a true education, useful skills, a successful career, financial stability and freedom, intellectual growth, spiritual growth, creative expression, self-mastery, and legacy.

Some of these goods like health, relationships, knowledge, skills, and wealth are more fundamental than the others, so we naturally focus on them first.

Health Goals

If you’re reading this list, then you obviously value your health. Pursue your health goals confidently, but remember that optimal health is something you build and maintain. There’s always a journey to every great goal. You need knowledge, yes, but also patience and gratitude. You’re bound to make mistakes and face challenges, so patience and gratitude are vital. Focus on making progress, on doing the work—eating right, sleeping well, exercising, trying to solve one problem after another—and not so much on results.

Striving to Improve    

Improve or die trying. This is the universal maxim of self-improvement. It applies to every area of self-improvement.

Nearly all the positive states and emotions we can experience in life—fascination, learning, discovery, understanding, desire, adventure, courage, confidence, triumph, joy, love, gratitude, celebration, and more—are to be found in pursuing and achieving good, meaningful goals. The path of trying to improve yourself and your life, and by extension the lives of others, is the most physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually invigorating path you can tread.

Physiological Effects of Hitting Goals

Pursuing and achieving good goals is how you maintain high dopamine and testosterone levels. It’s how you keep your mind sharp, clear, excited, and naturally stimulated. If your life is naturally stimulating, your dopamine levels will naturally be high.

You need daily wins for optimal mental and physical health, even if they’re small and against your own lower self. Achieving good goals requires, uses, and optimizes your vital hormones (like testosterone) and neurotransmitters (like acetylcholine). 

In contrast, too many daily losses from pursuing and obtaining the wrong things deteriorates health and well-being. Guilt and shame, which most often result from self-oppression and are both deeply negative emotions, have been shown to significantly elevate prolactin and other stress mediators in the body, all of which oppose health and vitality. 

99.  Build and maintain good relationships.     

Our Need for Good Relationships

As social creatures, we need good relationships and social connections to truly thrive in life. Healthy relationships play a huge role in our emotional, mental, and physical well-being. 

Good relationships keep stress hormones low, raise dopamine and oxytocin, optimize testosterone and estrogen, accelerate healing, increase pain tolerance and even reduce pain, improve heart health, and extend lifespan and health-span, just to list a few core benefits.

Ultimately, the benefits come down to hormonal optimizations. Healthy relationships positively influence tonic levels of powerful hormones and neurotransmitters in the brain and body. 

All important relationships require time and effort, and each one has its specific needs and expectations. We innately and experientially know which relationships matter most. It goes without saying that we should prioritize those. 

Simple Ways to Improve Your Relationships

  1. Take care of yourself so you can take care of others. You can only give what you yourself have. Optimize your health so you can be your best self for all your loved ones. 
  2. Be present with your loved ones whenever you’re with them. Presence of mind and heart is a prerequisite for deep and meaningful conversations, bonding, peace, and joy.
  3. Set daily/weekly time aside for your significant other, parents, children, friends, etc.
  4. Give gifts. It’s one of the best ways to strengthen, mend, or rekindle a bond. 
  5. Use the other person’s love language. The five love languages are words of affirmation, quality time, gift-giving, acts of service, and physical touch. Even though almost everyone loves receiving gifts, it’s not everyone’s primary or preferred love language. 
  6. Use distance to your advantage. Distance creates longing, which is intrinsic to love. Disunion always precedes reunion.
  7. Develop emotional intelligence; don’t be reactionary.     

100.  Minimize stress and build stress resilience.    

The Role of Stress in Life

Stress is simply part of life on earth. Even when things are going well, life is difficult.

Some stress is good and necessary. One example is how your muscles experience stress and partially catabolize before they grow stronger and bigger.    

Physiologically, stress is mediated by various stress hormones and corresponding biochemical pathways. The main stress hormones are cortisol, epinephrine (adrenaline), and norepinephrine. We absolutely need these hormones. Cortisol, for example, peaks in the early morning and wakes us up. Natural fight or flight responses and energy-expending tasks are mediated and potentiated by these very chemicals, along with many others.

Stress Hormones

But problems arise with excessive cortisol, adrenaline, and norepinephrine. And unfortunately, they can easily elevate to excessive levels, given the right internal and/or external conditions. 

Other major stress hormones which Dr. Ray Peat has written extensively about are prolactin, serotonin, and estrogen. If we understand stress as being deleterious to energy production and biological life, then these three hormones are fundamentally stress-inducing.

How to Build Stress Resilience

Our goal should be twofold: 1) Minimize external stress. 2) Minimize internal stress. 

The first is more difficult, since you can’t always control your environment and circumstances. 

But you can control your own physiology in some important ways and thereby minimize any internal (physiologically-driven) stress. This is the principal way of becoming stress resilient—literally, physiologically stress-resilient.  

You do this by lowering the different stress hormones and mediators, and making sure they all stay on the lower end. 

Simple Ways to Keep Stress Hormones Low:

Get Enough Calories

If you consistently under-eat, your body won’t have enough of the nutrients it needs to combat stress. Stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline will rise. Testosterone and active thyroid hormone (T3) levels will also drop. Aim for somewhere between 2000 and 2500 calories daily for maintenance. Bulking and cutting requirements vary. Women need less calories than men. 

Get Enough Macronutrients

For maintenance, shoot for 0.8 to 1 gram of protein per kilogram of body weight daily. To bulk, ramp that up to 1.2 grams per kilogram of body weight daily. Again, women don’t need as much as men. Besides protein, eat a good amount of saturated and monounsaturated fats every day. Eat easy-to-digest simple carbohydrates (ripe fruits, raw honey, etc.), especially in the evening and near training. This will all ensure high anabolic hormones and low catabolic (stress) hormones. 

Get All Your Essential Micronutrients

This is easy if you prioritize high-quality animal foods (grass-fed red meat and dairy, pasture-raised eggs, wild-caught fish, raw honey), ripe fruits, then other whole foods based on tolerance and preference. 

Get Enough Deep Sleep Every Night

Find out roughly how much sleep you need to feel good and function optimally the next day. The healthy sleep duration range is 6 to 9 hours, with 6 and 9 hours being the best options, since sleep happens in 90 minute ultradian cycles. Waking up at the end of an ultradian cycle, say after 6 or 9 hours of sleep, is ideal for overall health and low stress levels. Sleep quality matters just as much as sleep duration, if not more. In my section on sleep [link], I share ways to improve sleep quality (total darkness, magnesium, cool bed, etc.). Optimizing sleep is hands down the best thing you can do to lower stress. 

Don’t Overtrain

Overtraining, or exercising excessively, will 100% elevate catabolic stress hormones like cortisol, adrenaline, and estrogen. It will also drop anabolic hormones like testosterone. You want progressive, not sudden, overload. With cardio, sprints and moderately taxing activities are decisively better than long-distance running and similarly exhausting activities with minimal resting periods. To see why, just compare the physiques of long-distance runners and sprinters. The latter are objectively healthier.

Practice the Deep Physiological Sigh Often

Two full inhales through the nose, one full exhale through the mouth. As you exhale, let out an audible sigh of relief. The physiological sigh is the quickest known way to reduce stress and induce relaxation in the body. The positive effects are more or less immediate.  

Get Enough Sunlight

Most people feel mentally calmer, happier, and sharper from a healthy dose of direct sunlight. The mood-lifting and stress-relieving effects of sunlight are attributable to the photons of light as well as vitamin D. Sunlight exposure lowers inflammation and serum cortisol levels. Properly timed sunlight viewing regulates the cortisol circadian rhythm.   

Prioritize Magnesium

Magnesium is a key mineral needed to regulate stress within the body. Magnesium relaxes the nervous and cardiovascular systems. Magnesium relieves anxiety, stress, and depression through various mechanisms. High-magnesium foods: oranges and orange juice (unpasteurized), coconut water, dates (especially Medjool and Ajwa), milk, red meat, white fish, cocoa/cacao, and spring water. Magnesium glycinate (also called bisglycinate), taurate, citrate, aspartate, and carbonate are all bioavailable supplemental forms of magnesium. 

Prioritize Glycine

Glycine has a potent and systemic relaxing effect in the body. Glycine induces relaxation and improves sleep by acting on the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor in the brain and reducing core body temperature. Gelatinous cuts of meat, gelatin powder, and collagen powders are excellent sources of glycine as well as other amino acids. 

Take L-theanine

L-theanine is one of the best, safest supplements for reducing stress and anxiety. L-theanine can cross the blood-brain barrier and influence brain activity. Specifically, l-theanine potently boosts activity in the alpha frequency band which induces and indicates mental relaxation. This pattern of increased alpha waves is strongly associated with low stress and anxiety. 

Consider Taking Adaptogens

Adaptogens are herbal supplements hailing from Ayurveda that help you adapt to stressful situations. The previous tips and tools will do the same, but adaptogens are specifically designed for this adaptive benefit. Effective adaptogens include rhodiola rosea, Siberian ginseng (eleuthero), schizandra, and safed musli.      

Work Smarter, Not Harder

The healthier you become, the more effective and efficient you’ll be. So follow most of the tips in this list, most of the time. The goal is to be optimal, not perfect.

Use the best systems, strategies, and tools to maximize your productivity. Create workflows that automate certain tasks.

Use time-blocking and other effective time management techniques. 

Enter deep work, which is when you’re in the zone, fully dialed in, and your focus is piercing. How do you enter deep work? Just start working on the damn task. About 20 min in, you’ll enter deep work, since your brain will be dead set on finishing it or at least making some progress on it.

Preserve your dopamine reserves. No cheap dopamine hits. No senselessly dropping your baseline level of dopamine via mindless pleasure-seeking.

Take a good nootropic supplement designed to increase focus and cognition. 

You Need Leisure and Pleasure

Leisure and pleasure make life worth living. Neither are inherently bad, but both are abused. Leisure is sacred time—for contemplation, hobbies, friends, family, travel, and so on. You need pleasure from good sources—from what truly benefits you. The one with knowledge, wisdom, sound judgment, purpose, and temperance will only seek good pleasure from good sources. Such a person seeks benefit, not harm, gain, not loss. And pleasure is merely nourishment and reward on this never-ending journey of self-improvement and self-realization.    

Be in Nature Often

Virgin nature is best. There are obviously many ways to “be” in nature: rest under the shade of a tree, lay on a grassy hill, stand under a waterfall, wash up in a flowing river, view the horizon from a mountaintop, and the list goes on. Just experience, marvel at, and be with the elements every so often. Urban jungles, as exciting as they are, are artificial and thrive on people’s labor and stress. You need to completely get away once in a while, back to where you came from, to where you belong, to what you’re essentially made up of: earth and water.       

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

How to get 100% healthy? 

Eating a nutritious diet, exercising regularly, sleeping well, viewing sunlight near dawn and dusk, getting some sunlight on your skin a few times a week, taking beneficial supplements, pursuing meaningful goals, maintaining cleanliness, connecting with others, managing stress, and avoiding self-destructive behaviors will get you as close as possible to being 100% healthy.  

What are 10 tips for good health?

  1. Consume high-quality dairy. 
  2. Eat pastured-raised eggs. 
  3. Eat grass-fed and grass-finished red meat.
  4. Eat ripe fruits and raw honey.
  5. Exercise daily (calisthenics, heavy-lifting, and/or sports). Daily exercise is crucial for musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, neurological, metabolic, and hormonal health. 
  6. Sleep for 6 to 9 hrs nightly. Dim the lights after 10 pm, go to bed early, make your bedroom totally dark and your room cool, and take a good magnesium supplement.  
  7. Make it a habit to view sunlight near dawn and dusk. Watch the sunrise whenever you can, and the sunset too. Doing so will align and optimize your body’s circadian clock. 
  8. Get direct sunlight a couple times a week, preferably at midday, since that’s when your body can best synthesize vitamin D from the sun’s rays.
  9. Improve your gut health by consuming prebiotics (berries, raw honey, extra virgin olive oil, other polyphenol-rich foods), endotoxin-reducing foods (raw carrots and well-cooked white button mushrooms), and fermented dairy (kefir, yogurt, cheese). 
  10. Maintain a high baseline of dopamine. Dopamine drives motivation and (to an extent) pleasure. Eating a nutrient-dense diet, drinking coffee, spending time with people you love, and doing deep purposeful work are some essential ways to increase dopamine.         

What are the best health tips?

Eat a highly nutritious diet with little to no highly processed foods, sleep and wake up early, optimize sleep quality, exercise main muscle groups weekly, sprint, learn and practice a martial art, read and write often, spend time with friends and family, make new social connections, and take high-quality supplements.   

What are the 5 keys to good health?

The 5 main keys to good health are nutrition, sleep, light exposure, exercise, and relationships. Taking care of these five areas will ensure good health.  

What Is Optimal Health? 

A Basic Understanding

To be optimally healthy is to be energetic, vigorous, potent, lively, happy, and grounded. It’s all these characteristics and more. I think we can all imagine and approximate what optimal health feels like, since we’ve all felt some/all of the characteristics listed above at different points in our lives. By optimizing ourselves at the level of physiology and biochemistry, we can approximate optimal health.     

Speaking more specifically now, optimal health is having chemicals, cells, tissues, organs, and systems with total or near-total structural and energetic integrity. Chemicals, cells, tissues, organs, and systems are the five main kinds of substructures that constitute the whole structure of the human body. For the whole organism to be optimally healthy, its various parts need to be optimally healthy.  

When we directly improve one system or organ, we indirectly improve another system or organ. For example, when we improve our mitochondrial function, we’re bound to experience systemic benefits. The body is an intricately designed system whose individual parts are all deeply interconnected and interdependent.    

Subjective and Objective Signs   

With all the parts of the whole adequately nourished, energized, protected, robust, and fully functional, the whole unit will be exactly so. Such an optimal state of being isn’t one fixed state with one rigid set of exact biomarkers, but a range of those things. Biomarkers are objective, quantifiable signs of normal or abnormal biological processes, and thus of health or a lack thereof. These signs are different from subjective signs of health or its absence.

Subjective signs of health are crucial, for they constitute your felt and lived reality. You know when you truly feel good—happy, alert, calm, energized, etc.—and you cannot deny firsthand, conscious, experiential knowledge for long. You know when you feel suboptimal—miserable, irate, fearful, nervous, fatigued, etc. These negative feelings and states are even more difficult, if not impossible, to neglect and suppress. You can use mental toughness and raw willpower for some time, but eventually you’ll need to address the root issues, which are mostly or entirely physiological and biochemical.   

However, it’s obvious that we need testing, lab work, data, numbers, clinical standards—we need objective, quantitative data just as much as subjective, qualitative (symptomatic) data. It’s extremely useful and highly recommended to get regular—as in, every few months and/or at specific periods—testing or lab work done from reputable, qualified clinics. 

Analyzing blood work requires some background knowledge, and having a qualified health professional look at them is obviously ideal. But you yourself can understand and interpret the most important biomarkers in your blood work. Paul Saladino made an incredibly helpful video covering the best labs to get done and how to make sense of them.

Clear Signs               

Here are some clear signs of optimal health: 

  • No chronic illnesses, ailments, or impairments of any kind 

Plus consistent (daily) … 

  • High energy (physical and mental)
  • Mental clarity
  • Fast cognition
  • Excitement about life
  • Genuine motivation
  • Sustained focus
  • High core body temperature
  • Warm extremities
  • Relatively fast resting heart rate
  • Fast bowel transit time
  • Well-formed and complete bowel movements
  • Little to no gut discomfort of any kind
  • Short sleep onset/latency time 
  • Long sleep duration time (anywhere from 6 to 9 hrs)
  • Feeling well-rested and rejuvenated upon waking
  • High exercise capacity and resultant fitness levels
  • High libido and great sexual function 
  • Supple skin
  • Thick hair
  • Confidence
  • Resilience
  • Basic happiness (high dopamine)
  • Gratitude
  • Empathy
  • Optimism 

You don’t need all of these things to qualify as an optimally healthy person; you just need most of them. These qualities and outcomes, along with others, provide a holistic picture of health.   

Optimal health is something you build and maintain. With the right knowledge, tools, and habits, you can do both. Optimal health isn’t perfect health; it’s something well within your reach, far from being a forbidden tree.    

Why Strive for Optimal Health?

Who doesn’t want to be happy, energetic, youthful, confident, and athletic? Who doesn’t want to consistently look and feel good?

If you’re a normal person, then you innately care for yourself. Self-preservation and self-improvement are the overarching goals of every living organism, but especially human beings. 

If you can safely augment certain aspects of your physiology and biochemistry to meaningfully improve your health, such that you would live a significantly better and happier life, wouldn’t you do so? Sound knowledge and consistent action—that’s the basic formula, for health and every other domain of life.  

The unfortunate truth is that most of us simply aren’t in a state of optimal health or anywhere close. Most of us aren’t truly and consistently thriving in life; on the contrary, most of us are pushing through a great deal of physical, mental, and emotional resistance on a daily basis. Most of us are neglecting or not paying enough attention to our fundamental needs as humans: nutrition, light, darkness, sleep, exercise, social connection, and work.

But imagine yourself in a state of optimal or near-optimal health, basking in the boons and bounties present in that unparalleled embodied kingdom, desired by all from time immemorial. In true health and physiological stability, one finds, experiences, and celebrates a wondrous level of ability and autonomy. Psychophysiological ability and autonomy are prerequisites for living a truly happy and productive life. 

You need to be within the range of optimal health—this is why I keep saying optimal or near-optimal—to enjoy life, thrive in life, achieve your goals, and reach your full human potential. Striving for optimal health is intrinsic to the path of self-improvement and self-realization. The goal of my site is to bring you closer to optimal health, and hence to an optimal life.  


I hope I’ve made it clear why health optimization is the beating heart of self-improvement. There is no real, meaningful, lasting self-improvement in the negligence of one’s health. 

To wrap up, I want to re-emphasize the most important practices for optimal overall health and tie up each section.

Your health depends on eight main factors: nutrition, light exposure, sleep, gut health, exercise, hygiene, relationships, and purpose. Purpose includes work, reward, fulfillment, and leisure. I touched on the last three (hygiene, relationships, and purpose) in my final section.

Nutrition Recap

My nutrition tips are largely based on the bioenergetic view of health proposed by Dr. Ray Peat and other specialists in physiology and biochemistry. This view of heath prioritizes metabolic and hormonal health. Keeping the metabolic rate high is Dr. Peat’s core bioenergetic principle.  

Essential Elements of Bioenergetic Nutrition 

  • Enough calories, mostly from carbohydrates and protein.  
  • Milk, sweet fruit and fruit juice, raw honey, maple syrup, beet sugar, and blackstrap molasses are the best carbohydrate sources, but some people do better with well-cooked starchy foods like white rice and potatoes.
  • Milk, cheese, yogurt, kefir, eggs, gelatinous cuts of red meat, organ meat, red muscle meat, shellfish, and white fish are the best protein sources.   
  • Get all your micronutrients by consuming the foods listed above.   
  • Consume saturated fats from whole milk, butter, ghee, tallow, and coconut oil.  
  • Minimize polyunsaturated fats, especially linoleic (omega-6) fatty acids. 
  • Add and enjoy additional whole foods (well-cooked root vegetables, well-cooked white-button mushrooms, real sourdough bread, dark chocolate, etc.) as you wish, so long as you tolerate and benefit from them
  • Coffee is your friend. Drink strong coffee (like espresso) after breakfast.
  • Salt is essential; salt your food to taste. Go for pure pickling salt or sea salt. 

Animal foods are the most nutrient-dense foods, so they form the base of my diet. On top of this base, I eat a variety of fruits, raw honey, extra-virgin olive oil, and occasionally some well-cooked vegetables, sourdough bread, and white rice.  


Hydration comes down to electrolytes. Dairy, red meat, white fish, fruits, and spring water are abundant in electrolytes and other minerals. Drink pure water first thing in the morning and as needed throughout the day. Add a pinch of real salt to your morning glass of water, and salt your food to taste. Your sodium needs will vary according to how much exercise you do. 


Supplementation falls under nutrition. Vitamin D3 (from lanolin), vitamin K2 (MK-4), magnesium (various forms), vitamin B1 (various forms), creatine monohydrate, glutathione, adaptogens like ginseng and cordyceps, l-theanine, methylene blue, progesterone, and many other substances taken in supplemental form have the potential to significantly improve your health. 

Light Exposure Recap

Light exposure and circadian alignment are two sides of the same coin. Viewing sunlight early in the day, getting sunlight on your skin at midday, viewing sunlight (or warm bright light) up until sunset, and viewing sunlight near sunset are all primordial habits with immense health benefits. Dark exposure, which is also essential, is subsumed under light exposure. From nightfall (around 10 pm), dim all your lights. Sleep in total darkness.

Sleep Recap   

Besides sleeping in total darkness, slightly cooling down your room and bed can also improve sleep. Granted your thyroid hormone and androgens are high, your metabolism fast, and your stress hormones low, you’ll have a naturally high core body temperature and pulse rate throughout the day. Your extremities should be warm day and night. But slightly dropping your core body temperature at night will enhance your sleep. Consuming glycine is the best way to do this. Magnesium also helps regulate body temperature. Both glycine and magnesium also lower stress hormones, as do l-theanine, taurine, and apigenin. Finally, go to bed early (close to 10 pm) every night and wake up without an alarm (if you can) every morning. Otherwise, anywhere between 6 and 9 hrs of sleep nightly is optimal.

Gut Health Recap 

Gut health is so crucial and consequential that it deserved its own section. To sum up: Eat nutritious and well-tolerated foods. Fiber benefits most people. Fresh figs, dates, apples, mangoes, kiwis, prunes, raspberries, tiger nuts, okra, and pumpkin are all packed with fiber and micronutrients. Fermented foods like yogurt and kefir improve digestion and gut microbiome diversity. Completely and easily emptying your bowels every day is critical. Besides a good diet, gut motility boosting substances (prokinetics) like thyroid hormone, B vitamins (especially B1), ginger, globe artichoke, and coffee are all very helpful in this regard. Like a river, the GI tract flourishes in a free-flowing state and deteriorates in stagnation. 

Exercise Recap    

When it comes to exercise, the most important things are safety (correct form) and consistency, then the 12 core principles/concepts of fitness I listed in tip 76. If you find Andrew Huberman’s weekly fitness program too daunting and want to do your own thing, then do your own thing. I’m currently doing my own thing, namely, body-weight/calisthenics exercises. I intend to try Huberman’s suggested fitness program in the future and adapt it to my personal goals. But even now, doing calisthenics, I can follow most of the core fitness principles. 

Hygiene + Cleaning Recap

A quick summary of healthy hygiene habits: Brush your teeth 2-3 times a day with a strong natural toothpaste; floss after each meal; use toxin-free skincare and haircare products containing tallow, goat milk, aloe vera gel, chamomile, niacinamide, taurine, and other effective ingredients; use a natural deodorant and perfume; use a toxin-free sunscreen; use baking soda, white vinegar, and essential oils for cleaning purposes. Use the EWG to find safe products. 

Relationships Recap 

Social connection, good company, and strong relationships are an indispensable aspect of personal health and well-being. Devote time to your loved ones. Develop high emotional and social intelligence. Learn and use people’s love languages. Everyone loves gifts. Create unforgettable memories together. Deep conversations often mean more than the world over. Gratitude, patience, kindness, forgiveness—all these things go a long way. 

Purpose Recap

We end on the subject of purpose. You can derive a high level of purpose from meaningful work and merited reward. High dopamine, testosterone, and acetylcholine levels enable successful bouts of deep work. Sunlight, diet, good habits, and supplements all matter here. Early morning sunlight viewing, an extremely nutritious diet, completing difficult tasks, sleeping well, exercising, bonding, reading, writing, and abstaining from self-oppression are all key to optimizing and preserving the vital hormones and neurotransmitters that potentiate serious work and provide a strong sense of purpose.

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