You’ve probably heard the idea that you can “hack” your body to optimize your beauty, brain health, and biology for your best self—but did you know it’s especially beneficial for women? A rockstar panel of healthy-living experts, led by Well+Good co-founder and chief content officer Melisse Gelula, broke it down last night at the debut of Well+Good Talks, explaining what the biohacking craze could mean for you.
The first in a series of IRL events in New York City—where you’ll get a front-row seat to the most interesting conversations happening in wellness—featured Jasmina Aganovic, president of Mother Dirt; Lauren Berlingeri, co-founder and co-CEO of HigherDOSE; Robin Berzin, MD, founder and CEO of Parsley Health; and women’s hormone expert Alisa Vitti, founder of FloLiving.com and creator of the MyFlo app.
The convo dream team came together at ABC Carpet & Home to share their knowledge on the buzzy topic—and they did not disappoint. (Spoiler alert: You can hack your orgasms, too.)
Here are the 5 most surprising-slash-enlightening moments from our kickoff panel on biohacking for women last night.
1. You can biohack everything—coffee included
Bulletproof Coffee is taking over, but you don’t need to put grass-fed, unsalted butter in your coffee if it isn’t working for your body. You can biohack your coffee however you please, and after some trial and error, Berlingeri found her perfect formula.
Because the original recipe wasn’t doing her any good (“The grass-fed butter was too warming, it messed with my hormones, and I would start breaking out”), she needed to find the healthiest option for her.
“What I like to do is make myself a healthy tonic that mixes in with the Bulletproof Coffee,” Berlingeri said. “I put in all sorts of nutritional mushrooms and medicinal mushrooms—like lion’s mane and tremella. I also put adaptogens in there, which are really good for adrenal support. And then I do MCT oil, which is a very healthy version of coconut oil. And then I like to mix in my little turmeric, cinnamon, and cashew milk that I make every morning. The cinnamon is for blood sugar, and the turmeric is for inflammation.”
2. You can biohack your orgasm—and better your health in the process
Wouldn’t it be nice if there were a scientific way to have great orgasms all the time? Well, it turns out there is—and you can biohack your way to a better sex life. Doing so just requires a little practice—”without a vibrator, with lubricant, and for at least 15 to 20 minutes once a week,” said Vitti.
“If you can stay in the orgasmic plateau phrase—which is right before climax, right between a five and an eight [on the scale]—for any more than 5 to 20 minutes, you will generate a rush of nitric oxide and oxytocin in your blood stream at extremely high levels, which boosts your immune system, regulates ovulation, [and] improves fertility,” Vitti says.
3. Plain old water might just be better than using soap and water
You better sit down for this. If you’re a die-hard lover of all things antibacterial, it’s time to switch your ways. According to Aganovic, using water to clean yourself is just as effective—and much better for your health.
“Our obsession with lathering and cleanliness is not necessary, to say the least,” Aganovic said. “There are some really interesting studies out there showing that rinsing with plain water alone is probably just as good as using soap in most cases.”
4. Your dog is making you healthier on the bacteria front
“We have two dogs who lick my son constantly, and there’s a lot of really interesting research [about] people who live with a pet or an animal,” Berzin said. “Not only do your microbiomes start to mirror each other a little bit, but you have a much healthier microbiome for being around animals.”
5. The bacteria on your skin keeps your immune system strong
You know the whole thing about water being able to cleanse you just as effectively as soap? Not only are antibacterial soaps BS, but they can actually hurt the bacteria hanging out on your skin—and that affects your health more than you’d think.
“These little guys that exist on our skin 24/7 serve as something like the eyes and ears of our immune system of our skin,” Aganovic said. “By applying certain harsh chemicals or antibacterials or antibiotics topically to our skin, what we’re doing is potentially the equivalent of deafening and blinding this ecosystem.”
According to Aganovic, when you deafen and blind a protective system, it has no option but to fight and protect you—and, that’s where inflammation can come in. So, maybe stay a little dirty, and let the bacteria do its job? (And if you want a sneak peek on life with a lot less bathing, here’s what happened when one editor skipped showering for a month.)
If you missed the Well+Good Talk! on biohacking, watch the stream on Facebook.
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