Introduction: In this episode of the Ben Greenfield fitness podcast: Are Inversion Tables Bad For Blood Pressure, How To Get Rid Of Flat Feet, Is Miso Healthy, Hidden Carbs In Vegetables, When Biohacking Goes Too Far, and much more.
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Ben: Brock, I’m feeling pretty jacked this morning. I gotta tell you.
Brock: You’re feelin’ jacked are you, Ben?
Ben: I am. I had a sore injured elbow for a few weeks there and…
Brock: Oh yeah, you did some prolotherapy or prolozone on it.
Ben: I got a prolozone shot on it. I did a little bit of stretching on it. I’m back in the game. I did a hundered pull-ups yesterday so…
Brock: Nice! Without stopping?
Ben: No. Sounds impressive doesn’t it? No, I basically just do pull-ups all day. So I did 10 sets of 10, so like every hour I just wander in my gym and do 10 pull-ups. So yeah! I’m feeling good, I can’t type at all. But other that – and someone is holding up my microphone for me, on that I’m good.
Brock: Your arms are like noodles. I’ve been doing a pull-up challenge ‘cause I decided this year I want to actually get good at pull-ups not just be the wimpy guy who can sort of do like 7. So I’ve been doing this pull-up challenge every 2nd day, and I’m gettin’ there.
Ben: Now, are you swinging, are you – I know that all the cross-fitters out there are going cringe but are keeping/cheating when you do them?
Brock: Absolutely not. I’m keeping my body straight, like legs cross behind me, like ankles crossed behind me, and just like nice and straight between the shoulders and the knees.
Ben: Good. We’ll talk about inversion therapy later on I know because we have a question about inversion tables. But pull-ups are pretty much like inversion tables in reverse like especially if you’re actually hanging and getting full extension in between each pull-up, you get an amazing decompression and what’s called a traction effect on the shoulders, on the spine. I’m all about hanging, man, I do – I hang from my pull-up bar, I’ve got like a little neck device, it’s called the cervical traction device. You can google it, but I hang by my neck and it like pops all my neck vertebrae, I hang from my inversion table, and it pops all my little vertebrae, I’m like a freakin’ gibbon, dude. I’m a gibbon.
Brock: I’m just worried that you’re gonna be showing signs of stroke any day now.
Brock: twitter.com/bengreenfield is ripe with all kinds of awesome…
Brock: Ripe. Rife? Is that the word I was looking for?
Ben: It’s up to you.
Brock: It’s rife or ripe depending on who you’re talking to. Or which study you’re looking at.
Ben: Ripe, prodding… whatever. Speaking of ripe though and by the way, everything we talked about I tweeted out over twitter.com/bengreenfield. A brand new article that appeared up in your neck of the woods, Brock, meaning Canada, I guess when I say, you neck of the woods, that’s kinda similar to like New York being in the same neck of the woods as San Francisco.
Brock: Yeah honestly, Vancouver is a lot closer to you that it is to me.
Ben: You were in Toronto, and this was in Vancouver, but it’s an article that appeared about snorting chocolate. Snorting chocolate comes to Canada at a Vancouver candy shop. I love how the article starts out. It says, “Everybody loves snorting chocolates,” (laughter) “It’s for everybody.” So, here’s the deal, this has actually been around Belgium for years and it’s just now starting to appear in the mainstream but the idea is, you use this kind of like mini catapult…
Brock: I will not joke catapult. It’s hilarious.
Ben: Yeah, to shoot chocolate into your nose, and for 2 bucks a hit anybody can try snorting this chocolate. And it’s like this fine high quality cocoa. You can do cocoa raspberry, or cocoa ginger, and it’s like about an eighth of a teaspoon that you’re snorting, but the proprietor of this candy shop says that snorting chocolate can be a very satisfying experience, and you experience the chocolate for a couple of hours and it’s very subtle, and you’re not going to get irritated by it. A lot of people have suggested it’s cleared their sinuses.
Ben: So, to me it sounds a hell of a lot of fun than like a freakin’ like netty pot full of sodium.
Brock: Yeah absolutely.
Ben: Yeah, so the snorting chocolate. And if you want to see a demonstration of the snorting chocolate catapult, and how that actually or – ‘cause if you’re having trouble visualizing that, then just go to the show notes at bengreenfieldfitness.com/306 and we have a little link to that article that has a video as well.
Another thing I tweeted was that there’s something that professional athletes are doing a lot of now. It’s not snorting chocolate. For those of you who are into the professional football league, and I don’t know if you’re watching the NFL play-offs over this past weekend, the Indianapolis Colts had a big vat of bone broth on the sidelines.
Ben: And then an article came out in Yahoo Sports about Kobe Bryant and about how much freakin’ bone broth – like he has like this big, giant, thermos of bone broth that he uses at practice and as part of his daily nutrition routine. And you know, the thing about bone broth and it is a good note in that article, the Lakers head strength conditioning coach says, you can go to a store or on the shelf, you can get like vegetable stock or chicken stock and that’s probably been flavored with like salt and chicken flavored bullion cubes and maybe some MSG, and has a very low vitamin and mineral nutrient value. But if you make your own bone broth, and you actually don’t skim all the Jell-O like stuff off of it, a lot of people get all fat phobic, right? And they’re all like – oh! This, they just picture all the fat globules on that bone broth somehow clogging up the arteries which we know now is a myth but that’s the gelatin component of bone broth. And frankly, over at quickanddirtytips.com, there’s this podcast by this lady called The Nutrition Diva…
Brock: Hmm, yeah, I listened to that the other day.
Ben: … and she’s got great podcast and she talked about how – the fact is some parts of bone broth have actually been blown out of proportion in terms of how healthy bone broth is for you, like the proline, and the glycine, and the vitamin, and the mineral content frankly is not that much higher than a lot of other food sources, such as other vegetables, meat, etc. but the gelatin, if you actually consume a gelatin-rich bone broth is where a lot of the research behind bone broth actually lies. So, you gotta get like the thick, Jell-O like stuff for it to actually make a difference when it comes to everything from like healing your guts, to providing you a lot of the building blocks for connective tissue, but if you do get that nice fatty, globule of bone broth, it’s good stuff. So, and apparently Kobe Bryant thinks so too. So, you if too want to be able to dunk a basketball then just drink some bone broth.
Brock: You know why or you know who set Kobe up with that, don’t you?
Ben: Probably our friend Dr. Cate Shanahan, I guess.
Brock: Exactly. Yeah, your buddy, Cate Shanahan who was on the podcast – then goes last summer.
Ben: Yup, exactly. Yeah, that’s a good podcast if you go to bengreenfieldfitness.com. Just search for Cate Shanahan. The last thing I wanted to mention was ginger. And the fact that if you compared ginger to the popular diabetic blood glucose controlling drug Metformin, that’s used for diabetes, it turns out that ginger based on this most recent study that was done on ginger actually has a better effect on fasting blood sugar than the most powerful diabetic drug that we have access to. And ginger supplementation in that study not only reduced fasting blood sugar but also hemoglobin a1c which is like a three month snapshot of blood sugar, apolipoprotein B and a-1 which are some of the more deleterious lipoprotein associated with cholesterol and a few other risk factors for chronic disease, so it’s so easy. In this study they used ginger powder but it’s so easy to get the same effect by boiling ginger, by chewing on ginger, by going out and buying ginger candies from the grocery stores. No, I’m just kidding. If – yeah, you might be counter-acting the effects if you do it via the ginger candies.
Brock: Yeah, probably.
Ben: It’s probably a wash at that point.
Brock: I’m sure they’re dipped in vegetable oil and rolled in high fructose corn syrup.
Ben: They’re pretty tasty, though. But anyways, yeah ginger. You can even take ginger if you’re too lazy, cook it. You can just drop it in the – like the smoothie like a blender, but one good way to go because it is gonna stay bio-active if you boil it and then you put it in the refrigerator. You can just boil a chunk, chop it into slices prior to boiling so you’ve got a more surface area of the ginger available for being heated. And then if you want to, you can just do that once, like you can batch it and just keep some ginger root that’s been boiled in your refrigerator, and you can toss that like if you – I know lots of our listeners are green-smoothie people, right? You can easily just put that in your green smoothie and it will not only help with digestion and inflammation, but it will also help with any blood sugar response to that giant green smoothie that you might be sucking down in the morning.
Brock: Did they say what an efficacious dose is?
Ben: Uhm, the gram dose of ginger powder was about 2 grams of ginger powder, and for my understanding that’s the equivalent of right around a half a finger’s length worth of ginger root.
Brock: Oh okay, that’s not bad.
Ben: So, I know it’s not like you’re no on like a wheel barrow full of ginger root. So yeah, there you go. You can see all of those studies and more over at twitter.com/BenGreenfield and get links, if you just go to the show notes for this episode at bengreenfieldfitness.com/306.
Brock: That was the most delicious news flashes we’ve ever had.
Ben: So before we jump in to this week’s special announcements, I have to issue an enormous, embarrassing apology…
Brock: Oh no!
Ben: … about kettlebell yoga.
Brock: Oh. (chuckles)
Ben: Last week’s episode. Legendary strength coach Dan John wrote to me and informed me that despite my belief and my claims on the podcast last week to have invented kettlebell yoga, it has in fact been in existence as a term and as a practice since like the freakin’ 80s or something like that. So…
Brock: That deserves a sad trombone. (sounds)
Ben: Yes, high in my face. So, I just wanted to mention that I no longer take credit for the invention of kettlebell yoga apparently has existed, I was just unaware of that fact.
Brock: Fair enough.
Ben: So, there’s that. The next is that we released over the weekend discussion about money with my mentor Tai Lopez, and Tai Lopez and I have this podcast series that’s going on right now in which I ask Tai questions about my finances and money, and life, and business, and you get to sit and listen in. I know it doesn’t have to do a lot with fitness but it’s interesting stuff and I wanted to open up that part of my life to people. So, that’s part of the premium podcast, you go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/premium. But Tai and I talked about Tony Robbins’ new book “Money”, we talked about the best ways to protecting grow wealth, what Tai’s personal investment philosophy is. And he’s a fun guy to listen in to and I pretty much ask like one question, he drones on for 40 minutes, and then other questions. So, he’s a wealth of knowledge, you can listen to that episode if you own the Ben Greenfield fitness app which is free, you can just unlock that from the app which is available in both the android and iTunes store. If not, just go to bengreenfieldfitness.com/premium. Another thing is that we have a sponsor for this episode.
Ben: And the sponsor makes the sandbag that was part of my workout last night. Last night’s workout was pretty minimalist in my opinion. I basically have this treadmill in my office that I use as my treadmill work station but I also have a door going out of my office into the forest outside. So I have a sandbag out in the forest and I basically was doing sprints on my treadmill ‘cause the ground is too icy outside to do sprints and then I’d run outside and do thrusters with the sandbag where you do a squat and then stand and press overhead. So I do one minute on the treadmill, then run outside and do 10 sandbag thrusters, and then run back inside and do the treadmill, and then the sandbag thrusters. And the sandbag was of course made by today’s sponsor Onnit. And the thing I like about Onnit is that they produce this fitness gear that is really unique. They’ve got the maces, they’ve got the sandbags, they’ve got the giant monkey face kettlebells. My kids are incredibly proud because they can now carry the howler kettlebell which is a little 18 pound one from the bottom of our stairwell all the way up to the top and back down without dropping it and destroying the wood finish upstairs.
Brock: (chuckles) Or their toes?
Ben: Yeah, so it’s for kids too. So check out Onnit, you can go to onnit.com/bengreenfield and you save 10% when you go to onnit.com/bengreenfield vs. just going to onnit.com in which case you would pay an ungodly amount of money for this stuff. If you go to onnit.com/bengreenfield you save on 10%.
Brock: That’s o-n-n-i-t (dot) com.
Ben: Not to be confused with o-n-i-t (dot) com which I’ve never visited but I suspect it’s probably drug paraphernalia or porn. So…
Brock: … or cat videos.
Ben: Or cat videos.
Brock: Probably all three.
Ben: Another couple quick announcements before we jump in to this week’s Q and A. The first is that for those of you who live in the Washington and Idaho area and happen to be listening to this podcast on the day that it comes out tomorrow night, I’m speaking in Coeur D'alene at Pilgrims Market about 12 ways to burn fat without exercising.
And if you don’t want to hop on a jet and fly into Coeur D’alene then you can also access that. That would be on the premium podcast as well. So also, I’m speaking in Dubai next weekend, January 30th and 31st, so if you’re in or near Dubai or you know someone there, check out the show notes to this episode at bengreenfieldfitness.com/306. And you can get hooked up with a two-day intensive workshop on becoming superhuman, that’s in Dubai. And then finally the last thing that I wanted to mention is the New Media Expo. Now, this might be up the alley of a lot of our listeners. This is where the world’s top bloggers and podcasters, and content creators meet and teach about how to make money by creating content online, how to enhance your blog, how to make a podcast, how to create better videos, pretty much anything that has to do with media, online, and business. That’s what this Expo is about. Now, I’m speaking there but better yet in my opinion, on the last day of the conference or the day after the conference ends is the Spartan race in Vegas.
Brock: Oh cool, good timing.
Ben: So yeah, kinda one-two combo than like I am. So anyways, you can get into the Expo at bengreenfieldfitness.com/nmx. That’s bengreenfieldfitness.com/nmx and there’s actually a code – a special secret code that we’re putting in the show notes over at bengreenfieldfitness.com/306.
Brock: Shhh. Secret.
Ben: You get 20% off, 20% off and use that code for the New Media Expo in Las Vegas, baby.
Voiceover: Did you know that Ben Greenfield personally mentors trainers, coaches, physicians, and nutritionists from around the globe? From business building tips, to advance team and performance, and health concepts. It’s all part of a private mastermind called The Superhuman Coach Network, when you join, you get instant access to monthly workshops with Ben, a Q and A forum, over 40 hours of cutting-edge audio and video education, and much more. Check it out today and become one of the world’s leading health and fitness experts at superhumancoach.com/podcast.
Listener Q & A:
Kim: Hi Ben, this is Kim. I have a question about inversion tables. I’ve heard you mention many times the benefits of inversion tables and I’m interested in buying one, not because I have a bad back but for brain biohack reasons. However, I have high blood pressure, my doctor says I have “the gene”. I have never practiced any of the bad habits for self-induced high blood pressure. I’ve seen information on both sides: one – several information that suggest if you have had high blood pressure, you just stay away from inversion tables. And the other half of the information I’ve seen says – if you have high blood pressure, inversion tables can be beneficial. Just wondering if you have any thoughts on this. Thanks. I enjoy the show, and hi, Brock!
Brock: I like that her doctor told her that she has “the gene”, as if that’s like she can’t do anything about it.
Ben: The Gene – dadadada!
Brock: You have “the gene”, I’m sorry.
Ben: You have “the gene’ for high blood pressure. It’s called the “heart gene”. You have a heart…
Brock: Yeah, you have a heart and you have blood.
Ben: You are at risk for blood pressure, you also have arteries and veins, and that increases that risk even more. Well, we’ve certainly done episodes on natural remedies for high blood pressure. And really the thought on this is very simple. Pretty much anything that trains your body how to vasodilate and vasoconstrict better is good for blood pressure. And so, that would include things that are red because nature gives us clues. Beets are a perfect example, watermelon is in fact another good example of something that increases nitric oxide and can open up blood vessels. There are products out there that do like grips strength training where you grip and release, and grip and release. And those are actually fantastic for high blood pressure based on the same reason that like yoga and taichi are good for high blood pressure because you learn how to move and relax, then move and relax. So any of those types of exercise modalities are fantastic for high blood pressure. The other thing and we’ve interviewed this gentleman on the podcast before. What’s his name? He’s so prolific that I’ve forgotten his name. He wrote the book, Body by Science, Doug McDuff. And his strength training protocol which is basically a super, super, slow strength training protocol, right? Like 10-30 seconds up, 10-30 seconds down, two complete muscular failure before moving on to the next exercise and doing like 5 different exercises.
The idea, and I’ve written an article about this over at quickanddirtytips.com but the idea is that when you’re moving that slowly, you get a huge amount of peripheral blood pressure increase like in the little capillaries that are in your muscle and that serves to drive blood back to the heart thereby decreasing what’s called central blood pressure. And so you get a blood pressure lowering effect in terms of the type of blood pressure that would be considered to put you at risk for cardiovascular disease while still getting all of the strength training risks or strength training benefits, rather, depending on how you look at them. So yeah, really interesting but any of those strategies can be used for blood pressure and of course I’ll link to the previous podcast that we did. It was 140 somethin’ I think a while back on blood pressure. One eighty four, podcast 184. Anyways though, when it comes to inversion tables, there is some talk out there about inversion tables and blood pressure and the reason for that is because there is this fellow named Dr. Goldman back in the 80s and he published this medical study that suggested that inversion therapy could increase blood pressure and internal eye pressure. And for anyone who’s hung from an inversion table before, that part of that internal eye pressure, probably does not surprise you. And the first few times that you hung from an inversion table, it is uncomfortable. Your head gets a lot of pressure in it and that’s first of all just because your body has to learn how to shuttle blood efficiently as you’re hanging upside down. The other reason is that inversion actually increases the amount of capillaries that feed your head and so you increase blood flow to your head and blood flow to your brain through the use of an inversion table but the first few times when you don’t have that buildup of capillaries, and you’re not accustomed to shuttling that blood around, it is uncomfortable and you do actually feel that your eyes are gonna pop out of your head. So anyways though, after that study there’s been a series of studies that have shown that inversion tables and inversion therapy is not responsible for strokes, it’s not responsible for popped blood vessels, and research shows that you’re no more of a stroke risk hanging upside down than if you’re exercising or moving right side up. So, further research has found that the body has these mechanisms that get put into place to prevent any damage from being upside down. Your body learns how to shuttle blood quite efficiently in the same way that when you’re lifting weights as long as you’re doing so in a slow and controlled fashion, that peripheral blood pressure offsets the central blood pressure. It’s very, very similar with hanging from an inversion table. And actually similar research has shown that with inversion especially inversion with oscillation, meaning as you’re hanging from inversion table, you sway from side to side and you sway back and forth…
Brock: Oh, I thought you’re gonna say rotating… like a spinning inversion table.
Ben: Like a gyroscope… Some of the patient’s blood pressures in those studies actually dropped, so an inversion table may actually be beneficial for blood pressure ultimately. The trick is to kinda move as you’re doing it, right? To kinda twist around stuff as you hang. So, I’m a fan, like I mentioned earlier of inversion and of hanging, if you wanna get a good inversion table, I would say, if I could recommend one brand, it would be the brand Teeter, that’s T-e-e-t-e-r and they have this brand called Hangups. Teeter Hangups. They’ve been around since like the early 80s, that’s the type of inversion table that I have. It’s much easier than like getting crappy boots and the pull up bar and hanging from the door even though I think Teeter does indeed make that type of system too if you wanna do – who is it? James Bond that hangs upside down and does the situps?
Brock: I don’t know.
Ben: I don’t remember.
Brock: I know Rocky did it but he was hanging in the like in a barn.
Ben: Yeah. Anyways, those particular tables are tested really well for endurance and rotation control, and ease of assembly and they meet the most astringent inversion tables safety standards. Did you that there are indeed inversion table safety standards?
Brock: I didn’t but I’m glad to know that there is.
Ben: And they even – if you go Teeter, I’ll put a link in Amazon but the Teeter Hangups even has like this really cool chart that shows you a bunch of exercises that you can do from an inversion table. Twenty Nine different stretches and movements that go above and beyond just situps and swaying side to side. So…
Brock: Oh, they’ve got a vibration cushion too.
Ben: Yeah, I mean you could pretty much like go full on, like high class, first class.
Brock: I’m never standing on my feet again!
Ben: Yeah, so check it out – Teeter Hangups. We’ll put out the Amazon link to Teeter’s stuff in the show notes for you at bengreenfieldfitness.com/306 and best of luck not popping blood vessels in your head.
Mike: Hi Ben and Brock! Great podcast and love all the wonderful information. And this is Mike from Northern Indiana. I experienced an injury this last summer during a triathlon. On the run portion, I felt twinge in the bottom of my foot and after consulting with a podiatrist, the diagnosis was Posterior Tibial Tendon Dysfunction or PTTD and I’m wondering if there’s anything I can do for that tendon and just for the overall general health of my tendons and ligaments and what you would recommend. Thanks for the information and the awesome podcast. You guys do a great job!
Brock: I like that it’s nicknamed “adult acquired flat foot”.
Ben: (chuckles) Exactly! Yeah… it’s acquired.
Brock: Are you supposed to get it as a child and that’s weird that you get it as an adult? I don’t know understand why it’s called that.
Ben: Well, you know that – it was back in the 1900s that there’s this guy named Philip Hoffman, he was an orthopedist. He did this study and the study was called “Comparative Study of Barefooted and Shoe- Wearing Peoples” which is fantastic title.
Brock: That’s the title of my next album.
Ben: I am a shoe wearing people. Are you a shoe wearing people?
Brock: I am not.
Ben: No, I am barefooted. Anyways though, he published some really interesting results in The American Journal of Orthopedic Surgery with a bunch of photos and they were in particular photos and studies of people who grow up wearing shoes vs. people whose feet were primarily spent inside of shoes. Or people who grow up barefoot vs. people whose feet were inside of shoes. And when you look at the photos that are absolutely amazing. The difference in terms of cramped toes and the flat feet, and the collapsed arches and the people who are accustomed to shoes vs. the people who grow up like walking on the beach, and walking barefoot. And even if you look at kids, like one of the photos shows a kid who’s worn shoes for 3 months and then compares that to an adult who went barefoot their whole life. Three months was all that it took to shape a child’s foot and start to cause their toe like their big toe to turn inward and the amazing things that in this study, in which this Dr. Hoffman looked at over 186 pairs of primitive feet which would be like hunter gatherers and tribal populations who just don’t wear shoes and walk around barefoot. He didn’t find one single foot that have this flat foot syndrome or any of the other symptoms of weakness that you find in normal shoe wearing populations. So, foot development turned out to be really similar on all populations, up until the introduction of these built-up overprotective shoes. So shoes are the primary culprit when it comes to altering your natural foot structure. But they found some other interesting things to like – there’s a study in India that found that flat feet were far more prevalent in people who wore footwear before the age of 6 and that might be because 6 are kind of like or 6 years old is when a lot of bone structure development has actually taken place by that point, but kids who are barefoot from mostly 6 years have way better developed arches and less flat feet. So, you know, you’re probably getting the idea here that one of the number one things that you could do to strengthen your feet and to even restore arches and there’s been another – this wasn’t a study , it was more of an n=1 kinda case study but they’ve shown that you can redevelop arches in flat feet just by beginning to use barefoot or minimalist shoe type of approaches. So, you definitely wanna stay away from built up, overprotected orthothics and shoes with lots of arch support. The only exception to that would be like if you’re listening in and you get a lot of heel pain and you have like heel spurs, that type of thing. Sometimes orthotics can remove the pressure from the heel granted you’re still going to weaken your arches but if you’re just trying to like heal a heel spur, then the arches can come in handy for like heel spurs, plantar fasciitis, issues where you need to take some pressure off of your heels but unless that’s the case, going barefoot and getting into minimalist footwear is one of the most important things that you can do and you can do it all the time. Even if you can’t wear shoes at the office, you can walk your dog in your barefeet, you can get the mail in your barefeet, and the newspaper, and you can walk around the living room with your barefeet, I mean, there’s so many opportunities you should be able to spend several hours per day unshod.
Ben: Now a few of the other things that are going to help accelerate the process of restoring normal archers and restoring the feet from flat feet, one would include spreading your toes, if your toes spend a lot of time in a compressed toe box, not only it can be helpful to do exercise as were you’re fanning out your toes as widely as you can and you can actually do this as an actual exercise right, relax the toes and fan them out, then relax them and fan them out. I’m all about getting more bang for your buck in a time standpoint, I mean, you could do something like that when you’re bench pressing or you know in between sets of dead lifts like you can, yeah, you don’t have just to sit there and have that be the only thing you’re doing you can do while watching re-runs of Modern Family or Family Guy.
Brock: Some shows that involve family.
Ben: Why is that? Why do funny shows have family?
Brock: I’ve never watch Modern Family. Is that funny?
Ben: It actually is, it’s pretty funny.
Brock: It’s pretty funny.
Ben: It’s legitimately funny.
Uhm, anyways though the other thing is you could actually spread your toes while you’re sleeping and I’ll put in a link in the show notes, but you can get this special things called Toe Spreaders and they actually keep your toes spread when you’re sleeping, those can help with plantar fasciitis, they can help with heel spurs, they can also help with flat feet. Uhm, walking in different directions can be extremely helpful and what I mean by this is you can do like monster walks with an elastic band attached to your feet, you’re like ankles together and you could do forward monster walks, backward monster walks, side to side monster walks, or you’re down in like a quarter squat position walking with the resistance of that elastic bond but do these in your bare feet or your socks and your feet are gonna have to work in all sorts of different directions. And then one last tip I will give you would be uneven surfaces and of course sand is one. A lot of us don’t have access to sand. There are now like anti-fatigue mats popping up all over the place for people who work at standing workstations I know there’s one that’s called Tapo. I believe it’s called – it’s on like at Kickstarter right now, I am right now as we recording standing on one called a KyBounder. it’s a k-y bounder. All these different anti-fatigue mattes here at some point for bengreenfieldfitness.com but when I’m standing on this thing in my bare-feet I’m constantly having like it is very similar to standing in sand. It can extremely dense foam and so your body is constantly having kind of move and adapt and it stretches your feet and it helps to shape your foot as you’re standing, it relieves pressure from your joints that you normally get if you’re standing on just like carpet or wood or concrete or something like that. So standing on uneven surfaces, walking on uneven surfaces, I don’t know, go jump on your bed, anything that involves walking around on uneven surface and I just kind of – but if you ever stood up and just like walk across your bed specially you got one of this new like springless mattresses, it works quite well for something like that. It’s actually very therapeutic for your feet. In previous episodes I’ve talked about like the Essentia mattress and I’ve also talked about the Casper mattress and in one of the rooms in my house, I actually have one of this mattresses on the floor, it’s in my kids’ playroom. But when I go in there and when I walk around and sometimes I just walk around that mattress and you feel your feet just stretching all over the place. So that’s another option just like, spend a bunch of money on a king-size mattress and just like throw them on the floor somewhere for walking around on if you have some change to spare. So, there’s that, if you don’t have a beach, just get a mattress. So there are those some of my recommendations for a getting rid of flat fleet.
Ally: Hey Ben! Ally again, so I eat a lot of miso like I spread it pretty thickly on my sandwiches. Is there any problem this other than I’m probably getting a lot of excess sodium? Thanks, love the podcast!
Ben: I think the first thing we need to address is – Ally why are you eating sandwiches?
Brock: I don’t know, man, I eat sandwiches.
Brock: Yeah, I’ll have a sandwich about once or thrice a week, I’ll have a sandwich. My wife makes this sour doughs bread and I’ll put like some hummus on there. I don’t think I ever put miso on there, I’ll do like some kind of vegetable and some meat like you know, an old school sandwich, dude.
Brock: It’s your fault that I don’t eat sandwiches like three years ago when I started working with you, like you were giving me the smack down anytime I’d have any bread so it’s out of my house for about two years now.
Ben: Well, yeah, but that – you don’t make your own bread.
Ben: Which is actually very – if you would freaking learn how to bake your own bread which is not hard to do.
Brock: It’s easier just not to eat bread.
Ben: Yeah, I have a recipe in Beyond Training for making your own bread that is literally like it takes five minutes to put the ingredients into a bowl and you put ‘em into a pan and you put it in the oven, it’s more like a flat bread/cracker but it works fine for sandwiches, like totally fermented gluten-free whatever.
Ben: Anyways though, miso, I guess the primary concern that a lot of people have about miso is it’s considered to be a high sodium food, like one teaspoon of miso gives you like 200-300 milligrams of sodium. But the really interesting thing is that they’ve done research on miso and found that despite its high sodium content it doesn’t appear to have that effect on the cardiovascular system particularly speaking of blood pressure, blood pressure that a lot of other high sodium foods can, and they even compared in animal studies identical concentrations of salt like table salt sodium chloride and they compared that to equal versions of miso, and found that the miso did not raise the blood pressure like the salt actually did. So you know, reasons for this aren’t quite clear but the speculation is that miso has this protein composition derived from the soy protein component which is where miso comes from is soy beans and that the building blocks of protein they get formed from this soy protein when the beans are fermented helps to counteract any of the issues with the sodium in the miso. So it’s one of those deals where it’s a whole food, right, and all the components are working together to help you out a little bit so the blood pressure isn’t much an issue with miso. Now there are some interesting thing is that you should know about miso. First of all it’s got some benefits when it comes to vitamin K if you get the right kind of miso. So there’s a bunch kind of different misomiso and the way that miso is made is you typically add a bacteria to ferment the soy beans that are used and a traditional like a Chinese miso, they’ll use bactillus bacteria and what happens is when you ferment soy bean using this bactillus bacteria is you create a bunch of form of vitamin K called MK7 which is the form that’s really important for like bone health and decreased risk of osteoporosis and proper absorption and utilization of vitamin D, balancing of calcium, all these cool things that happen when you get adequate vitamin K,, same type of vitamin K you get from say like batto or grass-fed butter. So that’s what you’d get in Chinese miso. Now Japanese miso typically uses a different strain to ferment the soy beans. This is called aspergillus.
Ben: Aspergillus, anyways though, the idea with that type of fungi or bacteria is that that can actually affect the isoflavones that are in soy beans and what happens is when that particular micro-organism is used to ferment miso, it’s capable of turning some of this isoflavones in particular they’re called genistein, there’s another one called daidzein and it ferments this into something called equol and you don’t have necessary be super duper familiar with all these terms and weird names. What you should know is that once it is present in the body has really good anti-cancer benefits and also cardio-vascular benefits and so whereas a Japanese miso, is going to be better for cardio-vascular health and for anti-cancer benefits, you’re going to get more digestive benefits and vitamin K2 producing benefits from a Chinese miso. So the take-away message here is that if you’re going to include miso as a staple in your diet.
Brock: Especially in thick quantities…
Ben: Yeah, experiment with different forms. You could use like a dark red miso, you could use a yellow miso. There’s a variety of different misomiso pastes out there that you might get in Asian section of well, technically the Asian section of most stores, it’s like the GMO non-organic miso that is notoriously high in like the genetically modified soy. But if get like a nice dark reddish brown miso or like the orange/yellow miso from like the actual Asian market or the Asian grocery store, you’re gonna get a lot of these really, really good compounds and you can see almost automatically whether it is a Chinese miso or this Japanese miso. I say mix it up right, like you use different kind to getting both benefits of the fermentation of these soy beans using different strains of bacteria. It’s the same reason I recommend a wide variety of fermented foods right, don’t just eat yogurt, have like kimchi some sauerkraut, have some kiefer, have some kombucha, like you wanna expose your body to a variety of different strange, because each of those strains result in the production of different types of vitamins, minerals and beneficial effects.
So, I guess like the one concern with miso is of course the soy, because it’s the fermented form of soy its gonna be you know a lot of digestive inhibitors, a lot of the things that can wreak havoc from an autoimmune standpoint, you don’t have as many of those risks like a fermented soy bean versus say a non-fermented soy bean like edamame for example, which I’m not a huge fan of. But if you do have, if you test your blood and you’ve got a lot of like thyroid anti-bodies or you’ve done one of the better allergy test called the Xyrex lab test where you test for really big sensitivity to soy based proteins. You may want to consider eliminating these all together. But if that’s not the case, miso like real miso, a real fermented non-GMO, like certified organic miso is really good for a lot of stuff and you can use it as a marinade. You can combine it with you know like olive oil and ginger and garlic to make some really nice dressings. You can heat it and you know I like to just make a soup on the counter top and you do some water, you do some miso and just throw in your choice on vegetable like some shitake mushrooms or some carrots or raddish and you just heat all that up and make a nice miso soup. Or of course Brock, you could put it on a sandwich, avocado and some fish and have yourself a little miso avocado seafoods sandwich.
Judith: Hi Ben! I wanna know about green leafy vegetables. Can I get too many carbs from green leafy vegetables? I heard some people limit ‘em and other people say any amount of green leafy vegetables is fine.
Brock: I love the green leafy vegetables. That’s basically what – when you give me the smackdown about the sandwiches I just basically replace it with leafy greens.
Ben: You’re gonna die of carb disease now.
Brock: Ah, crap!
Ben: Everybody knows leafy green are full of carbs. They’re gonna knock you out of ketosis.
Ben: And when you get knocked out of ketosis your world will begin spiral -downwards into early death instead of cardiovascular – no, I’m just kidding. Most people worry way too much about the carb content in vegetables. So, here’s the deal – most of that is fiber, most of the carb content in most of these vegetables even like freaking carrot you know, is fiber and you know calorie per calorie, especially dark leafy green vegetables they’re one of the most concentrated source of nutrients in any food, and the carbs like I mentioned, they’re packed in layers of fiber that makes them very, very slow to digest, they have very little impact on blood glucose I don’t know if you’ve ever like taken out a blood glucose monitor and like eaten a bunch of, you know, like kale salad with some olive oil and pine nuts on it maybe some vinaigrette and tested your blood glucose afterwards, you’ll notice pretty much like a mute response.
Ben: So, you know, and of course they’re rich in everything, like vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin E, all your vitamin B, beta-carotene and for your eyes like a lutein and the zeaxanthene, and a lot of dark leafy greens have a little bit of omega 3 fatty acids in them and I can’t say enough positive things about them. Some people, and I will acknowledge this you know, they can for like thyroid conditions like non-heated when they haven’t been steamed like spinach and kale and some this things what they have called goitrogens in them, those can have an impact in thyroid functions if you’re eating a bunch of them. The other thing you should know is if you’re following a low fodmap diet, like if you have constipation, gas-bloating, small intestine bacterial growth, those type of things, some of these vegetables and spinach is among them tend to ferment and they tend to have a high potential for fermentation if you do a lot of them, like spinach for example, more than 15 leaves of spinach that’s considered enough to cause some significant fermentation if you’re somebody who struggles with like constipation or small intestine bacterial over growth.
Brock: As much as 15 leaves.
Ben: You could, you could go Google fodmap chart and I recommend anybody who struggles like constipation, gas, bloating, digestive distress, etc., you pay attention to a fodmap chart just like slap it on in your fridge and you could see, you know for example, colored greens don’t really ferment, kale doesn’t really ferment, ginger doesn’t really ferment, these are all things you could put into smoothie. Whereas like cabbage has pretty good fermentation potential, spinach has a lot of fermentation potential, tomatoes ferment, onions and garlic big time. So there’s some of these things that you just want to pay attention to, but ultimately when it comes to the sugar content it is pretty low in all of these dark leafy greens.
Now when you look at carbs in general if you wanna consider this like on a carb matrix, leafy vegetables are gonna have the least amount of carbs in them right, so lettuce, herbs, spinach, kale, all that stuff. Next up would be stems and flower vegetables in terms of carbohydrates contents like broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms, asparagus, still not a lot of carbs when we’re comparing these to like fruits and potatoes but, those have a slightly higher carb content than some of the lettuces and dark leafy greens. Next you have fruits, and fruits, that would, you know, not necessarily traditional fruits like melons and apples but just – a fruit is the part of the plant that contains the seed, right, so squashes would fall in this category, peppers, eggplant, green beans, tomatoes, all of these are fruits. Avocados are kinda considered a fruit as well in this case even though they have considerably less carbohydrates than like squashes, peppers, eggplants, green beans, etc. But in time you’ll start to deal with seeds, and a vegetable/fruit then you’re going to have a little bit high carb content and as you probably woud have guessed, roots are a vegetable and those have the highest carbo kind carbohydrate content in all the highest starch content. And I would say those would be the one thing to really go out of your way if you’re really trying to go low carb or control surges in blood glucose you could just be careful with these you know, like, you eat them after you workout or whatever, parsnips, sweet potatoes, yams, you know, carrots and radishes can also be considered roots but they have way less carbohydrates than sweet potatoes and yams and white potatoes and some of things you would intuitively, you know, when you eat them, you can tell there’s this you know, a little bit more – more starchy.
Brock: I like to do a demonstration.
Ben: So, anyways, that’s kind of deal with low carb vegetables versus high carb vegetables but ultimately vegetables in general are low carb when we’re talking about comparing them to like vegetables versus a jamba juice or vegetables versus a bag of chips or a yes, a sandwich. So, ultimately I wouldn’t worry about this too much at all. I would keep your dark leafy greens up and don’t worry about the whole like ketosis/kale conundrum. Oh, that’s what we should call this – the ketosis/kale conundrum podcast.
Brock: Yeah, I thought for sure you gonna bring up the net carb ratio, like the calculation?
Ben: Oh, yeah.
Brock: Offset of the carbs by the fiber content?
Ben: Yeah, that’s where you look at the label and it has x amount of carbs in it but then when you look at it you can see how many are those carbs right from fiber versus how many are actually derived from like true you know, starch based carbohydrate. But the problem with that is that sometimes I forget about this stuff ‘cause I don’t look at labels barely anymore coz I just eat food that doesn’t have freakin’ labels on it. So, that’s part of these too. And more real food and you’ve just got like dried foods in glass mason jars and vegetables and produce and some meat, it’s like, you know, the whole label thing becomes far less of an issue when you’re eating that way which I encourage you to do if you’re listening in.
Brock: Speaking of glass jars filled with real foods, we’ve got a couple of people over the last little while that have had the same sort of complaint, I would call it. A couple of them, well pretty much everybody who’s written in has asked to be anonymous but basically the problem boils down to a boyfriend and or a husband and or a wife have gotten a little too deep into this podcast, (laughing) to the point where their significant other have actually been kind of filled with resentment towards you Ben because they listen to you more than they listen to the their significant other and basically like keep the house too cold, keep the lights too dim, do things, yoga poses while they’re supposed to be chitchatting, rolling out on a rolling foam roller the entire time they’re watching tv, and stuff like that to the point where they’re a kind of destroying their relationship by the sounds of things and I feel like they’re going too far but I – maybe we should give people some advice here.
Ben: Yeah, I think that that’s a misconception a lot of people have about me and people who are on the cutting edge of health is that we’re all like connected to a FitBit 24/7 walking around with you know, aluminum foil tucked in our underwear to protect us from EMF, a little hand held meter to measure how much electricity is in each room that we walk in to and then just like a lacrosse ball in the pocket at all times to rule out any tiny little element of you know, tissue adhesion and maybe what else? A heart rate monitor, of course, you have to have a heart monitor…
Brock: Blue glasses for the morning and/or glasses in the evening.
Ben: Yes. The glasses all the time and the different spectrums for the different times of day. Here’s the deal – I think probably the best way to frame this would be a really good book that I’m personally reading right now. The book is called Just Enough, and in some this book is about success and its basically saying that success is not about spending all of your time in the pursuit of one objective, right, so much that you miss out on the pleasure and the richness that you can find in other dimensions, but instead have a good balance of just enough, in each category, and in the book, I’ll put a link to it in the show notes for folks if they wanna get it you know, it’s what I’ve got in my Kindle right now, but the books talks about how there’s four categories that are gonna keep you satisfied in life and successful. And these four categories are happiness, achievement, significance, and legacy. And when these four factors are in balance your success will feel satisfying and worthwhile and I certainly think that you can get out of balance when it comes to for example the achievement component where you’re like trying to have it all, trying to do every workout, trying to use every biohack and all of a sudden like your focus on your family, which should fall into like that legacy category falls out of place, you focus on significance like what kind of contribution that you’re making to the world would fall out of place, your focus on happiness like eating a giant tub of gelato or having hot crazy wild sex instead of going to bed at 9:30pm…
Brock: Oh, maybe both!
Ben: … when the sun has set, you know, like so you know, you can certainly get out of balance and I personally, I know that this is a little bit airy-fairy in terms of putting an exact amount, but I, I follow about an 80-20 approach right, like I’m always posting things about how alcohol can be detrimental and might cause hormonal disruption. It’s not like have a little meter that I measure at exactly six ounces of wine with each night, like I pour glass of wine every single night and every once in a while when I’m out and about all I have is three or four drinks and you know, and one of those might be a – shocker! – a beer that’s not gluten-free like all these things that frankly I don’t really care about because my focus that point is on happiness and relaxation and not you know, counting calories or paying attention to being to being in a consistent biohacking mode. I will go to you know, see a movie sometimes, or watch movie at home, and I don’t have my blue light blockers on or like my compression boots, I don’t have like a foam roller there, I’m just like sitting there, you know, like snuggling up to my wife and you know, making out, I don’t like to get carried away here, but like I know I’m not gonna get laid you know, three quarters of the way through that movie if, you know, which is you know, let face it like that’s one of the fun things about like hanging out like watching movies something like that, what it ends up with and so that’s another case where I’m just like screw it, I don’t need to be doing all these biohacking. I’m just here to have fun, you know, the same thing with food, like every single night is just about all throughout the day I eat the same thing almost everyday right?, like I have smoothie for breakfast, I’ll have a salad for lunch and at night I eat whatever happens to be there like tonight is pad thai night at our house. We’ll have pad thai, the kids are making pine apple ginger ice cream like you know, and yeah like that would totally knock me out of ketosis as a totally high carb meal, my blood glucose is gonna be through the roof when I go to bed but I don’t freaking care because I’ve had a great night my family eating wonderful food and just hanging out. And so this what this comes down to is yeah, sometimes you’re going to potentially create a little bit of a deficit in the health that you’re constantly pursuing. Sometimes you’re going to miss out on a chance to workout a muscle tissue adhesion or miss out on a chance to recover properly cause you got back from a workout and decided that rather than taking a magnesium salts bath and spending 15 minutes on the foam roller you’re gonna you know, whatever crack open a beer and stand around chatting to a friend on the telephone, you know. So it’s just like you have to have this balance. I would encourage you read this book “Just Enough” because so many of us just focus in like the all or nothing principle rather thinking about hey what’s the minimum amount of this stuff that I could do, to achieve some happiness, you know, achieve some help but then focus on other things like significance and legacy and contribution and achievement rather than just focusing on our own freakin’ bodies. I think I just broke a record for how many times I said freaking.
Brock: That’s ‘ cause you mean it.
Ben: Just ‘cause I can’t say the other word. Anyways though so yeah that’s my take on this, is do not be under the impression that I endorse this constant 100% 24/7 bio-hacking mentality because I don’t and you know, I am all about getting the most you can for the minimum amount of input, the minimal effective dose, right, and just enjoying life. And if you were come to my house and hang out you’d find that there is far less of this focus on bio-hacking than you maybe under the impression that there actually is.
Brock: I was working on a video the other day, again with Dr. Doug McDuff, funny he came up twice in this podcast but he was specifically talking about exercise when he said that but I think that it rings true for this as well, he said if you actually get stressed out or angry because you can’t make it to your workout or you have to skip going to the gym or something like that then you probably gone too far.
Ben: And you also probably have the wrong outlook on what exercise is, anyways, because for me if I get to the end of the day and I can’t make it to the gym, it doesn’t matter coz I’ve been like walking around in on my feet and taking pull-up breaks and all that stuff all day, anyways so exercise for me is an option not a need you know, at the end or at the beginning of the day. So yeah, but I completely agree like that’s a great segue, if you miss your foam roller, if you’re in a pissy mood then yeah, there’s probably a little bit of a change in priorities that needs to take place.
Brock: Alright, well, there we go!
Ben: Alright, well I guess that’s – that replaced this week’s review I suppose. But of course if you do wanna leave a review, we do send out some super duper cool Ben Greenfield fitness gear packages straight to your front door and if you got an iTunes and you leave a review not only do we appreciate it, not only it is good karma for you, also send your free crap.
Brock: Not literally, not literal crap.
Ben: Go to iTunes, leave a review, check out our resources for this episode at bengreenfieldfitness.com/306 where you can learn to hang from an inversion table, fix flat feet, and sleep with Toe Spreaders on, assuming those don’t annoy your significant other. Yes, alright. Well have a healthy week, folks. Thanks for tuning in.
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Jan 21, 2015 Podcast: Are Inversion Tables Bad For Blood Pressure, How To Get Rid Of Flat Feet, Is Miso Healthy, Hidden Carbs In Vegetables, and When Biohacking Goes Too Far.
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As compiled, deciphered, edited and sometimes read by Brock Skywalker Armstrong, the Podcast Sidekick and Audio Ninja.
Are Inversion Tables Bad For Blood Pressure?
Kim says: She is interested in learning more about inversions tables. Not because she has a bad back but for brain biohack reasons. But, she has high blood pressure (her doc says she “has the gene”) although she doesn’t have the lifestyle factors. Should she be worried about using an inversion table with high blood pressure?
How To Get Rid Of Flat Feet
Mike says: During a triathlon he felt a twinge in the bottom of his foot. After going to a podiatrist he was diagnosed with PTTD (Posterior Tibial Tendon Dysfunction or “adult acquired flatfoot”). He is wondering if there is something he can do to treat that and his general tendon health.
In my response I recommend:
Is Miso Healthy?
Ellie says: She eats a lot of miso. She squirts it pretty thickly on her sandwiches. Is there any problem with this other than getting a lot of sodium?
Hidden Carbs In Vegetables
Judith says: She wants to know about Green Leafy Vegetables. Can you get too many carbs from them? She heard that some people limit them… why would they do that?
When Does Biohacking Go Too Far?
Girlfriend says: My boyfriend is an avid follower of you. If I break it down simply — he will do anything you say in your podcast or blog. I’d be lying if I didn’t say I have some resentment that he listens to you more than me… :) I commend him and you for optimizing your life. But you have to admit, a lot of the stuff you cover can easily appear as crazy to the average individual. I’ve watched my boyfriend swallow a dozen amino acid/or whatever pills in one gulp, wear orange glasses everywhere he goes, keep the thermostat at a chilly 60 degrees, and replace all his lights with red light bulbs. He rarely holds a conversation with me without rolling on a pipe, stretching, or doing yoga poses. You speak about better love & relationships, but I have this digging feeling that he’s unwilling to compromise, and yes, I’ll say it, obsessed with optimizing his life. Do you have any advice? Shouldn’t there be a balance to this?
In my response I recommend:
-The book “Just Enough“