Harvard Says This Is the Ultimate Meal Plan

Article Source: Health And Fitness Journal

By Dr. Mercola

It stands to reason that if different foods offer unique nutrients to heal your body and maintain (or regain) health, it might be a good idea to change up your meals to include as many beneficial vitamins and minerals as possible if you’re not doing so already.

Including as many types of nutrients in your overall daily meal plan has a fringe benefit: A little variety in your life really does spice it up, especially in the area of your food choices. Determining which foods provide the most important nutrients is a good strategy to optimize your health.

The reality, however, is that many people eat the same meals over and over, day after day, usually because they feel they don’t have time to research which foods they should eat and often end up eating snacks by default instead of real food. It’s always easiest to choose what you already know works for you.

If sticking to a set of go-to meals you enjoy eating and take the shortest time to prepare are your main considerations, you may be missing out on delicious options and super easy meal plans that will provide the nutrients you need without a lot of fuss.

A One-Day Meal Plan for Optimal Nutrition?

Many people wonder if it’s possible to get all the nutrients they need from food alone, and the answer is generally yes, provided you focus on high-quality foods (vitamin D, which your body produces from sun exposure, would be one exception). According to Harvard Women’s Health Watch:

“Experts agree that the best way to get the nutrients we need is through food. A balanced diet … offers a mix of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients (some yet to be identified) that collectively meet the body’s needs.”

It’s not a new concept. Harvard Health explored the premise in 2009 when they reported on a study involving nearly 162,000 postmenopausal women in the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI), with an emphasis on how people could get the vitamins and minerals needed through their diet.1 The study revealed that women who took multivitamins had similar rates of heart disease and certain cancers, as well as longevity, as those who did not, which suggests focusing on dietary interventions may be key.2

When it comes to optimal nutrition, eating foods that will fuel your body and help prevent disease is important, but you need to know what to gravitate toward and what to stay away from. As a reminder, whatever you eat, when it comes to meat and dairy, pastured is best, and for other foods, organic is often crucial to avoid ingesting genetically engineered or chemically treated fare.

Harvard expert Dr. Helen Delichatsios, nutrition educator at Harvard Medical School, suggested a variety of foods to include in a one-day meal plan that would, all totaled, provide the general nutritional requirements for a 51- to 70-year-old woman, which I’ve adjusted slightly:3

  • Breakfast might consist of 8 ounces of raw grass fed yogurt with a handful of walnuts (14 halves) and a cup of papaya and kiwi, along with 4 ounces of raw grass fed milk
  • Lunch could be a colorful garden salad containing 1 cup of dark green lettuce, one red pepper, 1 cup of grape tomatoes and sunflower seeds, with olive oil and balsamic vinegar as your dressing and fresh-ground black pepper on top
  • Dinner could be 4 ounces of wild-caught Alaskan salmon, topped with a raw grass fed yogurt, lemon and garlic sauce, and a cup of steamed baby Bok choy

While this might not be enough food for some people, the quantities would vary depending on your size, age and health status. Further, it would be wise to include a wider variety of healthy foods in your diet than is listed above. With that in mind, what would you need to eat to get the right amount of vitamins, minerals and other more obscure compounds to feel and function your best every single day, and even improve your mitochondrial function in the process?

My Take On the Harvard Recommendations

I firmly believe that three meals a day is NOT the optimum meal plan. I personally only eat two and I know many people that only eat one meal a day.  It is pretty clear from the hundreds if not thousands of papers I have reviewed that time restricted eating or intermittent fasting is the best strategy for health.  I personally only eat in a four hour window every day unless I am fasting which I do for five days a month.

‘Fat for Fuel’ Ketogenic Cookbook: A Superior Option for Your Daily Meals

More than half of all Americans struggle with chronic illness, and 1 in 5 deaths in the U.S. is obesity-related. This is a direct result of eating far too much sugar and grains, too much protein and far too little healthy fat.

To reduce your risk of chronic disease, maintain a healthy weight and improve your mitochondrial function (a key to long-term weight management and good health) through diet, the key is to eat in such a way that your body is able to burn fat as its primary fuel rather than sugars. Ketogenic diets are very effective for this, which is the focus of my latest book, “Fat for Fuel.”

A companion tool to “Fat for Fuel” is my “Fat for Fuel Ketogenic Cookbook: Recipes and Ketogenic Keys to Health from a World-Class Doctor and an Internationally Renowned Chef,” with celebrity chef Pete Evans. It provides you with the delicious, kitchen-tested recipes you can use in your daily life to make the shift to fat-burning.

While the Harvard daily meal plan was an improvement over the typical American diet, it misses some key points, like incorporating healthy fats. Examples of the easy-to-prepare, go-to meals you’ll find in my “Fat for Fuel” cookbook are below. Use these recipes to help ensure you’re getting the nutrition you need, without all the fuss:

Green Eggs and Ham (for Breakfast) (Serves 2)


  • 4 eggs
  • Melted coconut, for brushing
  • 4 tablespoons finely chopped herbs (parsley, thyme, basil, mint and/or chervil)
  • 4 to 6 slices of ham, to serve
  • Raw veggies (lettuce, carrot and celery sticks, cherry tomatoes) to serve


  1. Fill a small saucepan with water and bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce the heat to simmering, add eggs and cook for 6 to 7 minutes. Drain, and when cool enough to handle, peel the eggs under cold running water
  3. Brush the peeled eggs with coconut oil, then roll them in herbs, gently pressing the herbs with your hands until evenly coated.
  4. Serve the eggs with the ham and raw vegetables.

Fennel, Watercress and Herb Salad with Shallot Dressing (for Lunch)
(serves 4)


  • 1 large fennel bulb, trimmed and shaved, fronds reserved
  • 1 large handful watercress
  • 1 handful mint leaves
  • 1 handful dill fronds, shaved
  • Lemon wedges, to serve

Shallot Dressing

  • 1 French shallot, finely diced
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Using a mandolin or sharp knife, thinly shave the fennel.
  2. Place all the herbs in a large bowl and set aside.
  3. To make the dressing, place all the ingredients in a small bowl and whisk.
  4. Pour dressing over the salad just to coat and gently toss to combine, season if needed.
  5. Arrange on a platter to serve, drizzling more dressing on if desired. (Leftover dressing can be stored in a sealed jar and refrigerated up to two weeks.

Crackling Chicken (for Dinner)
(serves 4)


  • 8 chicken thighs, skin intact
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 2 teaspoon coconut oil or good-quality fat
  • 2 teaspoons spice mix (like Cajun or Moroccan)
  • Lemon wedges, to serve


  1. Flatten the chicken thighs with a mallet so they’ll cook evenly. Season with salt.
  2. Melt the oil in a large, heavy pan over high heat; place the chicken, skin side down in the pan and season with the spice mix.
  3. Fry undisturbed for 6 to 8 minutes or until brown and crispy. Flip and fry 3 more minutes until cooked through. Remove from the pan and keep warm.
  4. Serve with lemon wedges and vegetables or salad.

Nutrient-Dense Foods to Include in Your Ultimate Meal Plan

Some of the most nutrient-dense foods to include in your diet, in no particular order, include:


Sardines and anchovies

Crucifers, i.e., cauliflower and Brussels sprouts

Bone broth

Pastured beef

Pastured organic eggs, milk and butter

Berries, i.e., raspberries, blueberries and strawberries

Nuts, i.e., pecans and macadamias

Seeds, i.e., sesame and sunflower

Olive and coconut oils

Wild-caught Alaskan salmon



Red onions and garlic

Sprouts, i.e., broccoli and sunflower

Fresh herbs i.e., oregano, rosemary and basil

Fermented vegetables

Chili peppers

Crimini mushrooms

Dark leafy greens

Some people have decided that, due to time constraints or other inconveniences, taking some kind of one-a-day multivitamin to make up for any glaring inconsistencies in the way of nutrition will do the job. However, Harvard Medical School experts digress. Dr. Clifford Lo, an associate professor of nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health, says this approach isn’t as simple or as foolproof as it may seem, and for a couple of reasons.4

Taking dietary supplements to “fill in the gaps” nutritionally may end up providing more of certain vitamins, minerals and other phytonutrients than is good for you. Too much vitamin A, for example, can overload your system and actually become toxic.5 While in some cases a high-quality daily multivitamin can be beneficial, it’s important to know what your body needs and what you’re not getting through food before including dietary supplements in your routine.

For nutrients that can only come through ingestion, getting them from food as opposed to through supplements is always best. However, if it’s a nutrient you can’t get through food, it’s an essential nutrient. Unfortunately, nutritional deficiencies are becoming more common, and only being informed can help you move toward optimal health.

Eating Well Is Wise, but Other Elements Are Also Important for Health

Eating well isn’t the only thing to pay attention to as you make progress in taking control of your health; other aspects of your life are just as important, especially as there are so many unhealthy aspects that make illness and disease more prevalent, such as free radicals caused by exposure to air pollution and chemicals in household cleaners, lawn fertilizers, pet products and beauty products.

Protecting your ability to get eight hours of sleep every night is one consideration toward reaching optimal health, as is avoiding setting your cellphone by your bedside or carrying it near your body, exposing yourself to harmful electromagnetic fields (EMFs). As for putting together a nutritionally based meal plan, getting an array of different nutrients is one of the most important strategies for fighting disease.

Coming up with what to eat for your daily meals is half the battle to eating right, which is why relying on a cookbook like “Fat for Fuel” makes getting healthy so much easier. Make it your go-to source for meal planning and soon you’ll have confidence that in at least one area of your life, you actually are taking control of your health.

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Healthy Pumpkin Spice Latte: Make This Fall Favorite at Home

Article Source: Health And Fitness Journal

The distinct sweet smell and
flavor of pumpkin spice can give us a warm fuzzy feeling during the holidays. What
better way to enjoy this spice that we’ve associated with comfort than by adding
it to a hot[CO1] 
drink? If you’re one of those people who absolutely love fall, there is a high
chance that you’ve sipped a soothing mug of pumpkin spice latte.


However, if you take a closer
look at the nutritional content of Starbucks’ pumpkin spice latte, you can see
that it’s a health disaster waiting to happen. The sugar content alone is
something that should alarm you, as a standard pumpkin spice latte can pack up
to 50 grams of sugar per serving![1]


While Starbucks and other coffee
shops can offer you the convenience of getting your pumpkin spice fix on the go,
they also expose you to a variety of health repercussions because of the excessive sugar


If you’re looking for a healthier
and a more natural version of this popular drink, try this recipe instead. Not
only does this recipe use only high-quality ingredients, but it also saves you
from overloading on sugar by using only the natural sweetness of the pumpkin



1 cup coconut milk

1 teaspoon Dr.
Mercola’s MCT oil

2 tablespoons of
organic pumpkin puree

2 teaspoons of
Dr. Mercola’s vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon of
pumpkin spice

1/4 cup Dr.
Mercola’s organic dark roast coffee



1.       Blend
all ingredients in a blender until smooth.

2.       Heat
on stovetop until it simmers.

3.       Top
with a sprinkle of pumpkin spice.

4.       Serve

What Exactly Is Pumpkin Spice?


Pumpkin spice is basically the
same combination of spices traditionally added to a pumpkin pie; hence, the
name. It’s a mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg, dry ginger, clove and allspice. This
means that pumpkin spice, the natural kind made from fresh spices, can offer
you a slew of health benefits. Here are some of the health benefits that you
can get from the following ingredients of pumpkin spice:


Cinnamon. Cinnamon contains high
amounts of calcium, fiber and manganese. These components help promote bone,
reproductive and cell health[DRFS2] .


This brown spice is packed with phytochemicals and antioxidants that help
in disease prevention and pain management. It is also rich in manganese, copper
and magnesium, which are essential for cell repair[DRFS3] .


Allspice has anti-inflammatory properties, which may help in reducing the
effects of arthritis,
gout and muscle pain. It
can help with digestion, immunity and dental health as well.[2]


Clove. As an expectorant, clove can
help in alleviating inflammation in the respiratory system. It also promotes
the production of gastric acids, which can aid in digestion[DRFS4] .


However, because of the
popularity of the pumpkin spice flavor, a handful of companies have made it a
point to add artificial flavors and shocking amounts of sugar to better
replicate how freshly baked pumpkin pie tastes.


When buying pumpkin spice
flavored products or just the spice alone, make sure that you check whether
they’re organic and free of any artificial ingredients. You can also opt to
make your own pumpkin spice blend to be sure that all the ingredients are of
the highest quality.


What Health Benefits Can You Get From Pumpkin?

Pumpkin is actually extremely
nutrient-dense and fiber-rich. It is also one of the main ingredients in
pumpkin spice latte, because it holds everything together and gives the drink
its natural sweetness. Some of the nutrients you can get from pumpkin include:


A surplus
of vitamins and minerals.
Pumpkin is filled with vitamin A, C, calcium and
iron, which are essential nutrients to promote and maintain good health[DRFS5] .


Antioxidants and flavonoids. The high antioxidant and
flavonoid content of pumpkin can help in the prevention of heart disease,
cancer, macular degeneration and other diseases that may be triggered by
oxidative stress[DRFS6] .


Fiber. Pumpkin
is loaded with fiber, which helps keep you feeling full for longer periods of
time. Eating foods that are high in fiber can help you lose weight and promote
better digestion.[3]


When buying pumpkins, make sure
that you go for the organically grown ones instead of those that are conventionally
grown. Pumpkins may not harbor as many pesticides as other crops, but they are
still exposed to a variety of chemicals that can be harmful to you and the
environment. Pumpkins found in bulk bins are most probably conventionally
grown, which means that you should steer clear from these.[4]

Coffee May Protect You From Chronic Disease


While I don’t usually drink
coffee  because I can’t stand the taste,  it would be unfair to snub the impressive
health benefits
of this “liquid energy.” Coffee has been around for
thousands of years and has been widely utilized for its energy-boosting


If you drink coffee as an
everyday breakfast drink, you’re probably reaping the benefits. Just make sure
that you’re not pouring insane amounts of creamer, sugar or other artificial
sweeteners into your cup. Some of the impressive benefits you can get from coffee


Protects against
clogged arteries.
A study showed that people who drank three to five cups
of coffee a day were less likely to develop heart disease. Coffee drinkers had
little to no calcium deposits in their coronary arteries compared to non-coffee


the risk for melanoma.
Coffee has been observed to promote cell apoptosis,
fight against oxidative stress and alleviate inflammation in the epidermal cells[DRFS7] .


prevent dementia.
The high caffeine content of coffee promotes brain health
by providing the proper triggers for the release of brain-derived neurotrophic
factors, which are responsible for activating brain stem cell conversion to new
neurons[DRFS8] .


reproductive health.
Studies show that daily consumption of coffee can
lower your risk for prostate cancer or endometrial cancer by as much as 20


It should be noted that coffee
consumption is not at all recommended for pregnant women as it can adversely affect
the development of your unborn child. Your risk of suffering a miscarriage also
increases, as well as heart damage and birth defects on the part of the baby.

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7 Ways to Minimize Jet Lag

Article Source: Health And Fitness Journal

By Dr. Mercola

Jet lag, also known as flight fatigue, time zone change syndrome or desynchronosis, occurs when travel across time zones disrupts your internal body clock, resulting in mental, emotional and physical symptoms such as:1,2

  • Daytime sleepiness and lethargy followed by nighttime insomnia
  • Anxiety, irritability, confusion and poor concentration
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Headache, nausea, indigestion, dehydration and/or general malaise
  • Decline in physical and athletic performance3,4

There are a number of helpful tricks and “bio hacks” that can help minimize the effects of jet lag when traveling between time zones, or help you overcome the effects faster. This includes pretending you’re in your destination time zone while still at home, stimulating your heart meridian at certain times, antioxidant support and use of supplemental melatonin. Interestingly, fasting may be an overlooked but potent antidote as well. I’ll review a couple of different dietary techniques below.

How Air Travel Affects Your Body and Mind

Aside from jet lag, air travel can have a number of other health effects as well, including the following (see list below).5 Air travel is even associated with a number of psychological effects, courtesy of low oxygen levels (hypoxia), including increased anxiety, stress and other negative emotions that can make you grouchy and unfriendly.

On the other hand, a heightened emotional response can also present itself as tears of joy and relief when watching inflight entertainment. As reported by BBC News: 6

“A new survey by Gatwick Airport in London found 15 percent of men and 6 percent of women said they were more likely to cry when watching a film on a flight than they would if seeing it at home. One major airline has gone as far as issuing ‘emotional health warnings’ before inflight entertainment that might upset its customers.”

Pressure in the ears due to changes in air pressure. Chewing gum during ascent, and swallowing or yawning during descent can help equalize the pressure

Headache due to low oxygen. Prevent by drinking plenty of water and avoiding caffeine and alcohol during the flight

Foot, ankle and leg swelling, raising your risk for a blood clot, due to impaired blood flow.

Prevent by standing up now and then, and flexing, rotating and extending your ankles while sitting. Compression stockings may also be helpful

Dehydration due to dry air. Prevent by drinking plenty of water before and during the flight

Toothache due to shifts in air pressure. There’s no way to prevent the pain associated with the expansion of gas trapped in fillings or cavities, so see a dentist before traveling if you suspect you have a problem

Fatigue, sleepiness, increased reaction times and reduced ability to make decisions due to low oxygen

Gassiness due to shifts in cabin pressure

Altered/dulled sense of taste and smell. Taste sensitivity can be restored by staying well hydrated

Dry skin due to dry air — a problem easily addressed with moisturizing lotion. Also, be sure to drink plenty of water

Bad breath due to dry mouth. Remedy by brushing your teeth on the plane and staying well hydrated

Minimize Jet Lag by Pretending You’re Already There

As a general rule, your body will adjust to the time zone change at a rate of one time zone per day. What this means is, if you need to be at your physical or psychological best, you’d want to fly out one or more days ahead of time. If you cannot squeeze in the extra time, you could act “as if,” and pretend you’re in your destination time zone while still at home.7

To do this, simply wake up and go to bed according to the destination time rather than your local time. Also, be sure to shift your mealtimes accordingly. As an example, if you were planning to travel from New York to Paris, start going to bed (and shift your mealtimes up) an hour earlier each day, three days ahead of your flight, and avoid bright light for two to three hours before going to bed. Here are a couple of other helpful pointers to consider:

  • In the morning, be sure to expose yourself to bright full-spectrum light. If the sun is not yet up, use a clear incandescent light bulb along with a cool-blue spectrum LED to shut down melatonin production
  • If traveling at night, wear blue-blocking glasses on the plane, and continue wearing them until you go to sleep, as excess blue light will impair your melatonin production and make it difficult to fall asleep
  • Once you’re at your destination, get up as close to sunrise as possible and go outside. This will help to reset your melatonin production. If weather and circumstances allow, it would be best to do this outdoors with your bare feet on the ground

The Argonne Anti-Jet Lag Diet

Another jet lag trick you rarely hear about is the Argonne anti-jet lag diet,8 detailed in a 2012 Harper’s Magazine article by Steve Hendricks.9 The diet, developed by the late Charles F. Ehret in the early 1980s when he was a senior scientist at Argonne’s Division of Biological and Medical Research, claims to be able to help you quickly adjust your internal clock to a new time zone. It’s also recommended to “speed the adjustment of shift workers … to periodically rotating work hours.”

According to Ehret, who studied chronobiology, your biological clock is cued not only by light exposure but also by when and how much you eat. The technique involves determining the time of breakfast at your destination on the day of your arrival, and then rotating feasting and fasting four days ahead of your scheduled travel, as follows: 

  • Day One: Feast day. “Eat heartily with high-protein breakfast and lunch, and a high-carbohydrate dinner. No coffee except between 3 and 5 p.m.” Examples of high-protein breakfast/lunch include steak, eggs and hamburger. Examples of high-carb dinner include pasta (no meatballs), crepes (without meat filling), potatoes and other starchy vegetables
  • Day Two: Fast day. Avoid all carbohydrates and keep calories to a minimum. Eat only light meals of salads, soups, fruits and vegetables. If you must drink coffee or any other caffeinated beverage, drink it between 3 and 5 p.m.
  • Day Three: Feast day. (Same as Day One)
  • Day Four: Fast day. “If you drink caffeinated beverages, take them in morning when traveling west, or between 6 and 11 p.m. when traveling east.” Avoid all alcohol on the plane. Remain fasting until breakfast (about 7.30 a.m.) at your destination, at which time you break the fast by feasting on a high-protein breakfast  

The above protocol is not intended as a healthy eating strategy other than one that seems to be helpful when seeking to remediate jet lag. But alternating between feasting and fasting overall is a healthy approach as long as your food choices are healthy. As noted by Hendricks:

“Ehret theorized that the diet worked because the days of irregular eating gradually unmoored the body’s biological clock from its usual rhythms, while the big breakfast and subsequent meals re-anchored the clock in the new time zone.

In a 2002 study published in the journal Military Medicine, National Guardsmen who followed the diet were found to be 7.5 times less likely than a control group to suffer jet lag after flying from the United States to Korea. On their return, they were 16.2 times less likely to lag. (The difference between the two flights has not been explained, although, as the authors noted, jet lag is more common flying east than flying west.)”

The Anti-Jet Lag Fast

Another even easier strategy was devised by a team of researchers at Harvard and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. The anti-jet lag fast involves determining the time of breakfast at your destination and then fasting (abstaining from all food and drink except noncaloric beverages like water) for 12 to 16 hours beforehand. As noted by Hendricks, “Since most of us go 12 to 16 hours between dinner and breakfast anyway, the abstention is a small hardship.”

This strategy is thought to work because fasting causes your master clock to suspend the circadian clock and instructs your body to sleep less. When food intake resumes, the master clock switches the circadian clock back “on.” Hendricks explains:

“The master clock probably evolved because when our prehistoric forebears were starving, they would have been tempted in their weakness to sleep rather than forage for the food they needed to survive. 

Today, when a traveler suspends his circadian clock before flying from Los Angeles to London, and then reactivates it upon breaking the fast, the clock doesn’t know that it should still be on Pacific Time. It knows only that the breakfast and the daylight declare morning in Mayfair, and it resets the body’s rhythms accordingly.”

On a side note, fasting (calorie restriction) also activates a very potent biological pathway called Nrf2, a biological hormetic that upregulates all of your beneficial intercellular antioxidants. It also lowers inflammation, improves mitochondrial function and stimulates mitochondrial biogenesis, among other things. So, in addition to resetting your body’s internal clock, fasting may help you feel better when traveling for these reasons as well.

Minimize Jet Lag With Traditional Chinese Medicine

You can also trick your body into connecting with a new time zone using Traditional Chinese Medicine techniques involving the stimulation of certain acupuncture meridians. As explained by acupuncture physician John Amaro in Acupuncture Today:10

“Borrowing the knowledge of the general circulation of chi, and being aware that each meridian undergoes a two-hour time peak that moves and peaks from meridian to meridian as it travels through its general circulation, it was reasoned that if one were to reset the body clock utilizing the horary cycle, the body in theory could be made to function at the horary cycle of wherever the person is physically located on the planet, disregarding the effects of so-called ‘time travel.’

The best part of the theory is that it worked! … In virtually every instance in which the subjects were advised to stimulate the proper points based on the theoretical concept, they reported (and it was observed) that jet lag literally did not occur. They felt they were connected to the time zone of their newly arrived destination, as opposed to the time of their departure location.”

Amaro details a technique involving stimulating points for a particular meridian based on the Chinese body clock,11 where each meridian corresponds to a two-hour interval. For example, if you were to board a flight in Los Angeles at 7 p.m., heading to Tokyo, where it would then be noon local time, you would stimulate the heart meridian, as it rules between the hours of 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Two hours into your flight, 2 p.m. Tokyo time, you’d stimulate the small intestine meridian, which rules between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Every two hours, you’d stimulate the ruling meridian until you land at your destination.

Cardiologist Dr. Lee Cowden devised an even shorter version of this technique, focusing on just one meridian — the heart meridian. He explains this technique in the video above, originally taped in 2009. Here’s a summary of the steps:

1. The day of your trip, set your clock to match the local time at your destination (depending on the time of your flight, you may have to do this a day ahead)

2. At 11 a.m. (the local time at your destination), stroke your heart meridian three times on the left and three times on the right. Your heart meridian begins just to the outer side of your nipple, up through your armpit and down the ulnar aspect (inner side) of your arm, down the outside of your pinky. Once you reach the end of your pinky, gently press into the base of the fingernail (heart point in Traditional Chinese Medicine). For a demonstration, please see the video above

3. At noon, repeat the heart meridian strokes

Antioxidant Support Helps Ameliorate Jet Lag Symptoms and Shield Against Radiation

Cowden also recommends taking a high-quality, broad-spectrum antioxidant before and after boarding the plane. Astaxanthin may be an ideal choice as it also helps shield against cosmic radiation exposure, provided you’ve been taking it for at least three days ahead of time. Another antioxidant supplement that can be helpful when flying is molecular hydrogen, which is a highly effective selective antioxidant.

Tyler LeBaron’s website,,12 lists several hundred studies relating to hydrogen. You can also find a number of his lectures on YouTube. In summary, molecular hydrogen consists of two atoms of hydrogen, the smallest molecule in the universe, which:

  • Is a neutral molecule that can instantly defuse across any cell membrane
  • Has no polarity
  • Is a potent, selective antioxidant

Free radicals are not all bad; they do serve important health functions. The problem is excess free radicals, or the wrong ones. Molecular hydrogen has been shown to selectively target the damaging free radicals produced in response to radiation, such as the gamma rays you encounter at 35,000 feet in the daytime. Studies have shown molecular hydrogen can mitigate about 80 percent of this damage.

If you have a healthy microbiome, your body can make  about 10 liters a day of hydrogen gas. However, when you have a steady state of exposure, you don’t get the other benefits, so you need to pulse it. That’s where you get the benefit. I’ve taken molecular hydrogen tablets on my last few flights, and felt much better than I normally do when flying. There are a number of different ways to get it, but the most practical way is to take molecular hydrogen tablets.

Once you’re at about 5,000 to 10,000 feet, put the tablet in a small bottle of room temperature water, as ice water will slow the reaction. Put the cap back on and leave it on while the tablet dissolves to prevent the gas from escaping. Once dissolved, drink it as quickly as possible. The hydrogen gas will continue working for about two hours, so if you’re on a longer flight, you may want to do a second dose halfway through. 

Typically, what I wind up doing is just swallowing the tablet and make sure I get at least 8 ounces of water to buffer my stomach. I will take one tablet every hour-and-a-half to two hours, so on a flight from Chicago to Los Angeles I will take two tablets, but from Atlanta to Chicago I only take one.

Melatonin May Help You Sleep

Once you reach your destination, take a fast-acting sublingual melatonin along with a slow-release oral melatonin around 10 p.m. (or just before bedtime if you go to bed earlier). Keep in mind that only a very small dose is required — typically 0.25 mg or 0.5 milligrams to start with, and you can adjust it up from there. Taking higher doses, such as 3 mg, can sometimes make you more wakeful instead of sleepier, so adjust your dose carefully.

Also be sure to stay well hydrated before and during travel, whether you’re flying or driving to your destination. Your brain controls sleep and it functions best when fully hydrated. As you can see, there are several ways to minimize jet lag, so the next time you fly, try one or more of them to find a combination that works for you.

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