15 Science Backed Ways To Reconnect With Your Ancestral Self

15 Science Backed Ways To Reconnect With Your Ancestral Self

In today's world, we have lost all connection with what it means to be human.

We eat poorly, do jobs that dull our light, isolate ourselves and with every iteration of new technology become more and more distanced from our true form.

What has followed is chronic illness and feelings of overwhelm and discontent.

Humans are not supposed to be a product of society living in a state equivalent. We are supposed to be a part of communities that help us grow and thrive.

The good news is that while we have lost our ways as a species, there are science backed tools we can utilise to reconnect with our true human form.

These tools are not bro science but have good research behind them. Many of them are simple enough to implement if you are disciplined and can transform your life.

These just make sense when you visualise them in terms of how our ancestors and hunter gatherers used to live.

1. Practice Grounding Everyday

Grounding is the practice of putting your bare feet on the ground instead of wearing foot prisms which block your connection with the earth.

While grounding on face value seems ‘woo woo’ there is evidence suggesting it can help improve the inflammatory and immune process.

Researchers believe that connecting to the earth allows free electrons from the earth to pass into the body where they have antioxidant effects and assist in preventing reactive oxygen species (ROS) from causing damage to health tissue (1).

Research looking at ground practices has shown a reduction in inflammation via medical infrared imaging (2).

Preliminary evidence has shown that ground may (3)(4):

  • Improve sleep
  • Normalise the day-night cortisol rhythm
  • Reduce pain
  • Reduce stress
  • Shift the body from autonomic arousal into parasympathetic activation
  • Improve heart rate variability
  • Speed wound healing
  • Reduce blood viscosity.

Outside of grounding, walking barefoot or at least using minimalist shoe ware has been shown to increase foot muscle size and strength (5).

2. Get Adequate Sunlight Daily (Especially When Overcast)

In this current day and age people largely live and work inside. We wake up and avoid getting early morning sunlight which disrupts our sleep and mood.

We need adequate sunlight for our bodies to create Vitamin D, which is one of the most important and if not the most important vitamins for good health and vitality.

Low vitamin day has been connected with multiple health concerns including:
  • Autoimmune diseases (6).
  • Depression (7)(8)(9).
  • Schizophrenia (10).
  • Brain disorders (11).
  • Prostate and Breast cancers (12)(13).
  • Erectile dysfunction (14).
  • Low Testosterone in Men (15).

As is fairly evident in the literature, vitamin D deficiency seems to impact multiple systems across the body and particularly the health and vitality of both men and women.

So if you can do one thing for yourself, get enough sunlight. If it is overcast then getting enough outdoor time becomes more important given the LUTS emitted from the sun are less. 

3. Prioritise Getting Great Sleep

The importance of getting high quality and restful sleep is incredibly important.

    However like many other poor human habits it is largely neglected and often difficult to achieve. We are surrounded by blue light from screens, prioritise late night tv and partake in habits which erode our ability to get a deep night's rest.

    Poor sleep and sleep deprivation has been connected with so many poor health outcomes the list could span multiple pages.

    However, when zooming out, poor sleep has been heavily researched in the context of cardiovascular disease, metabolic disease, cancer and all cause of mortality (16).

    Some good science backed tools you can utilise to improve your sleep include:

    • Getting sunlight into your eyes within 10 minutes of waking (do not stay in bed scrolling on your phone). This will help control the production of cortisol and melatonin and set your circadian rhythm to prepare you for a good night's rest (17).
    • Watch the sunset or go down at night (this will help notify your body that it is time to start preparing for sleep) (18).
    • Try to avoid blue light as much as you can once the sun has set and it is dark. Studies show that blue light disrupts the body's ability to produce melatonin (19)(20).
    • Workout during the day and move your body. You will notice that on days you are inactive, your sleep will suffer (21).
    • Avoid large meals close to bedtime (22).

    4. Walk at least 8000-10,000 Steps Everyday

      In today's world, the majority of the population fails to get above 5000 steps on a daily basis. We have gone from an evolutionary past of constantly moving to one where we are sitting down for 75% of the day because of work obligations or watching tv.

      In a recent study looking at thousands of people, those who walked over 8,200 steps a day were protected against chronic health conditions like obesity, sleep apnea, reflux and depression compared to those who did not (23).

      As an example, in comparison to those with a median step count, the risk of obesity declined by 31% when participants increased their step count to 10,000 (24).

      5. Stop Wearing Polyester Underwear

      One of the quickest ways for men and women to kill their reproductive health and vitality is to wear polyester based underwear.

      Polyester is plastic and in studies has been shown to act as a contraceptive for both men and women.

      In one study, 14 men wore a polyester underwear sling for 12 months. During that time it was found that men wearing the sling had decreases in testicular volume and also exhibited degeneration in the Seminiferous tubules. Once men stopped wearing the sling, the above reverted back to normal (25).

      Likewise, another study divided men into four groups (26). One group wore 100% polyester underwear, the second group wore 50% polyester and 50% cotton and the third and fourth group wore 100% cotton and wool. The study found that those wearing 100% polyester or a 50% blend had significantly reduced sexual desire and sexual activity in comparison to the other groups. 

      In women, one study looking at dogs found similar results with the main difference being a reduction in progesterone and an inability to conceive (27).

      There are a few good options you can utilise instead of polyester:

      • Organic GOTs certified cotton underwear 
      • Organic wool underwear
      • If you are a male, those who reported wearing boxers had higher sperm concentration and total count, and lower FSH levels, compared to men who did not (28).

      6. Eat Nutrient Dense Whole Foods Everyday

      Unfortunately, the majority of society runs on a westernised diet which consists of packaged foods which are high in additives, preservatives, vegetable oils, sugar and refined ingredients.

      In fact, one recent study published in the lancet found that 1 in 5 of the deaths worldwide are attributable to the western diet (29).

      There is no doubt that diet is one of the leading contributors to chronic illness but there is a simple solution. 

      Eat wholefoods which are nutrient dense.

      We might be biassed but eating organ meats like liver, and consuming foods such wild caught salmon, salmon roe, pasture raised eggs, berries and a diverse range of vegetables is a great place to start.

      The rule of thumb you should follow is that if it comes from the earth then it is something your body will recognise as food.

      7. Lift Heavy Things Regularly 

      Doing strength training can be one of the best things men and women can do to improve health and wellbeing.

      In one meta analysis looking at 16 studies, it was found that muscle strengthening activities were associated with a 10-17% lower risk of all cause mortality, cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes (30).

      This percentage increased greatly when combined with aerobic exercises, with a reduced risk of all cause mortality, cardiovascular disease and cancer by 40%, 60% and 28% respectively (31).

      Lift heavy things and start getting active and you will reap the rewards. As little as 30-60 minutes a week of strength training has been shown to give benefits.

      8. Immerse Yourself in Nature

      This point ties into grounding but when is the last time you were out amongst nature. Not the local park or local beach but really out in an area of the world where all you could hear are the sounds of nature.

      In such an industrialised world we have lost all connection with the natural world and doing so has had a detrimental impact on our health and wellbeing.

      Studies show that forest bathing, which is the practice of immersing yourself in nature has a positive impact on blood pressure, immune and autonomic functions as well as improving mental health symptoms like depression (32)

      This also holds true for living close to the natural elements with people living by the beach reporting better general health and mental health than those not doing so (33).

      9. Get Comfortable Being Hungry

      When was the last time you decided not to eat because you were hungry?

      For some people, fasting for 12 hours can be incredibly challenging. We have grown up being told that 3 meals a day is healthy.

      However, this really has no scientific backing behind it and is a result of companies marketing their products. Would cereal exist if people did not think breakfast was a necessary meal.

      Now, this is not saying that you should always go hungry because this is not realistic or healthy in some instances.

      However, periods of fasting are normal with research even showing great health benefits. Some benefits may include reduced inflammation, better metabolic health and could extend longevity amongst other benefits (34)(35)(36)(37)(38).

      This makes sense when you look at how our ancestors used to eat. We never had constant access to food on a daily basis but would rather have intermittent periods of feast and famine of varying degrees.

      There are now multiple fasting practices which have good scientific backing. Two of the most common are time restricted eating and intermittent fasting.

      10. Connect With Community 

      Being part of a community or a group of likeminded people is incredibly important and essential to being human.

      Without human interaction, we become isolated and with it comes poor health outcomes. This has become more relevant given the past few years.

      Social isolation significantly increases a person's risk of all cause mortality and rivals those of smoking, obesity and inactivity (39). 

      It has also been associated with a 50% increased risk of dementia, a 29% increased risk of heart disease and a 32% risk of stroke (40). Naturally, it has also been connected with higher rates of depression and anxiety (41).

      Humans are social beings so it only makes sense that we thrive when surrounded by other like minded people.

      11. Micro Stress Your Body to Build Anti Fragility

      Stress has negative connotations attached to it. However, micro stresses can be great for human health and improve ‘anti fragility’.

        Anti fragility means that you become more resilient to everyday stresses.

        Practices which build antifragility include cold therapy, sauna use and certain types of exercise.

        Outside of building fragility, many of these practices have great health benefits. For instance, a 20 year Finnish study found that men who used a sauna 2-3 times a week had a 23% decreased risk of dying from cardiovascular disease (42).

        When we look at our ancestors, they would have experienced intense periods of hot and cold.

        These practices are difficult in the short term but overtime build resilience and make other aspects of your life easier such as dealing with general life stressors.

        Incorporating micro stressors is a great way to reconnect with your true human form.

        12. Detoxify Your Environment

        Whether or not we know, exposure to environmental toxins is one of the leading causes of chronic illness.

        However, because it is difficult to visualise, it is often overlooked.

        We are exposed to chemicals and toxins on a daily basis. Personal care items, cleaning products, cooking equipment + more.

        In fact, the EWG suggests that women on average apply 168 chemicals to their bodies everyday. 

        Some of these chemicals include known toxins like BPA, parabens, phthalates, fragrances, PFAS, titanium dioxide and more.

        All of these chemicals have been linked to poor health outcomes in humans and especially impact the hormonal systems in men and women.

        13. Intimacy With Someone You Trust and Feel Safe With

        Being intimate with someone who you trust and feel safe with is an important part of being human.

        For example, studies have shown that men and women who reported any sexual activity in the past year had significantly higher mean enjoyment scores compared to those who were not sexually active (43).

        However, while this is important, studies also show that sharing intimacy with someone you trust is also important as casual intimacy can have negative emotional impacts on people (44).

        Intimacy is an important part of human health and carries with it many health benefits.

        14. Stop Drinking Tap Water

          Despite what many people may believe, tap water is not safe to consume.

          While tap water quality can drastically differ across countries and technically be better in some parts of the world this does not make it safe.

          In Australia, several studies have found concerns with tap water:

          • Of 62 water samples (from 34 different locations across Australia) 49% contained PFOA. PFAS, like PFOA have been linked to endocrine disruption, cancer and reproductive concerns (45)(46)(47)(48).
          • One study in NSW found that 56% of samples had detectable levels of lead. Lead exceeded the guidelines in 8% of samples (49). If you want to look up what lead in tap water can do to a city, look up the Flint Michigan tap water crisis.
          • According to professor Andrew Pask at the University of Melbourne, atrazine is a common contaminant in the waterways of Australia and most likely finds its way into drinking water. It is also known to make its way into tap water in other countries (50). In one Australian study, rats exposed to atrazine levels considered ‘safe’ led to an increase in dead sperm and decreased motility after 8 weeks (51). Likewise, another Australian study found that wallabies exposed to atrazine during pregnancy and lactation lead to smaller penis length in male offspring (52).

          So what can we do about this? Invest is a good quality water filter that goes through the process of reverse osmosis. It will minimise close to 99% of known tap water contaminants.

          15. Throw Your Vegetable Oils in The Trash

          Vegetable oils are heavily processed oils like soybean oil and canola oil. There are countless forms of vegetable oils and they are used in almost all processed and packaged foods. Vegetable oils are typically added to foods to extend shelf life, improve the flavour profile and for cooking.

          Unlike Extra Virgin Olive Oil or Avocado oil which are minimally processed to create the end product, vegetable oils go through heavy processing in order to create the oil. Some of these steps may include using solvents, neutralizers, de-waxers, steamers, bleachers and deodorizers. In many cases, vegetable oils like canola oil are extracted using hexane, which is a known neurotoxin in large amounts (53). Residues of hexane have been found in the end product of canola oil for example (54). 

          Adding to this is that often these vegetables are sourced from GMO sources like GMO soy and corn which have been found to contain residues of pesticides like glyphosate, another possible carcinogen (55).


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          40. Ibid.
          41. Ibid.
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