Matt Maruca, CEO of Ra Optics, shares with us the core principles behind The Light Diet. After seven years of trying countless protocols (you can read Matt’s story here), Matt discovered the most important factor for living our best life – LIGHT.
The Light Diet addresses the root cause of chronic disease and mitochondrial dysfunction, using the power of light.
What is the Light Diet?
The Light Diet works to improve body functions and rhythms by aligning our habits to the conditions in which our ancestors lived. It consists of the following 8 techniques.
- Watch The Sunrise
Early morning light features a unique composition of frequencies that set our body’s circadian rhythm accurately for the day. Studies show the wavelengths at sunrise and sunset have the biggest impact on brain centers that regulate our circadian clock, mood and alertness.
- Minimize Sunglasses, Sunscreen, Clothing, and Contact Lenses
Skin is essential for a variety of processes such as vitamin D production, the release of nitric oxide, and much more. Our eyes are the master sensor through which sunlight influences the hypothalamus of the brain, circadian rhythms, metabolism regulation, and production of key neurotransmitters and hormones.
Our eyes are the master sensor through which sunlight influences the hypothalamus of the brain, circadian rhythms, metabolism regulation, and production of key neurotransmitters and hormones.
When natural light is filtered through glass or any other type of material, it loses some of its health benefits. German light researcher, Dr. Alexander Wunsch states that even something as simple as windows and glasses can turn, even the best light, into "junk light.” Therefore, it is essential that we spend ample time, every day, exposed to unfiltered, full spectrum sunlight, without these filters between our eyes, skin, and the sun.
- Eat With The Sun
Because our metabolism is most active during the hours when light is prevalent, eating the majority of our food while the sun is out allows us to burn food more efficiently. When our body is focusing its energy on digesting food, it cannot focus energy on sleep and repair. This is why many find consuming their largest meal early in the day allows them to wake up, feeling significantly less “heavy” and with more energy.
- Sunbathe Daily
Sunbathing allows our body's cells to charge, turning the water in our cells into a battery that can store electrical potential. To this point, Dr. Pollack likens the cell to an entropic battery, in which ATP generates energy by inducing order in cellular water, which in turn extends proteins into higher-energy states, preparing the cell for action. Just 5-10 minutes of sunbathing can produce meaningful change in the body.
- Live Outdoors as Much as Possible
Just as glasses, contact lenses, and clothing filter sunlight so that it loses much of its value, walls and roofs reduce the amount of illumination we receive from natural light. This reduction in illumination can eventually lead to a condition that light researchers call "mal-illumination”, a condition in which the body is deficient in full spectrum sunlight.
Mal-illumination can affect the body in a tremendous amount of ways, including poor sleep, low energy, anxiety, depression, heart disease, high blood pressure, degenerative disease, reduced immunity, stunted development, and so much more. For these reasons alone it’s vital to live outdoors as much as possible.
- Watch The Sunset
Similar to watching the sunrise, sunset gazing exposes our eyes and brain to a unique spectrum of light that signals our circadian rhythm that night is approaching, reducing production of cortisol and increasing natural production of the sleep hormone melatonin.
Melatonin is the master antioxidant hormone of the body. It is responsible for a wide variety of functions including scavenging for free radicals, repairing mitochondrial DNA, and reducing risk of disease. Taking supplemental melatonin does not necessarily have the same effect on the body as naturally produced melatonin. However, taking natural precursors, such as Qualia Night, are beneficial when combined with The Light Diet protocols.
- Block Blue Light, Especially at Night
Not all wavelengths of light (also called colors when found in the visual spectrum) affect the body in the same way. The wavelengths the body uses to regulate our body’s clock, known as a circadian rhythm, are in the blue range.
The invention of the lightbulb was the first time man created a source of light that could affect our body’s rhythms. Over time, artificial light sources have been developed to include a higher volume of blue light wavelengths to stimulate greater wakefulness and productivity. But, at a cost.
The issue with man-made light sources, especially LEDs, fluorescents, and light emitted from screens, is that they do not contain the full spectrum of colors, which are naturally balanced and have a calculated effect on the systems of the body as a whole. When one wavelength is significantly elevated in an artificial light source, relative to its proportion in the sun, it causes imbalance in the body's circadian rhythm, hormonal systems, and in the organ systems and biochemical reactions affected by light. For this reason, it is particularly essential to block blue light from our eyes after the sun sets.
- Cultivate Your Inner Light
The mind-body connection is powerful. Regardless of how much we optimize our circadian rhythms, if we are disturbed internally and not cultivating happiness on a daily basis, our overall health can be impacted. By practicing meditation, stillness, personal reflection via journaling, and spending time in solitude we are able to cultivate our inner light.
Connect With Matt
Matt Maruca is a researcher, entrepreneur and educator in the fields of photobiology, mitochondria and optimal human health and the founder of Ra Optics, a company known for producing the world's finest blue light blocking glasses.
Matt now spends his time traveling the world, studying and teaching about the relevance of light in human health cycles with a focus on reversing this situation, as well as integrating science with ancient Eastern wisdom.
If you’d like to learn more about blue light and its impact on mitochondrial functions and sleep performance check out the Ra Optics blog or connect with Matt on Instagram.
Shop Ra Optics glasses. Use code neurohacker at checkout for 10% off.