When it comes to nutrition and our bodies, there are plenty of things to be on the lookout for and to take note of. After all, we do deserve to know what’s in our food as well as what some specific food and supplements can do for our bodies so we can make the best food choices possible.
Here we’ve gathered some nutrition and health facts that could be both scary and fun. These would go great for trivia nights at home!
1. Real-life zombies walk among us
We’re talking about the chilling facts about poor sleep and not getting enough of it. During bedtime, our body and brain go to work, essentially doing a critical reboot process which is whyit’s so important to get a full night’s rest (which is 7 to 9 hours for most adults).
Not sleeping enough can lead to an array of health problems like depression, psychological distress, weight gain, increase risk for diabetes and heart risk, food cravings, weakened immune system and can even affect your athletic performance at the gym.
There are several supplements that are worth consideringto improve your sleep quality:
2. Shiny deception
Shiny grocery store fruits are waxed and often sprayed with shellac (a type of bug feces).
What is shellac? Shellac or lac resin which are excreted by a female lac beetle is a product from India and is used in waxes for fruits and vegetables.So yes, they are not vegan! Without this waxy layer, the raw fruits would spoil too quickly.
These are also used on pharmaceutical pills and other hard candies to give them a shiny coat, they are often called confectioner’s glaze. Make sure to wash your shiny fresh looking fruits or go for organic produce.
3. Healthy guts are swarming with bugs
That’s right, you’ve got tons of bacteria on you. In fact, healthy human bodies are full of microorganisms. Perhaps the largest collection of microorganisms or bacteria live in our gastrointestinal tract - our gut.
The bacteria that live in our gut are very much tied to our health and wellbeing, thus it’s vital to keep our gut health in check. Some signs of an unhealthy gut are: fatigue, food cravings, unintentional weight changes, autoimmune conditions, migraines, depression/anxiety and allergies.
You can avoid these by taking a eating probiotic-rich foods like yogurt, saurkraut, kimchi, and tempeh to name a few or taking good probiotic supplements like collagen powder or L-Glutamine and sneaking them into your meals to ensure you've got it covered.
4. Some health supplements on the market are NOT third-party certified
Why should you care?While the health and protein supplement market is saturated with more and more options, unfortunately, some of these supplement providers are not third-party tested which makes it easy for companies to cut corners on quality control and end up with a product with inaccurate labels or worse, carry harmful or toxic ingredients.
Avoid potential health risks and choose your supplements wisely. At VPA, we’ve employed third-party lab testing by the National Measurement Institute, the authority for Australia’s chemical, biological, physical and trade testing.
Are your supplements third-party tested?
5. You get a new skeleton every 10 years
Like how our fingernails and hair are constantly growing and replacing themselves, the same goes for almost everywhere ourbodies including your bones. They regenerate themselves every 10 years. So it’s worth noting that however strong your bones may seem, the cells they’re made of won’t last a lifetime.
Thus, this highlights the importance of optimal nutrition to support strong bones or recovery from injury. Here we can highlight the importance of consuming collagen supplements as it is a protein source that can help reduce the risk of bone disorders like osteoporosis. Collagen and calcium makes our bones strong and flexible enough to withstand stress.
6. Bye Bye Skin Cells
Whether your skin is dry or smooth as a baby’s bottom, though we don’t see it, every hour of the day we lose about 30,000 to 40,000 dead skin cells off the surface of our skin. It’s just a fact of life.
Where do they go? They collect on your table, couch, bed – In other words, your house is filled with former bits of yourself. Study shows in one year, you'll shed more than 8 pounds (3.6 kilograms) of dead skin.
It gets even grosser: Your house is also filled with trillions of microscopic life forms called dust mites that eat your old dead skin. **shivers**
7. Hairy Food
I love peanut butter and I’m in pain as I’m writing this but the FDA has released data that there are apparently more than one rodent hair in every 100 grams of peanut butter.
These are disguised as “natural” contaminants” rodent hair, bug parts, fly eggs are not only in your food, but they are approved to be there.
Apparently these are present in most foods like tomato sauce, meats, fruits and vegetables, canned foods and etc.
8. One word: sugar
We know we eat too much of it, and we should eat less of it, right? Luckily our behaviors are finally catching up with our knowledge and Australians are now eating less added sugar than we were 25 years ago. However, sugar comes in many different forms and we often don’t even know we are consuming it.
There are at least 61 different names for sugar listed on food labels according to the FDA. Here are some of the many names that sugar can be hidden on a nutrition panel: sucrose and high-fructose corn syrup, as well as barley malt, dextrose, maltose and rice syrup, among others. So it pays to pay close attention to the labels and shop smart!
If anything, try to create your own sweet fixes at home with healthier substitutes from fruits and healthy delicious smoothie bowls! Homemade goods are safer when you know what you’re adding to them and can control the sugar content. Try these delicious recipes!
9. We shrink as we age
Yes, horrifying news. In fact, according to some research, we begin shrinking as early as our 30’s. Studies show that height loss is related to aging changes in bone, muscles, and joints. This is because of a variety of changes in the body:
- Our spinal discs lose water and flatten over time causing the shrinkage.
- The arches of our feet flatten as we age
- Muscle loss known as sarcopenia (the loss of skeletal muscle mass and strength), can cost you to lose as much as 3% to 5% of muscle mass each decade.
Good news: you can do something about it! Phew.
This is where protein comes in as it is the king of muscle food. The body breaks it down into amino acids, which uses it to build muscle. While food sources are always best, supplemental protein can help if you struggle with consuming enough calories and protein from your regular diet.
10. Social media and eating disorders
Social media is a scary place. Have you seen Netflix's The Social Dilemma? Everything and almost everyone on social media portrayed perfect, altered or edited to some degree, and can influence unhealthy or dangerous decisions among teens and even adults.
Recent studies have suggested that the incidence of eating disorders among adolescent girls has increased over the last 50 years. Women (generally) between the ages of 18 and 25 showed a link between Instagram and increased self-objectification and body image concerns, especially among those who frequently viewed #fitspiration images.
Ladies and gents, let’s be mindful about who we follow on social media. Do these guys even lift?? This is precisely why our team at VPA are very critical about our VPA ambassadors. Follow people who walk the talk. Don’t get sucked in the hype! Love your bodies and love the process. Remember, there are absolutely no shortcuts. We do not support crazy unhealthy dieting. After all, fit bodies need almost even more calorie intake.