I spent a whole day attending the USANA Health Advisor Training Course on December 14, 2019. Here’s some record that I would like to share with you.
They teach a lot in this course, whether it’s things that I already know, those I only know a little about it or those I don’t know. This is why people need to learn, to increase our knowledge. Many people like to ask what is the best investment.
To be honest, I believe the best investment is to invest in yourself, whether it’s about financial management or health.
First, let’s talk about why do we need extra nutrition.
I sorted out six whys from this course. To briefly speaking, it’s because the decrease of nutrition units and types and the increase of nutrition needs.
Here’s why we need extra nutrition nowadays
1. Less nutrients in food
2. More harmful substances in living environment
3. More life stress
4. Bad habits
5. Higher frequency of eating out
6. Food choices and preferences
Nutrients are usually divided into micronutrients and macronutrients.
Macronutrients are sugars, proteins and lipids that we’ve already known.
Micronutrients refer to those required lesser but have important effects on the maintenance of normal physiological functions of the organism. For human, this mainly includes two categories, vitamin and trace minerals. Those elements less than 0.01% in an organism are further called micronutrients.
The requirements for the types and amount of micronutrients vary from species to species. For example, the types of micronutrients required by human body are differ from those types required by the plant.
Normally, we take these micronutrients from daily diet, however it is difficult to take enough micronutrients in our living environment nowadays. That is why we need to take nutritional supplements for extra supplying of nutrients.
1. Less Nutrients in Food
It’s a real problem that even if we eat as balanced as we did 50 years ago, the amount of nutrients we could get is reduced.
According to Dr. Irakli Loladze in this video, carbon dioxide concentrations worldwide are rising, from 371ppm in 2001 to 402ppm in 2016.
This effect has caused changes of the composition in a variety of crops. Except the proportion of carbohydrates has increased, all other micronutrients have decreased. It occurs in every grain, which makes us unable to get the same amount of nutrients even if we eat as balanced as we did before.
In addition, in this production efficiency first world, many livestock are fed with artificial feeds instead of vegetables, which further makes the unbalance of nutrients that we could get. Again, that is why we need to take nutritionl supplements for extra supplying of nutrients.
2. More Harmful Substances in Living Environment
Environmental hormone has increased in nowadays. And things like plasticizer, toxic starch, gutter oil, animal feed oil etc., that we’ve heard before are also cause threaten to our health. Although we don’t hear such news recently, but I highly doubt this kind of things would disappear. Dust in the air, especially PM2.5, are the other pollution in our environment that would threaten our health.
In addition, people in the efficiency first world usually use pesticides to protect crops from disease, insect stings and bites. An obvious example is that we used to see some earthworms in soil after raining.
And since when could we rarely see them. What I can imagine is that more and more toxic accumulated in soil. So it is import to improve our immunity to live in the nowadays world.
3. More Life Stress
It is the first time that I know, in this course, that stress could accelerate the consumption of nutrients, especially vitamin B group and vitamin C, which really surprises me.
I’ve read a book “我賺了30年“ written by Dr.李豐. She says in the book that under the microscope, people’s emotion might change the shape of cells in their body. When they feel happy, their cells are shaped mellow and full and when they feel unhappy, their cells are shaped flat and dry. This makes me curious and wondering if it’s true, which is amazing, or not.
Have you ever feel that stress makes you tend to shop online or eat some junk food? This is because stress might stimulate cortisol secretion, also known as stress hormone. More cortisol might increase blood pressure, blood sugar level and suppresses immunity.
This means more stress might suppress people immunity and protection, increase chances of anemia, insomnia and chronic disease.
Nowadays, the fast pace of life makes people feel more stressed than before. This is why people now need to take more nutrition supplement for micronutrients.
4. Bad Habits
Not until I came to this course did I know that smoking would consume vitamin C and make people’s absorption rate become worse. Information source: “Nutritionist 陳昱伶 of Ton-Yen General Hospital”
Each cigarette consume 25mg of vitamin C in the body. According to the “Dietary Reference Intakes, DRIs” published by Taiwan Health Promotion Administration, Ministry of Health and Welfare, the daily requirement of an adult for vitamin C is 100mg. That means even if smokers could take the required amount of vitamin C from the diet, it only take 4 cigarettes to deplete all these vitamin C. Vitamin C deficiency would cause scurvy, subcutaneous bleeding, gingival inflammation and bleeding, skin pigmentation, tarnishing of the skin, increased wrinkles, slowdown of injuries healing, decline of body resistance, and easily getting colds.
The average people’s absorption of vitamin C is 85%, while smokers are reduced to 70%, so smokers must take more vitamin C than others.
In addition, people who like eating fried foods and sweets (or sugar) might take too much single nutrient, which would cause the burden of the body in the long term.
5. Higher Frequency of Eating Out
According to statistics from The National Health Research Institutes of Taiwan, the proportion of junior and senior high school students eating out are: 80-90% of breakfast, 85-90% for lunch, and 65-70% for dinner and late night supper. They mainly eat out at places such as small restaurants, taiwanese buffets, street food, and convenience stores. The proportion of adults eating out are not low as well: 55-65% for breakfast, 47-62% for lunch, and 27-33% for dinner.
The biggest problem of these food high in sugar, sodium and oil, is that they contain little micronutrients. So, it’s really hard for people eating out to take enough micronutrients from these food.
6. Food Choices and Preferences
Truth is people have their own like or dislike food. Some people like eating meat, some like eating sweets and so on.
To be honest, it’s not easy to take all food equally. Take me for example, I don’t like eating meat, but prefer sweets very much. And that causes the excessive intake of carbohydrate and deficiency intake of protein.
I pay attention to eat balanced food since I’ve studied health information. I take less sugar, more whey protein to make sure the balance of nutrition.
The ingest of micronutrients are more complicated, that is why I take nutrition supplement as well to prevent hidden hunger.
Recently I’ve heard a new term, sub-health, which means an intermedia stage between health and illness.
We might heard people say that they are proud of rarely using their health insurance card since childhood. And later, some of them found that they have disease which makes them have to use their health insurance card very often. This is because they don’t have correct concept of disease prevention.
Disease prevention is divided into regular physical examination and regular health care. Just like what we do to take care of cars, regular changes of oil, brake fluid etc., and have a regular function examination of cars in a car maintenance plant, to reduce the probability of dysfunction that might cause us some life-threaten situation.
Many kinds of disease have many treatment if they could be found in the early stage. Doctors have more options to deal with these diseases, and these options often show better results in treatment. If diseases are found in the late stage, options of treatment might be very few, and the treatment effect are very limited as well.
So, I think it is really important for people to take health care and physical examination routinely. These are my concepts of health that I would like to share with you.