As the new year kicks off, my hope is to help parents learn more about how whole foods and nutrient supplementation play such an important role in the health and growth of our children. With the standard American diet of processed food, malnutrition is now becoming an epidemic among many of OUR children. Science is now making clear connections between nutrient deficiencies and their role in chronic disease. It's time we as parents start connecting the dots between what we allow our children to eat, and the end result of what their health will look like down the line.
The Dr. Rath Research Institute explained, "Although a balanced diet is one of the best ways to obtain nourishment for everyone, the majority of children are not getting enough micro-nutrients from the food they eat. Too few fresh fruits and vegetables and consumption of highly processed food results in chronic deficiency of essential micro-nutrients in children impairing their growth and health and making them prone to diseases....Children are especially vulnerable to micro-nutrient deficiencies because vitamins, minerals, and other natural compounds are essential to support healthy development of the blood and bones and all organ systems, especially the nervous and immune systems. Inadequate nutrition impairs physical growth and development of the brain and nervous system, and reduces a child's immunity and learning ability. Therefore, providing appropriate nutrition is the obvious first step in supporting healthy development of a child at any age."
The Dr. Rath Research Institute, in association with the Academy of Medical Sciences of Ukraine, conducted a clinical evaluation of health effects of micro-nutrient supplementation in school-age children. This evaluation included 69 children who were taking a micro-nutrient supplement for a period of seven months. Their health assessment was conducted at the beginning and the end of the trial. Another group of 34 children were not taking the micro-nutrient supplement and they were monitored as the control group. All children consumed the same diet at school. After seven months, the children in the study group were found to be physically more fit than those in the control group. The study found that their heart rate and blood pressure decreased, their cardiovascular system function increased by 28% and muscle power increased by 16%. At the same time, the children in the control group experienced a 14% decrease in lung capacity and respiratory function. Moreover, the children taking micro-nutrients showed improved immunity and the number of illnesses decreased by 25%. In addition, children in the study group had better tests scores in several subjects compared to the control group. The general health, physical activity and emotional well-being of the children whose diet was supplemented with the micronutrients improved significantly over the seven months.
The study indicates that micro-nutrient supplementation should be an important part of a healthy diet in school age children. The vitamins, minerals and other micro-nutrients act as catalysts in the metabolic processing of carbohydrates, fats and proteins making the bioenergy generated from these components available for the body to utilize and stay healthy."
So what can you do to ensure your children are getting adequate micronutrients in their diets?
1. TEACH THEM TO EAT MORE REAL FOOD. My hope for all families is to find a way to incorporate more whole, unprocessed foods into your diets. Forget the crackers and cookies, and packaged snack foods, and opt for food made from the earth. It will be an adjustment period for everyone, but in the end your health and that of your kids is top priority!
2. CONSIDER MICRONUTRIENT TESTING. For those families who have a child that is struggling with health issues, is chronically sick, has focus or mood difficulties, or is not growing on target, I highly recommend starting with nutrient testing to gain a baseline for your child. The test results then become an excellent guide for what vitamin and mineral supplements to take.
3. TAKE YOUR DAILY VITAMINS. Vitamin supplements are crucial for growing kids. But be careful, as not all supplements are created equal! Many cheaper varieties are full of additives and binders, and the vitamins are in forms that the body cannot use. We have access to a full array of high quality, bio-available supplements in our dispensary.
By optimizing your child's nutrition status, you will set them on the road to a long and vibrant life, while preventing many diseases. What's stopping you? It's time to get more greens in 2016!