We begin our anti-aging journey at birth. The way we live from the time we are a baby, through childhood, and into adulthood, will determine our health and longevity. The problem today is that kids are sicker than ever, and we hear warnings that the present generation will have a lower life expectancy than their parents.
When you consider the fact that many illnesses are preventable, it makes the news shocking to me. We have access to more information today than ever before in history. We know WHAT we should do, and yet we’re not doing it. And we are paying the price.
We live in a toxic world – exposed to chemicals everywhere, including our food. Fast food, junk food, processed food – most are not ‘real food’ and that means there are chemicals involved. This overload of chemicals can be an article on its own, though I still wanted to mention it since it is relevant to this discussion of kids health.
If you watch the news you might be worried about the health of our children. Overweight and obesity is affecting children the same as adults today. It seems like more kids are getting serious illnesses like cancer, the same as adults do.
Have you heard the statement that we are overfed, and yet under-nourished? It’s tough to understand. If we’re eating more food that is making us overweight, how can we be undernourished? The problem is that the food we are eating does not have the nutrition our bodies need. It certainly has enough fat and calories.
When we talk about being undernourished, it’s different from a long time ago when children or adults would be severely deficient in vitamin C and get a disease like scurvy or lack vitamin D and get rickets. Today our children have more allergies and asthma than ever before. They get chronic ear infections and have more learning disabilities. Rates of children on the autism spectrum seem higher.
Doctors are alarmed at the high levels of cholesterol in kids, and other diseases that are traditionally associated with aging are now affecting our children. So we make poor food choices, we eat too much food, and we are exposed to a heck of a lot of chemicals and toxins.
What’s happening with our kids and their health? Can better nutrition help?
Here’s what we know. Eating foods that are nutritious and avoiding foods that have a lot of sugar can both improve children’s health and help manage their weight. The nutrients in the food our kids eat is what gets into their cells and determine their health. Good in, good out.
When we consider the fact that it can be hard to get the nutrients we need from our foods, even if we do try to eat healthy, it’s time to evaluate supplements. Children’s vitamins have been proven to improve the immune response to invaders that threaten their good health. Immune building supplements help reduce the incidence of allergies and upper respiratory infections.
The same as antioxidants help adults fight free radicals (that come from chemicals and toxins), they can help kids that are also exposed. The same fish oil supplements that help adults with benefits like helping with inflammation and cholesterol, or improving heart and brain health, can help children as well.
There are certain vitamins that the majority of people in America are low or deficient in their bodies. Vitamin B, D, calcium and magnesium are a few of them. Kids are at risk for these deficiencies as well. If they drink too much soda, it complicates being low in calcium because the phosphorus in carbonated drinks increases calcium requirements.
Stress is another issue facing our kids today. We live in a fast paced world and often there’s not a lot we can do to slow it down. Stress increases the need for calcium and magnesium in the body. Muscle contraction and relaxation require adequate calcium and magnesium and supplements can help if children are low or deficient and suffer from hyperactivity, anxiety, sleep disorders, or headaches.
I mentioned that some of the health issues that challenge kids today are preventable. Others can be corrected or at least helped by better nutrition. The good news is that there are minimal side effects with all-natural, whole food supplements. It’s just like eating food. If there is a medication that has a food interaction to avoid, the same may apply to a supplement – that should be checked with a doctor.
Prevention is a choice. To me it’s a choice I make with my family every day. If there is something natural to take that can provide a benefit and help make us healthier, it’s my philosophy that it’s worth a try. When I compare taking a calcium or magnesium supplement with drinking soda every day – there’s no problem choosing. What’s going to be better for a healthy body?
To learn more about all-natural, whole food supplements with lots of side benefits instead of side effects, visit: Kids Health and Nutrition.