Keeping Your Kids’ Health on Track
In today’s fast-paced, stress-filled world, it isn’t just the adults who suffer. Our kids face the same pressures and health challenges that we do, and the effects of dealing with those challenges on a daily basis have begun to show: illness and chronic disease are on the rise among children nationwide.
According to the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood (ISAAC), a recent worldwide study found that diagnoses of hay fever, eczema and asthma are all increasing, particularly among children between the ages of 6 and 7. However, current research into childhood nutrition and immune function suggests several ways parents can help kids grow up stronger and healthier, including diet and lifestyle changes, as well as a beneficial program of herbal supplementation for ongoing daily maintenance.
The Power of Probiotics
Probiotics – the beneficial bacteria in our intestines – play a key role in helping fend off common childhood disorders and supporting a healthy digestive tract.
A recent study conducted in Finland and involving more than 500 children in daycare centers found that children taking probiotic supplements had fewer sick days than their classmates who did not receive the probiotics. Further, their illnesses were less severe, they had fewer health complications, and they were prescribed fewer antibiotics. (BMJ, 5/31/01) According to the study’s chief researcher, “[Probiotics] may help prevent both respiratory [problems] and diarrhea … in children at increased risk of such infections, such as those in daycare facilities.”
Good Fats for Healthy Development
Making sure their diet includes plenty of healthy fats is another crucial factor in helping our kids grow up healthy. Cell membranes consist primarily of fat, and for decades scientists have understood that the right kinds of fats help those cell membranes function more effectively.
In particular, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), an Omega-3 fatty acid derived from fish, promotes the healthy development of the cell membranes that benefit digestion, vision, and the brain and the central nervous systems in children. A recent study involving more than 50 18-month-old children found that those who received DHA exhibited higher IQ levels and scored higher on the Mental Development Index (MDI) than those who did not. In addition, their ability to see more clearly was also more pronounced. (Devel Med and Child Neur, 3/00)
Dealing with Diabetes
The rate of Type 2 diabetes (which often develops in adulthood) is growing so rapidly that, worldwide, the number of people with this disease will increase to 370 million by the year 2030. Because research has shown that people who consume a high-fiber diet lower their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by nearly 30 percent, many experts today are urging both adults and children to consume more fiber. Simple diet changes include eating more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and legumes.
Small Changes, Big Benefits
While being a parent has never been an easy task, today’s moms and dads face unique challenges when it comes to raising healthy kids. Nevertheless, when you give your children the tools to improve both their nutrition and their overall well-being, you offer a vigorous boost to the health of the next generation.
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Disclaimer: Nothing in this website is intended as, or should be construed as, medical advice. Consumers should consult with their own health care practitioners for individual, medical recommendations. The information in this website concerns dietary supplements, over-the-counter products that are not drugs. Our dietary supplement products are not intended for use as a means to cure, treat, prevent, diagnose, or mitigate any disease or other medical or abnormal condition.