Prevention is better than cure.

An old proverb perhaps, but even more relevant and applicable in our modern world especially when we’re talking about health and nutrition.

We can do quite a lot to improve our children’s health long term and protect them from degenerative diseases. Small things, everyday can lead to big changes later. By increasing physical activity, improving nutrition, preventing smoking we are well on track to setting them up right to become healthier people.

Spending a few dollars now on prevention will save many, many more dollars in the long run. Nourishing your children right from the start

Medical students on average receive only 24 hours of nutrition training, with only 30% of medical schools offering a specific nutrition course.

Most lay people get this information from all kinds of sources such as health food stores, television, magazines and more. This is showing that doctors are no longer the primary source of nutritional knowledge.

Studies show that only 1 in 4 teenagers eat fruit more than once a day, and 1 in 3 teens eat vegetables more than once per day. Children usually don’t understand how their eating choices affect their health until much later in life when they face degenerative diseases. There are many nutritional risks for children such as grocery stores where aisle upon aisle is packed with processed food.

The average family spends less than an hour per week connecting with their kids around the dinner table, and most families watch TV while they eat.

With today’s ever increasing electronic development most children of Generation M2 spend more than 5 hours a day on media multi-tasking – television, internet, social networking sites, tablet computers, mobile phones etc. Fast food stores advertising convenience and speed over wholesome nutrition are everyday temptations.

London 2012 Olympics sponsors include Coca Cola and McDonalds. It’s important that you talk with your kids about how the media don’t necessarily portray the best message – create opportunities to talk with your kids, and engage them in conversation and discussion about healthy lifestyle choices to make them more aware.

Sugar creates huge inflammation and irritation in our bodies. Sugar fermenting in the gut creates all manner of yeast conditions such as candidiasis, which leads to problems such as food allergies, hyperactivity, autism, leaky gut, and is also associated with behavioural issues.

Sugar triggers cortisol production, which lowers the immune system, increasing inflammation and insulin resistance, and increasing weight especially around the mid section.

1 in 3 children born in year 2000 or later will develop Type 2 diabetes.

Today the lifetime cancer risk for males is 1 in 2, and in females 1 in 3.

In 1900 it was 1 in 33!

And heart disease causes 1 in 4 deaths in the USA.

So what’s changed?

Environmental toxins have increased, poor diets, changing food supply, increasing stress.

Our food has been changing since the 1950s – fruit and vegetables are grown in ever-nutrient depleting soil. There is no way a person can gain all their required minerals and vitamins from food in their diet alone as our soils have been over-worked with artificial fertilisers, weed killers, and Genetically Modified seeds.

Chronic nutrient deficiencies are now wide spread – especially deficiencies in Vitamins A and E, Calcium, Magnesium, Zinc.

The RDAs – recommended daily allowance – were calculated by doctors many years ago as the barest minimum recommendation – enough only for survival. The amounts we need to prevent degenerative diseases are much, much higher.

Around 90% of children aged 2-5 years have less than adequate levels of Vitamin E in their system.

Anti-oxidants are critically important in order to neutralise the effect of free radicals and oxidative stress.

Around 75% of children are not getting enough Vitamin D. Our bodies make Vitamin D when exposed to the sun. However we don’t necessarily get out in the sun all year around, and when we do most people apply sunscreens, which inhibit Vitamin D production. Therefore additional supplementation is essential, as studies have shown that there is a 25% increase in mortality for people who are Vitamin D deficient.

Vitamin D doesn’t get transferred in breast milk so it is recommended that all breast fed infants receive a Vitamin D supplement.

A higher intake of Vitamin D during pregnancy has been shown to reduce asthmatic and breathing issues of babies.

Prehistoric man had a ratio of 1:1 – Omega 3 to Omega 6.

Today’s Mediterranean diet has a ratio of 1:4.

Today’s Western diet has a ratio of 1:16!

Omega 6 is found mostly in corn syrups, corn oil, and in many processed foods. Farm raised animals are largely fed on corn.

Omega 6s work to increase inflammation, whereas Omega 3s work to decrease inflammation in the body – thus assisting to ward off degenerative disease. Our balance is out – in the wrong direction! Depression and anxiety is higher in countries where people don’t consume as much fish.

Omega 3 supports sound cardiovascular, immune, health and joint health, enhances visual acuity – which is associated with brain development, memory and learning, problem solving skills, and hand/eye co-ordination. It plays a role in many important cellular processes critical to the body’s survival – for instance, asthma can be reduced by more than 50% simply by taking fish oil supplements.

Pregnant women often shy away from fish oil due to the mercury risk however there are brands, which offer mercury free guarantee.

Probiotics are vital for immune system function and for stimulating the digestive system. Friendly bacteria are vital to the proper development of the immune system, and more immune cells are concentrated in the gut than in any other region of the body. They also play a role in sustaining health by preventing inflammatory bowel disease, diarrhoea, and eczema, whilst helping premature and colicky babies, as well as anxiety and emotional issues.

General all round vitamin and mineral supplementation is essential as the foundation for the optimum health and nutrition of your children. If you give them a high quality multi vitamin and mineral as well as extra boosters such as aforementioned then you will be setting your child up for a superior level of quality of life and giving him or her the building blocks of life and a real head start and the jump on degenerative disease and ageing.

Nutrition for Life – Give your child the right start

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