There are many threats to a child’s health these days which include: pollutants, pesticides, chemicals and anti-nutrients. Anti-nutrients (bad guys) weaken one’s immune system. Antioxidants good guys)strengthen it.
What happens when an immune system is weak?
Many health issues can result from a weakened immune system. Allergies, ear infections, bowel problems, eczema, migraines, stomach problems, low immunity, frequent colds and illnesses and many more health problems, long-term, can result.
What are anti-nutrients? Why are they harmful?
Anti-nutrients are substances that break down the body’s defenses and cause you to have health problems. Is there a way to counter unavoidable exposure to anti-nutrients? First, one must avoid the known anti-nutrients. Pollution is one anti-nutrient that it is hard to avoid 100%.
. Sugar – it causes the body to need extra nutrients, causes obesity, has no vitamins or minerals, weakens enzymes of essential fatty acid metabolism
· Fats – saturated, hydrogenated – they destroy EFA’S in healthy oils, damage immune cells
· Sodium – increases the needs for magnesium
· Caffeine – in colas, chocolate, coffee. It may cause cardiovascular problems, stress, blood sugar swings, emotional disturbances, nutritional imbalances, male health problems, gastrointestinal problems, female health problems, adrenal exhaustion (including fatigue), even aging. Now doesn’t that suck for all of us addicted to coffee? Definitely not something children should be consuming.
· Phosphates – in Soda pop to make it fizzy. It blocks the absorption of calcium and magnesium; both minerals needed for healthy bones, teeth and heart. A study of 4,000 children and teenagers found that among children aged 2-5, 34% drank pop, 53% drank juice and 75% drank milk. In those aged 12 – 17, 65% drank pop, 34% drank juice; 63% of boys and 49% of girls drank milk. (Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, 200; 154: 1148-1152).
· Nitrates – found in hot dogs, bologna, processed luncheon meats- said to be cancer causing. One study showed if children consume more than 12 hot dogs a month they had a 10 time higher risk of getting cancer.
· Pesticides – interfere with the body’s ability to use vitamin B6 (Vitamin B6 is needed for many enzymes involved in protein metabolism. It is needed for red blood cell metabolism. Nervous and immune systems need vitamin B6 in order to function properly.), carcinogenic (cancer causing). Studies show students that play on school yards treated with pesticides have higher rates of cancer, including testicular cancer among boys.
· Chlorinated water – Chlorine is a severe nose, throat and upper respiratory tract irritant. The President’s Council on Environmental Quality states that “there is increased evidence for an association between rectal, colon and bladder cancer and the consumption of chlorinated drinking water. Studies indicate the suspect chemicals can also be inhaled and absorbed through the skin during showering and bathing. Ironically, even the Chlorine widely used to disinfect water produces Carcinogenic traces. Though 7 out of 10 Americans drink chlorinated water, its safety over the long term is uncertain. Drinking chlorinated water may as much as double the risk of the bladder cancer, which strikes 40,000 people a year.” U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT – July 29, 1991
Is Your Water Safe? – The Dangerous State of Your Water
· Pollutants – Factory raised chickens, Seafood (mercury), Mothers milk (PCB’s) and the air we breathe.
· Pesticides – in fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, seeds. Buy organic, buy fresh. Buy from local farmers if they grow theirs organically.
All of the above anti-nutrients cause free radical damage because of causing oxidation- the result is stress by weakening the immune system therefore creating an environment where the body begins attacking itself. What can be done?
Antioxidants to the rescue:
An anti-oxidant system protects the body from pollutants by protecting the white blood cells from damage, preventing damage to essential fatty acids and ultimately protects the body from damage to the cellular levels of the body. They are chemical compounds found in fruits and vegetables that assist the body in avoiding illnesses. Some kinds of antioxidants include: Vitamins A, C, and E and beta-carotene. Sources of these antioxidants include:
· Vitamin A and beta-carotene: carrots, winter squash, spinach, cantaloupe
· Vitamin C: citrus fruits, tomatoes, broccoli, strawberries
· Vitamin E: nuts, seeds, quality vegetable oil, wheat germ
I supplement with a high quality nutritional supplement as well to ensure that I am getting what my body needs on a daily basis. With foods being exposed to toxins and pollutants from land, air and soil it’s important to take potency guaranteed, toxin free supplements. You simply can not get what you need at the cellular level alone for true health without supplementation nor can your children. Many children’s supplements on the market are not suitable for true health short term let alone long term.
What else do kids needs and why? This is critical along with proper nutrition and taking quality supplementation and avoiding known toxins. Essential fatty acids!!
What are “essential fatty acids?”
Your child needs to consume them daily because they are essential, the body can not make them and lack of EFA’S are a major deficiency among many children. They are very important for proper brain functioning
Signs of deficiency of EFA’s include:
· Physical signs (thirst, dry skin/hair, dandruff)
· Allergic tendencies (especially eczema)
· Attention problems (poor concentration, distractibility, working memory)
· Emotional sensitivity (excessive mood swings, over-anxiety)
· Sleep problems (getting off to sleep, difficulty waking)
Sources of EFA’s include: mackeral, herring, salmon, tuna, nuts, seeds , supplement with oils such as flax seed oil, cod liver oil (danger – toxic in large amounts beneficial but use in moderation) soy beans, navy beans, english walnuts, wheat germ. I prefer to supplement with “Optomega” brand flax seed oil because of the taste (it’s tasteless) and to ensure that I’m getting what I need daily. With food sources and improper processing it’s hard to be assured that you are getting what you hope you are getting from many foods.
All EFA’S are not created equal! EFAS are extremely fragile and can be destroyed by air, high temperatures and improper processing. Buy it in dark containers. If you can see through the container, likely it isn’t any good because of exposure to light. It should be stored in the refrigerator.
To your child’s health,