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Why a Multivitamin is Important for Your Child

Importance of kids multivitamins
Importance of kids multivitamins

Good nutrition is important for a child’s healthy growth and development. Along with smart food choices, many parents do their best to ensure their children receive their recommended, daily dose of vitamins, minerals and micronutrients. But getting your child to eat right all the time can be challenging, as we live in a world filled with foods that are high in sugar and saturated fats, and low in nutrients. Today, studies show this scenario has created the dual burden of a population that is overfed but undernourished.

Providing kids with a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables along with healthy proteins and whole grains will help them meet many daily nutritional requirements. And to get an extra boost, adding a high-quality multivitamin to a child’s daily diet can help fill any gaps, so you don’t have to worry.

Good Nutrition and Growing Kids

Unlike adults, kids are continuously growing. They tend to experience growth spurts scattered throughout their childhood, but the process in continuous. Their bodies are working hard as their bones are becoming dense and strong, the brain is developing, the heart is growing, and muscles are filling out. Keeping up with their nutritional needs can ensure your child’s body can grow and develop with healthy cells that are less likely to succumb to health problems. The following is a breakdown of the many reasons why kids need balanced nutrition.

Growing Bones – Skeletal and bone development are part of growing, and the right vitamins (nutrients) can ensure healthy bone density and size. Some habits like exercise help develop strong bones, but some habits like soda and sugar consumption, can create a nutrient deficit leaving the body starved for nutrition. Our bones are made of living tissue that requires nutrients like vitamin D and calcium, and a steady supply of the right vitamins and minerals helps bones grow strong.

Brain Development – Our brains are constantly changing and updating, but a child’s brain is more than twice as active than the adult brain. (1) As they learn and grow, the brain is constantly making new connections, which is why learning and stimulation are important. However, nutrition is important too, because iodine, iron and vitamins like A, B12, D and folate are crucial to support brain development.

Immune Health – Kids play with other kids, pets, and dirt. That’s why it becomes even more important they get their daily dose of nutrients to support their immune health. The immune system is a vast network of organs and vessels, but when the body is supplied with adequate amounts of Vitamins A, C, D and E, it has a much better chance at keeping up with an active child and ward off potentially harmful pathogens.

Sugar – While many parents strive to feed their children healthy foods and teach them good habits, treats like cookies or cakes can find their way into your child’s life. When kids consume too many treats or food and drink with hidden sugars, their bodies need more nutrition. Extra nutrition will not stop the effects of unhealthy foods, but it can help limit some of the damage that excess sugar may cause.

Strong Muscles – As a body grows, muscles need fuel for healthy development. While we often think of protein as the nutrient muscles rely on most, they also need vitamin D for growth, biotin to help muscles use protein and vitamin C for fuel. The right nutrition is important, so your child has all the energy they need to play and recover, and if your child is an athlete, proper nutrition becomes even more important. A wide array of vitamins is important for healthy muscle development.

Healthy Means Happy – Good physical health is important for kids to remain healthy and active, but it is also important for their emotional health. In fact, diets that are rich in B vitamins like folate and B-6 are known to help anyone maintain a positive outlook. On the other hand, a poor diet that is deficient in adequate vitamins and minerals can leave kids feeling tired and cranky.

Top Vitamins for Growing Kids

  • Vitamin A is important for healthy eyes and to support the immune system. It is mainly found in dairy products and liver as well as some vegetables like carrots and broccoli. Those who cannot tolerate dairy may have a difficult time getting enough of this vitamin.
  • B Vitamins include biotin, folate, pantothenic acid, and more. This array of vitamins is important for a healthy body and provides energy that kids need.
  • Vitamin C is an antioxidant and top vitamin for immune support, but it also contributes to healthy hair and skin, among other things.
  • Vitamin D supports strong bones and is important for the growing child.
  • Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that can help protect the body and cells from free radical damage. And while we usually don’t think of kids needing this protection, it is just as important for them as it is for adults.
  • Iodine supports growing bodies and may support the endocrine system and brain health.
  • Zinc is a nutrient found throughout the body and may help support the immune system and metabolism.

Ingredients Matter

Diet is the best source of vitamins, minerals and micronutrients that children need, but sickness, stress, and active lifestyles can create a need for more. For those who want to support their child’s health with a multivitamin, it is important to know that ingredients do matter. Not all vitamin sources are created equal and some added ingredients like extra sugar just aren’t necessary.

A multivitamin can be a part of a healthy diet. Organic ingredients and high-quality vitamin sources will provide the extra support and fill in any nutritional gaps that parents often worry about. Keep up with your kid’s nutrition to help them stay happy, healthy and fit.

References:

1 Osawa M, Konishi Y. [Developing the brain–proposal to child neurologists: how to nurture and stimulate brain development]. No To Hattatsu. 2003 Mar;35(2):113-6. Japanese. PMID: 12661091.

Cindy Papp

Author

Body Cleanse and Detoxification Specialist with over 22 years experience; BSc in Holistic Nutrition, C.C.T. Colon Hydrotherapist, Cert. Holistic Health Practitioner, Spiritual Guide, Energy Work, Reiki, Author, Holistic Health Researcher

For more information on Cindy visit https://www.springclean-cleanse.com/ 

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Benefits of Vitamin D

Vitamin D is not a single vitamin, but a group of compounds that are essential for good health. And interestingly, it is not a true vitamin at all, but rather a prohormone that helps the body manufacture this all essential nutrient.

Vitamin D plays a role in keeping teeth and bones strong, helps your body absorb other important nutrients like calcium, and supports immune strength. Ensuring your body has plenty of this vitamin along with other essential nutrients and a wholesome diet will support your health any time of the year.

The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of vitamin D is from 200 – 600 IU (International Units) per day in the United States, but 400 to 800 IU per day in Europe. The more scientists learn about this vitamin, the more they realize the RDA numbers may be much higher than they are currently. In fact, some experts recommend dosages of  800 to 1,000 per day with others recommending a whopping 50,000 IU per week. (1)

Do I Need to Supplement Vitamin D?

Vitamin D is essential for digestive health and used by the intestines to absorb calcium that helps keep bones and teeth strong. It helps prevent loss of calcium through the urine, and can even support heart health, brain health and muscle function. (2) Because it is important for bacterial balance in the intestinal tract, vitamin D is also known to support a healthy immune system which relies on intestinal health.

It may be tricky for certain individuals to get the required amount of this nutrient every day. Vitamin D2 is naturally found in some mushrooms while D3 is found in oily fish (like salmon, herring and tuna), cod liver oil, liver and egg yolks. It is supplemented in milk as most people are not likely to get enough in their daily diets.

But if you avoid milk products, limit fish due to mercury and other toxins (or you just don’t like it), then supplementing your diet may be helpful. Also, those with darker skin or over 50 years of age may not be able to convert sunlight into vitamin D as efficiently as younger people and those with fairer skin.

Even though vitamin D is added to milk and dairy products, one would typically have to drink at least four, 8-ounce glasses of milk each day. Unfortunately, many people are not able to consume dairy products due to being lactose intolerant or don’t want to drink that much milk. And if you do enjoy fish, you would have to consume fatty fish every day to keep optimum levels of this nutrient. That adds up to quite a few calories, leaving little room for other types of protein. Because of these dietary limitations, many people choose to support their health with a vitamin D supplement.

Your Immune System

The immune system plays many roles in our health including protection from viruses and other pathogens that can harm, as well as chronic diseases. Taking care of your body with a diet centered around healthy, whole foods can help your body function at its best. Here are some practices that you can do to keep your immune system strong:

  • Exercise at least 30 minutes, five times each week
  • Drink plenty of fresh, spring water
  • Consume lots of fruits and vegetables; be sure to include citrus a few times each week
  • Get at least 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night, depending on how much you exercise
  • Supplement your diet if you need extra support

Nutrition plays a vital role in our health and how well our immune systems work. Poor nutrition often leads to malnutrition as we lack the vitamins and minerals essential for healthy living. But consuming a healthy diet along with nutritional support when needed will have a positive effect on your health and your life.

Vitamin D Deficiency Risk Factors

Many people consume plenty of calories yet lack the required daily nutrients to stay healthy and well. Vitamin D is an essential vitamin that is important for overall health, but few foods provide it or the precursors necessary for our bodies to produce it. And while some experts warn that up to 50% of Americans are deficient in this vitamin, some people are more prone than others. Some risk factors include:

  • Dark skin
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Older adults of 65 years and over
  • Lack of sun exposure due to environment or limiting sun for other health reasons
  • Vegans
  • Lack of fatty fish or egg yolks in the diet
  • Obesity
  • Medications like anticonvulsants ad glucocorticoids

Vitamin D Foods and Supplements

Consuming foods like salmon, herring, cod liver oil, liver and canned tuna will supply some vitamin D through your diet. Daily exposure to sunshine without overdoing it will also help your body manufacture some. But if you don’t get enough of either or you have one or more of the above risk factors, you may benefit from a Vitamin D supplement.

There is quite a bit of research that shows the benefits of consuming healthy amounts of this nutrient and plenty of evidence that deficiencies can lead to health problems. Because of its effects on gut health, vitamin D supplementation can help support a strong immune system.

The best practice may be to do your best to consume foods that contain vitamin D and try to get at least 15 minutes of sunshine each day. Most experts agree it is unlikely most people will be able to get enough in their diet, and supplementing can help fill in the gaps. For the best health and to boost your immune function, consume a moderate amount of daily vitamin D and a little sunshine; it may go a long way in supporting your health.

References:

1 Bordelon, P., Ghetu, M. V., & Langan, R. C. (2009, October 15). Recognition and Management of Vitamin D Deficiency. Retrieved March 30, 2020, from https://www.aafp.org/afp/2009/1015/p841.html

2 Office of Dietary Supplements – Vitamin D. (2020, March 24). Retrieved March 30, 2020, from https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminD-Consumer/#h3

Cindy Papp

Author

Body Cleanse and Detoxification Specialist with over 22 years experience; BSc in Holistic Nutrition, C.C.T. Colon Hydrotherapist, Cert. Holistic Health Practitioner, Spiritual Guide, Energy Work, Reiki, Author, Holistic Health Researcher

For more information on Cindy visit https://www.springclean-cleanse.com/