10 Symptoms of Nutritional Deficiencies in Your Children and How to Correct Them.
It is a scientific fact that the soil of this modern age suffers from severe depletion of nutrients. Compared to the topsoil conditions of the early to mid 1900’s, the soil today is lacking and as a result contains far fewer nutrients are passed onto the produce. This has helped to create an entire generation susceptible to disease and other conditions caused by nutritional deficiencies. All too often these go unnoticed and the symptoms over-looked. As we all struggle to provide our families with the best nutrition possible, we should all learn to look for signs of possible nutritional deficiencies in our children. The detection and management of any imbalance can quickly reduce and even remove any negative effect. Here are a few of the more detectable signs of possible nutrition deficiency.
Depression or Anxiety. Studies show that much of the depression and anxiety we suffer is linked directly to nutritional deficiency. The evidence shows that people who suffer from depression or anxiety are often deficient in several key Amino Acids. The brain uses Amino Acids to create the neurotransmitters Seratonin, Endorphins and GABA. When these are properly balanced, we generally feel happy and calm. When these are deficient, severe emotional imbalance results. Foods high in protein, beef, fish and poultry. Amino Acids may also be found in beans/legumes, nuts/seeds, broccoli, asparagus and mushrooms. There is also a great deal of evidence to support a causal link to depression, cancer and type 1 diabetes with a severe Vitamin D deficiency. We live in the age of X Box and I-pads. Is it any wonder that kids who spend more time on the couch playing video games seem more susceptible to poor health than those who spend a few more minutes on the playground and in the sun. The best food sources of Vitamin D can be found in fatty fish (salmon) and egg yolks.
Hyperactivity. Children who display hyperactivity tend to possess poor bacterial flora and a general imbalance in the digestive tract. When the intestines do not possess the proper balance of gut flora, nutrients from food are not digested properly. Eliminate processed foods and additives. Some foods that aid in the restoration of the gut are, ginger root, berries, raw almonds, fish oils, vegetables and lean proteins.
Delayed Speech is generally related to a deficiency in B12. Foods high in B12 are organ meats, beef, chicken, fish and eggs.
Dry skin and hair. If you notice these symptoms then you might want to evaluate your child’s intake of Vitamins A, D, E and K2 as well as the minerals copper and zinc. A fat-soluble supplement like fermented cod liver oil will address this issue quickly.
Crowding of teeth. Not all crowding of the teeth has the same cause, but there is a known relationship between crowded teeth and nutritional deficiencies. One study demonstrated that mothers who ate processed foods or ate poorly in general, their children developed poor dental structure.
Cavities. Cavities are traditionally thought to be caused by eating candy and improper oral hygiene. While sugar certainly isn’t healthy for the teeth, the underlying cause of tooth decay is nutritional. Research has found that tooth decay and the resulting cavities are caused by a mineral deficiency, particularly phosphorous. Lean meats, sunflower seeds, Parmesan cheese and most importantly fish, but particularly Salmon are all food rich in phosphorus.
Frequent Infections. Colds and Flu are a clear indication there is something wrong with the immune system. Generally this is also directly linked to the diet and nutritional deficiencies. There are other factors that can contribute to a weakened immune system, but ultimately it stems from the lack of foods containing Phytochemicals. This occurs naturally as the “chemicals” in the plants boost the vitamin content of food. Focus on dark green, red and yellow fruits and vegetables. Copper is a mineral that is often overlooked in our diets. Studies confirm that deficiencies of copper can result in increased infection rates and reduced activity of white blood cells. In addition to the dark leafy greens mentioned above, copper levels in the body may be boosted through eating beans, prunes and black pepper.
Mood Swings. Food and nutrition is critical maintaining proper hormonal balance in the body. It should then come as no surprise that mood swings can be directly affected by what we eat. Julia Ross of The Mood Cure suggests, “that fats (especially Omega 3s found in wild salmon, sardines, herring, anchovies, and mackerel) are vital for good mood stabilization”
Obesity. Generally obesity is not considered related to nutrition, but it is in fact the precise reason a person become obese. When we consume foods that lack the proper nutrients, we remain hungry. If you diet consists of processed foods, the body starts to become malnourished and immediately starts increasing its fat stores. Adjust your family’s diet to whole meats, fruits and vegetables and restrict or eliminate processed foods obesity will disappear.
Fatigue. Decreased work capacity and slow cognitive development. This can be the first indications of an iron deficiency. Other symptoms that may manifest are: difficulty maintaining body temperature, decreased immune function, and glossitis (an inflamed tongue). This can be reversed by ensuring the diet is rich in foods like lean proteins (including eggs), beans, and lentils. Pairing these foods with fruits (oranges, cantaloupe, strawberries and grapefuits) and vegetables (broccoli, brussel sprouts and tomatoes) can dramatically increase the iron absorption rat.
As you can clearly see, there remains a direct link between health and nutrition. Unfortunately western medicine is philosophically grounded in a treating symptoms with an endless list of prescriptive drugs when in reality a properly balanced diet and an avoidance of processed food would turn the tide against disease. I encourage you to explore some healthy options for your family and take a bit of advice from this old proverb:
The Fool Lives to Eat, But The Wise Man Eats to Live