3 Important Macronutrients for Children

Childhood obesity and malnutrition are a World Wide problem.

According to World Health Organization, “In 2020, globally, 149.2 million children under the age of 5 years of age were stunted, 45.4 million wasted, and 38.9 million overweight.”

To help combat childhood obesity and malnutrition, helping children have access to three macronutrients – carbohydrates, fats, and proteins – can make it easier for children to get the nutrients they require for optimal overall health and growth.

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Complex Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are needed for energy, and there are two types of carbohydrates: complex and refined.

It is best to avoid refined carbohydrates (ex: French fries, sodas, and candy) as much as possible. Complex carbohydrates, brown rice, vegetables, oatmeal, potatoes, and beans are preferred.

Fats

Fats are needed to house vitamins (A, D, E & K), and healthy fats promote positive brain development and function. Making sure children eat the right fat is vital. The ideal fats are Monosaturated, Polysaturated, and Omega 3 fatty acids. Children can get these healthy fats from seafood (ex: fish, shrimp, etc.)

Protein

Protein is essential for building healthy muscle and ligaments. Protein can come from beans (and beans doubles as a complex carb and protein!) and meat (ex: chicken, pork, etc.).

Making sure children have the basic macronutrient needs can equip children for overall health! 🙏🏽🙏🏻🙏🏼

Source(s):

Arsenault JE, Brown KH. Effects of protein or amino-acid supplementation on the physical growth of young children in low-income countries. Nutr Rev. 2017 Sep 1;75(9):699-717. doi: 10.1093/nutrit/nux027. PMID: 28938793; PMCID: PMC5914345.

Dalton A, Wolmarans P, Witthuhn RC, van Stuijvenberg ME, Swanevelder SA, Smuts CM. A randomised control trial in schoolchildren showed improvement in cognitive function after consuming a bread spread, containing fish flour from a marine source. Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 2009 Feb-Mar;80(2-3):143-9. doi: 10.1016/j.plefa.2008.12.006. Epub 2009 Feb 6. PMID: 19201180.

Departmental News. The UNICEF/WHO/WB joint child malnutrition estimates (JME) group released new data for 2021. World Health Organization. World Health Organization; 2021 [cited 2021Oct2]. Available from: https://www.who.int/news/item/06-05-2021-the-unicef-who-wb-joint-child-malnutrition-estimates-group-released-new-data-for-2021

The Importance of B12 Vitamin(s)

B12 is essential for the healthy functioning of the nervous system and overall health.

Unfortunately, over half of the United States population is borderline to completely B12 deficient! 

The lack of this vital B vitamin can cause devastating effects: one being neuropsychiatric disorders (ex: anxiety, depression, migraine headaches, etc.). Several signs of B12 deficiency include anemia, fatigue, memory loss, shortness of breath.

The recommended dosage for adults is 2.4 micrograms; however, B12 vitamins are water-soluble, meaning that the body doesn’t store the vitamin, and it is safe to take in high doses.

Vegans and vegetarians may need to use B12 supplements to receive their daily recommended amounts since B12 is only available in animal products.

Also, specific populations, those with alcoholism, the elderly, and individuals with malabsorption disorders (ex: celiac disease), can be more deficient in vitamin B12.

Along with signs and symptoms, getting bloodwork examined by a trusted health and wellness professional to check B12 levels is the only way to know if one is sufficient or deficient in vitamin B12.

Sources(s):

Allen LH, Miller JW, de Groot L, Rosenberg IH, Smith AD, Refsum H, Raiten DJ. Biomarkers of Nutrition for Development (BOND): Vitamin B-12 Review. J Nutr. 2018 Dec 1;148(suppl_4):1995S-2027S. doi: 10.1093/jn/nxy201. PMID: 30500928; PMCID: PMC6297555.

Letting Go Of Past Connections

Life is a journey of sorts, and it takes many twists and turns. However, through those turns, you can come into contact with many different people.

Although humans are social by nature, there comes a point when you realize your energy and effort is not being reciprocated or a shift in the atmosphere that it is time to move on.

When your energy feels stuck or there is no progression, it can be beneficial to you, mind, body, and spirit to let go of specific connections that no longer serve you.

Letting go of connections that no longer serve you can improve mental wellbeing, decrease blood pressure and increase self-esteem.

So, how do you let go of past connections?

Block: You can block anyone from contacting you, phone number, or another medium of communication.

Delete, Delete, Delete: Social media is a whole different animal within itself, but if you are connected to someone that drains your energy rather than helps fuel your energy, you should delete, delete, delete that social media connection.

Limit Contact: Limiting contact is not the same as avoidance, which can lead to anxiety. Limiting contact is a choice to separate yourself from what can cause you distress.

Letting go of past connections can seem daunting at first which is understandable because it is a change. Although it can be scary at first, allowing past links can open the doors to better relationships along your life’s journey.

-Heather Em of Nourishment Corner

Don’t Forget Your Vitamin D

Summertime is on its way out and fall is right around the corner and with warmer weather coming to an end it is important to stay on top of Vitamin D levels!

The sun helps humans synthesize Vitamin D, which is a vital hormone needed for optimal well-being.

So, what are the benefits of vitamin D?

Vitamin D is important for healthy immune function, mood, and overall general health.

It’s fat-soluble, meaning that the body stores the vitamin in adipose tissue/body fat and the liver. Vitamin D is available as two types: Vitamin D2 and Vitamin D3.

According to an article from the National Library of Medicine, nearly 50% of the world is deficient in Vitamin D!

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The most common source of Vitamin D is via sunlight, but it is available in food sources. Vitamin D2 is available in mushrooms and most fortified foods (ex: breakfast cereal). Vitamin D3 is available through egg yolks, salmon, and beef liver.

Of course, Vitamin D is available in supplement form through powders and tablets.

People at risk for deficiency are those who are obese, stay indoors during the day, and have darker skin tones.

If people are not getting their required Vitamin D dosage through foods, some may choose to use a vitamin D supplement.

When using supplements there can be a risk of ingesting too much, since Vitamin D is stored in the body. Vitamin D toxicity is rare, but if a person is taking high doses of the vitamin in supplement form, toxicity CAN occur.

Signs of Vitamin D toxicity are nausea, vomiting, headache, and high levels of calcium in the blood.

Always check with your primary care physician before adding a new supplement to your daily health regimen.

Also, try to get out in the sunlight to increase your Vitamin D levels naturally!

-Heather Em of Nourishment Corner

Disclaimer(s)

Source(s): Forrest KY, Stuhldreher WL. Prevalence and correlates of vitamin D deficiency in US adults. Nutr Res. 2011;31(1):48-54. doi:10.1016/j.nutres.2010.12.001