Top Supplements for Children’s Health by, Rachel Schwartzman #wellbeingwednesday
I encourage my patients, both big and small to “eat the rainbow” daily. Fruits and veggies are powered with essential phytonutrients, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. I am a firm believer that “food is medicine”. However, there are times when our nutrient demands increase, and those from food alone are not enough. The winter months put more strain on the body and with illnesses on the rise, extra nutrients are needed. Today’s wellbeing Wednesday tip is which supplements to have on hand for those troubling winter months.
Vitamin D is very important for immune health with research showing children adequately supplemented have reduced rates of the flu. By living in northern climates and having less exposure to direct sunlight, we tend to be deficient in vitamin D. It is important to give our little ones (and big ones) a supplement. I recommend a liquid drop as it’s easy to digest and simple to administer.
Omega 3 essential fatty acids are important for brain development, mental focus and a balanced mood. They also have anti-inflammatory properties that are so important in kids with eczema, asthma, allergies, and chronic infections such as ear or throat infections. Most people (kids included!) are deficient in omega 3’s so supplementation with a high quality fish or vegan algae oil is key. Some foods high in omega 3’s are flax or hemp seed oils, walnuts, and fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, anchovies, sardines and herring).
Maintain your child’s microflora. If you don’t already, think about supplementing your child with a good probiotic. These are the friendly bacteria that reside in our digestive tracts, and are key players in keeping an immune system strong. It really is a good addition to almost anyone’s diet. You can add a small amount to your child’s food (usually ¼ tsp of powder) daily. Look at Seroyal’s HMF, NFH or Metagenics.
Elderberry syrup is a delicious folk remedy used for centuries in North America, Europe, Western Asia, and North Africa. It is rich in vitamins A, C, bioflavonoids, and antioxidants that boost the immune system and damage the virus cell wall. A study in the Journal of International Medical Research, showed patients given elderberry syrup recovered an average of 4 days faster from the flu than those not taking the supplement.
Instead of grabbing those sugar filled cough candies to soothe a sore throat, try some zinc lozenges instead. Zinc is a trace mineral essential for cells of the immune system, and zinc deficiency affects the ability of T cells and other immune cells to function as they should. So, zinc lozenges will not only soothe your throat, but support your immune health too. Sounds like a win-win situation to me.
Rachel Schwartzman is a licensed Naturopathic Doctor, Doula and Acupuncturist. She practices in Toronto and can be reached at 416-371-3422. To learn more about Dr. Rachel take a peek at rachelschwartzman.com