Nurturing Little Seedlings: 9 often overlooked nutrients that experts want to put on your radar.

  1. Many nutrition experts feel it’s a good idea to use a daily multivitamin as a solid nutritional base in everyone—even children.

The undeniable fact is that large majorities of Americans do not meet recommended intakes of vitamins and minerals and in light of this, it is irresponsible not to recognize that multivitamins and supplements can correct these nutritional inadequacies safely, effectively and at low cost.

The case for children to use multis is even stronger, given the potentially life-long health consequences of nutritional inadequacies suffered early in life. This could include everything from allergies, brittle bones, respiratory health problems, concentration issues, and blood sugar problems. She states, “One study from a few years ago showed that more than one-third of the daily calories consumed by an average child came from solid fats and added sugar!”

  1.  Vitamin C is an essential vitamin for children. No matter what the season, children need vitamin C every day throughout the year because immune health doesn’t go on vacation.
  1. Calcium cannot be overlooked for proper bone development, since 90% of our adult bones are made before the age of 20. Calcium is critical throughout childhood for bone mineralization. It gets deposited and drawn daily much like money in a bank, and if kids don’t consume enough calcium, it could impact bone growth and strength.
  1.  But parents also need to know that there is much more to bone health than simply calcium. One key ingredient getting a lot of attention these days is vitamin K2. It is critical for bone development, muscle function, cognitive health and vascular development. Kids have seven times the bone turnover that adults do and get virtually no vitamin K2-7 in their diet. Supplementation, therefore, is key for children.
  1.  Kids that don’t regularly eat a heap of dark green leafy vegetables or seaweed and whole grains are likely not getting all the magnesium they need to support optimal health and wellness, according to Carolyn Dean, M.D., N.D., medical advisory board member at the Nutritional Magnesium Association. Dean states that magnesium is essential for 700–800 enzyme processes in the body to function at their best. It catalyzes most of the chemical reactions in the body.
  1.  Also critical for bone health and more, Jolie Root, senior nutritionist and educator at Carlson Laboratories, Arlington Heights, IL, wants to draw parents’ attention to vitamin D. “We have new evidence of the negative impact of children not meeting adequacy for vitamin D. A recent study has found that low vitamin D status was significantly associated with increased frequency of recurrent respiratory infections and chronic cough among children.

One reason why may be because vitamin D is a strong supporter of immune health by regulating the activity of immune cells. It reduces levels of inflammatory proteins while also increasing production of antimicrobial defensins such as cathelicidin,” says Root.

Vitamin D may also play a critical role in the regulation of serotonin, which may be of interest to those that want to hear about support for autism Vitamin D activates the transcription of the serotonin-synthesizing gene tryptophan hydroxylase 2. The disruption of the serotonergic system is one of the most consistent observations associated with autism.

  1.  Omega-3s—especially DHA—are super important for growing bodies and mothers. DHA supports brain, eye, neuropathway and other development…Some studies find, DHA makes up approximately 25% of the brain, 45% of the eyes and 75% of the neuropathways.
  1.  A big void in traditional shelf-stable products is iron and healthy fats. There’s an iron deficiency epidemic among young children. But parents should be cautious before supplementing a child with iron. If a mother is contemplating an iron supplement—don’t—until you discuss it with your doctor to find out if your child is deficient.
  1. Experts say that parents should know that probiotics are beneficial for more than simply digestive health. Probiotics tend to get missed (for kids and adults alike) unless there’s a digestive problem. Research continues to provide mounting support for a myriad of health benefits from optimizing quantity and diversity of beneficial gut bacteria—including immune function, metabolic health, positive mood, and of course, good digestion.

Material taken from WholeFoods Magazine August 2016

Ruth Ann Clayton, Registered Dietitian, is active in both the American Dietetics Association and Dietitians in Integrative and Functional Medicine Dietetic Practice Group. Her nationally accredited Dietetic Internship and her years of experience in public health and hospital settings reflect her commitment to your health and well being.

As the co-owner of Nature’s Way, she uses her comprehensive background to research products, read labels, investigate manufacturers and provide information for her customers.