A HEALTHY KIDS BRAIN
By Naturopath and Nutritionist Shannon Stokes
Anxiety and depression in kids are becoming more and more prevalent and diagnosed earlier and earlier. But there is a lot to it, and I think a lot of factors are being missed. Luckily….there are countless areas in our children’s lifes that we CAN control to ensure their nervous system is functioning at optimal levels!!!
I could literally harp on about this for hours (for those who have been in consultation with me know just how passionate I am about children’s health)
For now let’s look at factors contributing to our tiny people’s mood changes.
1. Nutrient deficiencies
To start off with, the recommended daily amounts of essential nutrition is not being met. Full stop!
And scarily, these government recommend amounts are so ancient that they are merely focussing on preventing scurvy for example. Don’t we want to live a few steps above scurvy?
That aside, this western processed diet is lacking so much, that we aren’t even meeting the basics. So, with that being said are our kids getting important brain nutrients like essential fatty acids, b vitamins, zinc, magnesium, and prebiotic fibres? They are also fussier and so the vicious cycle begins! Essential nutrients for mood regulation are being missed. Fact.
Gosh, then there are absorption issues. (More on this another day) and so on.
Our tiny tigers are more inflamed than ever before. Depression and anxiety in my eyes are multi-faceted but also an inflammation disorder. Sugary and refined processed foods are inflammatory! Brain on fire baby. But luckily this can easily be rectified, via diet or supplements (until we sort those fussy banshees out). ?
3. The brain and gut connection
A two way street, a lot of neurotransmitters are made in the gut (think serotonin our happy hormone) if our gut is under-functioning, or we have an over load of the wrong bacteria causing inflammation in the gut and then the gut-brain-axis is disturbed. This again is a complex topic I am super passionate about.
4. Intolerances and allergies. Again inflammation!!!
Removing foods that the body and immune system are flagging as “foreign” and fixing the gut integrity can do wonders for little ones! Don’t go eliminating foods without speaking with a professional. We need to ensure our kids are staying nourished throughout this process and that it’s done correctly.
Kids are more anxious and moods are ever changing, and ever challenging. Mood changes are normal, but ask yourself, are they a little wild, are they showing anxious behaviour? Could we look a little deeper at what’s causing this?
Getting the right advice is really important when it comes to children’s health. Little changes can make a huge impact and improve how they feel, learn and grow.
Shannon Stokes is a children’s health expert here at the Natology clinic.
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