Children’s Posture and Wellbeing

Children’s Posture and Wellbeing

While adults may be aware of their own posture and how it affects them, they may not be aware that it is also very important to look after the posture of our children. Poor posture in kids can have detrimental effects not only while they are young but throughout their entire lives.

 

What is good posture?

Posture is the position our body is in when we are sitting or standing. Good posture places the least amount of stress on the joints and muscles within the body, especially in the spine. This helps keep the joints in the spine healthy and prevents damage over time, which usually leads to pain and other difficulties. When facing sideways our spine has natural curves that help take the stress of gravity off the individual joints. Good posture ensures that these curves don’t get increased or decreased. To maintain these curves our head should sit over our shoulders, and our shoulders should be in line with our hips. Our weight should also be going down evenly through our feet. When facing forward our head should be straight (not turned or tilted), and our shoulders and hips should both be at equal heights. Common posture mistakes in kids include bringing the head too far forward, rounding the shoulders forward, and flattening out the lower back when slouching in chairs.

 

How can a posture affect your child?

Poor posture

Poor posture may seem like something that just doesn’t look very nice, but having poor posture can actually be very detrimental to your child and their health. Here are just some of the effects of poor posture:

  • Back and neck pain, which can become chronic over time
  • Excess stress on spinal joints increases the degenerative process. You may think degeneration is only common in older spines, but it is becoming increasingly more common in the spine of teenagers and young adults
  • Compressing internal organs. This can cause breathing and digestive issues in children and can lead to issues such as heart disease and varicose veins later in life
  • Tight muscles. This can reduce the range of motion and can also lead to headaches
  • Decreased balance.

 

Good posture

And while poor posture can have some negative effects, there are many benefits of having a good one! Other than preventing what is mentioned above these benefits include:

  • Increased energy levels. When we have good posture our muscles aren’t working harder than they need to so that energy isn’t being wasted and can be used elsewhere
  • Improved core strength. When we are in a correct posture out core muscles stay engaged. This improves the strength of these muscles and also leaves us less susceptible to injury.
  • Improved self-confidence
  • Improved mood and decrease in anxiety levels. This is because when we hold our body in poor posture our muscles become tight, and this can trick your brain into thinking there is a threat. When we have good posture and our muscles are relaxed, this helps to calm our brain.

 

What can you do to help your child improve their posture?

It is quite clear that good posture is important, but it is not always as easy as telling your child to ‘stand up straight’. Here are some ways you can help your kid maintain a good one in order to keep them as healthy as possible:

  • Make sure they are eating healthy and getting enough exercise. Excess weight is currently one of the biggest causes of poor posture in children
  • Show them what good posture should look like. Practice with them in front of the mirror so they know what good posture looks and feels like
  • When they are using a phone or iPad encourage them to either lift it up to their face or lie on their stomach while using it. This will prevent them from leaning their head forward and decreasing their neck curve
  • When wearing a school bag make sure they are always wearing it on both shoulders in order to evenly distribute the weight
  • If possible when at home and sitting at a desk or table, get them to sit on something like an exercise ball. This discourages slouching when sitting and activates their core muscles, increasing strength and stability.

 

A poor vs. good posture

 

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Disc Herniations and Chiropractic

What is a disc/inter-verterbal disc?

Our spines are made up of bones called vertebrae. In between each of these bones, we have discs that cushion our vertebrae and act as shock absorbers. The disc has a tough outer layer, called the annulus, and a soft inner center called the nucleus.

What is a disc herniation?

A disc herniation is when the soft inner nucleus pushes out of the annulus into the spinal canal. The spinal canal only has limited space, so when the nucleus of the disc starts protruding into the spinal canal it can put pressure on the nerves within the canal. As a result, this can cause pain and other symptoms. Moreover, this can happen anywhere in the spine but usually occurs in the lower back or the neck.

What are the symptoms of disc herniations in the lower back?

Symptoms caused by a disc herniation in the lower back include lower back pain, numbness, pain, tingling, or burning. The burning starts in the buttock and radiates down the leg and sometimes into the foot. Usually, only one side is affected. In addition, pain is usually exacerbated by standing, walking, sitting, and straightening the painful leg.

What are the symptoms of disc herniations in the neck?

In the neck, symptoms include neck pain, pain in between the shoulder blades; numbness, pain, tingling, or burning. The burning starts down the arms and sometimes into the hands and fingertips. Moreover, the pain can be exacerbated by certain neck positions and movement. As well as coughing, sneezing, or straining. In addition, disc herniations can cause weakness in the affected limb.

An injury usually causes disc herniations to that area of the spine. Still, in people with degenerating discs, it can sometimes just take a small exertion or twist of the spine to cause a herniation. Risk factors for disc herniation include smoking, being overweight, incorrect lifting technique, repetitive strenuous activities, or a sedentary lifestyle. Moreover, 30-50 years old is the most common age to develop a disc herniation, but it can happen outside of this age range. In addition, men are twice as likely as women to experience a disc herniation2.

How can chiropractic help with disc herniations?

There are many ways that chiropractic care can help with disc herniations.

Prevention:

Firstly, by preventing them from happening in the first place. Chiropractic is all about optimizing nervous system function. This helps to make sure all of the muscles around our spine are activated and working at their best. As a result, when muscles around our spine aren’t working properly, this leaves our spine vulnerable and more susceptible to a disc herniation if we sustain an injury.

Proper Movement and Support:

Secondly, chiropractic can prevent a disc herniation by making sure the joint is moving properly. Chiropractic restores proper joint biomechanics, and when joints are moving properly this decreases the likelihood of degeneration. Importantly, as degeneration is a major risk factor for disc herniation, this is an important part of preventing disc herniations.

Improves healing:

Thirdly, it is important to try and prevent disc herniations from happening in the first place. However, you could still sustain an injury that causes a disc herniation. Chiropractic is beneficial in the healing process for this. As chiropractic impacts the nervous system, it impacts our body’s healing capabilities. As a result, a nervous system free of interference is able to better heal injuries such as a disc herniation fast and effectively. Therefore, chiropractic returns normal movement and function to the spine.

In addition, along with proper exercises and stretches, a spine that is moving and functioning properly is more likely to heal properly. In conclusion, this decreases the chance of needing surgery for the disc herniation.

Other options

There are many different types of surgery for disc herniations, which can involve removing bone, removing discs, or fusing multiple levels of the spine together. However, this is usually the last resort for extreme cases, as it is extremely invasive. Moreover, it can cause further issues down the road. Chiropractic is safe and non-invasive, and can drastically reduce your chances of needing surgery. As a result, your body is able to heal naturally, resulting in less chance of re-injury and further complications.

References:

  1. American Association of Neurological Surgeons. (2019). Herniated disc – Symptoms, causes, prevention and treatments. https://www.aans.org/Patients/Neurosurgical-Conditions-and-Treatments/Herniated-Disc
  2. Southern Cross. (2017, December). Herniated disc – symptoms, treatment, surgery. https://www.southerncross.co.nz/group/medical-library/herniated-slipped-disc-symptoms-treatment-surgery
  3. Grassi, R. (2019, June 26). Chiropractic care for degenerative disc disease. Spine Universe. https://www.spineuniverse.com/conditions/degenerative-disc/chiropractic-care-degenerative-disc-disease
  4. Pietrangelo, A. (2017, April 21). Herniated disc surgery: What to expect. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/bone-health/herniated-disk-surgery#surgeries
  5. Santilli, V., Beghi, E., & Finucci, S. (2006). Chiropractic manipulation in the treatment of acute back pain and sciatica with disc protrusion: A randomized double-blind clinical trial of active and simulated spinal manipulations. The Spine Journal, 6(2), 131-137. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.spinee.2005.08.001

 

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Disc Herniation - Auckland Chiropractor

Health… Expectations Vs. Reality

What is health? What is perfect health? Is it possible to achieve perfect health? If so, how long does it take? Are these all expectations that social media has set or is it the reality? These questions are often questions I ponder about as a well-being practitioner. Some people ask me that too, but it’s just such a long answer. I think people should read this instead of me answering it verbally.

Health according to the World Health Organisation, is “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”. This is completely true; many people think just because they do not have pain they are in good condition. The definition also includes ‘mental and social well-being’. I feel too many people in the world now only focuses on the thing that they can see or feel when exhibiting physical health. The expectation is because someone has rock hard 6 pack or has an amazing body they must be in perfect health. In reality, it does not necessarily reflect their state. The person with an amazing body may have reached peak physical health but that same person may always be conscious about their own body image that it causes mental disorders such as body dysmorphic disorder (BDD). This neglects the aspect of mental health.

 

Cont.

 

So to answer the question is it possible to achieve perfect health; the short answer is yes but there is always a catch to it. In my opinion, being physically perfect is to be in a balanced state of ‘physical, mental, and social well-being’. Some may be already in that realm if you are I congratulate you. However, if you are there already, are you taking it for granted, or are you actively trying to improve or maintain it? This is where the wellness model comes in. To achieve even a higher state of health is to actively pursue maintenance. We can accomplish this through regular chiropractic care, a continuation of healthy habits (mentally, physically, and socially) and self-reflection. Unlike the allopathic model of health where we seek help or therapy after if a breakdown occurs. The reality of perfect health is for us to maintain the standard, this way, we can enhance our own body’s ability.

If you are not in ‘perfect health’ how long will it take you? You might expect it overnight just by suddenly going to the gym, quit smoking, or stop drinking excessively? Unfortunately, it does not work like that, otherwise, everyone would have perfect health in no time and there would not be a profession in health. The famous saying: ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’, is particularly applicable in scenarios like these. The reality is that good things take time, our body takes time to change. Research has shown that even working out consistently at the gym, results will not be seen until 3 -6 months later. Additionally, a healthy diet is just as important as working out! You must include all aspects to actually see results! Health is the same, consistent social, physical, and mental habits are the right way to go to develop perfect health. Be patient, trust in the process and everything will fall in its place.

 

Concl.

 

The expectation these days for health is focused on physical appearance. However, having a visually pleasing body doesn’t equate to being on top of things. Being healthy is achieving a balance between social, mental, and physical health. In this modern society, we are expected to do things in a flash and be successful right away. However, in reality, things take time. In the end slow and steady wins the race.

 

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4 Natural & Effective Ways to Lower Cholesterol

High cholesterol levels is something that effects around 31% of the human population. Having a cholesterol levels can lead to high blood pressure, angina and kidney diseases. In more serious cases it can lead to strokes and heart attacks. This is because cholesterol builds up in our arteries and blood vessels. Due to this build up, it leads to a narrower vessel hence the increase in blood pressure and the increase likelihood of blockages. However, it’s not all doom and gloom, today let’s discuss 4 ways for you to lower your cholesterol.

 

  1. Reduce the amount of saturated fats in your diet. This is because it contains high amounts of LDL. This is a type of cholesterol that is harmful for the body as it leaves build ups and is easily solidified in room temperature. Thus leading to narrower blood vessels in the body. We find saturated fats in many unhealthy foods such as pies, cakes and different types of pastries. This is because they are all made from some sort of animal products like butter and margarine. Another way to avoid food that contains high amount of saturated fats is to consume less processed meats. This is because it is often mixed with cuts of meat that contains high amount of animal fat.
  2. Consume food that is high in omega-3. Even though omega-3 is a fat it does not build up in the body as it is classified as an HDL. Think of it like this, omega-3 is the oil that keeps the mechanics well oiled. If everything in your body is well oiled, it’ll function smoothly and be kept in a better state. By keeping the arteries better oiled, it decreases the amount of plaque and fatty builds up from the LDL. As a result, even if you do have high cholesterol, it’ll lower your blood pressure. Leading to a lower likelihood of heart diseases.
  3. While we are sticking to recommended foods, it is highly recommended for people with high cholesterol to consume soluble fibres like beans, oats, citrus fruits and barley. This is because our body is not able to digest these foods. This create a small barrier where these soluble fibres are then attached to the cholesterol, preventing it from getting into the blood stream. In addition, soluble fibres helps your gut bacteria (probiotics) function better. So start consuming more fibre right now!
  4. Do some exercises. Research has shown that there is a direct correlation between exercise and lower cholesterol levels. This is because exercise stimulates a higher production of HDL levels. As we have mentioned it above, HDKL decreases the amount of plaque and fatty build ups in the arteries. As a recommendation, exercise 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week. It can be anything from brisk walking to playing a sport that you enjoy.

 

Here are 4 tips on how to reduce cholesterol. Remember, it won’t be decreased overtime. Try these tips for a couple of months and retest your levels after. Sometimes it may take even longer. But I guarantee that if you stick to it, results will show over time!

 

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Diabetes Prevention

In the last blog we discussed the physiology of diabetes what happens to insulin and some of the symptoms of diabetes. Quick recap, insulin is the hormone that regulates blood sugar levels. There are two types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2. Type 1 is when the body does not produce enough insulin due to an autoimmune issue (this type is often due to congenital issues). Type 2 is when there isn’t enough insulin or insulin becomes less sensitive due to the increased in take in sugar which is often caused by dietary problems. Today we are going to discuss how we can take preventative measures to avoid having diabetes.

 

Unfortunately, there is no way of preventing type 1 diabetes. However, there are ways to check for it at an early age. The best way is to do blood test. As for type 2 diabetes, it often stems from dietary issues and lifestyle choices. So the best way to address the issue is through alterations in those aspects.

  • Firstly, cut out most if not all processed sugars and refined carbohydrates. As we have discussed, diabetes is caused by increased blood sugar level. This causes a decrease in insulin sensitivity or the body is not able to keep up with insulin production.
  • Secondly, drink water as your primary beverage. Chances are if you have diabetes, you probably don’t drink a lot of water. As a recommendation, we should not have more than 9 teaspoons of sugar every day. However, 1 can of a regular size soda already consists of 8 teaspoons of sugar! This is why if you want to prevent yourself from having diabetes, drink mostly water as your primary beverage!
  • Thirdly, cut out processed foods. A study showed that a diet that consists mostly of processed food increases the change of diabetes by 30%. Yes, that can of spam, corned beef or that packet of two minute noodles is easy to make and tastes pretty good. But if you want to decrease the chances of getting diabetes, throw that stuff out. This is because during the processing, many preservatives are added to it and a common preservative is sugar!
  • Finally, complete more exercise! Exercise has many benefits, one of the benefits is that it increases insulin sensitivity. If insulin is more sensitive, your body will be more efficient at handling and processing sugar and there will be less stress on the body when it comes to producing insulin. Additionally, exercise can help you lower body fat and body fat actually lowers the effectiveness of insulin detecting sugar.

 

If you have type-1 diabetes, you can’t do much about it. All you can do is watch out for your diet and live a healthy lifestyle as much as possible. If you want to prevent yourself from getting diabetes following the 4 tips that was mentioned above is a great start. Remember what you do with your body is up to you. You feed your body with good fuel only good results will appear.

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Slow Twitch vs. Fast Twitch Muscle Fibers

Every living animal on this planet has muscle fibers. There are some animals who can move for long distances like birds migrating through different seasons and there are some animals that can be very fast and explosive like a lion. That’s the same with human beings, some human beings are very good at long distance sports while some are 100m speedsters. This is because there are two types of muscle fibers in our body; slow and fast twitch fibers. They serve very different purposes.

 

Slow twitch fibers, also known as Type I muscle fibers, are muscle fibers that contract slowly. Due to the slow contraction, they do not generate a lot of power. Slow twitch fibers are a lot more efficient at using energy and due to that, they are fatigue resistance. This is because these fibers tend to be a lot smaller and are surrounded by capillaries. Many capillaries surround them, so they support aerobic metabolism as there will be more oxygen supply. This results in muscles that can work for a longer period of time with less energy output. This type of muscle fiber is most ideal for people who do long distance or stamina based sports such as marathons and triathlons. They grow through similar types of training over a period of time.

cont.

There are two types of fast twitch muscle fibers; moderate (Type IIA) and intense (TypeIIB). Type IIB being the larger one. However, both these fibers are larger in comparison to the Type I slow twitch fibers. Due to the larger size, they are able to produce more force however they need more oxygen to sustain them. Unfortunately, these large twitch muscle fibers are not surrounded by as many capillaries as the slow twitch fiber which makes them easier to fatigue. These muscle fibers are more effective for people who often do more explosive movements such as sprinters, weight lifters and jumpers. These muscles grow through resistance training.

 

What’s very interesting is even though if the sport demands mostly slow twitch fibers, small amounts fast twitch fibers are also recruited. This is because in the action of each movement a small amount of explosive strength comes out. In sports that require plenty of fast twitch fiber, once the primary fiber fatigues, your body will naturally push the small twitch fiber to do carry on the job. This is why it is important to train both types of muscle fibers.

 

The amount of fast twitch and slow twitch fiber is predetermined by genetics and at a young age. However, it is not said that they cannot be changed. Many of this is determined by the amount and type of training done. That being said changing between the two types of fast twitch fiber and from fast twitch to slow twitch can be achieved with much more ease compared to altering from slow to fast twitch fiber. However, this does not mean it cannot be done. As long as hard work reigns supreme, and by being consistent with the type of training.

 

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Back Strength and Chiropractic

Can Chiropractic Adjustments increase back strength?

Yes. Absolutely. When you visit a Chiropractor, you are training and strengthening your spine. How amazing is that! A Chiropractic adjustment is not just joint popping, its also about strength of your neck, back and mind.

In fact the audible pop doesn’t even need to occur for a successful manipulation to occur. However with a manual adjustment it often does, and some patients and doctors like to hear it. Research has found that pop or not, the same benefits are experienced, so long as the manipulation is performed correctly.

chiropractic increase back strengthSo how does this strengthen my back?

A Chiropractic adjustment strengthens the weak muscles around your spine and restores the body to it’s optimal functioning performance. In it’s correct position balance to your spine and nervous system is restored.

Your brain and body connect and communicate with each other through the nervous system and deep spinal muscles that hold your spine in it’s proper position. When the joints of the spine are out of alignment, they lose communication pathways and therefore do not carry out their proper movement and lock up. The spinal muscles that stop working and become weak and lazy. Over time your brain loses more connection to these muscles. If you think about how the brain works and the saying ‘ if you don’t use it, you lose it’, this is exactly the same.

This is not a good situation to get into because losing strength in your deep spinal muscles can lead to a cascade of problems; compensations throughout the body, reduced nerve connection, reduced power and strength, over-active and tight superficial muscles, confusion in the nervous system and too much pressure on delicate structures in the spine that can cause significant damage.

What does all this mean for me? Well it’s a really good idea to get your spine checked regularly by your Chiropractor.

a) For the peace of mind your spine is structurally sound and strong, and b) To ensure your nervous system is firing nicely and at its optimum level for the maximum performance of your body and mind .


For back and spinal check up, visit the Revolution Chiropractic and wellness clinic in Auckland, North Shore. 

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Chiropractic Care And Sleep

The connection between Chiropractic Care And Sleep

Getting a good night’s sleep is one of the most important things you can do to improve your health. If you are having trouble sleeping and are generally well in your health otherwise, there’s some good news. Plenty of research shows regular chiropractic care and sleep quality can go hand in hand.

While chiropractors aren’t commonly thought of as being the first point of call on sleep issues, more than one-third of people who have a chiropractic adjustment with us report that they experience immediate sleep improvement – and save a lot of frustrating time and energy in the process!

Is this treatment right for me?

If it’s aches or pain that’s keeping you awake, back pain, neck pain,  headaches or migraines then there is a good chance visiting a chiropractor will fix the problem. A sleep that doesn’t process through the full sleep cycle, is intermittent or leaves you feeling restless for hours can also result in back or neck pain over time and therefore only perpetuate the issue.

Revolution Chiropractors will assess where the root cause(s) is coming from by discussing your sleeping position, discomforts and habits. We provide in depth solutions and help alleviate any  pains and improve relaxation. Spinal adjustments enhance blood flow which support relaxation and prepare your body for a deep sleep. Not only will we adjust you in targeted areas but we will also show you some possible sleeping positions based on our assessment of your spine and body.

Once we have your back pain under control and having you sleeping like a baby. You can wake up feeling rested and full of energy.

So the good news?! Booking a visit with a chiropractor may be you need to soothe nagging aches and greatly improve the quality of your nightly snooze.

 

Chiropractic care and sleep
Improve the quality of your sleep – Revolution Chiropractic

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Raising Healthy Children: Tip # 3

By Dr Jennifer Barham-Floreani: Tip # 3: TOUGH LOVE

Many parents lament that they can’t get their children to eat certain foods or meals that they prepare…

Despite their best intentions, many parents today arrive at a stand-of with their children; the children dictate what they will and won’t eat, and then the parents become distressed when their kids fall ill with frequent colds and flus, ear infections and asthma, to name but a few repercussions of poor diet. Or in ever-growing cases, children acquire seemingly mysterious behavioral disorders with long labels that require medication. Even then, the link is often not made between diet and health.

Sometimes it seems a whole lot easier to just give into children and throw into their lunchboxes that vegemite, peanut butter or jam sandwich, a packet of chips, or a cupcake. There is no doubt that this type of approach to lunches is quick, simple, and easy. But the question is:

Is life simple and easy when we have hyperactive, angry or unwell children?

NO, it isn’t…full report

 …Life is draining physically, emotionally and financially.

 

We cannot pour soft drinks or additives onto a potted plant and expect it to survive… the same applies to our body.

There is a direct relationship between what we eat and our quality of life and health. In Lunchbox Solutions, I discuss a variety of approaches to retraining fussy eaters.

Every family must negotiate guidelines and boundaries around many facets of lifestyle and behavior, but there are none as important as diet, because what your children eat has an ENORMOUS IMPACT on the whole family. It’s exhausting when they are chronically unwell when they are irritable and friends and family don’t want to spend time with them. So I’d encourage you to pick your battles and be clear that the “food battle” is one you want to win!

Even if your child appears quite healthy, remember that the impact of poor food choices may have a long-lasting effect on their health as adults. The cumulative damage of refined sugars and processed foods can be an enormous contributor to illnesses including diabetes and heart disease. It is our role as guardians to empower our family with proactive and positive habits. 

Since my boys were very little they learned that they need to eat primarily wholesome foods and at times “sometimes foods.” It is vitally important that children learn how they can strengthen digestive power through eating foods that are as close to their natural state as possible including a wide variety of fresh organic vegetables and fruits, raw or organic nuts and seeds, beans, whole grains; you get the idea.

Foods Cont.

Foods should nourish and heal the body. Eating foods in their most natural state ensures we receive the highest nutritional content. Whole foods contain naturally occurring vitamins, minerals, enzymes, essential fatty acids, amino acids and more.

Consuming food shouldn’t be a toxic event. By eating “whole foods” we also help our family to reduce their intake of harmful chemicals. Such as preservatives, synthetic nutrients, and other additives that are considered non-foods (which are added to most all processed foods.)

If you can — try to eat organic foods whenever possible. This will help to ensure you avoid harmful toxins such as antibiotics, synthetic hormones, pesticides, herbicides, GMO’s, and synthetic fertilizers. Purchasing organic food is not a luxury but rather an integral step in securing our health. Pollutants in our modern environment—for example, pesticides, heavy metals, herbicides and fumigants—have been linked to abnormalities in behavior, perception, cognition, and motor ability during early childhood, even when exposure is at so-called harmless levels.

The goal is to teach the child to make these good decisions themselves

Where possible encourage children to help you shop and prepare meals and take the opportunity to highlight the pros and cons of different foods and false foods.

Encourage your children from a young age to also be open to having supplements or “vitamin boosts” from time to time. For example, smoothies and homemade juices are a great way to add multi-mineral powders and probiotics into their weekly diet. High-quality probiotics can provide the necessary bacteria for a healthy gut, and they are an essential aid to digestive health for all children — I would recommend taking these a few times a week. It’s also a great habit to encourage them to randomly have zinc and vitamin C powder drinks or multi-mineral drinks particularly if they have been really busy or had a few late nights.

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This blog is sponsored by Little Ninja & SPARTAFIT

Children Eating More Fruit, but Fruit and Vegetable Intake Still ...

Raising Healthy Children: Tip # 2 How?

By Dr Jennifer Barham-Floreani: How? Take an audit.

Whenever we want to set ourselves a new goal we have to know where we are starting. This allows us to look back in 6 and 12 months time and celebrate how far we have come. It’s hard work being a parent and it’s harder again to a parent who’s committed to healthy habits and rituals. So, it’s important to take stock and appreciate your efforts.

So let’s begin how to audit.

Q: How Much Sugar Do You Each Consume Daily

Without realizing it, most adults and children eat refined sugar for breakfast, lunch and dinner via processed cereals and grains. Most of us consume an average of 53 kg of sugar each year (approximately
29 teaspoons of added and natural sugar each day), and 75 percent comes from the packaged and convenience products we eat and drink.

I’d encourage you to investigate the health risks associated with eating too many sugars (in Lunchbox Solutions I discuss the dangers of sugars and outline what are healthier ways to sweeten recipes, so that’s a great place to start).

There are several reasons should we should avoid sugars, including that they raise our insulin levels. Insulin is a hormone
that our pancreas produces and its main function is taking up blood glucose (sugar) into the cells for energy. High insulin levels are thought to contribute to multiple health issues but for this post where we are focused on raising the health status of our children — let’s keep to three main issues.

Key issues with sugar

1 High insulin levels can depress the immune system weakening our ability to fight disease. This occurs because white blood cells need stacks of vitamin C to kill bacteria and viruses. So our white blood cells work to accumulate
and store vitamin C within the cell. The problem is that vitamin C and glucose have similar chemical structures so they then compete to enter the white blood cells. Guess what happens when we have lots of glucose in our blood from eating lots of foods that contain processed sugars? Glucose wins and our white blood cells become deficient in vitamin C compromising our ability to fight bugs.

2 Too many sugars also upset the integral balance of good and harmful bacteria in the gut. When we consume too many sugars we can create an overgrowth of harmful yeasts and bad bacteria which override our helpful “disease fighting” helpful bacteria — hindering our immune system.

3 Refined sugars also provide us with no vitamins or minerals. In order for them to be metabolized, they draw on the body’s reserves of vitamins and minerals, depleting our body’s nutrients.

ACTION: Start a food diary and observe just how much sugar find there way into your daily diet. Here’s a tip for when looking at products and packaging — sugars tend to be any ingredient ending in “ose” — sucrose, fructose, dextrose, lactose etc. Try it — it will shock you!

Drastically reducing sugar (initially this is not an easy task) not only lightens the load on your child’s immune system it also allows your children to get off the ‘blood-sugar rollercoaster’.

Here’s another tip — cutting back sugar … life just gets better. Sugar highs and lows, make us all irritable and grumpy.

Audit Cont.

Q: How many processed foods are in your pantry, fridge and child’s lunch box?
-Literally count the number of packaged items and take an audit. If a food item has more then 5 or 6 ingredients you can bet it’s refined, altered and damaged. If you can’t pronounce the names of the ingredients in the food item, mostly likely it’s full of chemicals. I’d encourage you to become a food critic and learn what all those numbers and complex sounding ingredients really mean. Please see “Become a Food Critic” and the “Poor Choice, Better Choice and Fabulous Choice” Table in “Empower Their Choices” in Lunchbox Solutions.

Q: How many pieces of fresh fruit and vegetables are you all currently consuming each day?

-Daily consistency is key here.

Q: How many glasses of water do you drink?

Q: What sort of water do you drink?
-And I don’t mean the wet kind. One of the simplest and most important things you can do is invest in a water filter to protect your family against chemically-treated water. Most of our drinking water today contains chlorine and chlorination by-products, as well as numerous other contaminants. Drinking good quality water via a high quality filter system — promotes detoxification, enhances nutritional uptake and ensures optimal hydration.

Help your children develop the habit of drinking water throughout the day rather than juices and soft drinks. A mere two per cent drop in our body’s water supply can trigger signs of dehydration: fuzzy short-term memory, trouble with basic math and difficulty focusing on smaller print, such as a computer screen. Many children are frequently dehydrated, suffering with concentration issues, constipation and digestive problems.

Q: How many prescriptions has your child had in the last twelve months and over their lifetime?
-With regular chiropractic care and addressing these other tips for raising healthy children, many parents delight in no longer relying on antibiotics and instead being able to rely on their child’s own immune strength.

Q: How many sessions of sweaty exercise would each family member perform each week?
-Ideally each of us should be raising our heart rate 5 times a week.

Q: How many harmful chemicals are in your personal care and cleaning products?
-Source brands that are genuinely wholesome — free of nasty chemicals and toxins which are readily absorbed through the skin and tax our body and its defence system.

It can be a “reality slap” to take an audit and look at where you currently sit along the “healthy” and “not so healthy” scale. Where you sit on the “fresh” and “disastrously preserved” scale. Remember though that every moment we make choices and have the opportunity and capacity to influence both our child’s — short and long-term health.

 

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