Children, are similar in some ways to the canaries in the coalmines of old, and like the canaries they are letting us know that the current state of our environment is much more toxic than is kind to us.
Although they show us this in their own way, research tells us that some disorders especially in children have similar underlying causes and contributing factors.
- Poor digestive function
- Nutrient deficiencies or imbalances
- Inflammation especially in the gut
- Immune dysfunction
- Poor detoxification and higher than ideal levels of toxicity systemically
The aim then is to improve all of these factors by reducing exposure, toxins and inflammation …and …improving gut, immune and brain function
Why the guts are important … diet affects body chemistry … either healing or harming
The “guts” are the main point of breakdown of food into nutrients and the main point of nutrient absorption, it is a Barrier of defence against bacteria, viruses and parasites and the largest contributor to immune system function.
In regards to Brain function and neurotransmitters, Serotonin, one of the main brain chemicals, is largely found in the gut and the GI tract and Amino Acids, the basis for all neurotransmitter production, are absorbed through the breakdown of proteins in the gut.
How to we effect change?
Removing from the diet that which annoys and upsets these kids
- Artificial additives, colours and chemicals
- Gluten, casein, soy …. And for many, Corn, phenols, oxalates and starches
- Sugars, processed carbs and refined foods
- Removing /reducing phenolic foods
Removing toxins from their environment as much as possible. Avoiding environmental chemicals, sprays, fumes, skin products.
Repairing and replenishing … consuming food that assist in the repair and healing of gut function, reducing inflammation and providing the intake of the most friendly and absorbable forms of nutrients.
- Unprocessed foods
- Organic where possible
- Fermented foods and probiotics
- Good quality proteins – meat and eggs – organic if possible or grass fed
- Good fats in sufficient amounts
- Include probiotics and / or probiotic rich foods as well as sources of pre-biotics
Why not sugar?
It’s a natural food is it not?
Well, it’s a natural component of food in its natural state, ingested this way, as with all things in nature, it is in balance with the other components. In vegetables and fruit, yes, there is sugar, mostly in the form of natural fructose where it comes in balance with other nutrients as is nature’s way. Bananas for example, provide a good source of Dietary Fibre, Vitamin C, Potassium and Manganese, and are a very good source of Vitamin B6.
Eaten as a component of a naturally occurring food and eaten in conjunction with a variety of other foods as part of a balanced diet including sources of quality proteins, fats and fibre, it does not then cause most of us a problem.
Taken in its highly processed, chemically laden form it does cause a whole heap of problems.
Sugar in isolation is an inflammatory substance, causing systemic inflammation through the body and providing a food source for ailments such as cancer, gut bacteria, candida and specifically of importance to these children, yeast over growth.
So what needs to go?
The very basics of what needs to change …. Then we can see what really needs to be addressed in each child and what is not simply food related symptoms.
|What’s OUT||Where to look for it|
|Additives – artificial colours, flavours, preservatives, nitrates and sulphites, MSG||All processed foods, including deli meats, dried fruits, take-aways, cereals, soups, sauces and gravy mixes|
|Sugars||Especially high fructose corn syrup, processed foods and sweets|
|Trans saturated fats||Margarine, canola oil, mayo, peanut paste, partially hydrogenated oils|
|Pesticides and chemical residues||Non-organic produce and meat (refer dirty dozen)|
|Known food allergens and sensitivities||Gluten and Casein products are a problem for all. Next likely suspects are soy, eggs, corn, phenols, oxalates, starches.|
These are sensitive little people, treating them with that in mind we will get to experience how special they are.
Jacinta Harding is a Nutritional Medicine Practitioner, specialising in Allergies and Allergy related conditions and author of the eBook “When No Means Yes: No nonsense guide to saying NO to Gluten, Casein, Lactose and ill health and YES! To Health, Vitality and Wellbeing”.
Visit her website for more information http://www.optimumhealthclinic.com.au