Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Build a Healthy Immune System with FOOD! ~Part 2~ SuperImmunity for KIDS!!

Yup that's me as a little girl!:-)
What a perfect time of year to make a change in the way your family eats!  Remember that YOU have the power to influence your kids' health destinies by changing what they eat!  So, if you have any children in your life--this second post in my kids series is for you!!!   And before you stop reading my non-parent readers, children in many ways are biochemically little adults so pretty much everything in this post is relevant to all of us adults as well! So you might find some good information here after all!  

I have been featuring Dr. Leo Galland's outstanding book: "SuperImmunity for Kids" and last time I talked about nutritional assessment when treating common childhood ailments.  Now lets continue with Part 2--my best effort at a condensed summary of some key points in the book.

After reading Dr. Galland's book "SuperImmunity for Kids" from cover to cover multiple times I have gleaned the following random pearls of Dr. Galland's wisdom to make kids as healthy as possible:

1) Chronic yeast or mold in children's bodies can weaken their immune system significantly and cause recurrent infections that never completely resolve.  If your kids go on antibiotics or if they have had recurrent infections after going on antibiotics in the past, ask your pediatrician about whether treating them with a prolonged course of Nystatin (yeast eliminator) is appropriate.  Dr. Galland appears to recommend a yeast-elimination diet + anti-yeast medication after all antibiotic use in kids.

2) As much as possible, kids should not eat sugar.  It causes significant behavior & medical problems and sets kids up for a lifetime of health issues.  Toxicity from sugar can mimic ADHD, can prolong bacterial infections, and cause kids not to absorb other nutrients in their diet.  Dr. Galland suggests that kids who crave sweets are nutrient-poor and need a more nutrient-dense diet with antioxidants and EFAs (Essential Fatty Acids).  This is not to mention the other effects of sugar on kids' immune systems and inflammatory states--childhood obesity is massively on the rise and I've seen way too many kids under the age of 12 with Type 2 Diabetes!!!  Now I know all you parents out there are rolling your eyes right now saying "Yeah, right, how am I ever going to get my kid to not eat sugar!" Well next time I'll post Dr. Galland's advice on how to encourage nutrient-dense eating in kids along with a few suggestions of my own & other blogs to reference that may be helpful! 

3) Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) are the magic missing ingredient in diagnosing a LARGE variety of illnesses in toddlerhood and childhood.  Dr. Galland recommends the following daily flaxseed oil dose regimen for kids to boost their immune system's ability to function: 
1 to 2 years old
1 teaspoon daily
2 to 3 years old
2 teaspoons daily
3 and up
1 Tablespoon daily
Instead of flaxseed oil he notes that you can use walnut oil as well.  Per Dr. Galland, whole food plant-based EFA sources include walnuts, beans (especially soy, kidney and navy), tofu and freshly ground flaxseed meal.

4) Providing kids with a nutrient-rich diverse diet with a focus on anti-oxidant foods is the KEY to improving their immune system!  Now you know I am a fan of anti-inflammatory eating and using anti-oxidant foods to your best advantage as adults.  Well the same applies to kids.  Here is a list of whole food plant-based sources for the anti-oxidant building block vitamins and minerals kids desperately need!  (Of note, Dr. Galland's list in his book SuperImmunity does include animal sources of these vitamins/minerals.  I have chosen to exclude those since I only eat a plant-based diet and supplement his list with other plant-based sources, but if you do have your children eating meat,etc, then you can get this information in his book!)

Vitamin A
carrots, sweet potatoes, winter squash, red peppers, pumpkins, broccoli
Vitamin C
citrus fruits, tomatoes, strawberries, red peppers and broccoli
Vitamin E
oatmeal, sunflower seeds, hazelnuts, almonds and unrefined EFA-rich oils
Vitamin B-3 (Niacin)
whole grains (except corn), beets, nutritional yeast, sunflower seeds, cayenne peppers, peanuts
sesame seeds, tofu and kidney beans
brown rice, oatmeal, split peas, almonds, peanuts, hazelnuts, pecans, walnuts and blackberries
high-protein foods like legumes
Vitamin B-2 (Riboflavin)
mushrooms, soybeans, almonds
avocados, raspberries, apricots, blackberries, dates, longan berries, and pomegranates, asparagus, brussels sprouts, peas, pumpkin, and chard

Ok, so thats all for now!  Next week I'll share Dr. Galland's advice on HOW to actually get your kids to eat healthy!  He talks in his book "SuperImmunity for Kids" about how to protect your kids and fight the "junk-food junkies" in our world of processed food so I'll share that with you along with a few Mom & Dad written blogs to help support you parents along the way!

Coming Up:
  • How I Deal With Temptation!
  • The Clear Skin Diet and My New Soy-Free Life!
  • Treating Pain with Food--more thoughts
  • Foods That Make You Feel Good (A New Series Featuring Individual Foods & Their Nutrient Power)
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    1. i have been working on teaching my children about eating good foods since they were born...i have been very successful, but it's never been kids eat 5-10 servings of fruits & veggies a day--truth be told, sometimes it's not always a cheerful experience, i get push-back lots of times...and then throw in the influence of the outside world--school with the constant influence of treats and nutrition poor food items like those sold at school to raise money...
      so i am hope my influence on the healthy front somehow neutralizes the negative affects of the chemically-laden foods they are exposed to--like algebra...
      i am new to your blog and look forward to the information you bring about these topics....

    2. It is SO wonderful to hear about kids eating 5-10 servings of fruits and veggies a day!! You must be an amazing parent b/c its so hard to set those limits with all the pressure on kids to eat poorly from pretty much every external force (their peers, their idols, their schools). Fantastic job!! I'm sure that your influence will make a huge difference--if nothing else you are filling them with anti-oxidants to clean out all that chemical garbage!

      The blog is not a vegan blog but the author is on a mission to save her kids from processed food! Its a fantastic blog if want to check out a kindred spirit!

      Thanks very much for becoming a reader! Its always wonderful to get comments--really makes my day to see folks get involved in the blog so thank you! :-) I'll do my best to keep the info coming...I hope you keep coming back and commenting!

    3. thanks for your great article with doctors recommendations...I will try to apply to my kids..yes healthy immune system is very much necessary for my kids to let themselves out of the diseases.


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