The Health and Nutrition of Children

The subject of the health and nutrition of children and what exactly constitutes each one has often been debated. There are several schools of thought as to what makes a child healthy, and what completes a child’s nutrition. Though the debate continues on till today, one thing most nutritionists and doctors can agree on is that health and nutrition do go hand in hand. It can’t be said that one is more important than the other because they almost always come together.

According to the World Health Organization, health is being physically well and free from disease. Given that definition, the health and nutrition of children seems easy enough to achieve. While your children may be physically well and free from disease, however, it doesn’t mean that they are not on their way to the opposite. This is why healthy eating is given such a focus when it comes to good health. Healthy eating maintains your child’s physical well being and boosts their immune system to assure you that they will remain free from disease.

Nutrition, on the other hand is being able to provide a child’s body with all the necessary nutrients they need. This is also very easy to follow and nutrition of children is always within anyone’s reach. Many times parents turn to vitamins to make sure that their children get all the necessary nutrients. While vitamins are good, especially if your child cannot eat certain foods from which they can get certain vitamins, most children with healthy and balanced diets don’t need vitamins. Healthy food can provide your child with most if not all of what your child’s body needs.

Quite obviously, the health and nutrition of children go hand in hand. Healthy food provides proper nutrition, while being properly nourished provides a certain amount of good health. These two factors need each other, but it can only go so far. A third factor must come in, and that is exercise. To maintain a child’s health, they also need to get a good amount of exercise in order to strengthen their bones, muscles, and body systems. Exercise is one of the best ways to boost a child’s good health.

As a parent, you know that your child is getting enough good food that provides proper nutrition and enough exercise to keep them in good health through their behavior. The health and nutrition of children can come out in how they play, their general mood, and their physical appearance. Having a happy child who plays often, does well in school, and looks healthy with rosy cheeks and all is probably a child that is getting the proper nutrition and is absolutely healthy!

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Calcium Supplementation and Heart Disease

Calcium and Heart AttacksRecent publicity in the media on the danger of calcium supplementation increasing the likelihood of a heart attack or stroke has confused many consumers. Especially in USA where 51% of the population over 19 years of age take calcium supplements, with 66% of women over 60 taking calcium supplements (National Health and Nutrition Surveys USA).This publicity has arisen from a series of meta analyses carried out by Prof Ian Reid at the Auckland Medical School in NZ,

the results being published in the British Medical Journal in early 2011. For these meta analyses he has chosen a wide range of trials covering some 29,000 people and states for every 1,000 people taking calcium supplements we save 3 fractures and cause 6 heart attacks.While he is not sure of the reason, he postulates that when a consumer starts taking a conventional calcium supplement it causes an abrupt spike in the blood serum calcium and this causes the increased risk. His recommendation is to take any calcium supplementation in the form of food rather than a capsule. That is increase the intake of such high calcium foods such as dairy products. If you must take a supplement take one that is very insoluble, take it with food and split your daily dose rate.Prof Reid’s views are challenged by a number of people. The Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), the Woman’s Health Initiative (WHI),

a number of the health supplement organisations and a number of well known heart specialists. All express concern at the figures and say that Prof Reid has just selected trials that proved his thesis and left out those that did not fit and they say he poses more questions than answers. There are many more trials that show no heart effects than the ones he has selected and none of the trials were designed to measure effects on the heartThat may be correct, and mega analyses can often give strange results. For example a world meta analyses of dairy product consumption and osteoporosis rates show clearly an inverse ratio. Generally countries with a high dairy product consumption have much higher rates of osteoporosis than those with a low dairy product consumption. Still Prof Reid is a very reputable researcher and I am sure he honestly believes in his theory. It would seem foolish not to keep this matter under review and in the meantime follow Prof Reid’s advice if taking supplements (generally he prefers calcium to be taken in the diet in a natural form with other minerals and nutrients).

However he says if you do need a calcium supplement make your choice an insoluble one, preferably a complex one that contains a range of minerals and proteins and is akin to a concentrated food.Take them with meals and split the daily dose.The calcium supplement NUZEACAL fits these criteria well and has the additional benefit of a bone strengthening bioactive. This is available at http://www.seniorhealthcare.co.nz

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