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Kids' Supplements

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To begin the academic journey, we head out to buy books, pens, paper, and food for lunches

To begin the academic journey, we head out to buy books, pens, paper, and food for lunches. While shopping for supplies, also stop by your local health food store to stock your student survival kit.

The human body works very hard learning, growing, changing, and experiencing. Good nutrition makes for a stronger and healthier body. Today, eating nutrient-rich food on a student's hectic time schedule can be difficult. Taking a daily multivitamin/mineral formula helps provide the nutrients which may be missing from your diet.

Your student survival kit should be filled with supplements to support both body and brain, including multivitamins and minerals, omega-3 fatty acids, phosphatidylcholine, herbs, proteins, and greens.

Supplement Your Brain

Although the brain is built to survive and perform under adverse nutritional circumstances, optimal brain performance requires optimal nutrition.

Vitamins are essential for normal body function such as growth and development. When choosing a multivitamin/mineral supplement, look for one containing a high dose of B vitamins, which support the body in times of stress (e.g., during exams).Vitamins C and B are water-soluble, which means they are quickly used by the body and then secreted out. They should be replenished daily, as both vitamins are important for dealing with stress and creating a healthy immune system. Many people feel they are eating a diet rich in vitamins-but it is important to remember that water-soluble vitamins can easily be destroyed by heat from cooking, so supplementation is crucial.

Minerals are part of all the tissues and fluids in your body. They influence hormonal production, regulate electrolyte balance, nerve response, and muscle contraction. Minerals are also used daily by the body and need to be replenished.

Remember, multivitamins and minerals should always be taken with food. If your child's digestive system is not strong, try using a capsule instead of a tablet, as they are easier to digest.

Omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil contain the compounds EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) that provide the building blocks necessary for proper brain function and immune support. DHA builds nerve endings in some of the most vital brain regions, regions responsible for providing judgment and the ability to stay focused and complete tasks.

Omega-3 fatty acids also increase production of two neurotransmitters, dopamine and serotonin. Dopamine is your "get up and go" transmitter, enhancing the brain's ability to concentrate on the task at hand and allowing the body to handle stress more easily. Serotonin is the "world is a wonderful place" hormone. It gives the body a sense of overall well-being and allows the brain to think more clearly. Omega-3 fatty acids can be used by the young and old and are a very important supplement for students.

Phosphatidylcholine (available at health food stores) is an antioxidant substance rich in soy lecithin. This special substance affects another important compound in the brain called acetylcholine. Acetycholine is essential for the transmission of information from one nerve ending to another, as well as being involved in memory. It is believed that if the optimal level of acetycholine is present when the messages are delivered, the more memory storage takes place. Studies have been conducted using phosphatidylcholine to increase the levels of acetylcholine in the brain, increasing the ability to learn and recall new information.

Gotu Kola (Centella asiatica) is an herb used in traditional Eastern medicines. In Ayurvedic medicine, Gotu Kola is considered a rejuvenator and has been used for centuries to increase vitality, prolong life, and enhance learning and memory.

Ginkgo Biloba leaf (the ginkgo is the oldest living tree species) increases blood flow to the brain, providing it with both more oxygen and glucose: signals between synapses are thereby increased, memory is enhanced, and concentration is improved.

Protein contains amino acids, the basic building blocks of our bodies, so it's essential to feed the body with high-quality protein. Hectic schedule? Protein powders are there to support the body during those times. Protein is brain food; it supports brain function and increase alertness. Protein powders are easy to use; they can be mixed with water or juice or used in a smoothie with yogourt and fruit. Many students and bodybuilders recommend whey isolate and hemp protein powders. Both forms have the longest "burn time," meaning they work longer in the body.

Greens are another way of feeding the body power-packed nutrients. Phytonutrients are special chemicals found in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains; they play an important role in preventing illness. There are many tasty green drinks available at your local health food store that can easily be mixed with juice and protein powder for a quick and nutritious drink.

The busy schedules of most students makes finding the time to supplement the right foods at the right time seem impossible. So many students start to reach for fast, unhealthy foods. However, the nutritional choices we make truly influence the overall health of our bodies.

Supplements are not a complete replacement for healthy meals, but they can provide easy-to-make nourishment for the body when the stresses of student life become overwhelming.

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