Healthy Cove

Vitamins for Teens: Establishing Healthy Habits Early

 

VitaminsForTeens-725x408A lot of what we do here at USANA revolves around helping you develop the right habits to create and maintain a healthy lifestyle. If you go through our blog catalog, you’ll see that’s not really a secret. (If it were, we’d be really bad at secrets.) We talk about developing good, healthy habits a lot. In fact, we have a whole subsection of What’s Up, USANA? dedicated to it.

Our obsession for helping you develop healthy lifestyle habits is kind of like yours for helping your teen (or teens) develop their own. And that starts with making sure they get all the nutrients they need to be at their mental and physical best.

Teen Nutritional Needs

Only three of the essential vitamins we need—vitamins D and K and biotin can be produced within the body (in varying amounts). This means you should be getting the vast majority of the essential elements—vitamins and minerals—that make up your nutritional requirements through diet. While this is true regardless of age, teens are at particular risk of dietary shortfalls.Vitamins for Teens: Boys

As a group, teens are more likely to skip breakfast, consume much of their food outside the home, and have sodas, snack foods, and fast foods instead of low-fat milk, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein sources than at any other age.

Vitamins for Teens: GirlsThis is where vitamins for teens come in. A vitamin tuned specifically for the needs of teenagers can help pick up the slack when their diet falls short. Specifically, vitamins can help make up the nutritional difference in teens who:

  • Are picky eaters
  • Have a selective diet, such as veganism or vegetarianism
  • Have a poor appetite or erratic eating habits
  •  Are experiencing periods of rapid growth
  • Are very physically active

Does your teen fall into any of these categories?

Vitamins for Teens: Infographic

Choosing Vitamins for Teens

A couple things to consider when choosing vitamins for your teen is not all vitamins are created equal, and not all vitamins are right for every situation. Although teenagers can use a regular multivitamin—starting at about age 12— they do have slightly different nutrient needs than adults.

When looking for a vitamin, check the daily percent values to ensure your teen will get a broad range of beneficial nutrients. And you’ll want to look for a quality guarantee or Good Manufacturing Practices certification to make sure all the ingredients listed on the bottle are actually in the product and the product is free from harmful contaminants.

Vitamins for Teens: Shoes

Lucky for you (and your teen), we have you covered. USANA’s Body Rox™ is specifically formulated to help fill the gaps in a poor diet and help meet nutritional needs of growing teens. It is a convenient way to help your teens obtain the optimal amounts of micronutrients they need to perform at their mental and physical best every day.*

For more information about Body Rox, visit Ask the Scientists.

Set an Example of Healthy Habits

Now the question is how to get your teen to establish healthy dietary habits that will last a lifetime. There’s no one answer, but studies show that parents who encourage healthy behaviors are more likely to have children who develop good eating habits, are more active, and are healthier overall.

One way to help teens develop great eating habits is by cooking as a family. Teaching teens good cooking skills develops healthier eaters. And cooking and eating with your kids also helps you set an example for healthy eating that kids can mimic (sensible portions, good choices, and more).

Vitamins for Teens: backpackBy assessing your own diet, supplementation, and lifestyle, this can help your teen do likewise and put them on the path toward establishing lasting, beneficial habits.

East Coast Life Solutions is dedicated and interesting to helping families become more healthy. We offer 28 Day Plans for Health Lifestyle Living. Inquire through our contact information. Body Rox

 

Healthy Cove

CHECKING THE FACTS ABOUT CHILDREN’S NUTRITION

children's nutritionMixing fables and Internet fallacies blurs the line between fact and fiction. And that’s damaging because you can’t make smart decisions without accurate information.

Having the facts is especially important when you’re making choices that impact the health of your children. But sorting through so-called facts about children’s nutrition is hard.

We’re here to help. Below, are discussions of children’s nutrition topics so you sort fact from fiction.

Statement: Juice is as Healthy as Whole Fruit

There’s a reason you’re supposed to get 2-4 servings of fruit per day. Study after study tells us how fruit promotes good health. That’s why your doctor has probably told you to eat more fruit.

If fruit is good for you, then shouldn’t fruit juice be just as good? People have long thought whole fruit and its liquid counterpart were nutritionally equivalent. But new evidence disagrees.

A new study published in Nutrients—and done by USANA scientists—found a significant difference that goes down to your DNA.

Study subjects who consumed whole fruit showed different epigenetic signatures on specific regions of their DNA than juice drinkers. (Epigenetic signatures are the chemical codes that switch your genes on and off.) Those who ate whole fruit saw enrichment near pathways involved in immune function, chromosome integrity, and telomere maintenance. Those who drank juice showed enrichment near pro-inflammatory pathways.

The study points to fiber as the main driver of these differences. And it’s well known that fiber consumption impacts your microbiome and, in turn, the absorption of some nutrients.

Juice is convenient and tasty. But the amount of sugar in most juices, the lack of fiber, and differing epigenetic impacts make whole fruit the healthier choice.

Verdict: False

Statement: Carrots Can Help You See in the Dark

For decades—maybe even centuries—parents told kids that carrots can help them see in the dark. It’s an obvious ploy to increase interest in eating veggies. But there may be some truth to it.

Obviously, carrots (and basically any other substance) aren’t going to give your children super powers. Life doesn’t work like a comic book. That doesn’t mean carrots aren’t linked to eye health. They are. And it’s largely due to the beta-carotene that helps provide their orange color.

Beta-carotene is a pro-vitamin A carotenoid—a plant pigment in fruits and vegetables that also acts as an antioxidant molecule. While zeaxanthinlutein, and lycopene re from the same family of carotenoid antioxidants, they do not promote vitamin-A activity. But beta-carotene’s ability to convert to vitamin A in the body plays an important role in supporting good vision.

While carrots can’t give your kids the power of night vision, they do contain nutrients that help maintain good eye health.

Verdict: Somewhat True

Statement: Breakfast is the Most Important Meal of the Day

This old adage seems to be falling on deaf ears because about half of American families don’t eat breakfast on a regular basis.

They’re missing out. Studies have linked breakfast to academic performance, memory, healthy weight, mood, and more.

And there’s something to be said for starting the day off with a balance of healthy foods. Getting protein, complex carbs, healthy fats, and whole grains (with healthy fiber) provides a good foundation for the day and can keep your kids full. The healthy, balanced approach also avoids crashes that could be caused by sugary cereals.

Your children’s morning meals are important. But they can’t make up for poor choices later in the day. So breakfast is important, but eating a healthy, balanced diet all day is what’s most important.

Verdict: Mostly True

Statement: Kids Just Don’t Like Vegetables

Nobody’s born hating vegetables. But pop culture and friends’ anecdotes might have new parents believing all kids automatically hate healthy foods, like broccoli.

Some children—and adults—are picky eaters. And this pickiness can result in kids lacking dietary balance and getting more calories from sugar than they should. But early exposure to vegetables and other health foods can make a big difference throughout a child’s life.

One study even suggests vegetable flavors in a mother’s breast milk might improve an infant’s receptiveness to those flavors later on. More research is needed into this connection. But we know parental behavior—like healthy eating habits—rubs off on children.

Your child isn’t predisposed to vegetable hatred. But tastes developed early can have long-term consequences. Palates can change throughout life, but it’s vital to help your children acquire a love of healthy foods, like vegetables, early on.

Verdict: False

They’re smaller. They eat less. But, as most parents know, that doesn’t mean it’s easier to get children all the nutrients they need.

And it’s very important to provide children with what they need to support their growing minds and bodies. Focusing on a healthy, balanced diet—full of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and fiber-rich whole grains—and proper supplementation are key. They help provide a foundation of good health and develop healthy habits that can last a lifetime.

We have children’s supplements USANIMALS, Body Rox, Biomega Jr. all safe and specially formulated to keep your picky eats supported.

Shop USANAMIALS

Shop BiOmegaJr

Shop BodyRox

 

 

Coast Lifestyle

How to Choose the Best Multivitamin

Even with the best intentions, sometimes we fall short on our nutritional needs. Food is the best source of nutrition, of course. However, taking a multivitamin can be a great way to fill any small gaps you might have in your diet. Let’s face it, there are only so many hours in the day. While I would love to be cooking delicious and nutritious food for every meal of the day, sometimes it just doesn’t work out that way. Taking a multivitamin is the most convenient way to make up for small deficiencies which could eventually lead to chronic diseases.

This is not an excuse to replace your chicken Caesar salad with a Quatar pounder from Maccas. Vitamin supplements don’t replace a healthy diet and lifestyle, they, well, supplement it. They live together in harmony. Healthy lifestyle + supplementation = optimal health.

The easy part is deciding a multi is right for you, the hard part is choosing one. With trillions of brands lining the shelves, we’ve got a few tips to help you choose the right vitamin.

Too Much of a Good Thing is Never Good 

A row of apples. The first with a bite out of it.

You want to make sure you’re getting all the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that your body needs to function at its best, but you don’t want to overdose on nutrients which can be toxic in high doses.

Do some research on the safe upper limit of nutrient consumption and compare it to supplements before you buy. Remember, the nutrients you consume through food are included in this limit too. You don’t need to sit with a calculator to do the math. If your multivitamin has reached, or is above the safe upper limit of a nutrient, this is not a good thing.

Your Health is Worth More Than Cheap and Nasty

Ryan Gosling telling Steve Carell to

I like a good bargain. Sure, who doesn’t love a cheap tee from Kmart or a good deal on gas? But one area not to skimp on is yourself. Invest in your health. You could argue that investing in nutritious food and quality vitamins is a waste, but c’mon, you’re gonna be stuck with your body for a long time, in fact your entire life, so treat it well!

As Ryan Gosling said, be better than the Gap.

Third Party Testing Approval

Testing from a trusted independent tester, such as ConsumerLab.com, can give you the confidence that your multivitamin has the ingredients it says it does. A a seal of approval for label accuracy and purity from a third party tester can give you some peace of mind that you’re taking a quality supplement.

The reason third party testing is important is that it is essentially the company’s responsibility to ensure their own product is high quality and complies with laws. There is no pre-approval process for dietary supplements in New Zealand. It remains the responsibility of the sponsor (the person legally responsible for placing the product on the market) to ensure the product is made to an acceptable quality, is safe to use and complies with the law.

Choosing the Best Multivitamin and Other Supplements for Your Individual Needs

Pregnant woman doing a standing yoga pose

 

There are certain times when the status quo doesn’t work for you. A multivitamin is designed to help you meet the daily recommended intake of vitamins, but you could need something a little different. For example, if you’re pregnant, a prenatal would be better suited for you because you have different nutritional needs. The same logic means children and teens would be better taking a children or teens’ multivitamin suited to their age. Additionally, you might want to take a specific supplement on top of your daily multivitamin to suite your individual needs.

I think you’re ready now to tackle the task of finding the best multivitamin for you.

Special Thank You to Monique Sparks
Coast Lifestyle

Back to School Health Tips

Back to School Health Tips Feature

It’s that time of year for many of us. No, I’m not talking about football season and new television shows. Back to school season is here. We make sure they have appropriate school clothes, all the important supplies they need, and we send them off to learn and make new friends. Often overlooked, an important factor for success is their nutrition and overall health. Are we arming them with everything they need to be successful?

Picky Eaters

You have probably heard it before, but the majority of us don’t eat as healthy as we should. Research shows it is even more unlikely that children eat an optimal diet. No matter how hard we try, some kids are just picky eaters, making it even more difficult. The consequences of a less than stellar diet are not always obvious, especially in adults. The results of a poor diet are much more obvious in children, though, and can have a long-lasting impact on their future.

Supplements for All Ages

Do your children and teens need supplements? If they are like most kids they do. It is very unlikely they are even meeting the minimum recommended dietary standards during the most important time for growth and development in their lifetime. If they are, they are definitely the exception according to a government review. Across the entire age range, both males and females were unlikely to get adequate vitamin E, magnesium, vitamin A, potassium, and fiber. Adolescent females tended to have low reported intakes of nearly all the nutrients investigated by the committee.

Taking a good quality multivitamin/mineral helps ensure adequacy of many of the nutrients that may be missing in their diet. In addition to simply preventing a deficiency, a study published in the British Journal of Nutrition showed that multivitamin/mineral supplements actually support aspects of brain function in healthy children, improving performance and
accuracy on tests of attention.

Individual Nutrients

There are individual nutrients which can have a big impact on several aspects of health and learning. Vitamin B12 deficiencies have been shown to impact neurological development and negatively impact cognitive performance years later. Zinc deficiencies are relatively common and can slow normal growth and development. A study in Thai school children actually showed zinc supplementation resulted in greater gains in height compared to a placebo group after 2 months. Other research shows that inadequate omega-3 fatty acid levels may be associated with an increase in behavior problems, emotion regulation, and anti-social traits.

In addition to their role in neurological development and effect on emotional health, a new study by Swedish research has shown that omega-3s may improve reading ability in mainstream and healthy schoolchildren.

A Healthy Immune System

Another common concern with children returning to school is good immune health. Good hygiene practices (hand washing), adequate sleep, and a nutrient rich diet (which likely includes a multivitamin/mineral) are important in maintaining good immune health.

Probiotics are another consideration when it comes to supporting immune health. Research published in the Clinical Nutrition journal showed that Lactobacillus GG (LGG), a strain of probiotics, decreased the risk of upper respiratory tract infections in children attending day care centers. The researchers also found that the rate of absence due to infection was lower in children receiving LGG when compared to placebo.

Whether your kids are in daycare, preschool, or K-12 schools, optimal learning, and cognitive health is dependent on more than books and teachers. Make sure they have the advantage of a healthy diet and superior nutritional support for overall mental and physical health.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.