Optimal Nutrition for Back to School
The new school year is always a busy time. Whether it’s starting school for the first time, moving up to a new class, moving to a new school or even away to university; the new term usually brings with it excitement and apprehension as a brand new journey of learning begins. Getting ready for “back to school” doesn’t just involve the usual to do list of ironing and labelling the school uniform, shopping for a new backpack and negotiating a pair of acceptable new shoes, it means getting your child mentally and physically prepared for the demands of returning to the school environment, and ready to face all of the challenges that brings.
Embarking on a new academic year will require your child to be resilient both physiologically and psychologically, able to keep calm and focused with a strong and balanced immune system, capable of fighting off all the seasonal bugs, and in the best possible position to fulfil their learning potential. It’s so important to encourage a healthy diet and lifestyle at this crucial time, and ensuring optimal levels of key nutrients via strategic supplementation can go a long way to supporting this.
Key Nutrients for Back to School:
1) Support Concentration & Focus
Nurturing healthy growing minds has never been more important in this age of digital distraction and screen addiction. Numerous lifestyle adaptations outside of school, such as setting boundaries around screen time, encouraging more physical activity outdoors and building in opportunities to switch off completely, can all help to improve concentration and focus at school. But there are key nutrients that can help too, with numerous ingredients having been shown to support vital cognitive abilities, such as focus, concentration, learning, memory, calm and balance in both children and teenagers.
Top of the list is magnesium. Not only is magnesium needed as a foundation nutrient to support concentration, memory and focus, this mighty mineral is also essential for calming things down. In fact, magnesium is often nicknamed ‘nature’s tranquiliser’ for the many roles it has to play in helping to support a balanced stress response, good quality sleep and for calming the nervous system. It’s also one of those nutrients that is difficult to obtain from a standard British diet, especially a child or teenager’s diet! Unless they’re eating loads of green leafy veg, nuts, seeds and beans, and avoiding refined/processed foods and sugary drinks and snacks, then they will more than likely be deficient. Best supplemented in glycinate form, it is well absorbed and tolerated by even the most sensitive tummies, and when given as a powder, can be easily combined with other beneficial ingredients such as lemon balm extract*, B vitamins, vitamin C, zinc, vitamin D3 and K2 for easy flexible dosing. MegaMag® Kids + Teens combines all these key nutrients to support children of all ages, to not only perform to the best of their academic ability but even more importantly to feel relaxed and enjoy learning at the same time.
* Bluenesse© lemon balm extract is an innovative lemon balm extract that has been shown in studies to help improve mental focus, concentration, memory and positive mood.
2) Boost Brain Power with Omega-3s
Just like any other part of the body, the brain needs the right fuel to thrive. Not only does the brain need plenty of energy, best supplied regularly in the form of slow-release carbohydrates such as oats and other wholegrains, it also needs essential fats for memory, concentration and focus with omega-3 fatty acid DHA particularly important for brain health. Children’s needs for essential fats change as they grow so make sure to choose a formula to support their growing needs.
3) Reinforce Immune Health with Vitamins D and C, Zinc, Selenium and Quercetin
Vitamin D is one of the most important nutrients needed to support optimal immune function and maintaining healthy levels is vital for supporting the body’s ability to fight infection. In fact, it has recently been studied for its ability to reduce the risk of respiratory infections, and is now known to be at worryingly low levels in the general population of adults and children alike. Unlike most nutrients, the major source of vitamin D isn’t food, but sunshine, and as we head towards the winter months, levels in the body start to drop dramatically, increasing the risk of deficiency.
Vitamin C, zinc and selenium are all needed for normal function of the immune system too, and without enough of these essential vitamins and minerals, our immune system may not function properly. Quercetin is a naturally-occurring flavonoid found in plant foods and has been shown to have numerous protective effects on the immune system, including antiviral, antimicrobial, antioxidant and anti-allergic effects. Use Immune Protect, which combines all of these powerful nutrients to help protect your child during this back to school season. At the very least, use Vitamin D3 Drops if you suspect low levels of vitamin D.
4) Support Gut Health with a Probiotic
Unfortunately, even with all the above, children usually succumb to some sort of bug or infection during the school year and especially at the beginning of the new term. It is therefore vital that their gut health is supported as it is one of the first lines of defence against infection. Ultra Probioplex Duo provides a blend of four strains of live bacteria, plus Saccharomyces boulardii, blackberry extract and vitamin D. This blend has been shown to support a healthy gut microbiome and protect against harmful pathogens. Ultra Probioplex Duo can be taken safely from 3 years and just 1 capsule is needed daily.
Back to School Supplement Checklist
• Support Concentration & Focus – MegaMag Kids + Teens
• Brain Power – Omega-3s – Eskimo Bright Kids / Eskimo Little Cubs / Eskimo Brainsharp
• Immune Support – Immune Protect / Vitamin D3 Drops
• Gut Support – Probiotics - Ultra Probioplex Duo
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