An issue that is very close to my heart is Teenage Health & Wellness. In the coming days our daughter is about to celebrate her 16th birthday and I felt it timely to share some of the practical tips I’ve learnt as a Parent and as a Wellness Coach. I’d love to share these with you and hopefully you will find some gems to inspire yourself in healthy living and your family members. So let’s take some purposeful time out and contemplate the wellbeing of our wonderful teenagers.
Firstly, I’d like to encourage you to request a blood test for your teenager. Now that they are old enough to handle a blood test ask to have specific minerals and vitamins checked in this test. Nutrients like Iron, Zinc, Magnesium, Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D to name just a few are definitely worth testing. Deficiencies in any of these could amount to some very unwanted symptoms in your teenagers like loss of energy, moodiness, headaches, poor concentration and muscle cramps for their growing bodies.
Haemoglobin is an iron-rich protein that gives the blood its red color. It helps cells bring oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. When the body doesn’t receive enough oxygen-rich blood a person can feel very weak and tired. You can read more about this essential mineral here. If your teenager’s blood test results highlight deficiencies in Iron, then you may like to discuss with your health professional some natural ways to overcome this. Make sure your teenagers are receiving enough foods in their diet that support their Spleen. The spleen is an organ in our bodies responsible for the red blood cell count. Foods like pumpkin and dark leafy green vegetables nourish the Spleen and support the red blood cell production. Bitter herbs are also known to support the Spleen. Another very interesting fact, is that an increase in Candida in the gut can actually stop Iron from being absorbed. An overgrowth of Candida can be brought back into balance again if you teenager limits the amount of refined sugars they are eating and carbohydrates that convert straight into sugars. Gently increasing friendly good bacteria definitely helps to crowd out any Candida in their systems. Talk to your health professional about an action plan if your teenager is Iron deficient.
Vitamin B12 aids in digestion, calms nerves, enhances memory, increases energy levels and improves mood. This fundamental vitamin assists multiple functions in the body like enzyme production, maintaining healthy nervous and cardiovascular systems within the body and Vitamin B12 even aids in balancing hormones. Vitamin B12 continually enables nerve cells to be healthy, especially those needed for neurotransmitter signalling and helps to form the protective covering of nerves, known as the cell’s myelin sheath. Consequently, if your teenager’s Vitamin B12 levels are low then their cognitive function can be affected.
Vitamin D intake certainly has to do with our lifestyle. Weather your teenager spends a lot of time in the sunshine or not, will impact how much Vitamin D is synthesised. Sometimes it is hard to get enough Vitamin D from the foods we are eating, so please ask your health professional about different reputable supplements that on the market. Did you know that there is a receptor site on every cell for Vitamin D? And that there are actually five different types of Vitamin D. New research has been undergone to help people who may be deficient in this Vitamin. Nano cell technology has been developed to provide easier absorption of D3 into a persons body by spraying the liquid into the mouth, instead of taking capsules. The nutrients are then absorbed orally through the mucosal lining. Not only does Vitamin D help teenagers to strengthen their bone density by assisting in calcium & phosphorus absorption but it also helps to regulate hundreds of genes, supports immune function and prevents mood disorders. You can read more about how we can improve our mood here.
Secondly, as parents we can take note of how healthy our teenager’s digestive system is operating. All the incredible nutrient dense foods you are giving your child may not actually be well absorbed and therefore creating lower levels of the essential vitamins and minerals that they need! Consuming the strengthening “super meal” ~ organic bone broth can certainly help in healing the digestive tract if you suspect they may have a condition called Leaky Gut Syndrome, which you can read more about on our website. Gently incorporating probiotics will also create a healthy environment for those nourishing vitamins and minerals to be absorbed.There are some key markers you can watch out for to establish weather or not your teenager has a healthy gastrointestinal tract. The rate at which they are getting rid of toxins is just as important as what you are feeding them! Being able to eliminate this waste daily and have two bowel movements is a desirable routine for them to be in. So take note of how well they are cleansing and eliminating. Consider measuring the PH levels of their urine for a week first thing in the morning to work out if they are too acidic and needing to be more alkaline.
Thirdly, as most of our teenagers are in study mode, check to see how strong their core muscles are. If they have poor posture that might be the very reason they are experiencing headaches. Each week they really need to be involved in sporting activities and at the very least doing specific core strength exercises. Additionally, taking daily afternoon walks with your teenagers not only energises them, but while they are breathing in fresh oxygen they can be sharing with you what happened in their day. Its amazing how a walk and a run together can be great for their emotional health as well.
Fourthly, certain foods and containers we are sending our teenagers off to school & university with, could be causing hormonal imbalances. There are some wonderful alternatives for your families lunch boxes and it is possible to find some that are NOT made out of plastic. Let’s get back to storing our food in glass containers at home or baking paper as well. Why? Many plastic containers contain an industrial chemical called Bisphenol A, or BPA which you most likely have heard of. Since the 1960’s this chemical has been used to make particular plastics, especially our trendy and readily available plastic water bottles! When any of these products are accidentally left in the sunlight and begin to heat up, that very industrial chemical leaks into the food and water they contain. Bisphenol has been known to now cause hormonal based problems.
There are identified foods that need to be avoided as these can disrupt hormonal balance as well. Some foods like refined sugar, genetically modified soy, conventional dairy and meats can cause a person’s oestrogen levels to raise significantly and subsequently lowers progesterone. Now a days, young ladies are starting their menstrual cycle a lot earlier than our Grandmother’s did. The steroids and chemicals found in these avoidable foods are causing many teenagers to be oestrogen dominant. Replace these conventional foods with organic alternatives. High oestrogen can lead to terrible health conditions a low functioning thyroid, fatigue and auto immune diseases.
Inspired 4 Health Community lets continue to spur one another on to living even more healthily. As parents and educators we can help to beautifully restore the wellbeing of our teenagers.
Happy Health To You and Your Families, From Angela Fenton.
If you would like to contact our founder and Wellness Coach Angela Fenton for further details please leave a comment below or contact us here for a Coaching Consultation or to have Angela Fenton speak at your next Event.