and When it comes to knowing what vitamins and minerals your children should intake every day, it can be hard to know where to start.
We’re hoping to simplify this today by talking about the top 10 vitamins, minerals, and micronutrients for kids.
Children and young adults require enough vitamins, minerals and polyphenols for proper brain function, gut health, growth, and development.
What are vitamins, minerals, and polyphenols?
Vitamins are groups of organic substances that are essential to our health. The body is unable to make most of the required vitamins by itself, so we must get them through diet and sunlight. We only need small amounts, as the body is not able to store all vitamins, so we need to replenish them daily.
Minerals are groups of inorganic elements that are essential to the physical formation of things like teeth, bones, hair, and nails. Minerals also help with growth, development, and overall functioning of the body. They come from the earth, soil, and water, then we get them by eating the fruit and vegetables grown with it.
Polyphenols are organic micronutrients that offer protection against many health conditions and diseases. Polyphenols have also been shown to reduce inflammation and build our defense against ultraviolet rays and pathogens. The body uses polyphenols as powerful antioxidants and they can be found in plants, fruits, vegetables, and herbs.
Here’s our top 10 of the best vitamins, minerals, and micronutrients for children to support their growing brains and bodies.
Vitamin A is essential for maintaining and protecting vision. It is a component of rhodopsin, a protein that detects and absorbs light in the eyes. This vitamin is found in animal products like fish, meat, liver, and eggs, or leafy greens, orange vegetables like carrots and squash and fruit.
Vitamin B is a group of eight nutrients that help with numerous functions in the body including making energy from food and making new red blood cells. The B groups of vitamins are found in animal products like beef, pork, fish, eggs, legumes, asparagus, nuts, and seeds. Deficiency in B vitamins can cause anemia and mental confusion.
This popular vitamin helps to protect the body from infections and contributes to healthy skin and tissues. It’s commonly believed that oranges have the most vitamin C content of fruits, but guava, papaya and kiwis actually contain more. Bell peppers and broccoli, are also rich sources of vitamin C.
Also known as the sunshine vitamin, the skin produces vitamin D in response to sunlight and it can also be found in few foods. This vitamin promotes bone growth immune health and helps with regulating the absorption of calcium and phosphorus. Without vitamin D, the body can’t absorb calcium. It can be found in foods such as fatty fish, egg yolk, cheese, beef liver and fortified milk or cereal.
Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the human body. It is vital for many functions of the body including keeping bones healthy, muscle contraction, and helping blood to clot normally. Unknown to some, calcium is an earth metal, and the body does not produce it so we must get it from foods like dairy products, kale, spinach, broccoli, and white beans.
Iron is an important mineral for children’s healthy growth and development. Our red blood cells contain a protein called hemoglobin. Without iron, our bodies can’t make hemoglobin and therefore the red blood cells cannot carry sufficient oxygen to organs and muscles. This is what causes anemia. Iron can be found in plant foods such as lentils, peas, beans, Brussels sprouts, and broccoli. Or animal products such as meat, fish and eggs. To help the body absorb iron, consume it alongside Vitamin C.
Iodine is rarely talked about as mineral for kids, but it is essential for the body to make thyroid hormones. For children and young adults, thyroid hormones are crucial to healthy growth and development. However, there are an estimated 2 billion people with iodine deficiencies around the world, including kids. This could be because it is found in few foods compared to other nutrients. Iodine can be found in shrimps, cod, tuna, seaweed, eggs, prunes, and dairy products.
Amino acids are like the building blocks for proteins and are necessary for many functions in the body including muscle development and repair. Children and adults require 20 different amino acids, although only nine of those are essential. This is because they cannot be made by the body, so must be obtained through foods. The richest sources of amino acids are found in animal protein such as poultry, beef and eggs.
Flavonoids, also known as Vitamin P, are a large group of polyphenols that naturally occur in many plants, fruits, and vegetables. Loaded with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits, flavonoids help support the heart and central nervous system. Flavonoids can be found in foods including cocoa tomatoes, onions, sweet potato, quinoa, peaches, apples, bananas, and grapefruit.
Oleuropein is a powerful polyphenol found in raw olives and the leaves from the tree. Its anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, and anti-fungal properties make oleuropein one of the most versatile and effective nutrients for kids and adults.
In ancient times, people would chew on the bitter olive leaves to gain the health benefits, but thankfully times have changed. These days, oleuropein is carefully extracted from the olive leaves without losing any of the qualities. We can pass the goodness onto our kids easily, in the form of d-Lenolate Easy-to-swallow for Children. The child-size capsules make it safe and easily for them to take and they have been proven to increase immunity.