Nutrition Trends Mom Should Know About

There are a lot of buzzwords flying around when it comes to nutrition lately. For instance take a look at antioxidants. Have you ever wondered just what they are.

Antioxidants are powerful substances that protect us against free radicals, which are harmful molecules in our bodies. Don’t panic. Free radicals come from pesticides, toxins and smoking, but they also are a part of aging that is not easily reversed.

Free radicals can also damage your body’s cells and can lead to early aging, diabetes, cancer and heart disease. Antioxidants from the vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals in food help stop free radicals from attacking and damaging cells. They are found in colorful veggies and fruits, black and red beans and fruit. The best source is leafy green vegetables.

Nutritionists have also been talking a lot about Vitamin D lately. Studies show that getting enough vitamin D may help decrease your risk of heart disease, multiple sclerosis, cancer and flu. This vitamin is also vital for promoting normal bone growth, reducing inflammation and helping your immune system stay in top shape. However, up to 66 per cent of us don’t get enough vitamin D for disease prevention.

Vitamin D is found in only a few foods, such as milk, margarine, fish and eggs. That’s why supplements are a good option to discuss with your doctor.

These recommendations from Health Canada. Children should get 200 international units (IU) a day; adults, 400 to 600 IU a day. The Canadian Cancer Society encourages adults to take 1,000 IU a day in the fall and winter to reduce the risk of colorectal, breast and prostate cancers.

Another buzz word is prebiotics. Prebiotics are a type of not digestible fiber that helps probiotics grow and thrive in your gut. An extract of chicory called inulin is a popular prebiotic fibre that’s added to packaged foods such as cheese, yogurt, pasta and beverages. Look for it on the ingredient panel of foods; it’s listed 
as “inulin” or “chicory root extract.” It is good for you and your kids.

Most of us consume one to four grams of prebiotics per day from the foods we eat. To up your intake, choose these foods more often: chicory, onions, garlic, soy, dandelion greens, Jerusalem artichokes, whole grain wheat, barley, and foods enriched with inulin, such as cheese, pasta, yogurt and bread.

I will get into more nutrition buzz words in my next blog.