For Mother’s Day – an Alert
Despite having raised three kids of my own, I still don’t feel absolutely qualified to talk about the responsibility of raising and educating a child: an important and challenging role, which can have a dramatic influence on future generations. However, I am compelled to write a cautionary article regarding an apparent increase of bad behavioral and domineering children according to an article published in a Brazilian newspaper, on March the 20th.
In the womb is where a mysterious, emotional and psychological relationship starts. Long before the verbal interaction begins, a much more subtle and indissoluble communication takes place, eternalized at the moment of conception. This quantum language, which scientists are only beginning to understand, is the intrinsic power of the union, and in my opinion, is where the great responsibility of motherhood begins!
However interesting this mysterious relationship may seem, it is not the focus of this article. It is simply a taste of how deep the connection between mother and child truly runs. It is common knowledge that a pregnant woman’s health and diet will have an effect on the developing fetus. But once this child is born do we truly know which aspects of development will be affected by the consumption of today’s processed food? This article will delve into how the dietary choices of mothers could be the difference between a happy and healthy kid, or an hyperactive child with disruptive behavior.
Children’s bad behavior may be linked to many reasons. But before trying to discipline, with no success, through questionable little spanking, today mothers should be alert not only to the quality of food they provide to their children, but also to the labels of the food they are buying. The compound effect of additives in every day processed food’s consumption may be sabotaging mother’s best attempt to raise a happy and well adjusted child.
The food industry has a big variety of chemical products to preserve foods, and researchers are aiming these assortments as possible cause of a raising generation of children with disruptive behavior.
Behavioral symptoms such as anger, aggression, temper-tantrums, mood swings, depression and reduced concentration can all be triggered by food allergies, according to the Textbook of Functional Medicine. Additives used in hundreds of children's foods and drinks such as preservatives, colorings, artificial flavors, and artificial sweeteners are all contributing to the behavioral issues, researchers have found. Their Government-funded study (FSA – Food Standards Agency) confirms what many parents have long suspected about the effect of chemicals put into sweets, biscuits and foods.
Research into a group of three year-olds found they were more likely to lack concentration, lose their temper, interrupt others and struggle to get to sleep when they drank fruit juice dosed with colorings and preservatives.
Most recently, nutritional factors have been implicated in altering gene expression which is associated with the development of autism . Processed foods in particular are linked to nutritional deficiencies that can be toxic to the brain. But it is not just what we feed our children that could pose a problem. Poor health due to an inadequate diet during pregnancy also increases the risk of a child born with a neurodevelopmental disorder.
More than twenty years ago, Hebert Hafter, a German research pharmacist, observed that high intake of dietary phosphate was linked to behavioral problems, learning difficulties, juvenile delinquency and other health problems . Hafter findings have been verified over time leading to indications that a whole generation of people with ADD/ADHD may be linked to the consumption of phosphate-rich foods.
If you are a parent and want to prevent your sons and daughters from developing behavioral problems such as irritability, temper outbursts, oppositional defiance, restlessness and difficulty falling asleep, be aware of the list of the foods and additives that should be avoided. And notice that despite focusing on the mother-child relationship, a person of any age can make big differences in their emotional balance by simply checking the labels and making a conscious choice. Organic foods are always a good option.
In this wonderful day dedicated to the amazing women in our lives, let’s give our children a chance to lead a happy, healthy, and well-balanced life!
Artificial sweeteners: Saccharine, aspartame, acesulfame-K – All found in diet drinks, yoghurts, jellies, chewing gums and medicines. FDA approved, aspartame (NutraSweet and Equal) is converted in free amino acids in the body with serious nerotoxic effects, and acesulfame-k is possibly a carcinogenic substance.
Artificial Colors: All starting with FD & C (FD & C Colors are the Colors certified and allowed by the US for the Food, Pharmaceutical, Cosmetics & Personal Care industry.) and Tartrazine – Found in hundreds of foods and medicines, researches have linked these colorings to a high frequency of asthma and allergic reactions. They may be responsible for Lupus and ADHD/ADD syndrome as well. They are found in chewing gums, sweets and so on.
Sorbates – They are found in margarine, dips, cakes and fruit products.
Benzoates (210-213) – They are found in juices, soft drinks, cordials, syrups and medications. Apparently, the association of some colorings with benzoates causes hyperactivity in children.
Sulphites – Found in dried fruit, fruit drinks, sausages and many others. The most ordinary symptom is bronchi constriction and consequently difficulty in breathing, and some other allergic reaction.
Propionates – Found in bread, crumpets and bakery products. There are many health problems associated with this preservative, and the effects are cumulative: headaches, stomachaches, allergies, irritability, difficulty in falling asleep, and lack of concentration. Babies which mothers had previously consumed breads with propionates have cried uncontrollably after being breast fed.
Nitrates, Nitrites (249-252) – Found in processed meats like ham. Nitrates when changed into nitrites are carcinogenic.
Flavia R. Martins Young
Registered Holistic Nutritionist and Writer
Biologist, Writer and Holistic Coach
 Eating for Autism - The 10-Step Nutrition Plan to Help Treat Your Child's Autism, Asperger's, or ADHD by Elizabeth Strickland MS RD LD. Lifelong Books, 2009
 The Hidden Drug Dietary Phosphate by Hertha Hafer
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