Kids, Resiliency, and Diet

Kids, Resiliency, and Diet

A child’s participation in sports and active play is important not only for developing good social skills but also for developing a strong body and healthy immune system. However, the child’s underlying foundation and gene expression will determine to some extent the ability of the skeletal structure to withstand the rigors of physical stress in athletic activities. The message Hallelujah Acres has taught for 20 years, based on Genesis 1:29 is now being accepted by more mainstream doctors and “health authorities” as science reveals the benefits of a plant based diet. Science is finally catching up with the Bible!
“It is the position of the American Dietetic Association that appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. Well-planned vegetarian diets are appropriate for individuals during all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, and adolescence, and for athletes.”
The diet of parents prior to conception and that of the mother during pregnancy play a huge role in the overall health of the child and his or her tendency to be physically strong or physically weak; that is, the child’s ability to handle physical (as well as mental) stress with resilience. Children born to mothers who had optimal blood levels of vitamin D (50 to 80 ng/ml), a diet based on whole, green plant foods rich in calcium and magnesium, an adequate iodine intake, as well as all other essential nutrients will fare much better in terms of both physical and mental health. When exposed to injury and physical trauma, the child’s body will heal much faster and efficiently because it has the resources needed to support the innate self-healing God placed within each of us. But, what about those children born of parents who followed the Standard American Diet (SAD)? Are they inevitably doomed to a life that is plagued with sickness and injury? In an article originally published January 6, 2010, TIME magazine reported that epigenetic (external, non-genetic) influences like diet, stress, and prenatal nutrition can make an impression on genes that can be passed from generation to generation.
“Epigenetics brings both good news and bad. Bad news first: there's evidence that lifestyle choices like smoking and eating too much can change the epigenetic marks atop your DNA in ways that cause the genes for obesity to express themselves too strongly and the genes for longevity to express themselves too weakly. We all know that you can truncate your own life if you smoke or overeat, but it's becoming clear that those same bad behaviors can also predispose your kids — before they are even conceived — to disease and early death.”
Even those children born of parents who had less than an optimal diet during pregnancy can, with good nutrition, overcome the tendency toward obesity or a weak skeletal frame; this was the case illustrated with “agouti” mice at Duke University in 2003. The Duke study focused on mice with an agouti gene, a gene that gives the animal a yellow coat and a propensity for obesity and diabetes. One group of pregnant mice was given a diet rich in B vitamins while the other group was fed a typical diet low in these nutrients. The group of fat, yellow mice fed with the nutrient-rich diet produced healthy, brown offspring that were of normal weight and not prone to diabetes. This experiment clearly demonstrates the power of optimal nutrition during pregnancy to affect the health of the offspring. In his book, Lying with Authority, Hallelujah Acres Health Minister and retired medical doctor Dan Chesnut, MD states, “Genes control everything in our body… Nutrition can control genes. Gene expression (good or bad) is triggered by something in diet, lifestyle, or environment.” The good news is, regardless of the foundation from pre-conception to now, each of us can implement some changes that can alter our gene expression in a more favorable way — and that includes how our body reacts after an injury! That reaction is our body’s self-healing ability; it needs the support of a whole food, plant-based diet that is rich in nutrients and low in calories. Even this, however, is not enough in today’s world. Foods today are considerably less nutritionally dense than they were even just a few decades ago. For this reason, it is imperative to include fresh vegetable juices, green smoothies or blended salads, and nutritional support with BarleyMax and omega-3 fats to make up for the shortcomings. In addition to good nutrition, vitamin D also plays an important role in terms of injury avoidance and recovery. Optimal blood levels of vitamin D are essential for maximum assimilation of calcium and magnesium to ensure superior bone density, strength, and healing ability. In fact, an Italian study in 2005 indicated that maintaining recommended vitamin D intake may help bones heal faster. When our nutritional foundation is solid, our bodies can function as God intended! Several studies identified low vitamin D levels and their effects on fractures:
  • During a seven-year period, U.S. women with vitamin D levels of 19 ng/mL (48 nmol/L) had a 70% increase in fractures compared to women with vitamin D levels of 28 ng/mL (71 nmol/L).
  • A study in Australia found that fall and fracture rates had a seasonal cycle. Peak rates of hip and wrist fractures occurred in late winter. More falls resulted in fractures at this time as well. There is less sunlight in winter. Wintertime is 1.5 to 3 months after the time of lowest vitamin D levels.
Nutrient intake also affects inflammatory response when an injury occurs. Often, the inflammation can be more damaging to the body than the injury itself, but compounds in fruits and vegetables such as allicin, carotenoids, antiestrogens, flavonoids, sterolins, vitamins, minerals, and hundreds of other elements help control excessive inflammation. They protect our cells and tissues from free radical damage and a host of other by-products of metabolic functions while providing optimal nutrition and inhibiting inflammation. Omega-3 fatty acids such as flax seed, flax seed oil, and Pharmax fish oil provide powerful protection against excessive inflammation, too. With these things in mind, it makes sense that the well-known home remedy guidebook Prescription for Nutritional Healing recommends a diet of 75 percent raw foods and plenty of juices as a means of preventing excessive inflammation. Is it any wonder that those following The Hallelujah Diet see such an impact on many inflammatory conditions? In addition to nutrition, ingesting proteolytic enzymes like serrapeptase can have a profound effect on inflammation and can promote rapid healing. Serrapeptase digests non-living tissue, blood clots, cysts, and arterial plaque and inflammation in all forms without affecting living tissue. The uses are wide ranging and cover just about every condition that is affected by inflammation and/or non-living tissue. Our children and youth should be encouraged to participate in sports and social activities for healthy physical, mental, and emotional development. We must embrace life and accept the fact that the possibility of injury is ever present while preparing the body to be as resistant as possible. When sports injury or trauma is experienced, we don’t have to rely on over-the-counter pain and inflammation medication; a properly nourished, self-healing body can do wonders for a speedy recovery!

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