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Food That Prevents and Heals Childhood Illnesses

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So antioxidants, which youíll find in many foods, are up there at the top of the list of nutrients we need to fight toxins. Cancer, too, is influenced by antioxidants.† The higher the motherís diet in the 12 months prior to pregnancy of vegetables and fruit as well as protein sources (such as beans and lean beef), the lower the risk of having a child with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ACC).† Again, whatís at work here includes the antioxidant glutathione, with its power to help make DNA and repair DNA damage. †The study that found this connection also found that pregnant women who consumed cod liver oil and folate supplements similarly reduced the risk of their children suffering from ACC cancer.

If a child during his early years consumes oranges and orange juice, which are packed with the antioxidant vitamin C, and eats potassium-rich bananas, again the likelihood of childhood leukemia falls.†† A hearty consumption of fruits and vegetables high in beta carotene, another dietary antioxidant, and of foods with vitamin A (oranges, as well as yellow, orange and red vegetables) as well as the antioxidant vitamin E (sunflower and safflower oils, hazel nuts and almonds, wheat germ) also builds the bodyís defenses against cancer.

How about damage from lead and other heavy metals to your childís brain and nervous system?† Itís lessened if your childís body has a good reserve of calcium, iron and zinc, all nutrients that found in a good diet.

Certain birth effects such as neural tube defects, cleft palates and cleft lips are linked to a deficiency of folate acid, a B vitamin found in abundance in leafy green vegetables, as well in lesser amounts in citrus fruits, beans and whole grains.† Just to be sure, itís usually recommended that pregnant women take 400 micrograms or more of folic acid supplements.

Infertility, which is on the rise in the U. S., is also affected by nutrition.† Women are more likely to conceive if they follow a Mediterranean diet full of vegetables, vegetable oils, and fish. (Some fish, however, contain high mercury levels, so you have to avoid them.† Consult† Fertility also requires enough iron and folic acid, and folic acid seems to bolster sperm quality.

Endometriosis (where cells lining the uterus grow into other areas of the body), another illness on the rise, also responds to foods with anti-inflammatory powers and to foods with lignins, a type of fiber which helps remove toxic manmade hormones from the body.† Lignin-rich vegetables include cabbage, broccoli and Brussels sprouts.

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Read more: Children, Diet & Nutrition, Eating for Health, Family, Health

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Alice Shabecoff

Alice Shabecoff is a freelance journalist focusing on family and consumer topics, and co-author of the recently published book Poisoned for Profit (Chelsea Green). Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Washington Post, Christian Science Monitor, and International Herald Tribune, among other publications. She was executive director of the National Consumers League, the countryís oldest consumer organization, and executive director of the national nonprofit Community Information Exchange.


+ add your own
9:17PM PDT on Jun 4, 2011

thanks-- forwarded to daughters.

6:37PM PDT on May 6, 2011

Real whole foods!

6:11PM PDT on May 5, 2011


9:45PM PDT on Apr 23, 2011


12:52PM PDT on Apr 4, 2011


2:54PM PDT on Apr 2, 2011

Good info thank you!

1:09AM PDT on Mar 23, 2011

Good info. Thanks.

10:16PM PDT on Mar 22, 2011

Fascinating info. It seems more and more that we get back to the good old-fashioned basics.

8:46PM PDT on Mar 20, 2011

Our great grandmothers were home chefs, and our grandmothers knew what they were talking about when they told us to eat our veggies picked from the garden.

That's why people need to get off the PC and get cooking some real food. Don't buy those lunchables, here comes REAL food.

11:13AM PDT on Mar 19, 2011

Feeding kids fresh, preferably organic foods with an emphasis on the veggies is a good way to spare them from a lot of health issues not only in childhood/adolescence, but for the rest of their lives. There's no better investment than in your health.


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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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