Remember those days of… “drink your milk before it gets warm,” and “Mom, why do I have to take my vitamins?” Which was usually met with because “they” say you do.
Let’s get to the bottom of why it’s vital to have healthy bones.
Bones and your child’s immune system
Bone marrow (the inside of our bones) is the factory for the production of blood cells. Both red and white.
Each of the blood cells have specific jobs within your child’s body and need to be able to easily replenish. Let’s talk about that a little bit.
Red blood cells are the building blocks for the entire body. Including all the organs and the brain. The main job of the red blood cells is to carry oxygen to every cell, and to take away wastes. What would happen if that didn’t work correctly?
White blood cells, as you may know, are part of the immune system. Their job is to fight infections by attacking any bacteria, viruses, or germs that invade the body. A specific type of white blood cells (B cells) are produced in the bone marrow.
When your child’s body is in distress and a particular area is under attack by bacteria, virus, or germs, white blood cells rush in to help destroy the invaders and prevent illness like soldiers in a war.
Red and white blood cells have a short lifespan, therefore, bone marrow is constantly replenishing them to nourish and strengthen your child’s body in the effort to provide your little one with optimum health.
Strong bones are essential for the proper building of health.
Bone health must be built and maintained like a fortress.
If the fortress is strong, then the “inhabitants” are protected and able to do their job of building strength for the rest of the body.
Bone health is especially important for children. A child gains about 40% of their bone mass by the time they reach age 9-14. Their bone mass will have reached about 90% (of its peak) by the age of 18 for girls and 20 for boys. How cool is that!
What builds healthy bones?
The 5 elements for building healthy bones are:
2. Vitamin D
4. Vitamin K
5. Regular exercise
Important: Each of these elements work together to provide the best absorption for what your child’s bones need.
In a moment, we’re going to take them one at a time…
But first, let’s touch briefly on some things that are detrimental to bone health.
It’s important for you to know, there are some things that are critical to avoid because they’ve been proven to decrease the health of your child’s bones.
If at all possible, help your child avoid:
- Intense emotional stress
- Smoking and drinking alcohol
- Dieting and disordered eating
- Undereating for athletic training which can result in compromised hormonal status
- Absent or missed menstrual periods
If this is happening… pediatric chiropractic has amazing effects on children who are struggling with emotional stress and hormonal imbalances (these could show up as acne and irregular or missed menstrual periods). We’re able to make sure the brain has the ability to regulate the body, thus regulating stress and hormones better.
What do those 5 elements do for healthy bones and where can you find them?
What are their benefits and what does your child’s body use them for?
Where in life can they be found?
- Calcium fills in the holes of the bones (the matrix) and the teeth to keep them from being brittle.
Dairy food sources are grass fed milk, cheese and yogurt for the richest natural sources of calcium.
Non-dairy food sources are:
Tofu prepared with calcium,
Foods fortified with calcium, including certain juices, non-dairy beverages and cereals.
2. Vitamin D
- Vitamin D is a hormone that is so versatile researchers are constantly finding new effects on the body.
- Helps to maintain appropriate levels of blood pressure.
- Helps with the absorption of calcium.
- Huge immune system booster!
- Is linked to the prevention of some cancers, heart disease, weight gain and depression.
Get In The Sun! Sunlight triggers vitamin D production in your body. The amount of vitamin D that is produced varies according to skin pigmentation, season of the year and geography ( In the midwest we tend to be one of the lowest regions of Vit D.) So get in the sun for short periods of time as often as possible without sunscreen. (Sunscreen blocks vitamin D production.)
Fatty fish such as salmon and tuna.
Fortified sources such as orange juice, milk and some non-dairy beverages.
- Helps with preventing Alzheimer’s, type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance, migraines, hypertension, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and heart disease.
- Alleviates PMS symptoms
- Relieves inflammation
- Prevents migraines
- Improves blood sugar
- Fights against depression
- Enhances sleep quality
4. Vitamin K
- Regulates blood clotting.
- Improves bone density.
- Prevents heart disease, diabetes, multiple types of cancers and osteoporosis.
Green leafy vegetables,
Vitamin K is a fat soluble vitamin – which means, eating it with a fat such as an omega 3, coconut oil, or olive oil allows for the best absorption.
5. Physical Activity
- Stimulates the bones and makes them stronger.
- Challenges the bones so it helps build the muscles, tendons and ligaments.
- Builds the muscles that support the bones.
- Builds heart strength.
- Increases the amount of oxygen available to the brain and the organs.
Weight bearing activities.
soccer and weight training to build bones.
While swimming and bicycling are great for heart health, they are not weight-bearing. If these are your child’s preferred sports, encourage them to do weight-bearing activities too.
Strong bones are essential for the health of your little one, especially for their immune system.
Without healthy bones, the white blood cells aren’t able to be produced properly or in a sufficient number to protect your child. Which leads to more illness, more infections, more sleepless nights, more crying, more worry on your part, less peace and less thriving.
It’s time to turn the corner from surviving…to thriving.
We’re here for you.