Let’s talk nutrition! As a parent and a physician practicing functional medicine, this is a subject I am very passionate about.
It is important that as we nourish children’s’ minds and hearts with knowledge and wisdom, we must also be nourishing their bodies and brains with nutritious foods.
The nutritive components of proper foods can have a tremendous impact on their ability to focus, maintain health and improve performance. Whereas foods high in processed sugar, preservatives and food additives have very serious health consequences. Obesity related diseases (heart disease, stroke, diabetes and many cancers) are responsible for the leading causes of death in the USA. Sadly, according to the CDC, from 1980-2008 obesity rates doubled for adults and tripled for our children in the United States. We know that sugar, which is a hidden ingredient in so many foods, is highly addictive and easily converted to fat in the liver. One eight ounce serving of Horizon’s Organic Lowfat Chocolate Milk has the equivalent amount of sugar as an eight ounce serving of Coca-Cola!
With our busy lives, it is easy to get caught up in quick fixes with processed foods. To stop this trend, nutritional changes need to start at home and in schools.
One of the things I teach my patients is to incorporate phytonutrients (plant nutrition) in their diets daily, a rainbow a day. These different colors have unique beneficial nutrients that help to maximize cellular function. I use this handout for patients to help to increase plant nutrition in their diet. As Dr. Mark Hyman says, “You will find more benefit from what is at the end of your fork than what’s at the bottom of your prescription bottle.”
I encourage you all to watch the TED Talk by Jamie Oliver, a chef who has put his heart and soul into improving nutrition in our schools, as well as the documentary Fed UP by Katie Couric. Both are very eye opening to our current problem with sugar and processed foods in the diets of our children.
Dr. Davis is a parent and practitioner of functional medicine in the Greater Pittsburgh Area.