TAG | constipated
It’s no big secret that children are picky eaters. If chicken nuggets and mac-n-cheese were on the menu every day, how easy parents’ lives would be. But a diet high in processed and refined foods, and low in fruits and veggies has far reaching consequences, especially on little bodies.
First, the more children don’t eat fruits and veggies, the more likely they’ll not want to eat them later in life.
Second, a diet low in fruits and veggies means a diet low in many nutrients and fiber.
Third, when children don’t eat enough fruits and veggies, they get constipated.
A recent study found that primary school children who didn’t like fruits and vegetables were 13 times more likely to develop functional constipation than children who did like fruits and veggies. As a parent, you might not even realize your child is constipated. Maybe your children are in school or day care, so you can’t keep track of every potty break. Ask about their bowel movements. At least one healthy bowel movement daily (quantity counts!) is an indication that they are not constipated.
Studies are finding that constipation in children is increasing. This is largely due to dietary habits, including water intake. Children who drank less than 400mL (13.5 ounces) of fluid daily were also more likely to be constipated.
Be persistent in trying new veggies from time to time. Children’s tastes change, and often, a veggie that was detested last month seems to go down without a hitch the next. For the pickiest of eaters, there are many recipes out there that help you “hide” the veggies by adding them to other foods in stealthy ways. You may even find yourself trying new veggies by using these tricks.
In addition, a fiber supplement can help increase stool bulk and promote bowel regularity. Look for a great tasting fruit and veggie fiber that can be mixed into a smoothie or added to juice.
Have you heard about enzyme supplements and wonder if you need one? Chances are you might—especially if you eat a lot of cooked and heavily processed foods. Without the natural enzymes obtained from raw, whole foods, the body has a hard time breaking down the food you eat and absorbing its nutrients. As a result, undigested or partially digested food in the intestines can ferment and cause gas, bloating, heartburn, indigestion and other problems. The following quiz will help you determine if you may benefit from adding a natural digestive enzyme supplement to your diet. Put a 1 next to each question if the answer is Yes, 0 for No.
1. Do you experience stomach pain after eating a high-protein meal?
2. Are you excessively tired or fatigued after eating a high-protein meal?
3. Do you have thin, fine or brittle hair?
4. Do you have white lines or ridges in your nail beds?
5. Are you intolerant to cold temperatures or have a sensation of always being cold?
6. Do you have low muscle mass?
7. Do you have occasional swelling of the hands, feet, ankles, or knees?
8. Do you have high blood pressure?
9. Do you have skin issues such as dermatitis?
10. Do you have irritability or anxiety?
11. Do you heal slowly from wounds?
12. Do you have frequent abdominal gas, bloating or flatulence?
13. Do you have frequent belching?
14. Do you have abdominal discomfort or bloating after eating starches, vegetables, beans or grains?
15. Do you commonly have diarrhea?
16. Do you have dry skin?
17. Do you have brittle fingernails?
18. Do you suffer from occasional or mild depression?
19. Do you have greasy or oily stool?
20. Are you frequently constipated?
21. Do you have dandruff or an itchy scalp?
22. Do you have problems concentrating at work or school?
23. Do you have dry mouth or excessive thirst?
24. Do you have frequent urination?
25. Do you crave fatty foods?
OVERALL SCORE: If you scored 13 or more, you may benefit from a quality digestive enzyme supplement. Look for a formula with high amounts of Protease, Amylase, Lipase and Cellulase.
- A score of 5 or more for Questions 1 to 11 indicates possible difficulty with the digestion of proteins. Look for an enzyme supplement with a high amount of PROTEASE.
- A score of 3 or more for Questions 12 to 15 indicates possible difficulty with the digestion of carbohydrates, starches and fiber. Look for an enzyme supplement with a high amount of AMYLASE and CELLULASE.
- A score of 5 or more for Questions 16 to 25 indicates possible difficulty with the digestion of fat. Look for an enzyme supplement with a high amount of LIPASE.