Giving children access to a wide variety of nurturing and nourishing foods is essential so that a strong foundation may be built for their future health. Research has shown that a deficiency in nutrients such as zinc in children under 5 years of age is widespread. Supporting their nutritional gap can be a positive addition to their growth and development as well as reducing the risk of chronic diseases later in life.
Vitamin C and zinc are two important nutrients – but typically many of us only build them into our diets when we are 'reacting' to illness - meaning we only give our immune system the attention it deserves when we start to feel unwell. This approach isn't always effective, as building up good levels of nutrients in the body, doesn't happen overnight. Here are 4 other ways these nutrients may support children’s health to go beyond immune support.
1. Zinc and bones
With 30% of the zinc in your body found in your bones, it is essential for children to have good levels to meet the needs of a developing skeleton (and teeth). Bone is living tissue, constantly being broken down and replaced. This cannot effectively occur without zinc-fuelled bone cells called osteoclasts and osteoblasts.
2. Zinc and the brain
Zinc plays many roles in mood and cognitive health. In everything from happy and balanced feelings to activities like memory recall, multi tasking and even our capacity to have those alert ‘light bulb’ moments. Zinc in children’s body’s will be powering their capacity to produce the necessary neurotransmitters (such as dopamine, serotonin and melatonin) that can influence some of these desirable brain functions and cognitive outcomes.
3. Vitamin C and stress hormones
The highest concentration of vitamin C is found in the adrenal glands, providing the ingredients to make the hormone cortisol and adrenaline. These two hormones tend to get a bit of negative press when we label them as ‘stress’ hormones; but cortisol and adrenaline are essential for children to be able to run around, have good energy to learn, a healthy nervous and immune system.
4. Vitamin C and iron absorption
Iron is essential for healthy haemoglobin, which plays the very important role of carrying oxygen from the lungs to the tissues of the body. Children also need iron for the immune system and healthy cognition. However, iron needs some other ‘helper’ nutrients such as vitamin C in order to aid its successful absorption. This is why children should be eating a varied diet full of both iron and vitamin C rich foods.
Henrietta's latest Bespoke Child formula combines Food-Grown® Vitamin C and zinc to support growing and active children. Our Food-Grown® Zinc has been shown to be 75 % better absorbed and retained by the body than synthetic forms like zinc sulphate or gluconate. Studies have shown our Food-Grown® Vitamin C to be up to 1210% better absorbed and retained by the body than other commonly used forms of ascorbic acid. Vitamin B2 has been included in this formula to support the cellular transportation of zinc.