Carbohydrates:  Foods that Fuel

Learning basic keys to carbohydrates is a great way to learn how you can best help fuel the family through the day in a way that keeps energy and nutrition to a max!

Carbohydrates are plant-based energy – they break down quickly and easily into sugars to provide the body with the fuel it needs to keep up with life.  At least 50-60% of your diet should be comprised of good, healthy carbohydrates.  Many people have falsely come to the belief that “carbs are bad.”  Low-carb diets are a go-to for many looking to lose weight fast but does this leave the person any healthier or energetic in the long-run?

Your body needs carbohydrates but to understand which to enjoy and which to avoid, we simply need to understand a couple of simple distinguishments.

Natural vs. Refined Carbohydrates

Some may think “What’s the difference in the carbs I get from this sandwich and what you get from that soup, or the carbs I get from these fries in contrast to the ones you get from that salad?”  Not all carbs and sugars are created equal. The natural carbohydrates found in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and beans produce a healthful, clean energy while also providing us with vital nutrients and fiber.  Those found in processed foods, white breads and other refined products are often lacking in nutrients and can be flat riddled with toxins. They are also often accompanied by excessive amounts of fat, salt and added sugars which makes them even more harsh on the body.

In other words, a 400 calorie plate of roasted vegetables and brown rice may be just what you need to put that pep back in your step while the same calories from a side of fries can leave you longing for the sofa.  Same goes for eating 400 calories of fruit in contrast to 400 calories worth of candy.  Refined carbohydrates include white breads, refined sugars and are found in the vast majority of processed foods.  Natural carbohydrates include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes/beans.

Excellent choices include whole grains such as farro, barley, buckwheat and steel cut oats in place of store bought breads and pastas.  Opt for fresh or frozen fruits over jammed, canned and packaged sources.

Simple vs. Complex Carbohydrates

Now that we’ve settled that you’re only going to eat the good kinds of carbohydrates, which ones are going to give you the most or best fuel?

Complex carbohydrates take longer for your body to break down, providing more sustained energy. This means, you have what it takes to get from breakfast to lunch, and from lunch to dinner without feeling drained.  Good complex carbohydrates to enjoy often are: brown/whole grain rice (not white or “quick” rices), steel cut or thick cut old-fashioned oats, quinoa, barley, farro, any kind of beans, peas and lentils.  If consuming store-bought breads, look for organic 100% whole grain bread (I personally like Ezekiel sprouted grain breads) or an alternative that aligns with your dietary needs and preferences.

Simple carbohydrates are the body’s most easily assimilated fuel source as the body is able to more rapidly metabolize them.  This group is comprised primarily of fruits and vegetables but may also include foods like honey and maple.  These are my go-to’s throughout the day to keep me fueled for a fast-paced day.  While complex carbohydrates take longer to break down, I can generally feel a noticeable difference in my energy level within 15-25 minutes of eating fruits.

To keep the family equipped with a steady, ample supply of energy, pair simple and complex carbohydrates, fats and healthful proteins throughout the day.  Understand the type of fuel you’re counting on and how much/often you need it.

Some may find that too many simple carbohydrates or ones with a higher glycemic index is a bit much to handle, particularly when heading into an office or to school where they’ll be sitting most of the day.  If you need to have a stable fuel source to carry across several hours, you will want to rely more on complex rather than simple carbohydrates.  If you really need this sustained energy to stick with you longer, you may also wish to pair your carbohydrates with a protein or fat, which slows the processes by which carbohydrates are broken down and released into glucose (sugar) in the body.

See?  Easy as pie!

Ways to Boost Joy in Your Household & Community

Article written byLaTricia Morris, CIWC  LaTricia Morris is an Integrative Wellness Counselor, Writer, Author, Illustrator & the Founder of See Kids Thrive. LaTricia is an avid-health enthusiast committed to helping families like yours maximize their life potential and realize their greatet dreams.

I think this is one of those topics where we could start off with every intention of keeping things simple and end up creating an entire website out of everything that could branch out.  Let’s explore a few simple ideas here and I would love if you would connect with us via facebook or e-mail to give us some ideas you might like to see added to this page!

See Eye-to-Eye.

Take the time to look children and others directly in the eyes as you encourage them, speaking words of affirmation and love.

Take hold of it. Sometimes it amazes me just how much can be said through a simple, authentic hug.  {I’ll be honest.  I don’t usually really like to be held, hugged or touched a lot but a brief but genuine hug can drastically shift my countenance when I’m stressd out.  Even for the little boy that acts like he doesn’t “want no stinkin’ hugs” walls just come down when Mom or Dad wrap their arms around him and hold him tight.  Scowls turn to silly smiles and eyes light up as he bee-bops off to play.}

Speak Words of Gratitude.  

Sharing words of gratitude is a great way to shift a conversation from joy-sucking to joy-giving.

affection appreciation decoration design

Speak Blessings.  

Speaking affirmation and goodness over others greatly increases joy and can work wonders in shifting views from despair to hope and joy.

Speak Life.  

There’s really no good reason for us to speak death over anybody, no matter how much of a jerk we may think they are.  What we speak directly affects our environment and those around us.  Even amidst the most challenging situations, we can look for positive words to say that uplift those around us.  This goes beyond compliments and also encompasses funny jokes, encouraging stories and sharing good news.

Look Forward to the Future.  

Dreading the days ahead is a real joy-killer.  Reshape your views of the future to ones of hope and help others do the same.

Actively Seek It.

Play games & do crafts (the quirkier the better), have a funny hairstyling party or kooky clothing party…  options are limitless here.

Embrace Zany, Weird, and Random.  This isn’t hard.  Again, kids love quirky (as do many adults).  Yes, I can be absolutely ridiculous at times but there’s nothing like seeing barriers of tension and anxiety come down.  Let your hair down and live a little.  Relax and enjoy the ride.

Forgive. 

Unforgiveness breeds bitterness, anger and resentment.  Forgiveness frees us to walk in love and joyful living.

Get Less Busy.

I’m one who tends to prefer living at a faster pace and loves setting and accomplishing goals.  Still, even us A-types have to learn to unschedule enough of our time to make time for spontaneity and for those we love most.  Constantly being busy often accompanies high-stress levels, fatigue and low-joy.  Find ways to make yourself available for spontaneous, joyful memories that will last a lifetime.

Prioritize.

Realize what and who really matters in life.  We often fail to see the price we pay when we focus our greatest energies on our own wants and desires.  We become blind toward others.  Learn to stop and appreciate people.  Love others and don’t be afraid to learn from them.  Even doing simple household or community tasks can become a breeding ground for joy when we look to see the good and value in others, and especially when we stop looking for what we can get and look rather to what we can give.

Got more ideas and suggestions on how to spread joy where you live?  Connect with us via Facebook and give us your input!

 

Don’t forget to SHARE this article with friends and family!  Working together to spread joy and life, we can surely make great waves in our generation and positively impact countless generations to come !

 

10 Ways to Save Money by Eating Better

Yes, eating healthier is likely to cost more than eating very poorly.  You wouldn’t expect to buy better gas for your car for less than the cruddy gas would cost; we can’t very well expect to fill our bodies up with “Premium” fuel for less than the bottom-of-the-barrel offerings.  With that said, there are ways to save money on eating healthier and here’s how you do it:

1.  Keep an Eye Out

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Produce departments will often mark things for clearance that are actually PERFECT. Bananas are a big one here (So many people think the brown spots mean they’re bad when it actually means they’re ripe).  Bananas are fairly cheap anyhow but I have gotten them by the bag-fulls for just a couple bucks a bag.  I then get them home, peel them, drop them straight into a freezer bag and freeze them for later use in smoothies or to throw in the food processor for an easy alternative to ice cream.  Green beans, sliced carrots, peas, berries, stone fruits, avocados and countless others freeze very well with little effort. Many fruits can be bought nearly at a steal when in-season, from grocers, farmers’ markets or straight from the grower.

2.  Offset Your Expenses AND Boost Your Health With Our Favorite Budget Savers

  • Dried Beans & Lentils

Beans & lentils are loaded with energy, fiber, and many body boosting vitamins while providing an abundance of protein without the extra fat found in animal products.  Dried beans are super affordable (even buying them organic is cheaper by the pound that meat alternatives), are ridiculously easy to prepare (soak & boil.  Yep, that’s it!) and are extremely versatile.  Beans & lentils can be used to create everything from traditional soups, stews & sides to veggie burgers to cream sauces…even to desserts like brownies.

  • Whole Grains

With all the dietary trends making villains out of grains, we run the risk of missing out on a powerhouse source of energy and nutrient.  Grains have been staples of the human diet across thousands of years, and have even been the saving factor for entire nations that otherwise would have starved to death in times of famine.  Grains can be an inexpensive way to fuel body and brain.  Whole wheat (whole grain and flours), hulled barley, millet, buckwheat groats, brown rice, wild rice, specialty rice…the list just goes on and on.  Grains are versatile and can be added to just about any dish – soups, stews, one-pot wonders, you name it.

  • Spuds

potatoes

Seriously, I really don’t know that I could ever wholeheartedly trust anybody who doesn’t like a good spud at least every now and then. I mean, come on!  Who doesn’t love potatoes?  All joking aside, potatoes are seriously awesome.  They tend to be inexpensive, easy to cook and go with just about anything and any meal of the day.  Roasted, baked or boiled, potatoes make a delicious dish loaded with nutrients (especially those much-needed minerals) and easy on the wallet.  We buy these organic because pesticides and herbicides are absorbed directly into the potato itself from the surrounding soil.  Still, even organic potatoes typically run only about $1.00/lb when buying in bags of 5+ lbs.  A 5lb. bag of potatoes is enough to make potatoes alongside or mixed into multiple meals.  Alternatively, a full bag can be prepared as mashed potatoes to serve fresh and save.  Freeze in quart-sized freezer bags for easy sides later.

  • Rolled Oats in Bulk

Repeat after me:  “No more Instant Oats!”  Instant oats often have very little remaining nutritional value, are much more expensive on the whole, and are typically chock full of added sugars and junk flavorings.  Rolled oats are every bit as quick and easy without these cons.  A pinch of cinnamon, a little almond milk and a splash of honey or maple and you’re in business, my friend.  Steel Cut Oats still boast maximum nutritional value, as far as oats go, but for those that simply do not have the time, rolled oats are a good runner up.  My favorite way to eat them is with cinnamon, maple and fresh sliced banana.  No cooking necessary.  I like the slightly chewy texture over the mushy, cooked consistency.  Either way you like them, oats are a great way to boost nutrition while saving time and money.

3.  Opt for frozen over fresh when watching that bottom dollar

supermarket refrigerators

…especially when shopping “out-of-season.”  “Freshest is bestest!”  Still, when fresh produce isn’t available or affordable, be sure to check out what’s in the freezer section.  This can also be a good way to get a better quality for your buck too.  You can often save money by buying things like organic frozen green beans instead of the conventionally grown alternatives found in the produce section.  Is it always an even swap culinarily speaking?  No, but most of the time the exchange can be made with little detection or compromise in your favorite dishes.

4.  Opt for quality over quantity

This is especially key with meat and dairy.  Too much meat and dairy is unhealthy.  Period.  No further elaboration needed there.  (We’ve really already talked on this in  our article on Proteins that Pack a Punch or Dairy if you need reasons why).  With that said, you may find that you’re able to afford organic or better quality choices by reducing the family’s overall consumption of animal products. Most people easily eat in a day, the most they would need for a week.  Other protein options, such as beans can cheaply replace meats with many meals.  Reducing the portion size is another way to save on the expense (giving you more money for better quality) while boosting your family’s overall health.  Higher quality foods of all sorts provide more nutrients.  This means you can eat less while gaining more in terms of nutrition.

5.  Shop Smart & Know your Dirty Dozen & Clean 15

Eating organic and watching a budget can be a real challenge.  Get acquainted and educated on which foods tend to be the most highly contaminated and which tend to be the cleanest.  This will help you get a better idea of which foods are worth the splurge and which you can more safely save a little moola on.  Be sure to print out your lists of the Dirty Dozen and The Clean 15 to take with you on your next shopping trip!

6.  Stock up & Save on Staples

Some items may be used so much that paying the high price of buying a little at a time makes no sense whatsoever.  When possible, by larger volumes of items, such as a good quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil, which can be transferred into a smaller vessel, as needed, for ease of use.

7.  Compare Unit Prices

Bulk is often a good way to save money but there are times when the bulk runs more per pound or ounce than even the very same product & brand, in a ready-to-go package.

8.  Take inventory of your time & resources

Be sure you check your fridge and cupboard before venturing out to buy more. You may have forgotten those peppers you picked up last week or missed how perfectly they’d pair with a little tomato or cucumber the couscous you already have in the cupboard for a delightful, refreshing couscous salad.  Throw in a cup of those peas you happen to already have in the freezer and Bam!  That’s one less meal you have to plan to buy food for this week.  Sometimes you’re all set to rock your face off with what you already have on hand.  This helps to reduce food waste and frustration, save money, and maximize your grocery budget.

Also, be sure to be realistic about the time you have in the coming week. If your schedule is already booked, you may not want to buy all you need to make something that would demand hours of your time in the kitchen.  The last thing you want to do is spend a chunk of your budget on something you just don’t have time to prepare, only to watch it turn into one of those creepy science experiment looking things that not even the dog would eat.

9.  Plan Ahead

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Let me tell you what I personally find frustrating – Meandering through a grocer for over an hour, emerging $20 OVER-budget and getting only half-way through the week before I realize I have a house full of groceries and nothing to make for dinner.  {insert one big, fat frowny face right here}  It sucks.  And I must admit, I am not one to always sit down and plan ahead each meal.  I like the freedom of going with my gut on what I’m going to have for dinner.  What if I plan spaghetti for Thursday and decide I want tacos?  Here’s the thing, at the very least, making a list of things you must have to make some good, whole meals and other household staples is a good way to keep you on point and under-budget.  This will save you time and money while shopping.

10.  Don’t Shy Away from Replays or Retakes

Keep an eye out for foods that can do double time.  And I’m not just talking leftover-city.  For example, I may make one large pot of beans and divide them.  Some may go on salads, some seasoned and served as a side with dinner, and some pureed to make cream sauces or bases for other dishes.  This saves time and money while making the most of and reaping the most from the foods we buy.


We hope these tips have been a great help to you.  If so, please don’t forget to SHARE this article with other friends and family who stand to benefit from it as well!  Thank you!

One Key “Nutrient” No Child Should Do Without

Article written by LaTricia Morris, CIWC  LaTricia Morris is an Integrative Wellness Counselor, Writer, Author, Illustrator & the Founder of See Kids Thrive. LaTricia is an avid-health enthusiast committed to helping families like yours maximize their life potential and realize their greatet dreams.

When talking about health, nutrition and wellness, we can get so caught up in micromanaging each nutrient, afraid of the ramifications of not getting enough protein (which is so ridiculously rare in our country) or not getting enough magnesium or calcium.  However, there is one factor that probably couldn’t be more critical to a child’s development yet receives so little attention.

While we’ve all heard about the importance omega 3’s in brain development, maybe even about the connection between B vitamins and stress, we hear very little about one intangible factor that can directly hinder or boost our children’s capacity to grow, learn and thrive:  Joy.

When the brain is in a state of fear or in “fight or flight” mode, it is wired for survival and cannot retain information as readily as when it is in a relaxed, peaceful, joyful state.  Not only does negativity impair learning but it also weakens the immune system and primes the body for sickness and disease while positivity possesses the power to enhance resilience.  Joy isn’t just desirable, it’s medicinal.

Scientists and researchers have been dedicating much energy and effort in helping us understand how joy and positivity effect brain development and function.  While many have understood that what we think effects the way we feel, science is now proving that what and how we think directly alters the terrain of the brain.

That’s right – positivity & negativity directly affect how the proteins in the brain form and trigger the release of stress-related chemicals in the body.  Toxic thinking puts a lot of wear and tear on the brain.  Chronic low-joy environments not only reduce children’s capacity to enjoy life but they also impair their learning ability.  If that in itself isn’t incredible, it has also been found that how we think also affects activation of DNA and the resulting genetic expression.

Without getting too technical here, what we’ve learned is that health is not determined by heredity.  Heredity is not destiny but rather a genetic predisposition.  How we eat and how we think play the greatest roles in determining whether heredity becomes our reality.  When we indulge in toxic thinking, the signals being sent from our brains into our bodies that activates disease-promoting DNA.

The beauty of this is that as we learn to gear ourselves toward positivity, we simultaneously boost our immunity, growth and overall state of wellness.  Joy increases our children’s capacity to learn, to be creative and to function efficiently – all factors that support success in their education and careers.

Happiness vs. Joy

So often, we confuse happiness with joy and cater to the constant demand for more happiness.  Americans plow each other over in hopes of getting their hands on the latest and greatest gadgets just to see that smile on children’s faces when they take hold of it.  Yet, we also see many parents stressed to the max who are otherwise failing to make the genuine connections with their children that they so desperately need.

We see a smile when we let them do this or have that but often fail to see where those smiles are but a mask concealing deep hurt and hunger.  The things we say and do that seem so small to us often speak volumes to our children.  Some parents believe they’re giving their children “everything” because they buy them virtually everything they want but are completely blind to the many ways they tear the child down through words and actions – constant disappointment in the child, ignoring the child, name-calling…the list could go on.

So many families are foregoing family meals or struggling to engage in genuine conversation.  Go to any restaurant and you’re sure to easily see tables full of family where there’s little interaction as each is too distracted by cell phones and social media to truly appreciate the people they have sitting right next to and across from them.  How about enjoying “Family Movie Nights” where no one looks at or talks to each other but still call it “quality time.”  Don’t get me wrong, we love movies too but we also have to see the difference between family time and group entertainment.

People have spent so much time developing gadgets and gizmos to help us accomplish tasks more quickly in hopes of having more time for family.  Yet, live in a day where all that convenience so easily paves the way for more distraction from those that should matter the most.  We let comments and replies nickel and dime our time to the point of regularly losing hours of precious memories we’ll never have the opportunity to get back.

In this, we not only rob ourselves but our children as well as so many of them are now being primed for a lifetime of joy-less distraction.

Low-joy environments are not only linked to a decreased learning capacity but also to an increase in toxic behavior such as promiscuity and drug addiction.  A person deficient in joy is substantially more likely to seek to supplement with pseudo-joy, false-positives and other things that trigger temporary feelings of happiness.

Joy.  Love.  Sincerity. 

These are things I believe we really have to take back and impart upon our children if we wish to see prosperity accompany the generations to follow.

As parents, we have a great tendency to place a great emphasis on reshaping the conditions in which our children will grow up.  Having grown up considerably poor, I can absolutely relate to the desire to give my kids more than what we had as children.  However, when we get so caught up in giving them the advantage in terms of resources and material comforts, we often fail to miss where they may be moving forward with one of the greatest disadvantages of them all.

Where Joy Can Be Found

Learning all of this and more demanded that I put more thought into my own parenting while my children were still very small.  I had to start making conscious connections, seeing where I could be a real joy-killer when I hit that wall and just needed one stinkin’ moment of silence.  I see where I have to make a steady effort toward making genuine joyful connections with my children and to not steal their joy when I can’t seem to find my own.  The awesome thing is that in doing so, their natural tendencies toward joy, when nurtured, can promote joy in those around them.  Sometimes all it takes to hit that “reset” button on the day is slowing down for a moment to take them up into my arm and reaffirm my affections.

The greatest joy is imparted through acts and expressions of genuine love.  Giving a child a gift isn’t a bad thing.  Gifts are considered one of “the 5 love languages.”  By all means, gift away but realize and help children see that gifts are not a measure of love and affection but only a demonstration of it.

Generating joy need not be expensive or even strenuous.  It merely involves a little extra time and the expression of your genuine affections.  Joy feeds off of joy and children are already excellent joy-generators.  Enjoy jokes, crafts and tickle time.  Enjoy multi-generational interaction.  Break out board or card games like people actually used to do before everything went digital.  Don’t just eat dinner together, make dinner together and enjoy making memories in the process.  As parents sow the seeds of love, our children reap harvests of joy.

While I absolutely appreciate the critical role of sound nutrition in child development, I’ve become increasingly convinced that little can have such an impact on the “Success Story” of their lives as love and joy.  Joy is precious, invaluable and free.  It is something so many are desperately lacking which we can all so readily give.  Anybody can change another person’s life.  Be the kind of person that changes it for the better.

Be sure to SHARE this article with friends and family as we work together to reshape the future for our children and the many generations their lives will impact.


The Essential Learning Nutrients

Scroll down to learn more about each nutrient and where you can get it!

Article written byLaTricia Morris, CIWC  LaTricia Morris is an Integrative Wellness Counselor, Writer, Author, Illustrator & the Founder of See Kids Thrive.

In Eating for A’s, Schauss, et al, discuss what they call the 12 Essential Learning Nutrients.  In the text, they explain that by acquiring all of these nutrients through dietary diversification, children should consequently receive adequate amounts of all nutrients.  RDA’s are according to this text.  Please, note, daily recommendations may change over time or be recommended in different quantities by different health professionals.  Further, there are other nutrients, such as DHA that have been proven essential to brain function.  These featured nutrients, as acquired from a healthy diet, are said to greatly increase children’s capactiy to learn, laugh and live life to the fullest.

*Please note that RDA’s may vary depending upon resources.  All effort has been made to provide accurate recommendations.  Still, we recommend you  seek the personal counsel of a reliable health professional prior to supplementation or implementing any dietary advice you receive from ANY internet source.

Vitamin A

RDA: 4,000IU

Benefits:

Aids in manufacturing of protein and DNA and promotes tissue formation of the skin, eyes, nails, lungs, ears, and mouth

Deficiency Signs:

Depression and apathy; lowered friendly intestinal flora, which prohibits the conversion of carotene to vitamin A; retarded brain growth in infants

Sources:

Amaranth Leaves, Acerola, Arugula, Apricots, Basil, Asparagus, Cantaloupe, Chili Powder, Beet Greens, Cherries, Laver (Seaweed), Beets, Grapefruit, Paprika, Broccoli, Loquats, Red Raspberry Leaf Teas, Cabbage, Mango, Soymilk, Carrots, Mangos, Spirulina, Collards, Orange Juice, Stevia, Cress, Papaya, Barley Grass, Dandelion Greens, Passion-Fruit, Endive, Peach, Grape Leaves, Persimmon (Japanese), Kale, Plantain, Oatmeal, Lambsquarters, Tomato, Lettuce, Mustard Greens, Onions, Pak Choi/Bok Choy, Peas, Pumpkin, Puslane, Red Bell Pepper, Spinach, Squash, Sweet Potato, Swiss Chard, Taro Leaves, Turnip Greens, Watercress, Zucchini

Vitamin B1 {Thiamin}

RDA: 3mg

Benefits:

Aids metabolism of fats, proteins and carbohydrates; helps brain process energy; aids transmission of nervous system signals; known as “morale” vitamin due to effects on mental attitude; supports learning & memory capacity

Deficiency Signs:

Fatigue; impaired memory, mental confusion, reduced alertness, impaired reflex actions, general apathy, and lack of interest, disorderly behavior, irritability, impulsiveness, poor sleep, and fatigue. linked to anorexia/loss of appetite, indigestion, constipation, weakening of heart muscles  which can result in cardiac failure causing swelling in the lower legs, then thighs,  difficulty breathing and can even eventually lead to death as the heart gets enlarged and other cardiac impairments occur

Sources:

Leafy Greens, Avocado, Mushrooms, Squash, Carrot, Peppers, Orange/Tangerine/Pineapple Juice, Papaya, Plums, Raisins, Black Beans, Cowpeas, Lentils, Lima Beans, Mung Beans, Navy Beans, Kidney Beans, Peas, Pink Beans, Pinto Beans, Winged Beans, Yardlong Beans, Yellow Beans, Soybeans, Peanuts, Potatoes, Brown Rice, Buckwheat, Millet, Oats, Barley, Alfalfa, Triticale, Semolina, Wheat Germ, Whole Grains (Germ & Bran), Flaxseed, Brazil Nuts, Hazelnuts/Filberts, Hickory Nuts, Macademia Nuts, Pistachios, Pecans, Safflower Seeds, Sesame Seeds, Sunflower Seeds, Nutritional Yeast, Kelp, Spirulina

Vitamin B2 {Riboflavin}

RDA: 1.7mg

Benefits:

Needed to process amino acids and fats, activate vitamin B6 and folic acid, and help convert carbohydrates into the fuel the body runs

Deficiency Signs:

Bloodshot eyes, abnormal sensitivity to light, itching and burning of the eyes, inflammation in the mouth, a sore and burning tongue, and cracks on the lips and in the corners of the mouth, bloodshot eyes, abnormal sensitivity to light, itching and burning of the eyes, inflammation in the mouth, a sore and burning tongue, and cracks on the lips and in the corners of the mouth.  May also lead to malfunctioning of the adrenal glands or contribute to anemia or cataract.

Sources:

Almonds/Almond Butter, Beet Greens, Lambsquarters, Portobello Mushrooms, Shitake Mushrooms, Crimini Mushrooms, Tomatoes, Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Durian, Prune Juice, Passion-Fruit Juice, Spinach, Buckwheat, Oatmeal, Pumpkin Seeds, Quinoa, Sesame Seeds, Soybeans, Tempeh, Whole Grains, Ancho Chilies, Barley Grass, Chili powder, Coriander, Nutritional Yeast, Paprika, Parsley, Parsley, Peppermint, Spearmint, Spirulina, Yeast Extract Spread (Marmite)

Vitamin B3 {Niacin}

RDA: 50mg

Benefits:

Assists the brain in producing chemicals and acids essential in the manufacturing of protein; necessary for healthy blood circulation and impedes cholesterol accumulation; also known as the “happy vitamin” for its influence on personality.

Deficiency Signs:

General weakness, muscular weakness, and lack of appetite. Skin infections and digestive problems may also be associated with niacin deficiency.

Sources:

Asparagus, Barley, Beef, Broccoli, Brown Rice, Buckwheat, Calf Liver, Carrots, Chicken (esp. breast), Crimini Mushrooms, Gingko Nuts, Halibut, Lamb, Leafy Greens, Lentils, Mangos, Milk, Millet, Oysters, Passion-Fruit Juice, Peanut Butter, Peanuts, Portobello, Potatoes, Prune Juice, Rice Bran, Salmon, Shitake Mushrooms, Sunflower Seeds, Tomato, Tuna, Turkey, Venison, Wheat (soft & hard red winter), Wheat Bran, Wheat Durum, Wheat Germ, Wild Rice

Vitamin B6 {Pyrodoxine}

RDA: 5mg

Benefits:

Also helps the brain produce chemicals and acids essential in the manufacturing of protein; also influences hair color, growth and texture.

Deficiency Signs:

Dizziness, skin diseases, tremors, convulsions, fainting and motion sickness.

Sources:

Acorns, Alfalfa Capsicum, Almonds, Avocados, Banana, Barley Malt Flour, Beechnuts, Beef Liver, Beets, Breadnut Tree Seeds, Brown Rice, Brussel Sprouts, Carrot Juice, Chick Peas, Chicken, Cod, Durian, Garbanzo Beans, Garlic, Halibut, Kelp, Palm Hearts, Papaya, Pineapple Juice, Pinto Beans, Plantain, Pork, Potatoes, Prune Juice, Red Clover, Rice Bran, Rice Flour, Safflower Seeds, Soybeans, Squash, Sunflower Seed Butter, Sunflower Seeds, Sweet Potatoes, Tomato Juice, Tuna, Turkey, Venison, Walnuts, Wheat Germ, Wild Rice

Folate

RDA: 400mcg

*Folate and folic acid are different forms of the same vitamin. Folate is the natural form of the vitamin found in foods, while folic acid is the synthetic form used in dietary supplements and in fortified foods.

Benefits:

Helps the body produce RNA & DNA, both important in the formation of nucleic acid and the storage of recent-memory events.

Deficiency Signs:

Apathy, impaired memory, irritability, withdrawal, slowing of all intellectual processes, anemia, fatigue, general weakness and parasites

Sources:

Adzuki Beans, Agar, Alfalfa, Amaranth Leaves, Artichoke, Asparagus, Avocado, Beets, Black Beans, Boysenberries, Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, Cabbage, Calf Liver, Chicken Liver, Chickpeas, Collards, Cowpeas, Cranberry Beans, Durian, Eggs, Endive, Fava Beans, French Beans, Garbanzo Beans, Great Northern Beans, Green Beans, Kelp, Kidney Beans, Lentils, Lima Beans, Lima Beans, Lima Beans, Moth Beans, Mung Beans, Mustard Greens, Navy Beans, Navy Beans, Okra, Orange, Orange Juice, Peanuts, Peas, Pigeon Peas, Pineapple Juice, Pink Beans, Pinto Beans, Potatoes, Pumpkin Seeds, Red Clover, Safflower Seeds, Soybeans, Spinach, Sprouted Grains, Sunflower Seed Butter, Sunflower Seeds, Tomato, Turkey Liver, Turnip Greens, Watercress, Wheat Germ, Wild Rice, Yardlong Beans, Yellow Beans

Vitamin C

RDA: 250 mg

Benefits:

Aids in the utilization of protein; improves absorption of certain forms of iron needed by the brain; often referred to as the “master vitamin” for its necessity to overall bodily processes.

Deficiency Signs:

Fatigue, depression, hypersensitivity, colds; general run-down condition, bruising, bleeding gums, and shortness of breath

Sources:

Acerola, Acerola Juice, Amaranth Leaves, Apple, Apple Juice, Apricot, Artichoke, Asparagus, Banana, Beet Greens, Black Currants, Blackberries, Blackberry Juice, Blueberries, Breadfruit, Breadnut Tree Seeds, Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, Cabbage, Cantaloupe, Carrot Juice, Casaba Melon, Cauliflower, Cherries, Chestnuts, Collards, Corn, Crabapples, Cranberries, Custard Apple, Dandelion Greens, Durian, Elderberries, Feijoa, Garden Cress, Gingko Nuts, Gooseberries, Grapefruit, Grapes, Guava, Honeydew Melon, Jujube, Kale, Kiwi, Kohlrabi, Kumquats, Lambsquarters, Lemon, Lentils, Lime, Litchis, Loganberries, Longans, Mulberries, Mustard Greens, Nectarine, Okra, Orange Juice, Palm Hearts, Papaya, Papaya Nectar, Parsnips, Passion-Fruit, Pea, Peach, Peach Nectar, Pear, Persimmon, Pineapple, Plantain, Plum, Pomegranate, Potatoes, Prune Juice, Pummel, Pumpkin, Purslane, Radishes, Raspberries, Red Currants, Rutabagas, Saurkraut, Soybeans, Spinach, Squash, Starfruit, Strawberries, Sundried Tomatoes, Sweet Peppers, Swiss Chard, Tangerine, Taro Leaves, Taro Shoots, Thyme, Tomatillos, Tomato Juice, Turnip Greens, Turnips, Wasabi, Watercress, Watermelon, White Currants, Yam, Yam Bean

Iron

RDA: 10 mg

Benefits:

Essential for building healthy muscles and maintaining healthy blood; aids in processing of nutrients required for neurological processing; helps process neurotransmitters and DNA

Deficiency Signs:

Anemia, listlessness, worry, dull hair, fatigue, inflamed mouth or tongue

Sources:

Adzuki Beans, Amaranth, Asparagus, Barley Malt Flour, Barley, Pearled, Bulgur, Cashews, Cereals (Not The Sugar Laden Stuff), Chickpeas, Clams, Coconut, Cowpeas, Cranberry Beans, Dandelion Root, Great Northern Beans, Hemp Hearts, Hyacinth Beans, Kidney Beans, Lentils, Lima Beans, Miso, Moth Beans, Navy Beans, Oats, Organ Meats, Oysters, Palm Hearts, Passion-Fruit, Pink Beans, Pinto Beans, Potatoes, Prune Juice, Pumpkin Seeds, Quinoa, Rice Bran, Rye Flour, Sorghum, Soybeans, Spinach, Spirulina, Squash Seeds, Tahini, Thyme, Tofu, Wheat, Wheat Germ, White Beans, Winged Beans, Yardlong Beans, Yellow Bean

Magnesium

RDA: 30-360mg, depending on age of child

Benefits:

Helps the brain attain energy from nutrients; key for the activation of enzyme reactions (required for over 200 enzymatic functions); essential to have balance between calcium and magnesium as the heart muscles contract with calcium and relax with magnesium; and aids in balancing the blood’s pH levels.

Deficiency Signs:

Irritability, nervousness, lethargy, depression, confusion

Sources:

Adzuki Beans, Agar, Almond Butter, Almonds, Amaranth, Artichoke, Barley, Barley Malt Flour, Barley, Pearled, Beet Greens, Black Beans, Black Walnut, Blackberry Juice, Brazil Nuts, Brown Rice, Buckwheat, Buckwheat Flour, Buckwheat Groats, Bulgur, Butternuts, Cashew Butter, Cashews, Chinook Salmon, Coconut Water, Corn, Cornmeal, Cowpeas, Cranberry Beans, Flaxseed, French Beans, French Beans, Great Northern Beans, Halibut, Hazelnuts, Hyacinth Beans, Lima Beans, Lotus Seeds, Macaroni, Millet, Mung Beans, Navy Beans, Oat Bran, Oats, Passion-Fruit Juice, Peanut Butter, Pigeon Peas, Pine Nuts, Pink Beans, Pinto Beans, Potatoes, Potatoes, Pumpkin Seeds, Purslane, Quinoa, Rice Bran, Rye, Rye Flour, Safflower Seeds, Scallops, Sesame Seeds, Soybeans, Soymilk (Calcium-Fortified), Spaghetti, Spinach, Squash, Squash Seeds, Sunflower Seed , Sunflower Seed Butter, Swiss Chard, Triticale, Triticale, Walnuts, Wasabi, Wheat, Wheat Bran, Wheat Durum, Wheat Germ, Wild Rice, Winged Beans, Yardlong Beans, Yellow Bean

Potassium

RDA: 50 mg

Benefits:

Required for normal levels of brain neurotransmitters; known as “the alkalizer,” potassium works with sodium; potassium flushes waste from cells and balances body fluids

Deficiency Signs:

Weakness, loss of appetite; nausea, irrational thinking, confusion

Sources:

2% Milk, Adzuki Beans, Amaranth Leaves, Apricot, Artichoke, Bamboo Shoots, Banana, Beet Greens, Blackbeans, Blackberry Juice, Breadfruit, Breadnut Tree Seeds, Brussel Sprouts, Cantaloupe, Carrot Juice, Cashews, Coconut Water, Cottage Cheese, Cranberry Beans, Dates, Durian, Grape Juice, Great Northern Beans, Kidney Beans, Lean Beef, Lentils, Lima Beans, Lotus Seeds, Navy Beans, Orange Juice, Oranges, Palm Hearts, Papaya, Passion-Fruit, Passion-Fruit Juice, Peach, Plantain, Pomegranate, Portobella, Potatoes, Prune Juice, Pumpkin Seeds, Quinoa, Raisins, Salmon, Sesame Seeds, Soybeans, Spelt, Spinach, Spinach, Squash, Sundried Tomatoes, Sunflower Seeds, Sweet Potato, Swiss Chard, Tangerine Juice, Tomato Juice, Turkey (Esp. Dark Meat), Wasabi, Water Chestnuts, Whole Grains, Yam, Yogurt

Zinc

RDA: 10 mg

Benefits:

Required in virtually every enzyme reaction in the brain; aids in the manufacture of RNA, DNA, and protein; helps provide energy from glucose and protein

Deficiency Signs:

White spots on fingernails, lack of energy, visual problems, slow healing, blood sugar problems, poor appetite, anorexia, fatigue, confusion

Sources:

Adzuki Beans, Amaranth, Baked Beans, Beef, Calf Liver, Cashew Butter, Cashews, Hominy, Hyacinth Beans, Lamb, Millet, Miso, Napa Cabbage, Oats, Pecans, Pine Nuts, Pumpkin Seeds, Rice Bran, Rye, Rye Flour, Safflower Seeds, Scallops, Sesame Seeds, Squash Seeds, Sunflower Seeds, Triticale, Turkey, Venison, Watermelon Seeds, Wheat, Wheat Germ, Wild Rice, Yogurt

Chromium

RDA: 100 mg

Benefits:

Essential for glucose metabolism (the human brain is almost totally dependent on glucose for its fuel); permits insulin to cross cell membranes; increases HDL, suppresses hunger symptoms; and helps prevent diabetes

Deficiency Signs:

Poor concentration, impaired short-term memory, mood fluctuation, general feelings of tiredness

Sources:

Apples, Asparagus, Bananas, Beef, Black Pepper, Brewer’s Yeast, Broccoli, Cereals, Cheese, Grape Juice, Green Beans, Mushrooms, Nuts, Organ Meats, Potatoes, Prunes, Thyme, Turkey, Whole Grains

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