The Vitamin Debate

In an ideal world, our children would be getting their vitamins directly from the diet they eat. It is possible to provide a balanced diet so rich in essential vitamins and minerals that no supplement is required. However, there are not many children who would actually eat everything you needed them to in order to get all the nutrition they need.

As a working mom, I regrettably fall foul to the pressures of too much to do and head for the instant Mac n’ Cheese or frozen chicken nuggets. While it goes against every bone in my body, I know I have to cut myself some slack and feel good that at least I read the labels and bought the healthiest instant food I could find…organic if possible…and I let it go: I need to stay sane! Continue reading

A Better Me: Vitamins

A Better Me:  Vitamins and Supplements 

Apparently, I needs to look more closely at my diet and the things I put into my body. Read here if you want the background on this project of mine.   If I look at what I give my boys, I can see how lax I am when I compare what I give them to what I give myself!  I am rebuilding a young child recovering from chemo…hence the large range of supplements…but my doctor advised me that my other son would benefit just as much, so now he gets them all too.

My boys have most of their boiled food cooked with seaweed.  This food is low in Saturated Fat, and very low in Cholesterol. It is also a good source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Niacin, and a very good source of Riboflavin, Folate, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Copper and Manganese. Seaweed is very high in Sodium, so I don’t add any salt to my cooking.
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The boys also take Omega 3, Vitamin D, and Calcium.  This is due to my son having brittle bones from the chemo but both boys benefit as my eldest son actually showed low vitamin D at his last physical.  Peanut has also been on multivitamins, Button could not take them as Folic Acid interferes with one of the chemo meds, but now he’s back on them having kicked cancer’s butt!   Overkill!  I hear you say?  Nah…my kids are fussy and I know they don’t always get the vitamins through their food, no matter how much I spend on the best organic stuff.  Besides, I am rebuilding Button…he’ll be bionic soon 🙂

Here are the vitamins and supplements I have discovered I am in need of:

B vitamins

Vitamin B helps the brain to make enzymes which speed up chemical reactions in our body.  When we are stressed, we produce less of these enzymes and this can impair cognitive ability. Aha!  That explains a lot!   I have often read about how vitamin B can reduce stress so  I’ll be taking lots from now on.

Nature’s Providers: Dairy, meat and fish. jacket potatoes, walnuts, avocados

Products: B6 – Special K, Ovaltine with milk, canned tuna,

B12 – Bovril, sardines in oil, parmesan cheese, cornflakes with milk,


Magnesium tackles stress by regulating the levels of the stress hormone, cortisol. Gimme some of that!   It is a natural tranquilizer (not the put you to sleep kind) and has a calming effect – sign me up!

Where to find it:  whole grain foods, bran, dried fruit, mushrooms, nuts.  Supplement are easily available.

It is better to avoid dairy products or calcium-rich foods when taking magnesium-rich foods.  Plan meals accordingly or, if like me, that might be too much when getting started, take a supplement until you get the hang if it all.  The food source is the best,  but a supplement is a good alternative, especially if it relieves you of some stress 😉


Omega 3

I also take Omega 3 supplements for my heart (I have a slight murmur) but they are also very good for the joints.  Apparently these rather large capsules also help with brain function….hmmm…not seeing that happen yet!  It also fights inflammation.  If, like me, you suffer from sinus issues, this might help.  It is also very good for the skin, eyes and overall wellbeing.  Imagine your body is a Ferrari and in need of some high quality oil!!!   Corny…sorry!

Natures’s Providers:  Fish!!!! Duh!   I prefer tuna, cod and mackerel, but will force some salmon into me if I have to.


Calcium and Vitamin D

Next comes the calcium…I’m on the wrong side of 21..ahem…and it is time to boost those bones with a good dose of calcium to keep them strong…or get them feeling strong again!  To help the calcium along during the bleak winter months, I am also going to be taking vitamin D.  This mood lifter 🙂 is just like the foundations of your house in terms of supporting the work the calcium has to do for your body.

Natures’s Providers:  calcium:  milk, yoghurt, cheese, leafy green vegetables, oranges, tofu, peanuts, peas, black beans, baked beans, sesame seeds, corn tortillas, almonds

Vitamin D: Pure Cod liver oil,  (Note: most refined cod liver oils today have the vitamin D removed! To be sure, check your label), salmon,  Mackerel, tuna, fortified milk, fortified margarine,  cereals, liver, beef, swiss cheese

And so I begin my daily dosing and cooking to get these essential nutrients into my exhausted body.  I’m too tired to even contemplate all of this, let alone cook it all.  Hang on…I already do it for Peanut and Button…must remember my new mantra…Healthy Mom, Happy Family!