For teens, the right nutrition can mean the difference between thriving and struggling as they transition into adulthood. Balanced nutrition and a healthy diet can have a profound effect on their sense of mental and emotional wellbeing, at a time in their lives when so much is in flux.
Well rounded nutrition can help prevent conditions like anxiety, depression, ADHD, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. However, getting enough healthy foods into your teens can be easier said than done! Even if you are being successful, our industrialized farming practices and the depleted nutrient content in soil can leave fruits and vegetables with fewer nutrients than our grandparents enjoyed growing up.
Supplementation can help, especially at a time in our kids’ lives when there is significant physical, mental, emotional, and social growth.
There are four key areas of supplementation we believe are crucial to health. They are vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and omega fats. Think of each of them as a leg on a four-legged stool. If you take one away, the stool can no longer function.
Vitamins and minerals
Vitamin and mineral deficiencies can contribute to mental health problems and hamper healthy development. We need these nutrients to act as cofactors and coenzymes for the many chemical reactions that keep out bodies going.
A broad spectrum micronutrient supplement like Truehope EMP is a great addition for teens. It’s a powerful supplement that will ensure they’re getting everything they need, and is even more effective when combined with nutrition changes that support mental health.
Truehope EMP has been studied in children and adolescents to be effective in helping to manage mood, bipolar disorder, psychosis, self harm behaviour, and aggression. It also supports general behaviour.
In addition to Truehope EMP, we recommend further supplementing with Vitamin D, a nutrient that about two thirds of Canadians are deficient in. There is a strong association between vitamin D deficiency and depression. Adequate vitamin D levels also play a vital role in the growth, maintenance, and repair of bones, immune function, and neurological health, and reduces the risk of certain cancers, diabetes and heart disease.
Many of the amino acids transported into the brain are precursors to neurotransmitters, the chemical messengers that affect mood, motivation, motor function, fight or flight responses, and the immune system. Neurotransmitters work together in a delicate balance, and when they fall out of equilibrium, they can negatively affect how your brain functions and how you behave.
Truehope Freeminos is a free-form amino acid supplement, meaning the protein doesn’t need to be digested before it can enter the body and the ingredients are easily absorbed. Because it’s so bio-available, it nourishes your body and brain quickly. Freeminos not only contains all the required amino acids, but also the nutrients needed for your body to use the amino acids.
Omega fatty acids
Every single cell in your body requires fats to function properly, and the brain is 60% fat! Consuming the right kinds of fats makes a big difference to your mental health. The omega 3 fatty acids docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) are the two most important to supplement with.
EPA and DHA are easily found in oily fish. However, picky eaters and hectic schedules can get in the way of teens being able to get enough in their diet. We recommend supplementing with fish oil (or algae oil for vegetarians and vegans) as these fats are key to normal childhood development, and can improve your teens behaviour, cognition, and brain development.
Ask the nutritionist in your local health food store to recommend a quality brand that is third party tested for purity.
Omega 6 is found in abundance in our diets and rarely needs to be supplemented. Likewise omega 9 (monounsaturated fats) are found readily in olives and avocados and their respective oils.
We want to provide nothing but the highest quality information and advice for our followers to improve their health, which is why at Truehope Canada, we're happy to say our writer is a Certified Life Coach and Registered Holistic Nutritionist.