I know what you may be thinking… “what the heck do frequent colds have to do with brain function?”
Good question. And, since it is the season for frequent colds and back to school, we really must address this correlation if we want unstoppable brainiacs.
We have kind of accepted the fact that children get colds, lots of congestion... Snot. Period. It is not just the fact that the kids are in school and are around germs all day. Sure, that may explain the exposure, but it does not explain why your child can not easily fight off the cold virus and be back to awesome in no time flat. The idea that it takes 7-10 days for the immune system to fight the cold virus is true, if you have a weakened immune system.
It is obvious that colds are an important clue pointing to something not being awesome in the body.
And, having frequent colds and congestion means that your child’s immune system IS weakened. Having this suboptimal immune system is often due to your child eating foods to which he or she is sensitive, or that their gut flora is out of whack. The likely reason is both.
If the gut flora is not optimal, the brain is unable to properly protect itself against toxic invaders according to David Permutter M.D in his excellent book Brain Maker. In fact, Dr. Perlmutter dedicates an entire chapter to the link between the brain and the gut flora. A fascinating revelation.
If your child is eating foods to which he is sensitive, or his gut flora is out of balance, he will inevitably have inflammation, which leads to a loss of gut integrity. Loss of gut integrity (leaky gut) leads to mineral and vitamin deficiency as fewer are able to be absorbed, which in turn leads to the reduction of the raw materials necessary to make neurotransmitters, enzymes, proteins, and for cells and neurons to function properly. Imagine a car that was given the poorest quality of gas. That car may run for a while, but beneath the surface, the car would not be functioning as intended. Over time, the car would have “car troubles”. Prematurely, the car would be headed for total failure. This is similar to what happens to us if the raw materials are not provided, or blocked by inflammation. If you feed your child gluten and they are sensitive to gluten (highly likely), they are going to have chronic inflammation and suboptimal functioning. You, or your child may not detect the chronic inflammation because the symptoms are just expected for that of a child. These include frequent colds and congestion. It also includes inability to focus, lack of self control, increase in risk taking activities, more reactive to negativity, heightened anxiety, increase in depression, just to name a few. Is this what we are subjecting our children to when we give them a taste-pleasing chewy bun? Or candy? I completely understand the desire to give your children foods which they crave and like over healthy perhaps less satisfying foods. I am tempted on a regular basis when invited to parties or we go out for dinner.
My children are worth saying no to harmful foods.
It is hard.
I have to constantly ask myself if the short duration thrill to allow the children to eat unhealthy is worth the long term health and mental repercussions. Sometimes I say yes, and it is exciting. I just make sure to say no most of the time. According to Dr. Keith Scott Mumby in his book Diet Wise,
It is more important to NOT eat the things you shouldn't
Than to eat the things you should.
Harmful foods on a regular basis is problematic. It may very well be the root cause to many health and mental issues including the inability to stay focused and on task.
If your child has frequent colds, find out the root cause so that they may be…