Vitamin Shoppe Review

Best Supplements & Vitamins For Kids with ADHD

By: September 30, 2014 Filed Under: Healthy Kids
Kids with ADHD

// Top Vitamins For Kids with ADHD

The diagnosis for children having ADHD seems to be growing prevalent with each passing year. While this particular diagnosis has been on the upswing, so too has the notion of using alternative and complementary medicines as a means to combat various illnesses and ailments.  As such, it only seemed inevitable that the concept of using vitamins and supplements to potentially treat ADHD would occur.  And as these paths have crossed, some studies have shown evidence that certain supplements can be conceivably linked to subduing the symptoms of ADHD

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Best Supplements & Vitamins To Improve Child’s Memory

By: September 28, 2014 Filed Under: Healthy Kids
vitamins supplements To Improve Child's Memory

The building and retention of memory is one of the more important developmental aspects of a child’s life.  However, this can sometimes be a challenge.  While some of these challenges have been linked to conditions such as ADHD, other challenges can be linked towards a lack of nutrients.  Studies have indicated that a child that suffers a nutrient deficiency will also experience a negative impact in brain function.  These functional deficiencies can in turn have a negative impact on a child’s ability to retain information.

Of course, there is a silver lining to this study.  It has been shown that reversing these nutrient deficiencies can work to improve a child’s memory and focus.  This gap can be made up through various vitamins and supplements that have been shown through various studies to boost brain development and overall functionality when it comes to learning, focus, and memory.

All About the B

Studies show that B vitamins can play a huge role in the proper brain development of a child, and that supplementing the system with the vitamins can lead to improved memory retention.  Some of the vitamins that belong to the B family include:

Thiamin (B1)

Riboflavin (B2)

Niacin (B3)

Folic acid (B9)

Various cobalamins (B12)

It can be important to take care of deficiencies associated with B vitamins immediately, just because of some of the things that may happen to the brain over a long period of time.  It has been shown that a folic acid deficiency that is detected during childhood can negatively impact brain functionality well into adulthood.  It has also been shown that a lack of riboflavin can lead to brain dysfunction.  Further studies have indicated that thiamine deficiency can lead to a harmful numbing effect on brain nerves.  And studies have indicated that a deficiency in B-12 can suffer delayed development and brain deterioration.

Fortunately, there are a lot of great natural resources for children to take in B vitamins.  Some of these resources include leafy greens, fruits, dairy products, and meat.

Iron and Intellect

Studies have also indicated that having a sufficient amount of iron in the system is a key component to proper cognitive function and proper brain development.  Studies have indicated that iron deficiencies have been shown to lead directly to lower IQ, poor thinking ability, and poor problem-solving abilities in children.  What’s more, this iron deficiency does not have to reach levels commonly associated with anemia in order to negatively impact memory and thinking skill.  

Much like the family of B vitamins, there are a lot of iron-rich sources that children suffering from iron deficiencies can take in order to boost their iron levels and, by extension, their brain capacity and function.  Some of these foods include meat, seafood, leafy greens, nuts, legumes, and iron-fortified foods like bread, pasta, and cereal.

Fish and Fatty Acids for Focus

One of the substances that frequently get associated with brain power is omega-3 fatty acids.  The reason that they work so well is because it is a healthy type of fat that is required in the membrane of brain cells.  Unlike some of the substances that bodies can naturally produce as a means to attain a certain level of homeostasis, omega-3 fatty acids are not something that the body can naturally synthesize.  As such, it must be added into a children’s diet.  Even if it is not something that is organically produced by the body, it is very important to incorporate omega-3 fatty acids into a child’s diet.  Studies show that a deficiency in the substance can negatively impact their ability to focus.  On the other hand, these studies also indicate that the use of omega-3 supplements can be beneficial to children that have attention-deficit disorder who are not seeing positive results from medication.

Some of the foods that have been shown to be rich in omega-3 fatty acids include oily fish, mussels, scallops, walnuts, soybeans, and flaxseeds.  Fish oil and flaxseed oil are also excellent sources of omega 3 fatty acids.

Be Careful

Any kind of vitamin supplement that is given to a child should only be done so in the care of and the aid of strict medical supervision.  Because of issues that could arise from interactions with other medications or taking an excess amount of supplements, it is imperative that one checks with a doctor or a nutritionist to ensure that the child would be clear of any negative issues that may be unforeseen by a non-medical professional.  Additionally, it is important that if a supplement is introduced as a means to improve brain functionality, the intake of foods that are fortified with vitamins such as bread or cereal must be closely monitored in order make sure the intake of vitamins to improve a child’s memory and brainpower remain in relative balance.  As with everything in life, it is better to be safe than sorry.

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Top Ten Activities for Fit Families

By: September 23, 2014 Filed Under: Healthy Kids
Family activities

The family that plays together stays together.  This is true from an exercise and fitness standpoint, since parents that instill an active and healthy lifestyle in their kids will go a long way into helping them become active, healthy adults.  And since a healthy lifestyle lessens the chances of developing heart disease and other ailments that threaten to cut a lifespan short, an active family stands a better chance of enjoying each other’s company for a longer period of time.

This notion looks good on paper, of course.  However, some families may feel that the persistence of time and the pressures of the real world make it too difficult of a task to stay fit as a family.  Yet the reality is that sneaking fitness-based activities into the daily routine is not as tough as one may think.  As the following top ten list demonstrates, it just takes some smart planning.  Realizing that the exercise can double as quality family time can help grease the wheel a bit, too.

1.  Take a post-dinner stroll

There is no better way to work off the calories that your family just ate than to take a brisk walk around the neighborhood after the last bite has been enjoyed.  It can be the perfect way to continue conversations that may have started at the dinner table.  It is also a great way for kids with early bedtimes to work out some of the excess energy that may otherwise make bedtime a chore.

2.  Turn commercials into fitness breaks

Watching television is going to happen in most households, especially amongst kids.  Instead of battling with children to turn the TV off, use its commercial breaks to your advantage by designating those gaps as spots to do a quick round of simple exercises like sit-ups or squats.

3. Walk the dog as a family

Of course, this activity requires that a family has a dog.  But if your family does have a Fido, it can be a wonderful incentive to get you and your kids out of the house.  To most children, taking the dog for a walk won’t feel like exercise.  Instead, it will feel like quality time with the pet that they love.

4.  Tend to your garden as a group

Gardening can be considered a sneaky exercise.  It doesn’t feel like a workout, even though you tend to sweat like you just had a workout.  As such, it can be a good idea to have your kids help you tend your garden so everyone can experience this stealth exercise together.  Considering how much kids love playing in the dirt, they probably won’t mind helping you out.

5.  Yard work

If you don’t have a garden to tend to, or if you have a big enough backyard  to where cleaning it up is essential for its health, then putting together a group outing to do some yard work could be right up your alley.  However, in order to make this work properly (that is, so it doesn’t feel like work), try to incorporate games with the work, such as making leaf piles for the kids to jump into.

6. A time to dance

Turn off the TV, crank up the CDs or music streaming system of your choice, and boogie down as a family.  The kids will love goofing around and bopping along to whatever tunes come up, and you’ll be able to stay limber and active without the embarrassment that may come with being on a public dance floor.

7. Make household chores a game

Chores are inevitable for everyone, so why not try to have a little active fun with them?  With a little imagination, dust balls can turn into space aliens and kids can turn into defenders of earth.  Or separating laundry could turn into a game of throwing accuracy as you create color-coordinated piles by tossing around garments.  The possibilities here are endless.

8.  Improvise workouts

If you find yourself in a situation where a little active action can be incorporated into it, then by all means do so.  A great example of this involves parking.  Instead of looking for the closest parking spot to the mall entrance, park as far away from the entrance as possible and do some walking.

9.  Have a weekly sports activity

Designate one night a week where you and the family play a sport-related activity instead of watching one.  This doesn’t have to be anything too elaborate.  You can make it as simple as tossing a football around for a few minutes.  The important thing here is that you’re moving around.

10.  Participate in a charity walk or run

One of the easiest things you can do is to find a local charity walk or run and participate as a family unit.  Most 5ks and 10ks have less strenuous “fun runs” for children, so there’s usually something for everyone.  Just as important, these events teach kids the importance of community and giving back to others.

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Top 10 Prenatal Vitamins for Hair Growth

By: September 23, 2014 Filed Under: Prenatal Vitamins
Top 10 Prenatal Vitamins for Hair Growth

For some people, growing a long, luxurious head of hair is a symbol of beauty.  It can also be quite the achievement, as some people may struggle with the speed at which their hair grows out.  However, a slow-growing head of hair may simply be a sign of a person not getting enough of the nutrients that are needed in order to properly stimulate hair growth.

For this reason, people are turning toward prenatal vitamins as a means to stimulate hair growth.  Prenatal vitamins are not a cure-all that will magically cure stagnant or slow hair growth, but it does supply a supplemental amount of the vitamins that are essential for the speed of the hair growing process.  It’s a somewhat subtle distinction, but it’s a distinction that is important to make.  

And there are plenty of prenatal vitamins to choose from in order to help out with hair growth.  Here are the best of the bunch.

1. Vitamin C

Everyone knows that this vitamin that is abundant in citrus fruit is great to build up the immune system.  But it also has been known to be responsible for maintaining healthy hair, which is why lots of hair care items have found ways to incorporate its goodness into their products.

2. Vitamin B

There are a whole lot of vitamins that fall under the vitamin B family.  There’s niacin, riboflavin, and thiamin, just to name a few.  As such, it’s wise to incorporate as many of them into your diet as you possibly can.  Not only will these vitamins help regulate hair growth, they will also perform other important functions, such as provide you with sufficient energy and strength.

3. Niacin

Even though niacin does fall under the B vitamin umbrella, it’s particularly worth singling out because sufficient amounts of the vitamin help to nourish the scalp, which in turn promotes healthy hair growth.  Hair may become brittle and lifeless if you develop a niacin deficiency, which in a lot of cases might be worse than a head of hair that grows at a sluggish pace.  The good news here is if you have a niacin deficiency, correcting things is not that tough to do.

4. Vitamin A

This vitamin is particularly well known for being a mighty antioxidant, which makes it valuable enough with our without its benefits that tie to hair growth regulation.  Yet it should be noted that it is possible to get too much of this vitamin, as an excess of it may be counterproductive to regulating hair growth speed.

5. Iron

Iron is not technically a vitamin, but it is still an important part of regulating hair growth because of its ability to regulate the flow of oxygen throughout the body.  While consuming red meat is the best way to receive iron, there are plenty of other foods that contain iron for non-red meat eaters to enjoy, such as green, leafy vegetables and beans.

6. Magnesium

This is another mineral that deserves a mention because it plays a vital role in regulating vital processes that relate to bones and the bloodstream as well as hair growth.  Unlike its fellow mineral iron, a deficiency in magnesium may be difficult to detect until chronic conditions that are linked to a lack of the substance start cropping up.  As such, it’s important to make sure you stay on top of the amount in your body.

7. Vitamin E

Much like vitamin A, vitamin E gets overshadowed by vitamins, B, C, and D.  However, that doesn’t mean that it isn’t important.  From a hair standpoint, a sufficient amount of vitamin E will keep your hair and your scalp healthy, which will naturally encourage the growth of hair at an agreeable clip.

8. Biotin

This is another B vitamin that deserves its own shout-out because it is important to hair growth regulation, but it is a difficult vitamin to maintain.  The vitamin is water-soluble, meaning that your body cannot retain it.  Because of this, it is important that you get enough of the vitamin every day in order to maximize its regulatory goodness.

9. Vitamin D

Vitamin D is an essential vitamin for healthy bone growth as well as healthy follicle growth, so it is critical that you get a sufficient amount.  Fortunately, this is one vitamin where you don’t necessarily have to eat anything to receive it.  The body naturally synthesizes the vitamin during exposure to the sun, so just make sure you get out of the house or office every once in a while.

10. Zinc

A low zinc level in your body could translate directly into lackluster hair growth.  And while most normal diets make it easy to keep regulatory zinc levels within the body, some people may have difficulty absorbing the vitamin once it’s ingested.  If you are one of these people, you may want to look into getting a zinc supplement or a zinc-infused hair product.

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Top 10 Prenatal Vitamins Before Pregnancy

By: September 23, 2014 Filed Under: Prenatal Vitamins
Top 10 Prenatal Vitamins Before Pregnancy

Prenatal vitamins are an essential part of a woman’s pregnancy.  Taking the right kind of vitamin will go a long way into making sure you are getting the right amount of nutrients inside you in order to ensure the proper growth and development of your baby.  And just as important, these types of vitamins will make sure that your own body retains the proper amount of vitamins and minerals in order to carry out the proper level of homeostasis.  Remember, you are not only eating for two, you are providing body regulating substances for two.

If you are new to world of prenatal vitamins, you may be intimidated by the sheer amount of choices that are available for you.  What follows is a primer on ten of the better options that are available to those who are pregnant or are thinking about trying to get pregnant in the near future.

1. New Chapter Organics Perfect Prenatal Vitamin

This particular prenatal vitamin gets high marks because is made from 100% organic vegetables and natural herbs.  It also has a sterling reputation for being able to improve energy levels while at the same time controlling the scourge of morning sickness and nausea.  The one downside of these vitamins is that they tend to be a little on the pricey side.

2. Maxi Pre-Natal from Country Life

The ingredients contained in this prenatal vitamin are also 100% organic.  They are also listed as vegan-friendly.  They contain every vitamin that is typically recommended for women who are pregnant and women who are lactating.  Among these vitamins are DHA:  an omega-3 fatty acid that plays a key role of support with vision, the brain, and the central nervous system.  This is important to note, as many prenatal vitamins do not contain this vitamin.

3. Prenatal One Multivitamin from Rainbow Light

This prenatal vitamin is particularly noteworthy because it is considered to be a cost-effective option that gets the job done for mothers-to-be on a budget.  The organic whole-foods vitamin contains probiotcs and ginger extract to help your body absorb nutrients and ward off upset stomachs.  As an added bonus, the company behind this multivitamin is partnered with an international organization that aims to conquer malnutrition from around the world.

4.  Gummy Prenatals from Vita Fusion

If you don’t like dealing with having to swallow pills, these gummies provide a great alternative.  This is especially the case since the vitamins are known for tasting good.  And even though they are in gummy form, they do have the reputation for being packed with all the necessary nutrients that you need for you and your child.

5. Nature Made Prenatal Multivitamin

Nature Made is one of the more trusted brands in the multivitamin game to begin with, so it’s no surprise that there is a great deal of reverence for its prenatal multivitamin.  This appreciation is bolstered by the fact that it contains the important omega-3 fatty acid DHA.  The fact that it’s considered one of the more affordable options on the market doesn’t hurt, either.

6. Pre-Natal Cure Multivitamins from TwinLab

This 100% organic whole foods product is noteworthy because it provides gestating mothers 100% of the daily folic acid that is needed.  This is important to note because folic acid plays a hugely important role in proper fetal development during the first trimester.  It should also be noted that the vitamin is allergen-free.

7.  Vitamin Code Raw Prenatal from Garden of Life

This prenatal vitamin is 100% organic, vegetarian, dairy free, and gluten free.  It also contains 800 micrograms of folic acid and is loaded with probiotics to build up and maintain the immune system in both the mother and the child.  It is also a great vitamin to take during lactation because its vitamins and minerals will pass through breast milk just like other natural nutrients.

8.  Prenatal Multivitamins from Spring Valley

These prenatal vitamins are very affordable, easy to swallow, tasteless, and odorless.  They also have a good reputation for being quite gentle on stomachs that are sensitive.  This gentleness could conceivably aid in the prevention of morning sickness.

9. Women’s Prenatal from One a Day

As the name suggests, this prenatal vitamin just needs to be taken once a day to provide you with all of the necessary nutrients.  One of those nutrients does include the omega-3 fatty acid DHA, which is something that some of the other leading brands don’t offer.  It is also a versatile product, as it comes in both tablet and gel capsule form.

10. Spring Valley Prenatal Multivitamin

There are two versions of this particular prenatal vitamin.  One version comes with DHA, and one comes without DHA and is designed for women that are allergic to fish.  Both versions are gluten-free, dairy-free, have a great reputation for being packed with iron and calcium, and are generally considered to be one of the more affordable options on the market.

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