Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Quick Nutrition Guide for Children with #FASD


By Jodee Kulp
Our FAScinating Journey – Keys to Brain Potential Along the Path of Prenatal Brain Injury  is available at

The material following has been selected from Our FAScinating Journey to give you beginning knowledge and ideas for further research in helping children and adults with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD)


PROTEINS are the building blocks of neurotransmitters. It is essential to eat enough protein in balanced amounts with fats and carbohydrates.  The protein needs of each individual vary. Too much protein for some people can restrict ‘brain protein.’ Not enough protein will result in a protein deficit.  There are many sources of protein and protein combinations to provide adequate protein sources. Protein quality determines which proteins are the best for your body is dependent on the types and amounts of amino acids that the protein contains and how well your body can digest the protein, or the protein’s digestibility. Proteins eaten alone on an empty stomach can pick up dopamine and acetylcholin nuerotransmitters.

Best protein resources
Fresh cold-water fish, low fat cottage cheese, free-range and drug free poultry, eggs, hard cheeses, low fat low lactose yogurt, beans, seeds, nuts, and some fruits and vegetables. (organic and grass fed lean red meat contain rich sources of minerals, protein and B-group vitamins and though costly you may decide is worth the extra money). You do not need to eat animal products to get all the protein you need in your diet. Fruits and vegetables with highest protein values include: asparagus, aubergine, brussels sprouts, broccoli, beetroot, spring onion, mushroom, okra, spinach, sweet corn, tomatoes, yams, dried apricots, raisins, avocados, dates (search vegan diet protein sources.)


CARBOHYDRATES are made from carbon dioxide and water by green plants in the sunlight. Sugars, starches and fibers are the most common carbohy-drates. They enhance neurotransmitters. Most people think of carbohydrates as grains and high starch vegetables like potatoes.Carbohydrates also include lower starch (3%)vegetables like asparagus or fruit like strawberries or higher starch (20%+) vegetables beans, corn, yams and potatoes or fruit like bananas, figs and prunes. Lower starch fruits and vegetables release glucose (sugar) slowly into the bloodstream, as do whole grains and legumes. Potatoes and rice release glucose quickly causing power surges in some people and then a let down. If glucose levels fluctuate, mental confusion and dizziness may occur.

3% Slowest releasing vegetables
asparagus, bean sprouts, beet greens, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, chard, cucumber, endive, lettuce, mustard greens, radishes, spinach and watercress.

3% Slowest releasing fruits
cantaloupe, rhubarb, strawberries, watermelon, melons and tomatoes.

beans (string), beets, brussels sprouts, chives, collards, dandelion greens, eggplant, kale, kohlrabi, leeks, okra, onions, parsley, peppers (red), pimento, pumpkin, rutabagas, turnips.

apricots, blackberries, cranberries, grapefruit, guava, melons, lemons, limes, oranges, papaya, peaches, plums, raspberries, tangerines, kiwis.


Enzymes are chemical catalysts that are needed to change chemicals into organs, cells and hormones. They are manufactured in the body from amino acids, plus vitamins and minerals. Without a particular enzyme, any one of thousands of chemical changes needed in the body won’t operate.  You need a balance of protein, vitamins and minerals to continue to manufacture enzymes.
            For example, take an elderly woman eating only white bread and tea for each meal or a teen eating only junkfood and sodas.  Each day they are using up protein already in the body to rebuild cells. They are not adding any protein to the diet nor getting any real vitamins and minerals. Even if they suddenly start eating steak, milk and eggs poor nutrition leads to poorer nutrition their body has stopped producing ‘protease’ the enzyme needed to break down protein, lactase the enzyme to break down lactose, phosphatase to breakdown calcium and galactase to breakdown glacactase. In other words, she can no longer digest and utilize this food with higher nutritional value.

Providing enzyme supplementation can help kick start enzyme production, but it takes time.


AMINOACIDS are the building blocks of protein. There are over 20 different amino acids found in animals and humans. The term essential amino acid refers to the amino acids that your body cannot make. Because your body cannot make these amino acids, they must be consumed in the diet, thus making them essential. There are nine essential amino acids.
ANTIOXIDANTSHelp to clean the brain. These are foods that produce healthy chemicals that clean the brain from free radicals that cause cell deterioration. They act like a rust cleaner that keeps rust off brain matter. Vitamin E and C, beta carotene, lipoic acid, coenzyme Q10, grapeseed and pinebark extract are antioxidants.

RICHESTANTIOXIDANTFOODresources Blueberries, strawberries, cooked kale, raisins, raspberries, apples, grapes, cherries, prunes, blackberries, garlic and raw spinach. Mangoes and sweet potatoes contain high levels of vitamin E and C, plus beta carotene. 
CYANIOXIDANTS—PINEBARK (pycnogenol) and GRAPESEEDHas 20 times the antioxidant activity of vitamin C and 50 times that of vitamin E. It can cross the blood-brain barrier and can stay in the blood stream for up to 72 hours. Few other antioxidants cross this barrier and none do it as well.


MULTI-VITAMINInsure your child’s vitamin and mineral intake with a high quality daily multi-vitamin. Liz takes an intensive care, easy absorbable multi. Her vitamin is designed to include high levels of B vitamins, vitamins E, C, folic acid and selenium.

Research studies now show a strong correlation between aggressive behavior in children and deficiencies in nutrients such as niacin, pantothenic acid, thiamin, vitamin B6, vitamin C, iron, magnesium and tryptophan. Before changing your child’s medications, try a daily multi-vitamin, one preferably without artificial colorings.


B VITAMINS: Essential for cognitive function, helps to improve memory and assists in brain development. Prenatal exposure, encephalitis, stroke, prolonged drinking or vitamin Bdeficiency can cause damage to the hippocampus and thalamus.The effect may be good recall of past and normal short term memories, but they are unable to recall what they had for breakfast, last hours class notes or what spelling words they had just learned. Their procedural memory seems unaffected and the person may become steadily more competent and faster at performing a task, even though they do not remember ever doing it.

B1  Thiamin Changes carbohydrates to glucose then into energy or fat and helps to provide energy to the brain, heart and central nervous system. It helps prevent nervous irritability; necessary for a good appetite.

whole grain, nuts, legumes, yeast, liver, beans, peas, soy products, fish, and pork.

B2 Riboflavin Transports hydrogen; is essential for the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins; helps keep the skin and eyes in a healthy condition.

lean meats, nuts,. liver, brewers yeast, leafy green vegetables, whole grain cereal, cheese, fish, eggs, milk

B3 Niacin Needed to convert food into energy, maintains normal functions of the skin, nerve tissue and digestive system. Can help lower LDL(bad) cholesterol. Reduces allergic reactions and supports sugar metabolism.

RICHESTVITAMINB3 resources  fortified cereals, breads and grain products, meats, fish, poultry, nuts, grain products, peanuts

B6 Pyridoxine Essential for brain function and the production of red blood cells. Aids in the immune system. Essential to protein, amino acid and carbohydrate metabolism. This is found in most foods naturally but a problem may be in the malabsorbtion.

RICHESTVITAMINB6 resources  yeast, liver, crabmeat, brown rice, meat, fish, wheat bran, germ and grains, vegetables, white and sweet potatoes, eggs, poultry, bananas

B12 Cyanocobalamin Helps to build and maintain the central nervous system. Important in the production of dopamine (energy) and serotonin (well-being). Necessary for production of red blood cells and normal growth.

clams, shellfish, meat, eggs, green vegetables, orange juice, yogurt, cheese, eggs, milk, fortified breakfast cereals.

FOLATE (FOLICACID)Necessary for the production of RNAand DNA (the building blocks of cells)and normal red blood cells. Helps to lower homo cysteine levels and prevents some birth defects. Helps relieve depression.

Fortified rice; pasta, breads, cereals, and grains, poultry, lentils and beans, green leafy vegetables, avocados, papayas.

VITAMIN C Ascorbic Acid Protects against infection, assists in healing, helps maintain strength and elasticity of blood vessels. Enhances iron absorption. It is so important to the brain that it is found in concentrations of 15 to 100 times higher than elsewhere in the body. It is one of the most active and abundant antioxidants in the body. Stress hormones deplete it, since vitamin C is needed to synthesize them. Water, heat, light, oxygen and cooking all destroy vitamin C. When cooking steam lightly. Smoking one cigarette destroys 25 mg and aspirin triples the excretion rate of vitamin C.

orange juice, rose hips, guava, kiwi, black currents, kale, parsley, red peppers, brussel sprouts,  broccoli, collards, cabbage, white and sweet potatoes, citrus fruits, tomatoes, artichokes, swiss chard, strawberries

VITAMINK Necessary for blood clotting, aids in bone formation, helps regulate levels of calcium.

Brussel sprouts, kale, broccoli, spinach, lettuce, cabbage, turnip greens


VITAMIN E Protects fatty acids in the blood stream and improves overall blood circulation including blood to the brain. It is the primary fat-soluble anti-oxidant in the brain. Heat, oxygen, freezing and chlorine destroy vitamin E.

seeds, nuts, soybeans, eggs, brown rice, oats, fresh wheat germ, peanut butter, sweet potatoes, mangoes, sunflower oil


CALCIUMnecessary for teeth and bones, where most dietary calcium is found. The rest moves in and out of cells allowing conduction of impulses between nerves and contraction of muscles. Aids in heart regulation, blood clotting, muscle contractions and relaxation. Excess calcium depresses magnesium levels.

cooked bones as in canned salmon or sardines, sesame seeds, tofu, dairy products, yogurt, turnip greens, broccoli, milk, blackstrap molasses, spinach, broccoflower.

CHOLINEresearch indicates a mother’s choline intake may influence the development of the memory center in fetal brains. Helps maintain healthy cellular structure and functions, plays role in muscle control.
Video (2012): FASD Expert -
Jennifer Thomas on Choline

Linus Pauling Institute

eggs, milk, fish, whole grains, liver, iceberg lettuce, cauliflower, peanuts

IRONis essential to the production of red blood cells. Aids in manufacturing amino acids, hormones and neurotransmitters. It strengthens the immune system. An iron deficiency in babies and children can have significant and permanent effects on brain development. Iron is a vital component for fueling our bodies, carrying oxygen to the brain and helping our newborns reach their greatest potential. Iron is deposited in the brain—it is part of the brain structure and an essential nutrient for mental development. Newborns have three times the ratio of iron in their bodies as adults.  Babies have very high iron needs, because they grow so rapidly. Infants who are iron deficient can suffer from altered behavior, reduced immunity, slower language, gross and fine motor development, and reduction in IQ. Most babies are born with enough iron stores to last four to six months. Breastfed babies rarely lack iron, not because there is a high concentrate of iron in breast milk, but because the iron in the breast milk is readily absorbable.  A USstudy of nearly 5,400 children 6 to 16 found those who were deficient in iron were more than twice as likely to score below average on standardized math tests than more well nourished peers. (Reuters Health, 2001)

NOTE:Before using iron, get a blood test. Some of the symptoms of iron deficiency are the same as iron overdose. In addition, not all iron supplements are the same. Some are dangerous. Too much iron can make you sick or KILLACHILD

Evidence is showing that children with ‘pica’— eating dirt (geophagia), lead paint, or ice (pagphagia) often show iron deficiencies. Symptoms of iron deficiency include listlessness, fatigue, memory deficits, sore tongue, reduced cognition.

RICHESTIRON resources  
organ meat, liver, red meat, poultry,  mussels, oysters, tofu, legumes such as lentils, kidney beans and chickpeas, eggs, enriched breads and pasta, nuts.

MAGNESIUMImportant for bone development and protein building; necessary for energy production, muscle relaxation and maintenance of heart health and function. Activates almost all the key enzymes needed for your neurons to create energy from glucose. Low levels of magnesium can cause the nerves to fire too easily even from mild stimuli. This can result in noises sounding too loud, lights too bright, and emotional reactions on the edge. Magnesium deficiency in children is characterized by excessive figiting, anxious restlessness, psychomotor instability and learning difficulties in the presence of a normal IQ (Magnesium in Health and Disease, Seelig, 1980). Magnesium seems to absorb better in combination with folic acid and vitamins b6 and B12.

nuts, meats, tofu, milk, beans, bananas, apricots, legumes, yogurt, whole grains, leafy green vegetables, avocados, brown rice, carrots, citrus fruits.

SELENIUMActs as an antioxidant to help protect cells from damaging free radicals. It works in synergy with vitamin E to protect polyunsaturated fats from becoming oxidized. It is necessary for thyroid function. Helps with moods. It is a detoxifier of heavy metals that damage the brain. It binds mercury, lead, arsenic and cadmium which disrupt brain chemistry. 

RICHESTSELENIUM resources  Grains, garlic, meats, seafood, tuna, soybeans, molasses, cashew nuts, brazil nuts, breads, oatmeal, soynuts, pasta, poultry, shellfish, sunflower seeds, cabbage, celery, mushrooms, onions

ZINCis a component of every living cell in the body. It is essential for the structure and function of over 50 enzymes. Is needed to maintain proper levels of vitamin E in the blood. It is important for growth, sperm production, night vision, appetite, sense of taste and smell, immune system functioning and wound healing.  Zinc deficiency may make children irritable, tearful, sullen and have gaze aversion (Moyhahan, Zinc Deficiency and Disturbances of Mood and Behavior. Lancet, 1:91, 1976) Chineses studies with school children show improved performance in memory, reasoning, perception and eye-hand coordination with additional zinc intake. Beef and lamb have a high zinc content especially in kidneys and liver meats. 
RICHESTZINC resources  
oysters, seafood, red meats, poultry, nuts, whole grain breads and cereals, tofu, eggs, milk.


No comments: