Monday, December 13, 2010

Children & Cardiovascular Disease

If someone asked me what the most time consuming part of motherhood was, I would say food preparation.  Hands down, I spend most of the time shopping for food, preparing the food, getting my children to eat the food and then cleaning up the food.  My mother did the same thing and I always enjoyed family meals (I still do).  In Ayurveda, food preparation is also considered a huge responsibility.  The food needs to be prepared by a happy, settled cook and the food should be fresh and nourishing.  Digested food is the main source of the body. 

Maybe that is one of the things that really attracted me to Ayurveda.  I feel like the health of my children, my husband and myself are closely linked to the type of food we eat.  With childhood and adult obesity rampant in this country, the current and common food consumption needs some evaluation.  These overweight children and adults have a tremendous potential for a heart disease epidemic.  The medical establishment is concerned.  Early prevention is the best defense against cardiovascular disease and the term early is being used for childhood risk assessment. 

One study found that daily consumption of fruits and vegetables in childhood and adulthood resulted in arteries that had more elasticity, which is a sign of a healthy heart that is not overworked.  Another study found that if children around the ages of 8 to 10 had normal risk factors associated with poor heart health, then the child would have these risk factors into adulthood increasing the likelihood of cardiovascular disease.  The risk factors include excess weight, high cholesterol, inadequate exercise and high blood pressure.

I do not write this from a soap box but rather from the belief that most parents want their children to have better than they had.  Why isn't health considered one of the better things to pass on?  My grandmother used to say, "if you have your health, you have everything."  It is true - ask anyone with chronic disease or pain.  Aging begins the minute someone is born.  Good food, exercise and a joyful attitude is a valuable gift to give your child.

Stay healthy & well,

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