Micronutrient Deficiency: A Persistent Fight against ‘Hidden Hunger’

You must have read several quotes related to healthy food and lifestyle habits, like ‘you are what you eat’, or ‘health is wealth’, and others. How many times have you just read these quotes without realizing their importance? Healthy eating is considered as the prime source of a good physical growth and mental development, especially in the early developmental stages of life.

A newborn baby is the most susceptible to miss out on the essential nutrients, if the mother is not aware of the right vitamins and minerals to include in the infant’s daily diet. Micronutrients are one of these important nutrients that play one of the most crucial role in a toddler’s proper growth – an aspect which is usually ignored.

So, What Necessarily are Micronutrients?

Micronutrients consist of essential vitamins and minerals like, Iodine, Vitamin A, Iron, Zinc, Vitamin D, Vitamin C, Calcium, Potassium, and Vitamin B. There are different levels of importance and need for each of these micronutrients. Iodine, iron, zinc and vitamin A are considered more important than others during the time of pregnancy.[1]

Micronutrients for Healthy Cognitive Growth

Healthy growth of a new born is not only determined through the absence of any visible physical illness but also, with proper development of motor functions, and brain development (proper neurological and psychological aspects) have a huge role to play.

To assure the healthy growth of an infant along with high immunity for chronic diseases, the diet of your child must be enriched with these micronutrients.

Several studies have established the fact that a child’s cognitive development is also closely related to nutrition. As the brain development is faster compared to the other functions of the body, it is more vulnerable to the micronutrient deficiencies. [2]

The brain along with cognitive abilities develop the fastest in the first 1000 days of a new born baby. Therefore, new born babies need micronutrients the most during this phase of life. Mothers are advised to include foods rich with micronutrients to support cognitive development of the baby. Foods like banana, yogurt, spinach, egg yolks, fish and potatoes are the most natural sources of micronutrients. Apart from these, supplements like Ceregrow can also be considered as a good source for essential micronutrients in your new born baby’s diet.

Spread the Awareness

A healthy diet is a mixture of all the vitamins and minerals required by the body in the right proportions to ensure proper physical and cognitive development of a baby. Making parents aware about the importance of these micronutrients can help in avoiding the cases of micronutrient deficiencies also known as ‘hidden hunger, caused by the a of the micronutrients in the daily diet of infants.

[1] http://www.who.int/elena/titles/micronutrients_pregnancy/en/

[2] https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnhum.2013.00097/full

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