October is National Bullying Prevention Month
Bullying is an issue that affects children and adults of all ages and in all communities.
Approximately one out of four girls and one out of five boys will be physically or cyber-bullied, according to the Digest of Education Statistics.
Throughout the month of October, parents, teachers, students and naturopathic doctors come together to end bullying.
Naturopathic doctors help prevent bullying with alternative health solutions that keep children stable and happy.
Nutrition has a significant effect on a child’s emotional and behavioral health. A lack of food can cause just as many problems as eating the wrong foods. This is sometimes even more noticeable in children – and that’s why it’s so important that they have balanced nutrition, including good protein and fat sources throughout the day. A study in Appetite in 2015 showed a strong link between bullying and children who skipped breakfast.
Poor nutritional habits can cause hormonal and blood sugar fluctuations, which can impact temperament. While bullying is a complex problem with many environmental influences, NDs recognize the important role of food on mood and that this can be one part to solving the puzzle. Many adults have experienced being ‘hangry’ – hungry-angry – and know the mental/emotional changes that can happen if we skip a meal or binge on sugar and get the subsequent blood sugar drop.
Executive Director, AANMC
"Neurotransmitters like serotonin are directly tied to mood and emotion and impacted by the foods we eat, as well as our blood sugar levels. As blood sugar levels decline, we can also see changes in behavior, including irritability, depression, and poor decision making."
Dr. LoGiudice suggests families consider these types of diets to moderate mood and temperament:
- Small frequent meals where the meal itself is based around a good protein like chicken, meat, fish, or eggs.
- Following a Mediterranean diet. Many studies have been done on this diet showing its profound anti-inflammatory affects that not only prevent heart disease and diabetes, but also elevate mood.
- The Feingold Diet is a popular diet for children diagnosed with aggression or ADHD. Developed by Dr. Benjamin Feingold in the early 1970s, the diet eliminates artificial coloring, flavoring, and synthetic sweeteners, as well as three preservatives from the diet. Foods high in salicylates are temporarily removed and then reintroduced. The Feingold Association boasts an 80 percent success rate, and research backs up that finding.
Physical activitiy can impact behavior
Dr. LoGiudice ranks exercise as the number one way to regulate mood and emotions. “There are a remarkable number of studies that support how regular exercise of any kind (even just three times a week) is sufficient to reduce depression and improve anxiety.”
Dr. Yanez adds “Research shows that just 20 minutes a day of activity can make a difference in mood and behavior. Kids need to move!”
Mindfulness and behavior
Mediation is being incorporated in some schools as a way to cope with disruptive children. Instead of lashing out with negativity and being sent to the principal’s office, they are taught relaxation techniques that allow them to refocus their energy, reflect and re-center.
Throughout October, and every month of the year, naturopathic medicine’s integrative approach to care takes into consideration the root cause of issues and works to remove or lower the impact of the cause. Click here to find an ND near you in the US and Canada.