Is your child’s lunch at school healthy enough?

A new study from researchers at Leeds University, as reported by the BBC, has found that many parents are failing to give their children a nutritionally balanced packed lunch at school.

Nearly 1,150 children aged 8-9 were surveyed and it was found that most lunchboxes contained crisps or some other savoury snack and as many as one in three contained a chocolate biscuit. The study’s author, Dr Charlotte Evans, said “involving children and getting them engaged with food choices from a young age is important…It's about making it feel normal to have vegetables."

The study, which compared results from 76 schools in England in 2006 to results of children of the same across 18 schools in 2016, found that the amount of sugar in packed lunches had dropped over the 10 year period but the inclusion of foods high in saturated fats and salt remained higher than recommended.

It is worth noting that the study’s results are not directly comparable though it does highlight that need for greater inclusion of vegetables in school-children’s packed lunches.

The probiotics to watch

Probiotics and gut health have seen a lot of publicity of late in the media but how much do people really know about probiotics and do they know the difference between the different strains?

One article, by Medical News Today, looks to address this issue by drawing attention to the things to watch when choosing a probiotic.

Probiotics can help populate the gut with good bacteria, which is a key part of supporting a person’s immune system but it also has a role in weight control, mood and inflammation, with some probiotics having a greater effect on these areas than others.

If you would like to read more on the different forms of probiotics you can see the individual information on each of the products in the Metabolics probiotics range.

Role of MSM in hair and nails support

A new article suggests that methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) could have a role in supporting the health of hair and nails. The article, published byNutritional Outlook references a double-blind clinical study that saw 63 subjects given either 1g or 3g per day of MSM for four months and saw a marked improvement in the condition of hair an nails compared to baseline.

It is thought that the improvement is due to the possible interaction between MSM and keratin, where it is believed that the MSM donates sulphur to keratin, which could be strengthening the bonds between keratin molecules in the hair and nails.

Vitamin and mineral deficiencies can quickly lead to the hair, skin and nail conditions so it is important to ensure you’re getting the right nutrition, this can be supported through supplements such as Metabolics Hair, Skin and Nails Support.

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Alison Astill-Smith author Alison is Director and Founder of Metabolics who writes about Metabolics updates, events and natural healthcare. Her experience and passion for natural supplements and healthcare comes from her years of experience as a practising osteopath, having founded Metabolics in her search for high quality, natural products in her own work. Alison has been a qualified and practising Osteopath since 1981 and regularly gives seminars on a range of healthcare subjects to the wider practitioner community helping share her knowledge and experience.