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Food for gut health

Topics addressed in this article:

Happy gut, happy kids: gut health for the whole family

There’s that popular saying: “listen to your gut and it will all work out.” When it comes to overall health and vitality, it’s certainly true. Your gut bacteria, also known as the “microbiome,” is a microscopic army that is constantly working many jobs in your body – gut health goes beyond solving digestion woes and making sure you’re going to the bathroom regularly.

Everything is linked to gut health

The gut is home to trillions of bacteria. Most are “good” bacteria, and help with various bodily processes. This includes digesting food, regulating mood hormones, mitigating stress, reducing inflammation and warding off harmful pathogens like viruses, bad bacteria and fungi. Is there anything your gut bacteria can’t do? It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say these guys play a role in every system that keeps your body running.

Takes digestion from “okay” to “excellent”

Your gut bacteria are like an invisible army that works hard to help process various foods in your body. Each strain of bacteria has a different job – some create enzymes to break down protein, while others focus on breaking down the sugars in dairy. Even though your digestive tract can break most foods down on its own through mechanical and chemical action, these bacteria make the process much more efficient and seamless.

Digestive symptoms like bloating, tummy pains, gas, diarrhea, constipation, or acid reflux may be signs that your gut needs some support from these good bacteria.

Supports your second brain

The gut is deeply entwined with the nervous system and behavioural responses. We tend to believe we do all our thinking in our heads, but much of it stems from our gut. How is that possible?

Each thought or behaviour comes from a transfer of information between two neurons (nerve cells). These are controlled by chemical messengers called neurotransmitters. Many of these messengers are made in the gut, by your microbiome. This means that mood, curiosity, anxiety, hyperactivity, and impulsivity are all linked to the diverse bacteria that live in your gut.

Exposing your kid to a variety of good bacteria is not only essential for your child’s healthy development, but for optimal brain health their whole lives ahead. As key players in your mood and mental health, maintaining a balanced microbiome should be at the forefront of everybody’s mind!

A healthy gut starts from birth

Family walking on the beach

How a baby is born has a profound impact on their community of microbes. Studies show that children who are born via C-section tend to lack many of the good bacteria strains that are present in healthy babies born via vaginal birth. C-sections are becoming increasingly popular, so rest assured that our bodies are well equipped to prioritize gut health no matter the birth circumstances.

Breast milk is one of the best sources of healthy bacteria – it even contains prebiotics, food to help the bacteria grow and multiply. If your baby is bottle-fed, adding our Baby Probiotics + D3 drops can help your little one balance out their gut flora and prevent the overgrowth of bad bacteria that may cause digestive discomfort resulting in colic.

Keep gut bacteria thriving as your grow

Just like us, bacteria need nutrients to survive. And luckily for us, they eat what we cannot digest. While our digestive system breaks down simple sugars from digestible carbohydrates, we leave the indigestible carbs (fibre) as food for our gut bacteria. 

Include plenty of whole foods

Bacteria love to eat foods in their whole forms. They don’t recognize highly processed foods like chips or candy, but they enjoy a variety of nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables, high quality proteins, and healthy fats. If the food didn’t come in plastic packaging, chances are, your gut bacteria will thank you.

Add fermented foods for the family

Many foods naturally contain good bacteria (probiotics). Yogurt is perhaps the most popular probiotic food source, but sauerkraut, kimchi, and kefir are some other options. These foods have gone through natural fermentation to create many strains of healthy bacteria.

Two to three servings a week for your little one is enough to help their gut bacteria colonize and flourish. It may not seem like much, but a small serving packs a big punch, especially when it comes to bacteria. And adults can thrive on the same amount! The more variety, the better.

Supplementing with research-backed probiotics is another sure-fire way to build a healthy microbiome. Our Kids Probiotics formula contains 8 strains that are specifically formulated for the growing needs of infants, children, and teens. Adults can join in too, with our Everyday Probiotic that contains 5 potent strains to optimize gut and brain health.

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Sources
Bull-Larsen, S., & Mohajeri, M. H. (2019). The Potential Influence of the Bacterial Microbiome on the Development and Progression of ADHD. Nutrients, 11(11), 2805. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11112805

Dominguez-Bello, M. G., De Jesus-Laboy, K. M., Shen, N., Cox, L. M., Amir, A., Gonzalez, A., … & Clemente, J. C. (2016). Partial restoration of the microbiota of cesarean-born infants via vaginal microbial transfer. Nature medicine, 22(3), 250-253.

Moossavi, S., Miliku, K., Sepehri, S., Khafipour, E., & Azad, M. B. (2018). The Prebiotic and Probiotic Properties of Human Milk: Implications for Infant Immune Development and Pediatric Asthma. Frontiers in pediatrics, 6, 197. https://doi.org/10.3389/fped.2018.00197

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