Studies have shown that digestive health plays a role beyond its basic functions of digesting and absorbing nutrients from the foods we eat. Gut health is important for brain health and directly affects mood and emotions.
Microbes not only impact our brain and mind, but are a large part of why we feel and act the way we do. This shows just how important it is to feed our children a healthy diet to avoid chronic antibiotic use, constipation medications and other gut killing medications we give children for common ailments.
We also know that a good healthy gut can contribute to a healthy immune system, thus children with a healthy gut in turn have a healthier immune system and do not get sick as often. As parents we invest so much to ensure our child is healthy and happy. But often times we forget about this important factor, their digestive health.
The gut microbiome is balanced with a healthy ratio of good bacteria and yeast in the digestive tract which promote good digestive health. The gut is delicate in nature and needs to be in balance, however when it is out of whack, it can lead to problems such as the inability to absorb vital nutrients and properly eliminate toxins due to constipation.
Below are a few reasons why a digestive health matters:
- Maintaining the immune system
My clients are shocked when I tell them that around 70% of the immune system is located in our gut. It’s no wonder that when digestive health is compromised, the immune system is depressed and one may get sick more often.
Studies have shown that prebiotics may promote optimal gut health as well as reducing the risk of infections in young children. Prebiotics may also decrease the severity of conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and atopic dermatitis.
- Supporting learning and development
Poor gut health is associated with many unwanted symptoms such as gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, abdominal pain and poor appetite. When children have these symptoms, they can negatively affect their concentration, learning capabilities as well as mental health. This is why proper nutrition is essential to support good gut health which in turn will have a positive impact on their development and learning capabilities.
- Healthy brain function related to mood and cognitive function
According to the Center’s for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) ADHD, a mental health and neurological condition, currently affects 11% of children ages 4-17. In addition to neuro counseling, nutritional therapy and improving gut health may have a dramatic effect in children with ADD, ADHD, and other mood and anxiety disorders. Children who suffer from these conditions have shown remarkable improvement and overall symptom reversal by using food-healing protocols that increase health gut microbes. This can be a great relief and blessing for many families.
One size fits all plans will not work. Eating a healthier diet will help however there may be barriers. One common barrier can be the child’s taste preferences, oftentimes these children will resist the foods that will restore their gut health. Additionally barriers such as cultural resistance at school, work or home can discourage them from continuing this positive habit.
It may be beneficial to participate in counseling strategies that include encouraging clients to build healthy communication and confrontation skills when responding to those who question their dietary preferences.
How Will I Know if my Child’s Gut is not Healthy?
The signs of poor gut health vary and present in many different ways. The most common symptom is a digestive system that is not functioning well with symptoms such as poor appetite, bloating and nausea.
Problems with elimination can also lead to constipation, a painful experience as your child finds it difficult to pass motion due to hard, dry and compacted stools.
How Do I Restore Balance and Improve my Child’s Gut Health?
Nutrition therapy to restore balance begins with reintroducing additional healthy gut microbes back into the system. Probiotics and cultured foods seem to be a foundational place to any effective gut-healing protocol. Additional try the tips below:
- Support the growth of beneficial bacteria
- Decrease the growth of harmful bacteria
- Support stronger gut protection
- Promote softer stools for easier bowel movements
- Help your child consume more dietary fiber and water
- Encouraging physical activity and discouraging a sedentary lifestyle
The main takeaway is that good gut health helps to support your child’s overall well-being in so many ways. Additionally the future looks hopeful for children and families who suffer with ADHD and ADD.
Each child is unique and will require an individualized protocol that is specific to that child’s needs. Seek a professional counselor or nutrition professional who is well qualified to offer these tools for improved digestive and mental health. It’s never too late for any of us to make gut health a priority!
Diet plays a huge role in your child’s health but the health and wellness of your child starts with YOU! Are you feeling run down, chronically fatigued, and bogged down? To take on the many demands of being a parent, you need to feel your best!
How can you get your children and family to eat healthy if you aren’t yourself?
I’m inviting you to claim a FREE Consultation with us so you can discover why you and/or your family are feeling bad and what you need to know and do in order to get everyone well.
To claim your free consultation, call us at 903-944-7951 or click the button below to request a consultation. Limited time slots are available so register today!