You may have heard the saying ‘All disease starts in the gut’, famously said by Hippocrates, the Greek physician who was deemed the “Father of Modern Medicine”.
As more research is conducted into the microbiome (or bacteria) of the digestive tract, it has become obvious that Hippocrates was correct and bacteria balance, is an important piece in the fight against disease.
Did you know that changes to the microbiome during infancy may cause the development of chronic illnesses, such as asthma, obesity and even type 1 diabetes!
Many reports show a link in childhood behaviour, including ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) and ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder), to a dysbiosis (imbalance) of gut bacteria.
This is said to occur through the ‘Gut-Brain Axis’ – a communication link that travels both from the brain to the gut, and from the gut to the brain.
With an upset microbiome, science now shows there is an upset in the emotional and cognitive centres of the brain.
Antibiotics, whilst sometimes needed, can play a big part in disrupting anyone’s microbiome, especially children’s, as diversity does not fully develop until adulthood.
Children lacking in specific nutrients are unable to grow specific valuable bacteria. So, a diet rich in diversity – or eating a variety of foods, is one easy way to avoid long-term health conditions.
Here are my 5 ways to improve your Childs microbiome and therefore their immune system!
Eat the rainbow in fruits and vegetables! These contain fibre and nutrients required for a healthy gut and immune system. Try presenting them in different ways….raw, cooked, mashed, grated, separate, mixed together etc.
Eat fermented foods! Kombucha is now popular. Kefir is also a great substitute for soft drinks. Yoghurt is a kids delight – just make sure it is not heavily loaded with sugar!
Fermented vegetables – fermented whole carrots do not look as scary or foreign as sauerkraut does! Start introducing fermentation with foods they already know and love.
Feed your bacteria Polyphenols! These are foods that the body can’t break down very well, leaving their goodness to be devoured by good bacteria in the gut. Examples are beans (especially black beans), almonds, hazelnuts, broccoli, berries, herbs and spices.
Fibre and water (ok, so that’s really 6!). Basically, fibre feeds and enriches the microbiome diversity and water improves the lining of our gut wall where our immune cells live and ensures we do not get constipated !
Have you tried fermented foods?? What’s your favourite???
If you need help with your child who is constantly sick, reach out. Through a consultation, you can receive a treatment plan, personalised for your little one, and their specific health problem.