Find out why good bacteria in gut are important for children and ways to build that good bacteria
Children live in a very sedentary environment today. They eat a very high quantity of processed foods and things with high sugar content. Also they are protected from harmful bacteria and germs from a very young age.This has led to a scarcity of some bacteria in the body that actually helps the body remain fit and fight the bad bacteria that invades the body. Children used to regularly play in mud and soil and used to eat anything they liked, but that was accompanied with healthy dinner including vegetables and fruits. They were also taught good hygiene habits, but weren’t over protected by parents. But now, they are not getting good bacteria also, because of all this.
A new study has found that having good gut bacteria actually is very helpful and beneficial to the tiny tot’s brain function and it can help in fighting severe conditions later in life.
1 What are good bacteria in gut?
Good gut bacteria are also known as Gut Microbiota and are the name given to the population of microbe living in our intestine. Our gut is actually home to tens of trillions of micro-organisms, with at least 3000 different species of bacteria, which have almost 3 million genes.
These good bacteria are very important to us as they help in digesting certain food that the stomach and the intestine fail to digest. They also help in production of Vitamin B and K. And they also keep our intestine in top condition by fighting aggressive microorganisms.
They form a barrier effect which in turn boosts the immune system of the body.
2 How is it beneficial to children?
A study performed by New University of Colorado Boulder has found that the children who have good gut bacteria have less chances of depression, since it boosts their brains and they are able to burn the calories via exercise.
Exercising helps children develop good friendly bacteria which in turn triggers optimal brain function and metabolic activity during their lifetime. Microbes reside in the intestines right after the birth and help in improving the immune system of the body and various neural systems.
Professor Monika Fleshner said: “Exercise affects many aspects of health, both metabolic and mental, and people are only now starting to look at the plasticity of these gut microbes.” The study indicates that children who are physically active form a young age can build up the good gut bacteria, which will help them stay healthy later when they age. It was also found that such children also had better brain function and had lowered the risk of depression and other mental illnesses later in life.
Ways to develop the good bacteria!
Here are 3 ways you can build up good bacteria in the guts of your child and keep them healthy.
3 Cut out sugar and processed foods
You must lessen the amount of sugar and processed foods your child eats. A pizza or a burger once in a while is no big deal, but frequent consumption of such foods along with chips, soft drinks etc. actually destroys the good gut bacteria and can harm the developing brain functions in the child.
4 Let them play
You must not over protect your children and sanitize their hands the moment they touch anything covered in mud. Let the little ones play in mud and dirt, touch animals and play with other dirty things.
Doing so exposes them to many different kinds of bacteria, which in turn gets the immune system to build anti-bodies against the harmful ones, which may harm our body. This way the child gets lifetime protection from these bacteria.
5 Focus on fiber
If you want to increase the number of good bacteria or keep them healthy, focus on fibrous foods. Food with high fiber is known for their probiotic content as they act as food for the bacteria in the gut, helping them grow stronger and keeping the digestive system healthier.
Veggies like artichokes, asparagus, spinach, bananas, onions and leeks are full of fiber which not only improves digestion, but also promote good bacteria in the gut.