Most parents know that feeding children a good, balanced diet is vital for their health and development.
But what’s less well-known is that a key reason for ensuring good nutrition early in life is to nurture children’s microbiome – the trillions of bacteria that live on and in us, but mainly in the gastrointestinal tract.
The microbiome helps control the immune system, and thus how well children fight off infections and whether they develop allergies, as well as regulating the metabolism and even influencing mood.
It also plays a huge role in a healthy digestive system, which helps control weight, sleep and much more.
Largely a product of lifestyle and the environment, the microbiome changes throughout life and is most malleable during early childhood.
Dr Rachael Buck, lead research scientist and gut health expert at healthcare company Abbott, shares three ways to promote a healthy microbiome in both pregnant women and children, giving them a strong foundation for a healthy gut for the rest of their lives.
1 During pregnancy
Emerging research shows a mother’s gut bacteria undergoes natural changes as pregnancy progresses.
These changes in the microbiome promote energy storage in fat tissue and help support the growth of the foetus.
A healthy diet isn’t only good for mum and her microbiome, it’s good for her growing baby too.
So, if pregnancy cravings have you reaching for sweets or the biscuit tin, opt for something healthier instead.
Try to stick to a varied diet with plenty of fibre-packed foods such as fruit, vegetables, whole grains and legumes, and probiotic-rich foods like yoghurt and sauerkraut.
If you’re feeling more adventurous, kefir (a fermented milk drink) and kimchi (salted and fermented vegetables) are also good choices and are now widely available in supermarkets.
2 Baby’s first 24 hours
How and where a baby’s born, as well as every surface touched in the first 24 hours …read more
Source:: Evening Express – All articles