The Gut Brain Connection in Children
Unlock Your Child’s Potential
Children are amazing little beings! Think about all that they achieve on a day to day basis and the development they undergo from the time they are born. Childhood achievements and developments largely contribute to their lifetime potential so it all begins now! We all hope for the best in our children, so they can be the happiest and healthiest possible. We also wish for them to get the most from their education and allow their developing brains the opportunity to soak up and retain an expanding wealth of knowledge and information in this world.
Close Connection to Gut and Immunity
Did you know that the digestive system is a close friend to the immune system? In fact, approximately 70% of the immune system lives in the digestive tract. So this means that taking good care of your children’s digestive health will also assist in promoting a strong, healthy immune system. During the first two years of life, the immature immune and digestive systems are still developing. During this time, the integrity of the digestive tract can be reduced (sometimes known as “leaky gut”), and may allow undigested foods and toxins to pass through this barrier and cause an immune reaction. In this way, “leaky gut” may contribute to the development of allergies and poor immune defence against colds and flus.
By strengthening the gut barrier, the immune system is able to respond with greater effectiveness. Marshmallow, turmeric and glutamine can help repair the mucus membranes throughout the digestive tract due to their anti-inflammatory and soothing properties. Zinc has been shown to improve digestion and is an important factor in the regeneration of the gut lining. Healthy detoxification can also build a happier digestive system, with the help of St Mary’s thistle.
Bring in the Good Bugs
Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that are important in keeping the digestive system in balance and supporting a healthy immune system. The results from a scientific study of 248 children in daycare aged three to five years, showed those who consumed the probiotic strains, Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM and Bifidobacterium lactis Bi-07 daily, had significantly less infections, shorter duration of cold and flu symptoms, and less days absent from childcare. The most useful probiotic for allergies is Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (LGG®), which has been found to be effective in reducing the symptoms of eczema, allergic rhinitis and food allergy.
Diet and Lifestyle Suggestions
There are many dietary and lifestyle tips that can support strong immunity in kids:
• Increase fresh fruits and vegetables, protein and healthy fats as part of a well-balanced diet.
• Reduce inflammatory foods such as sugar, white breads, dairy, cakes and soft drinks that may suppress immune function and trigger reactions in sensitive children.
• Ensure children are getting enough rest, as sleep is vital to support healthy immunity.
• Encourage more ‘green time’ and less ‘screen time’! Outside play can help strengthen the immune system, as well as support healthy physical development.
• Talk to your Practitioner about food or environmental triggers that may be exacerbating your child’s condition. Common food allergens include gluten, wheat, dairy, soy, eggs and corn.
Talk to us today
You are not alone when it comes to childhood conditions. Children are constantly being exposed to bugs and viruses, particularly when attending childcare or playing with other children. Symptoms of asthma, eczema and allergies can also strip kids of energy and cause disruption to the smooth running of family life. Talk to your Practitioner today about what steps you can take to boost your child’s immune system. These may include improving digestion, following a healthy diet and lifestyle and using specific immune enhancing herbs and nutrients. Build up your kid’s immunity and set them up for a healthier, happier 2016 with less sickness and more fun and play!