Gut health is an important focus for all of us. But, did you know it’s important for kids too? Continue reading below to find out more about why kids gut health is essential for their overall wellbeing.
Why Gut Health for Little Ones is so Important
1. Absorbing Nutrients
The gut is how we absorb almost all of our nutrients. Therefore, if our little ones have a healthy gut they will in turn absorb more nutrients from the food they eat.
This is particularly important, as the nutrient value of our food is not as high these days. Kids are eating more convenient and processed foods that are lower in nutrients.
Not only that, but the soil levels are also lower in nutrients than back in the ‘good old days’. Nutrients enter plants via the soil they grow in, and enter animals via the plants they eat. So if the soil is nutrient poor, the food is too. This is why it’s so important to optimise our children’s absorption, so they get the most out of their food.
2. Eliminating Waste
Another important job for the gut is eliminating waste. But for waste to be eliminated, it needs to be passed out regularly. Otherwise toxins remain in the body and are reabsorbed back into the bloodstream and forces the liver to work harder.
This can be particularly bad for kids who suffer from constipation. It’s important for us to support to help support their gut health, allowing them to be regular.
3. Kids Gut Health and The Immune System
The gut and the immune system are linked. Meaning a strong and healthy immunity relies on good gut health.
70-80% of the immune system is located in the gut. This makes sense, as it is the main way that bugs enter the body. Therefore, if it is not strong our children are more prone to picking up colds and viruses.
And we don’t want them picking up nasties, so we need to make sure they have good gut health.
4. Kids gut Health and The Brain
A healthy gut can support healthy neurological and mental health. Although research in this area is still relatively new, a link has been found between the two.
When most people are stressed or anxious they will usually feel it in their stomach as well as their head.
Surprisingly, many of the chemicals in the brain are produced in the gut by bacteria. Meaning if the gut is healthy we produce more chemicals like serotonin and dopamine which help us or our little one feel good.
On the flip side, this means if the gut is out of balance production of these chemicals will decline. Low levels of these chemicals are linked with depression, anxiety, behavioural issues, learning difficulties and more.
You might also be interested in reading our similar blogs about gut health such as three food groups for gut health.