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3 Heart Healthy Habits for Gut Health in Kids

Published January 31, 2024

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At Begin Health, we're passionate about teaching families the importance of building good habits to support microbiomes early on in our kid’s health journey. While we know that gut health is linked to
immune andmental health, new studies are also showing that heart health may also be impacted by the integrity of the gut [1]. Let's review how making heart-healthy habits now can positively affect our kid’s gut microbiome and the future of their health. 

Fiber for Heart and Cardiovascular Health 

Research consistently shows the positive impact of dietary fiber on heart health [2]. For kids, incorporating fiber-rich foods not only supports digestive health but also plays a pivotal role in managing cholesterol levels, a key factor in supporting heart health. An adequate intake of daily fiber is associated with better weight management, improved cholesterol and blood pressure, and also reduces the risk for chronic heart diseases [3]. 

Begin Health Expert Tip

Make it a goal to add one extra fruit or vegetable into every single meal. Include your kiddos in the meal planning process and allow them to choose one option to include during mealtimes. Small choices like these can add up over time and help your little ones gradually increase their daily fiber intake. 

Prebiotics and Probiotics for Heart Health Support 

Probiotics, the beneficial bacteria found in foods such as kefir or fermented vegetables, have been linked to various health benefits, including cardiovascular well-being [4]. Numerous studies suggest that probiotics and prebiotics protect against cardiovascular disease by altering gut microbiota and intervening in inflammatory responses [5]. Incorporating both prebiotics and probiotics could restore the normal gut microbiota, promote the growth of beneficial bacteria, and inhibit the growth of bad bacteria. 

Begin Health Expert Tip

Incorporatingprobiotic-rich foods like yogurt, kefir, and fermented vegetables into your kid’s diet not only supports gut health, but can potentially contribute to a healthier heart as well. To optimize your little one’s probiotic intake, try pairing withprebiotic-rich foods, which can help increase the amount of good gut bacteria in the microbiome. Ever wondered what the difference is between prebiotics and probiotics? Check out what our dietitian says in this blog:Prebiotics vs. Probiotics for Kids.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids for Heart and Gut Balance 

Omega-3 fatty acids are known to reduce inflammation, a key factor in helping reduce the risk for heart disease.Studies now have also revealed that consuming omega-3 fatty acids could potentially also play a role in maintaining a balanced gut environment. 

Begin Health Expert Tip

Include omega-3-rich foods such as fatty fish (salmon, mackerel), chia seeds, and walnuts in your kid’s diet to support both heart and gut health. Make it a goal to incorporate fish into meals at least twice a week to provide a heart-healthy dose of these essential fatty acids.


By increasing fiber, incorporating prebiotics, probiotics, and an adequate intake of omega-3 fatty acids, parents can help their kids build the foundation for both digestive and cardiovascular health and create habits for a healthier life. 

[1] Tang WH, Kitai T, Hazen SL. Gut Microbiota in Cardiovascular Health and Disease. Circ Res. 2017 Mar 31;120(7):1183-1196. doi: 10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.117.309715. PMID: 28360349; PMCID: PMC5390330.
[2] Wang, Z., Klipfell, E., Bennett, B. J., Koeth, R., Levison, B. S., Dugar, B., ... & Hazen, S. L. (2014). Gut flora metabolism of phosphatidylcholine promotes cardiovascular disease. Nature, 472(7341), 57–63.
[2] Delzenne, N. M., Neyrinck, A. M., & Cani, P. D. (2015). Modulation of the gut microbiota by nutrients with prebiotic properties: consequences for host health in the context of obesity and metabolic syndrome. Microbial Cell Factories, 14(1), S10.
[3] Reynolds A, Mann J, Cummings J, Winter N, Mete E, Te Morenga L. Carbohydrate quality and human health: a series of systematic reviews and meta-analyses. Lancet. 2019 Feb 2;393(10170):434-445. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(18)31809-9. Epub 2019 Jan 10. Erratum in: Lancet. 2019 Feb 2;393(10170):406. PMID: 30638909.
[4] Wu H, Chiou J. Potential Benefits of Probiotics and Prebiotics for Coronary Heart Disease and Stroke. Nutrients. 2021 Aug 21;13(8):2878. doi: 10.3390/nu13082878. PMID: 34445037; PMCID: PMC8401746.
[5] Costantini L, Molinari R, Farinon B, Merendino N. Impact of Omega-3 Fatty Acids on the Gut Microbiota. Int J Mol Sci. 2017 Dec 7;18(12):2645. doi: 10.3390/ijms18122645. PMID: 29215589; PMCID: PMC5751248.