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Gut Health Glow Up: 5 Ways Gut Health Supports Total Body Wellness

Here at Begin Health, we’ve witnessed the transformative power of a healthy guts in tens of thousands of kiddos. We watched all the different ways it has changed their overall well-being, from more regular, happier poops to better mood. The gut isn't just a digestive powerhouse, it’s the cornerstone of stronger physical, emotional, and mental wellness. Let's review five different ways in which nurturing gut health creates a foundation to the rest of your kid’s well-being.

Immune System Support

Research by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) reveals the strong connection between gut health and the immune system [1]. A healthy gut microbiome acts as a first line of defense against infections and allergies in kids. Prebiotics, such as those found in Growing Up Prebiotics, nourish beneficial gut bacteria, fortifying the immune system and supporting your kid’s resilience against illnesses.

Mood Regulation and Mental Health

Research on the gut-brain axis shows us that the integrity of the gut ultimately influences mental health. Studies on the gut microbiome highlight how gut microbes produce neurotransmitters like serotonin, impacting mood and behavior [2]. A well-balanced gut flora can potentially prevent symptoms of anxiety and depression in kids, promoting a happier, more emotionally resilient kiddos.

Begin Health Expert Tip: Wondering how prebiotics and probiotics can support your little one’s gut health and improve stool consistency and regularity? Check out our blog Prebiotics vs Probiotics for Kids: Understanding the Differences and Benefits.

Nutrient Absorption

Healthy digestion isn't just about processing food; it's about extracting vital nutrients the body needs to thrive. A flourishing gut ecosystem ensures optimal absorption of nutrients crucial for growth and development in kids [3].

Healthy Weight Management

Childhood obesity is a concerning issue worldwide, but nurturing gut health can be a proactive measure. Studies on childhood obesity reveal data that associates diverse gut microbiomes with a healthier weight profile in kids [4]. In addition, a consistent fiber intake can help with weight management, since fiber can help with increasing feelings of fullness [6].

Pain-free Poops = Better Quality of Life

Digestive discomfort can disrupt a kid’s daily life and affect their overall quality of life. A healthy gut can reduce the risk for digestive issues such as constipation or painful poops. Studies have shown that incorporating prebiotic fiber, specifically fiber from chicory root fiber can help with softer, more frequent stools within six weeks of daily use [5]. A happy tummy means a happier kiddo, which can ultimately improve your little one’s overall quality of life.

Summary: A well-maintained gut isn't just about digestion; it's a cornerstone of your kid’s overall well-being that includes physical, emotional, and mental wellness. By fostering a healthy gut environment, you're empowering your kiddo to thrive in multiple facets of health - immunity, mental wellness, better nutrient absorption, weight management, and improved quality of life.

References:

[1] Wiertsema SP, van Bergenhenegouwen J, Garssen J, Knippels LMJ. The Interplay between the Gut Microbiome and the Immune System in the Context of Infectious Diseases throughout Life and the Role of Nutrition in Optimizing Treatment Strategies. Nutrients. 2021 Mar 9;13(3):886. doi: 10.3390/nu13030886. PMID: 33803407; PMCID: PMC8001875.

[2] Cryan JF, O'Riordan KJ, Cowan CSM, Sandhu KV, Bastiaanssen TFS, Boehme M, Codagnone MG, Cussotto S, Fulling C, Golubeva AV, Guzzetta KE, Jaggar M, Long-Smith CM, Lyte JM, Martin JA, Molinero-Perez A, Moloney G, Morelli E, Morillas E, O'Connor R, Cruz-Pereira JS, Peterson VL, Rea K, Ritz NL, Sherwin E, Spichak S, Teichman EM, van de Wouw M, Ventura-Silva AP, Wallace-Fitzsimons SE, Hyland N, Clarke G, Dinan TG. The Microbiota-Gut-Brain Axis. Physiol Rev. 2019 Oct 1;99(4):1877-2013. doi: 10.1152/physrev.00018.2018. PMID: 31460832.

[3] Barone M, D'Amico F, Brigidi P, Turroni S. Gut microbiome-micronutrient interaction: The key to controlling the bioavailability of minerals and vitamins? Biofactors. 2022 Mar;48(2):307-314. doi: 10.1002/biof.1835. Epub 2022 Mar 16. PMID: 35294077; PMCID: PMC9311823.

[4] Liu BN, Liu XT, Liang ZH, Wang JH. Gut microbiota in obesity. World J Gastroenterol. 2021 Jul 7;27(25):3837-3850. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v27.i25.3837. PMID: 34321848; PMCID: PMC8291023.

[5] Closa-Monasterolo, R., Ferré, N., Castillejo-DeVillasante, G., Luque, V., Gispert-Llauradó, M., Zaragoza-Jordana, M., Theis, S., & Escribano, J. (2016). The use of inulin-type fructans improves stool consistency in constipated children. A randomised clinical trial: pilot study. International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition, 68(5), 587–594. https://doi.org/10.1080/09637486.2016.1263605

[6] Howarth NC, Saltzman E, Roberts SB. Dietary fiber and weight regulation. Nutr Rev. 2001 May;59(5):129-39. doi: 10.1111/j.1753-4887.2001.tb07001.x. PMID: 11396693.

May Zhu, RDN

May Zhu, RDN

May is the Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and nutrition expert at Begin Health.



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