WE all know to grow healthy kids / grandkids, we need to feed them a varied diet, right?
Fruits, grains, veggies…
And, we know as parents and grandparents that sometimes…..we give them treats.
I think there is a time for everything, including snacks and treats.
But research out of Columbia reveals that there is more we can do to improve their overall mood, mental health AND cognitive development.
Diet plays a huge role in one’s ability to process the foods we eat into chemicals and compounds like serotonin and dopamine (our FEEL GOOD neurotransmitters. These then pass through the bloodstream and are ready for direct delivery to the brain.
This relationship between the brain and the gut is referred to as the gut-brain axis.
Too much unhealthy food can cause an explosion of harmful bacteria causing inflammation, depression, obesity, and diabetes. Sugar, for example, has been implicated in gut biome concerns that impair memory function.
In children, a healthy gut may influence their ability to fight off infection. It can improve their immune systems.
To encourage good gut health, some food choices:
Fiber – veggies are at the top of the list. The fiber in veggies help the gut produce short-chain fatty acids that are thought to improve the chemical cross-talk between gut and brain in kids.
Blackberries, pears, apples with peel; whole grains like oatmeal (steel cut) and popcorn; and nuts like pistachios (even better cuz you have to open the shell) and almonds all contain fiber.
Fermented Stuff: Kombucha and sauerkraut may not be at the top of the “kids” list but, Greek Yogurt (full fat) and kefir are popular. You can also try tofu and Injera bread (Egyptian bread). The benefit here is the PRE-BIOTIC richness of the foods. Pre-biotics, like our De-Bloat 100% Natural Powder (it’s tasteless and slightly sweet and can be stirred into drinks or baked into foods) help to feed the healthy bacteria in the gut.
The bottom line here – model healthy eating when the kiddos are around. And, enjoy those ice cream cones in the sun! It all goes fast – don’t miss a thing when you have that wonderful “Nana” time!
Stay healthy. Keep Moving!