The term “gut health” is a phrase you’ve likely run across more and more in recent years, and for good reason. Scientific findings continue to uncover the often underappreciated importance of gut health for overall well being. Conditions likeleaky gut syndrome are being identified as major culprits for many kids’ struggles with focus, sleep, or anxiety. To make sure your kids are getting the right nutrients for better gut health, focus on keeping these foods in their diet.
Dietary fiber is an essential nutrient for healthy digestion for your kids, yet the typical American diet falls significantly short of the recommended amount of fiber. In general, avoiding highly processed foods will result in higher fiber intake. On top of that, be sure to prioritize complex carbs in your kids’ diet, such as whole grains, oats, and brown rice, over starchy white bread or white rice. Legumes, lentils, nuts, and beans are also great sources of fiber that are tasty and easy to incorporate a wide variety of meals. They also just so happen to be good vegan sources of protein as well.
Of course, you should also make sure your kids eat their fruits and vegetables. Foods like apples or berries are tasty treats that also provide plenty of fiber that will help your kids’ gut health among other benefits.
Every person’s digestive tract is considered a microbiome, where micro-organisms grow and thrive, including different types of bacteria. When the body has plenty of good bacteria in the gut, digestion moves smoothly and mind and body benefit as a whole. However, many kids have an imbalance in their own little microbiomes, causing struggles with digestion and problems with mood, focus, and energy. By introducing foods like yogurt with live and active cultures or kombucha to their diet, you can help tip the scale back in your child’s favor by providing their gut with more good bacteria. Other foods like kimchi and sauerkraut are also good sources of probiotics, although you may understandably find it harder to get your kids excited about these foods. But if you give them a shot, your kids could love them!
Not to be confused with probiotics, prebiotics are foods that don’t necessarily introduce more good bacteria to the gut, but rather help existing good bacteria grow. Prebiotics are classified as a type of fiber that is digested in the lower colon where microbes can cause fermentation, leading to more good bacteria in the gut. Foods that are high in prebiotics include green bananas, asparagus, garlic, onions, and leeks.
Finding ways to boost your kid’s gut health with their diet is one of the bestways to deal with anxiety naturally while also helping improve the moods and energy levels of your kids.