Bring on the Bacteria: How to Give the Gut What it Needs
There are two ways we can cultivate gut bacteria - the first is to feed the good bacteria that is already there, and the second is to consume the bacteria itself. If that latter one doesn’t sound terribly tasty, stay with us, we promise, it can be, even for kids.
Good gut bacteria need fiber to thrive, keeping everything in those little bodies moving as quickly as they do. Dietary fiber is typically found in plants, as complex carbohydrates from foods like fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, beans and whole grains. If the gut doesn’t get these to work with, it finds other things to eat - typically the mucus that protects the inside of the intestine. This triggers an immune response that causes inflammation and can cause issues ranging from allergies to asthma, or even inflammatory bowel disease.
In addition to fiber, eating foods with live cultures such as yogurt, can add more good bacteria into the gut to help reduce the frequency of infections. Fermented foods such as kefir, miso and sauerkraut are all great options as well, albeit a more acquired taste. Be sure to look for yogurts without added sugars and if your kids need a flavor booster, stir in a Vitaminis for a dreamsicle effect, creamy and delicious!