Does the Gut/Brain Connection Matter for My Child?

This gut/brain connection is responsible for supporting healthy growth. In fact, it’s  the organ that’s considered to be the most important elements for brain development.* We are what we eat! By eating real, whole foods, we can promote healthy development and set our children up for success from the start.

NUTRITIONAL SUPPORT FOR HEALTHY BRAINS

Because nutrition plays an essential role in childhood development, it’s important to know how it works.*

  1. Cells need proper nutrition to function optimally.
  2. Myelin sheath covers each cell’s axon, which acts as insulation. Nutrient deficiencies can weaken this insulation, which can delay nerve-impulse transmission.
  3. Neurotransmitters are affected by the foods we eat, as some nutrients become a part of the neurotransmitters. This includes serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. This is likely the biological explanation for how food affects our mood.

When the gut isn’t adequately absorbing nutrients, the brain suffers in these three ways. This is like having a kink in a hose preventing water from flowing. The myelin sheath breaking down inhibits proper brain function, which can be supported by proper nutrition.

MICROBIOME: THE GOOD BACTERIA

Everyone has a microbiome inside them, and when properly fed, is a thriving ecosystem of healthy bacteria that supports proper bodily functions. When there are too much bad bacteria, our digestion can suffer and lead to poor nutrient absorption. This impacts energy and brain health, among other concerns. 

Our immune systems are created to support the good bacteria and attack the bad bacteria, so our microbiomes can thrive. (Except in autoimmune diseases like Crohn’s Disease, where the body begins attacking healthy microbes.) 

BUILDING A HEALTHY MICROBIOME

Building a healthy microbiome for your family isn’t complicated! Eating nutrient dense foods, supplementing with probiotics, and promoting a healthy lifestyle will support your child’s gut/brain connection for optimal growth.

Nutrient dense foods like leafy greens, kefir, and colorful veggies are some of the best ways to support your microbiome. Probiotics can provide an additional boost for your family, so your good gut bugs thrive.

As your kids continue to grow, supporting their gut/brain connection is one of the most important ways to support future development. Focusing on nutrient-dense meals and an active lifestyle, along with probiotic supplementation promotes a healthy gut, helping them learn well every day. 

* Dr. Sears, Raising a Smarter Child