Junk food ads are shown more frequently on TV at times when many children are watching, new research shows.
A new study finds no evidence that children given anesthesia before their third birthdays have lower IQs than those who did not have it. A more complex picture emerges among people who had anesthesia several times as small children: Although their intelligence is comparable, they score modestly lower on tests measuring fine motor skills, and their parents are more likely to report behavioral and learning problems.
A new study found that teen cooking skills can go a long way toward nutritional well-being in adulthood. Learn more about the study and get tips on how to get your children up to speed in the kitchen. Bonus tips for adults who don’t cook too.
A new study indicates that delaying school start times results in students getting more sleep, and feeling better, even within societies where trading sleep for academic success is common.
A new study found that weight gain, obesity can put children as young as age 8 at risk for a serious liver disease.
It may be time to tailor students’ class schedules to their natural biological rhythms. A study shows that students whose circadian rhythms were out of sync with their class schedules received lower grades due to ‘social jet lag,’ a condition in which peak alertness times are at odds with work, school or other demands.
The gut microbiome is such an important aspect of overall health. Every day seems to bring more research about the many aspects of your body that are influenced by gut health. One important, but possibly overlooked topic regarding gut health is how it affects babies in the womb and their gut after birth.
Keeping Your Gut Healthy
For the most part, it isn’t difficult to keep your gut microbiome in good shape. There are certain foods to avoid and some to include more of in your diet.
Foods to avoid:
- Over the counter drugs like Advil, Aleve, and other NSAIDs
- (Too much) antibacterial soaps and gels
- Chlorinated water
- Pesticides and herbicides
- Starchy carbohydrates
Some of these are obvious, others not as much. While it makes sense to avoid drinking chlorinated water and steer clear of pesticides, most people over look consumption of gluten and/or sugar. Both of these foods are inflammatory and damage the gut.
Foods to include in your diet:
- Fats: Good for you and filling. Avocados, nuts, meat, and eggs are all good sources of fat that will help populate your gut with good bacteria.
- Pre-biotic foods: Fibrous vegetables support the growth of beneficial bacteria. Think things like sweet potatoes, carrots, and asparagus.
- Probiotics: A good quality probiotic with a high number of live bacteria is a great way to promote gut health before, during, and even after pregnancy.
- Fermented foods: Sauerkraut, kombucha, kimchi, and pickles are good examples of fermented foods. I can eat a half a jar of kimchi if given the opportunity.
Your Gut and Your Baby
In addition to the above foods to eat/avoid, there are other steps you can take to help your baby develop a healthy gut before and after birth.
- Avoid antibiotics whenever possible
- Vaginal birth. Again, if possible. There are good data showing that as a baby passes through the vaginal canal it will be exposed to “vaginal microbes that help to shape her immune system in beneficial ways…less susceptible to conditions like asthma and allergies, including food allergies”
Once your baby is born make sure to:
- Breast-feed. If not, use a goat or sheep milk based formula. So many beneficial bacteria are found in breast milk.
- Try placing some probiotic on the nipple for feeding. This will help to ensure that your baby is developing healthy gut flora. If using formula, add some probiotics to the formula. Of course, consult with your doctor first.
- Go outside. Simply being outdoors is so beneficial to the everyone, but especially babies. Most of the immune system is in the gut, so to have a capable immune system one must have a healthy gut. Being outdoors and exposed common microbes and bacteria will help to establish the immune system and gut. Not to mention the added benefits of sun light and social interaction.
- Once your baby can eat solid foods, make sure to introduce them to a wide variety of nutrient-rich foods. The greater the variety of food, the more diverse their gut flora will be, which leads to better gut health.