How Healthy Gut Bacteria Can Help Prevent Asthma and Allergies

New research is showing a strong link between the “good bacteria” that live in your child’s gut and a decreased likelihood your child will develop allergies or asthma.

The Link Between Gut Health and Allergies

“Good” gut bacteria play a key role not only in developing a healthy immune system in infants, but also in ensuring that the immune system functions properly. To confirm this, researchers analyzed stool samples from nearly 300 infants, age 1 month to 11 months old, finding three categories of bacterial and fungal makeup.

What does this mean for allergies going forward?

This kind of research may help medical professionals better understand why some kids get asthma and allergies.

How to promote beneficial gut bacteria in babies

According to the National Institutes of Health, babies pick up beneficial microbiota (the colonies of bacteria that live in our gut) from their mothers in the birth canal. This microbiota are believed to be essential for the development of a healthy immune system and metabolism. (source)

How to promote beneficial gut bacteria in older children

When it comes to fostering a healthy microbiome in your child, exposure to dirt and germs is a good thing. Fighting off minor invaders is how the body builds a stronger immune system. Time spent in nature is wonderful for a child’s physical and emotional wellbeing.

Fermented foods such as kimchee and sauerkraut are loaded with probiotics, but we all know kids can be picky with such strong flavors. Encourage them to eat yogurt with live or active cultures. Kefir and kombucha are also good choices. Even some soft cheeses such as gouda and cottage cheese contain beneficial microbes.

Cutting back on refined sugar and some grains is essential to good gut health. Many people with seasonal allergies report major improvement when gluten-containing grains or even complete avoidance of grains and sugar is followed particularly during allergy season.

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