By Matt Mahalo, wellbeing author and proud father of two.
No, I’m not talking about gut feelings and intuition here. I mean simple gut health…
Because it’s difficult to be a good parent when we have limited emotional resilience and low energy — two things that are seriously affected by the health of our microbiome, which is largely found in our gut.
Why is gut health important for parenting?
It’s important to note that even slight dysbiosis (microbial imbalance) can, to some extent, affect the way we feel, the way we think, the foods we crave, the way we digest and absorb nutrients, the level of stress we can tolerate, the quality of our sleep, and so much more.
Naturally, if we’re feeling “off”, it’s far more challenging to maintain the resilience, patience, presence and even the selfless love that our children need to feel secure, to be “heard”, to be led by example, to feel accepted and loved unconditionally — the very things that nourish their soul and create the capacity to be mentally strong when faced with the challenging transition to adulthood.
And for the kids too?
Of course, good parenting also includes ensuring our children’s guts are healthy too — after all, it’s a big rollercoaster ride growing up, and even our best emotional support won’t mean much if their own inner ecosystem isn’t functioning to it’s optimum level.
And since the microbiome has a big part to play in food cravings (simply put; a healthy microbiome sends craving signals to our brain for healthy food to feed itself and maintain a supportive gut environment), it becomes even more important in childhood to set up eating habits for their lifetime.
So where do we start?
It’s the simple things. Things you’ve heard before most likely…
- More fibre and prebiotics (garlic, onions, asparagus, bananas, oats, apples).
- Less processed foods and sugars (none if possible!).
- Get some quality probiotics (particularly if there has been the necessity for antibiotic use).
- Foods high in antioxidants (try dark green salads and plenty of berries).
- Less toxicity (chemical, e.g. alcohol, some food additives, etc).
- Avoid overuse of antibiotics.
For more information on this topic, try these related posts…
- Digestive Health 101
- Research Reveals We’re Only 10% Human
- Is your gut making you feel stressed out?
- Let Food Be Thy Medicine
Looking for a quality probiotic for you and your family?
Click here to find out about Just Thrive — the probiotics we use here at Well Adjusted.