Tummy truths: How a healthy gut supports your child's immunity, mood, and brain development

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Do you know that the way to your child's health is through his gut? Read on to learn more about the wonders of and simple ways to achieve good gut health for your tot's optimum well-being.

Many mums can attest that a happy tummy means a happy tot. But beyond good digestion and smooth bowel movements, the benefits of a healthy gut extend to a strong immune system, all the way to brain development!

The gut refers to one's gastrointestinal tract, and having a healthy one is truly vital to your child’s overall health. Home to good bacteria, immune cells, and even the production of "feel good" hormones, the gut is both powerhouse and gateway when it comes to growth and development.

We at theAsianparent support every mum’s quest for a perfectly happy and healthy child. As such, in partnership with Dumex, a company focusing on babies' and children’s nutrition, we conducted a survey among Singaporean parents to determine their awareness on the benefits of gut health.

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The importance of gut health

A total of 1094 Singaporean parents participated in the survey conducted from March-May 2016. Of those surveyed, 93% recognised the importance of gut health; only 1 in 2 proactively nourish their child's gut health.

While the survey revealed a high awareness on the importance of gut health, more than half or 56% of the respondents were not aware that the gut is the largest organ that supports the body’s immunity, nor did they know that friendly bacteria cling to the gut wall, forming a protective layer and thereby boosting the immune system.

Only 43% of the respondents were aware of the benefits of serotonin.

According to a study by the Caltech Institute of Technology, about 90% of the body's serotonin is manufactured in the gastrointestinal tract; and when the gut is healthy with plenty of good bacteria, there are increased levels of this "feel good" hormone, which boosts overall mood! This means that the brain can receive more signals of well-being.

Learn more helpful facts in this video from parents just like you plus tips on improving the gut health of your child.

Parents identify the benefits of a healthy gut

The parents who participated in the study also identified the benefits of gut health to their children’s overall health as listed below:

  • Good digestion and absorption of nutrients (94%)
  • Supports natural defences (75%)
  • Comfortable and healthy transit (60%)
  • Contributes to physical growth (58%)
  • Influences daily mood (45%)
  • Supports brain development (42%)

Click next for the 7 wonders of a healthy gut.

The 7 wonders of a healthy gut

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Digestive comfort

Food is easily broken down, preventing indigestion, thus promoting good sleep.

Nutrient Absorption

With good digestion, beneficial nutrients from food are easily absorbed.

Bowel Movement

Pooping becomes a regular activity with soft stool consistency.

Natural defences

Natural defences start from the gut, where 70% of the body's immune cells is located.

Growth and development

Vitamins and minerals are easily absorbed by the gut, supporting overall development.

Source of brain 'food'

A healthy gut absorbs DHA and ARA more easily, supporting brain development.

Happy baby

90% of the body's serotonin, the "feel-good" hormone, is produced in the gut.

Click next for tips on building good gut healthdumex.com.sg/gut has all the information you're looking for!

What you can do for your child's gut health

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Follow the tips above to nurture your child's gut and support his immune system. Having him drink plenty of water and constantly introducing nutritious, fibre-rich foods such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains into his diet will start him off on a wonderful journey of health and nourishment.

As he develops physically and is able to act on his curiosity about the world around him, you can take comfort in the fact that his exploratory adventures are helping to strengthen his natural defences.

For more fascinating facts about gut health, visit dumex.com.sg/gut today!