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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.

Health Health / Wellness