A recent study from Italy found dietary habits impact kids’ gut function.
Italian researchers did a comparative study in children from Europe and Burkina Faso, a rural African village.
Children from Burkina Faso ate a diet high in fiber content, similar to that of early human settlements at the time of the birth of agriculture. They were found to have significantly more gut flora than European children, who ate processed foods.
The researchers found the African children had a healthier balance of good and bad bacteria, compared to the European children.
African kids had higher levels of fatty acids that produce energy, and had less of the harmful bacteria, such as E.coli, which are linked to gut problems including diarrhea and upset stomach.
They theorized the fiber-rich African diet provided good energy levels while protecting the gastrointestinal (GI) tract from inflammatory and other colonic diseases.
“Do you mean if I eat whole grains & veggies, I might not get a tummy ache?” asks Chase in disbelief.
Photo with permission from ZIMage Photography
Children on Western diets in developed countries eat junk and processed food, which are low in fiber, high in altered fat, sugar and protein. This appears to have changed the natural microflora balance in the gut, leading to the recent rise in allergies, autoimmune and inflammatory bowel diseases. (Learn more about probiotics, Click Here.)
We have come to believe the advertising hype that processed and fast foods (processed foods are purchased in boxes, bags and cans) are nutritious. After all each food product has a “nutrition label” with the nutrients listed. For healthier children, a diet high in whole grains and veggies is vital. Baby Bites: Transforming a Picky Eater into a Healthy Eater incorporates multi-sensory learning during mealtimes. Even a picky eater will be voluntarily eat previously refused whole foods in only a few days, when the Baby Bite steps are implemented.