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The importance of gut health

Over the past decade, probiotics have become one of the fastest growing sectors of the natural health market. But why do we actually need them? And what benefits do they have for children?

The team from Rawbiotics, one of SA’s leading liquid probiotic range of products who provide fermented, non-freeze-dried probiotics to families, explains why a healthy gut is arguably the most important factor in your child’s overall health.

The bacteria in your bowels outnumber the cells in your body by 10 to one. This gut flora has incredible power over the immune system, meaning that the health of the body is largely tied into the health of the gut. Beneficial bacteria are responsible for the body’s ability to use the nutrition in food. They are responsible for the production of vitamins and fatty acids. They stop the build-up of disease-causing bacteria and harmful yeasts – such as Candida. And they produce natural antibiotics. In fact, one could say that no matter how good your diet is, or no matter what supplements you take, the ability of your body to use them is firstly dependent on the health of the bacteria in your gut.

When it comes to your children, beneficial bacteria are vital in the formative years of the body, ensuring good nutrition, immunity and growth. But another vital (and often overlooked) factor is that the gut plays a major role in one’s emotions, concentration and judgement…so much so that it has been nicknamed the second brain. Emotional stress, poor concentration, poor sleeping habits and general unhappiness are all factors which can very often be linked to bacterial imbalances in the digestive tract, and which can often be resolved through fixing that imbalance.

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When choosing a probiotic for your children there are two general types of probiotic. Liquid (live fermented) probiotics are produced using a wide range of beneficial bacteria that are grown together, and compete among each other, to form the final product. They are the most natural form of bacteria since the conditions in which they are grown mirror the conditions inside the human body. Encapsulated (freeze-dried) probiotics are much easier to produce and store, however, and so make up most of the probiotic market. Encapsulated probiotics will also typically have high counts of Colony Forming Units (CFU’s) to ensure that enough bacteria reach the gut to be effective. With liquid probiotics, however, very high counts of CFU’s are usually not needed as the microbes have been grown in conditions similar to those in the body and are not killed off on their way through to the gut.

Whichever you prefer, the fact remains that ensuring a balanced digestive tract, along with a good diets, are the first steps in ensuring that you have healthy and happy children.

With a selection of herbal extracts specially chosen for children to promote good health and growth – including peppermint, lemon balm, elderberry and chamomile – Kids Balance is a daily probiotic that provides natural bacteria needed for children’s health and growth. These essential bacteria improve the body’s ability to use nutrition, assisting with healthy growth and increasing the body’s ability to create natural vitamins and antibiotics. R93 from rawbiotics.co.za

Details: www.rawbiotics.co.za

WIN … To win a Rawbiotic Family Hamper worth R600, pop over to Instagram or Facebook before 25 March.


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