Good microbes: 15 healthy "investments" for children's health

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Every parent would like to do everything to guarantee their child a healthy life: if some factors, such as genetic predisposition, little can be done, much can be influenced with good practices, to be adopted since our children are born. . Here are the advice of Franco Berrino, a well-known epidemiologist, former director of the Department of Preventive and Predictive Medicine of the National Cancer Institute of our city and author of numerous books, such as "Medicine to eat", "Twenty-one days to be reborn", " The great way ".

Respect its "good microbes"

  1. 100.000 billion microbes live in our intestine, about twice as many as the cells of our body: a universe of bacteria, viruses, prokaryotes, yeasts which, "treated" well, can act very favorably on our health, training our immune system to defend ourselves from infections, protecting us from inflammation and allergic and autoimmune diseases. Here's how to grow them
  2. Give birth naturally

    As long as the baby is in the mother's womb, there are no microbes in her gut. When with natural childbirth it passes through the vaginal canal, it comes into contact with a myriad of germs, present both vaginal and anal, immediately filling up with the microbes that will be indispensable for enriching its bacterial flora. Other "friendly" bacteria will receive them if after birth it is placed on the mother's womb, where he will be able to learn about the bacteria present on her skin. If possible and if safe for mother and baby, natural birth is undoubtedly the best way to give birth to your baby
  3. Breastfeed

    A few days before giving birth, a mix of good bacteria builds up in the mammary gland, including the valuable bifidobacteria, which appear to be taken from white blood cells directly from the gut. If the baby is attached to the mother's breast, it immediately stocks up on these precious microorganisms and the right combination of antibodies and nutrients that will be essential for its health and proper growth. Breastfed babies have been shown to be less prone to infections and less risk of becoming obese. This is why, if possible, exclusively breastfeeding your child is one of the most precious gifts a mother can give her baby. For at least six months, as advised by the WHO, and even after weaning has begun, as long as mother and child want it
  4. Introduce the vegetables immediately

    Once weaning has begun, gradually introduce the children to the various foods, starting with baby food based on pureed vegetables and cereals. Also excellent soy milk or brown rice, but prepared at home, by cooking the food for a long time and then passing it through a sieve to eliminate the fibers, which the child's body is not yet able to digest.
  5. Make known "junk" foods as late as possible

    Keep in mind that what a baby eats in the first year of life will be something he will like and want in the future. We set a good example by consuming healthy foods first and prepared as much as possible at home. They will be the flavors that will become familiar to him and that he will search for as an adult. If we eat junk food they too will be led to consume it
  6. Avoid calorie excess

    It is now shared by scientists around the world that obese people get sick more and age faster.
  7. No to sugar before the age of 2

    Recently, the American Hearth Association published a study according to which you should not let children taste sugar before the age of 2 because it contributes to obesity, hypertension, diabetes and accustoms the taste to sweet, which they will not know how to do without. . Let's get used to preparing desserts at home, using as little sugar as possible and sweetening them with sugar-free jams or with fruit, such as apples or raisins
  8. Avoid industrial foods as much as possible

    Especially snacks, sugary drinks, French fries: they are a concentrate of 'empty' calories. Children are the main targets of the food industry market: it is up to us to protect them by making the right choices
  9. Limit your consumption of meat

    The European Code against Cancer in particular recommends avoiding preserved meats (such as cured meats, sausages, sausages) and limiting red meats, which increase the inflammatory state of the body. To ensure an optimal protein intake, fish, organic eggs, cheese, legumes, cereals, walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds are fine.
  10. Consume seasonal and organic food

    And as much as possible from the garden. Eating natural food means eating a food that contains microbes, which train our immune systems to get stronger. On the contrary, consuming a vegetable treated with pesticides or a salad disinfected with chlorine takes away from our immune system the opportunity to get to work and increases the risk of it starting to attack the host organism, causing allergic and autoimmune diseases to appear. , which in Western countries are increasing dramatically.
  11. Do not let children live in sterile environments

    Once again the reason is that an overly sanitized environment does not offer the possibility for our immune system to test itself with external enemies. It is not for nothing that it happens more often that first-born children get sick with atopic dermatitis or allergic asthma than second-born children, both because with the second child you go less for the subtle about many hygienic measures and because the older brother usually thinks about putting microbes in the mouth of the smallest!
  12. Eating foods that "microbes like"

    And that is the foods rich in prebiotics, which are natural substances that nourish the good germs present in our intestine. They are above all the so-called FOS, that is the fructo-oligo-saccharides that are found in general in fibers and especially in Jerusalem artichoke and dandelion root, but also in leeks and onions.
  13. Do not give antibiotics unnecessarily

    Especially in the first year of life, antibiotics should be avoided as much as possible, because they destroy the intestinal bacterial flora. It has been found that, in most cases, antibiotics are prescribed when they are not needed.
  14. Vary your diet

    That is, avoid always eating the same foods and try to vary as much as possible every day: in this way we ensure the child an intake of all the nutrients contained in foods, especially those of vegetable origin, each rich in specific vitamins, minerals, polyphenols and other antioxidant and anti-inflammatory molecules. Also with regard to cereals, we try the various alternatives, such as brown rice, hulled spelled, barley, millet, oats, rye.
  15. Also feed the mind

    That is, to make sure that our children live a peaceful life, ensure them the necessary hours of sleep, avoid situations of strong psychological stress, also cultivate the spiritual dimension of life: we have seen that, if the mind is peaceful, the body works better. It is true that we cannot modify the genes, which we have inherited, but we can favor their activation or make them remain "silent" for life.

  • child growth
  • wellness in pregnancy
  • habits
  • 1-2 children years
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