More and more people these days are taking probiotic supplements to help with their digestion and overall health.
Many of us adults have already incorporated them into our daily routines. It's not even something we think about much anymore. We know we are doing the right thing to support our gut health, and we know that probiotics work to support our digestive system.
However, you may not have considered encouraging your children to take probiotics as well.
Probiotics may be just as beneficial for children as they are for full-grown adults, and there are more and more probiotic supplements that are made especially for kids on the market these days.
If you're interested in learning more about the benefits of probiotics for kids, read on. After reading this informative post, you'll be ready to talk to your pediatrician about adding a probiotic supplement for children into your son or daughter's daily routine.
What Are Probiotics and How Do They Help?
If you have not heard of probiotics before, you may be amazed at the positive benefits they offer.
There are two main types of probiotics that people consume for health reasons. One is Lactobacillus, which can be found in yogurt and in fermented foods. The other, Bifidobacterium, is a yeast that is sometimes used to treat digestive problems.
Both of these are commonly referred to as "good bacteria" because once they are consumed they remain in the gut and help with food digestion.
People who take probiotics do so because they want to help their digestive system perform at its optimum level. Probiotics help balance out the bad bacteria in the system and they help the body to fight possible infections. Further, they can help your body to break down medications and can also help with the absorption of vitamins.
Four Benefits of Probiotics for Kids
Most of the probiotic research completed so far has been on the ways probiotics affect adults. However, new research is underway today because many doctors and scientists believe that there are benefits of probiotics for kids, too.
1. Sleep Promoter
You know that probiotics are good for your gut, but do you know that they can help you with sleep, too? Many children have a hard time falling asleep, staying asleep, and sleeping long enough to let you sleep as much as you'd like, so you may be excited to know that probiotics can help people get a better night's sleep overall.
One study, published in Front Psychiatry in 2019, found that probiotics helped the medical students who participated in the study to sleep better than they did without them. It's likely that these results apply to children as well.
2. Eczema and Allergy Fighter
A study in New Zealand found that children who ate yogurt daily by the age of one experienced less eczema and fewer allergies than children who did not. In fact, the children in the study who ate the most yogurt were the subjects least likely to suffer from these things at all.
3. Immunity Builder
Probiotics can help build immunity as well, and this factor can help you keep your little one from getting sick, which can be a real headache for both of you.
According to a review of studies published by Fan Yang and D.B. Polk, it's clear that probiotics help the body fight off illness through the regulation of the immune response. You may not feel your body fighting a virus or bacteria, but you will notice when no one in your family gets sick all winter.
4. Upper Respiratory Tract Protector
A study from 2016 found that probiotics were successful in reducing the frequency of respiratory tract infections in children. Again, half of the group was given probiotic supplements and the other half was given a placebo.
The study involved 6,269 children between the ages of birth and eighteen through twenty-three trials. The groups who received the probiotics had a significantly lower frequency of respiratory illnesses than the placebo groups.
How to Give Probiotics to Your Kids
There are two ways to introduce probiotics into the body. Both are effective; for best results, you can try both. Probiotic-rich foods and probiotic supplements both supply the body with healthy probiotics.
Probiotics in Food
One way is through food. There are a number of different foods that are rich in healthy, probiotic bacteria. Several of these are popular foods for kids.
Yogurt is a great option; most kids enjoy it because it comes in a wide variety of flavors. Kefir, a fermented milk drink, is similar to yogurt but isn't as thick. It, too, comes in several kid-friendly flavors.
If your son or daughter likes pickles, that's another option. Sourdough bread also contains probiotics.
Tempeh, kimchi, saurkraut, and kombucha are other foods that are rich in probiotics. However, these may only be an option for your family if your children are somewhat adventurous eaters.
The other way to build up probiotics in one's body is through supplements. Many adults choose to consume their daily probiotics this way because it's easy and consistent. Probiotic supplements are also a great probiotic delivery method for children.
Before you give any type of supplements to your children, consult with their doctors. Supplements are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, so it's best to consult with a medical professional before starting any supplement regimen.
Further, probiotics can interfere with some medications and it's unwise to give probiotics to children with compromised immune systems because they can cause infections and other side effects. Speak to your child's pediatrician before starting your son or daughter on probiotics.
As you can see, there are many things that suggest that probiotics can be helpful for children. The benefits of probiotics for kids are likely numerous, and there are so many ways to introduce them into your child's diet and routine.
If you're an adult who already takes probiotics, there's no reason to keep them from your children - after speaking with their pediatricians about them first, of course.
There are so many great probiotic supplements out there for kids today. Many come in tasty gummy form, so your children will be excited to take them every day.
If you're looking for some great probiotics for kids, check out our products for some wonderful probiotics and other healthy items for your little ones