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About three decades ago, something devastating happened in Brazil. An infectious disease had struck the cacao trees and threatened to wipe out the population. Some 70% of these plants fell victim to this deadly ailment. The industry faced decimation. Officials tried to stop the progression but it was hopeless. The situation was becoming dire. If something wasn't done, chocolate was surely going to disappear. Researchers went into the fields of Brazil in the hopes of saving one of the most beloved foods on Earth.
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"What happens in those first few years of life will influence a child’s health for many years to come."
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It does more than just improve your gut health.
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But probiotics might help!
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As a parent, your job is to protect your kids from harm and stories of superbugs and flesh-eating viruses may have you liberally basting your children with hand sanitizer, and cleaning your home with chemicals that promise to send bacteria packing. Well, put down the bleach and put your feet up. As it turns out, dirt is actually good for our kids!
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Research into the gastrointestinal health of dogs has revealed their microbial populations are quite different from ours. However, being mammals, their microbial populations develop in the same way as us. This also means they can benefit from a selection of bacterial species known to convey a health benefit otherwise known as probiotics.
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The premise of a microbial-brain link suggests restoring gut microbial balance might be able to improve a healthy brain. Yet, figuring out the best method to accomplish this goal has been a challenge. One of the more promising routes involves fecal transplantation. Yet this method has yet to gain significant approval and has not been tested in regards to Alzheimer's disease.
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Defining a role for microbes in stress has represented a major shift in the concept of dealing with this intrinsic part of daily life. By using probiotics with mental health benefit -- also known as psychobiotics -- people may be able to alter their stress levels by ingesting a probiotic formula.
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The digestive tract truly is the cornerstone to our health. The large surface area provides a barrier to a contained environment that manages exposures to food, chemicals, and infection. To mange these complex exposures, the gut is well equipped. The gut houses trillions of bacteria that make up our microbiome (referred to as the second genome) and help our bodies in the process of digestion, absorption and metabolism.
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Depending on the species of bacteria used, the benefits of Kefir can range from antioxidant activity to immune balance and in some cases, prevention of tumours. Yet, while these benefits continue to be discovered, there is a caveat. The microbiological composition of kefir grains differs around the world meaning no two are going to provide the same benefits. This could lead to incorrect assumptions of the positive effects on health.
Joanne Gerrard Young
The gut is like a highway junction to every part of the body. The mucosal lining of the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) gives direct access to the blood stream which carries nutrients, oxygen, toxins, waste products, and inflammatory markers to the whole body. So when there is trouble in the gut, you can have health issues throughout your body.
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Meet Joanne Gerrard Young, holistic nutritionist, master raw food chef and well-being educator behind The Healing Cuisine, who happens to also be the Brady-Bündchen family and friends' private chef when they are in town (Joanne is based out of Costa Rica).
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A Finnish group of researchers released the results of a three-year study examining the effects of long-term probiotic use on antibiotics and children's health. The results suggest probiotics may offer far more than a means to prevent AAD and C. difficile. They may actually help to reduce the need for antibiotics in the future.
Nutrition is critical to helping kids reach their full potential. The first three years are especially important because your child's brain is growing. During the early years and beyond, ensuring your child consumes brain-boosting nutrients can help with concentration and performance in school, sports, music and more!