Compared to adults, infants have weaker immune systems and are subject to more health risks like catching the cold and flu or other viruses and diseases. This is why they are given shots to boost their immune system and protect their health. Naturally, parents want the best for their little ones which is why they continue to find ways to improve their health and protect them from diseases.
Apart from immunization shots and having them take vitamins recommended by their pediatrician, there are more natural healthy additions to their diet and nutrition which can help them be more protected from health risks in this big world. Their small bodies need all the protection they can get and even smaller agents of nature can do this job for them.
A lot of people may think only negative thoughts when they hear the word bacteria, but contrary to what they believe, there are good bacteria as well. These come in the form or probiotics. They are similar to those good bacteria found in the human gut which help in digestion and other gastrointestinal functions.
Probiotics are beneficial to adults in the sense that they help with conditions like diarrhea, constipation, heartburn, and intestinal cramping. These good bacteria are also said to help relive digestive discomforts pregnant women experience.
But how are probiotics beneficial to infants?
Infants are born without intestinal bacteria and introducing probiotics to their system may prove to be beneficial especially if they are experiencing digestive discomforts. Infants get Bifidobacterium, a kind of probiotic from breast milk which is why breastfeeding is promoted to help them have a better digestive system.
Babies who get rotavirus may get relief when they are given probiotic-rich foods. Infants who have acute diarrhea experience relief when probiotics are included in their diet. Diarrhea caused by E. coli infections are also battled by probiotics in a baby’s system.
Other infant health conditions alleviated by probiotics include irritable bowel syndrome, thrush, atopic eczema, colic symptoms, and even lactose intolerance. Symptoms and discomforts are reduced and the duration of these health conditions are lessened by up to a day when babies have probiotics in their diets.
Prior to being born, mothers can also start making their babies benefit from probiotics by having it in their diets. Probiotics are said to help boost the immune system of not just the mother but the baby as well.
Where can infants get the probiotics they need?
Because of the benefits probiotics have for infants, pediatricians may advise mothers to have them added to their young one’s diet once deemed suitable. A great way to have infants ingest probiotics is by breastfeeding. This helps strengthen their immune system and builds a better bond between mother and child as well!
Reading the infant formulas can help as well. Those with Bifidobacterium lactis contain good bacteria which can help infants have their healthy share of probiotics.
Once they start eating solid foods, they can be introduced to trying out yogurts and other probiotic-rich food items like cheese and milk. Just make sure these dairy products are pasteurized before giving them to babies.
Consulting with a pediatrician can help mothers have a better idea of how probiotics can help their babies and which sources are safe for the little ones. With these health benefits, babies will be more protected and will have healthier digestive systems as well!