Why This book? Why right Now?
If you are reading this post you may already be familiar with the new advances that are being made in the field of gut microbiology. For example, did you know we have more gut microbe DNA in our bodies then human DNA?!? Or perhaps the fact that there is more production of the neurotransmitter serotonin (a feel good brain chemical) occuring in our gut then in our brain! Or how about the fact that 70-80% of the body’s immune system resides in the gut itself!?! When I say gut I mean that area from your mouth all the way through to your colon. It’s a long road. If you spread it all out it would be about 30ft in length! The width in a healthy adult scientists say could be approximately the size of a badminton court , or maybe as large a tennis court! And at some points only a cell thick!
There is also much discussion about how our gut microbes affect genetic expression or which genes turn on/off. This becomes important for instance in the investigation of why some individuals get cancer and some don’t. Right now a google search for the term “Gut microbiome” yielded 5,710,000 results in less than 1 second! There are 8,639 research articles written using the same terminology in PubMed. When I change the words slightly to “Gut Microbiota” on PubMed I get 15,455 articles returned. It could probably be argued the topic of how the organisms in our digestive tract (which are made up of bacteria, viruses, and fungi to name a few) interact with our bodies is the most important up and coming topic in health!
The sad thing is after flipping through 5 or so pages of the 5,710,000 google returns I did not notice anything specifically written for children. Now to be fair to google if I add the word children onto my google search I do get some results, about 556,000, which sounds like a lot but its actually a small fraction of the material written in regards to adults. And the majority of the 556,000 articles are written about children, but for adults. This mostly comes in the form of how the gut microbiome affects conditions like autism, or diseases like crohns, or cancer. I’m actually excited there has been this much written about these conditions and the gut connection at all! Because I really feel like the interplay between our digestive tract and our genes or even our immune system is the future of disease management, and certainly disease prevention. What we eat and assimilate or make part of us affects us in far reaching ways. It influences what types of bacteria will grow or not grow as they feed on what we give them, the foods we choose to eat. In a sense the term “You are what you eat” is absolutely true!
For all the information and technical research being done on the gut microbiome I found little actually written for children on the subject. In my practice I found if you could make health FUN for children they were more apt to comply with my recommendations. My wife works for the Juice Plus Company which has figured out a way to dehydrate 30 different kinds of fruits, vegetables, grains and encapsulate them. Their main goal is to inspire healthy living throughout the world. They have a great program called their children’s health study where they are tracking the benefits in school aged children taking Juice Plus and are having some amazing results! Specifically I am excited about their new approach to inspiring healthy living in children. They are currently in the process of launching a program where kids share with other kids their experiences with various aspects of healthy living including their dietary choices, and exercise routines via youtube! The idea is for kids to share with other kids what is working for them!
I believe these sorts of things are key to the health of future generations. That’s why I wrote this book about children’s gut health. But as you’ll notice it’s not JUST for children. Adults will find helpful information here too which will hopefully take the information to the next level for the parents. I included information for parents or adults in general in this book for several reasons but namely because children are still children! They don’t do the grocery shopping. They aren’t preparing dinner or snacks for themselves (for the most part). Just like it’s helpful for kids to understand why what they are doing is good or bad, adults need this understanding as well! There’s the information but what practical ideas? That’s where the fun, gut nourishing, recipe section comes in handy. I hope whether you are an adult or a child you will be able to take away something helpful from this book; armed with this information I pray it will continue to move many further down the path towards lifelong health and healing. God bless you all on this journey!