Caitlin Anderson – Wellbeing Health Promotions Officer
Whether you have fallen victim to the highly contagious Norovirus or are a healthy member of our TSS community, repairing and strengthening your gastrointestinal (gut) health should be high on the priority list.
Wholesome food and fluids act to restore nutrient deficiencies, replenish energy stores and heal the gastrointestinal lining– which all play a role in optimising our immune health. Both prebiotics and probiotics are effective at improving gut health.
Prebiotics are abundant in plant-based foods and promote colonization of healthy microbes that are rich in diversity. Some examples of prebiotic-rich foods include: asparagus, leeks, garlic, raw honey, bananas, onions, dandelion greens, chicory root and Jerusalem artichokes.
Did you know? Resistant starch is our guts ‘preferred fuel source’ and is found in green (unripe) bananas, cooked and cooled potatoes and legumes.
Probiotic-rich foods provide live bacterial colonies that are helpful for repopulating our microbial flora. Supplemented probiotics are convenient. However where possible, real food sources will provide additional nutrients such as calcium and fibre. Some probiotic-foods include; yoghurt with live cultures, milk kefir, water kefir, Kombucha and fermented vegetables (e.g., kimchi, sauerkraut).
If you have experienced multiple episodes of gastroenteritis, it is likely you have suffered some GI mucosal damage. Foods high in antioxidants such as fruits and vegetables will assist to lower inflammation. Additionally, collagen-rich products such as bone broth and gelatin, when paired with Vitamin C-rich foods, are helpful at accelerating the repair of the mucosal lining.
Furthermore, anti-inflammatory properties found within ginger (gingerols) and turmeric (curcumin) along with the health promoting benefits of rosemary, sage and Echinacea may also assist in the road to recovery.
Last but not least, rest and rehydration are both essential in the return to full health. See below for recommended fluid and sleep requirements for children and adolescents.
|Children 3-12 years||(3-8 years) – 1.2L
(9-13 years) – 1.6L
|(3-5 years) – 10-13 hours
(6-12 years) – 9-11 hours
|Adolescents 13-17 years||1.9L||8-10 hours|
Eat well, stay hydrated and rest up!
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