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Autism, ADD, childhood obesity, and diabetes — the rate of serious childhood diseases is on the rise, with these epidemics leading the way. Why? And what can be done about it?
Because of the childhood obesity epidemic and related conditions like type 2 diabetes, The Center for Disease Control estimated that an entire generation of children born since 2000 may live shorter lives than their parents. 1 Other experts, like Christopher Murray, who serves as director of Seattle's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, argue that today's kids may not live shorter lives than their parents, but they do risk spending their older years in poor health.2
Either way, the outlook is bleak.
Fetal nutrition is the best indicator of longevity and future health, and parents play a huge role in having healthy babies. Create a legacy of health and happiness for your baby by creating a happy, healthy microbiome. The Body Ecology Diet can help you prepare for your pregnancy. And our CocoBiotic probiotic drink can assist in creating a wonderful inner ecology as a super probiotic due to its bioavailability as a fermented liquid food, rather than an ordinary capsule supplement.
Women are delivering low birth weight and pre-term babies in epidemic numbers, and both conditions accurately predict future health problems like type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Even more troubling, rates of autism have more than doubled since 2000, according to CDC research. One in 59 children have autism (1 in 37 boys and 1 in 151 girls), up from 1 in 68 in 2012. 3
At a time when giving birth to a healthy baby seems more and more difficult, most women are unaware of how their nutrition and lifestyle can positively impact the health of their future child.
During pregnancy, many changes occur in a woman's body, including:
Studies show that as many as 85 percent of women have a vaginal infection when they give birth and pass on dangerous pathogens to their newborn babies instead of the beneficial bacteria that create a foundation for wellness.4 Vaginal yeast infection during pregnancy has become so common that most doctors don't think twice about recommending over-the-counter products or prescribing vaginal creams and suppositories. The Office on Women's Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says that "yeast infections are more common during pregnancy than in other times of a woman's life" and "do not threaten the health of your baby," which we now know doesn't tell the full story.5 A yeast infection during pregnancy may be the sign of an underlying Candida infection that can be passed on from mother to baby.
Babies who aren't born with an abundance of beneficial bacteria can start life with gastrointestinal pain like colic reflux and even infant constipation. They may not develop the necessary immunity, enabling them to cleanse out the inherited toxins from their parents and grandparents.
From this state of weakened immunity, a baby is vulnerable to more serious health problems, including autism.
Understanding fungal infections may be the key to unlocking the mystery of autism. When a woman has a systemic fungal infection (Candidiasis), she can infect her baby, and neither of them may have any visible symptoms.
Babies born with yeast in their gut (inherited from mothers with Candidiasis) lack the normal, healthy bacteria that establish a thriving immune system. A baby's blood-brain barrier isn't formed until 6 weeks after birth. Before the blood-brain barrier is formed, there is potential for fungal, bacterial, and viral infections to enter a baby's brain.
A large number of children with autism are known to have gastrointestinal troubles, and researchers have linked autism with gut bacteria. The inner ecosystem of the gut, also called the "second brain," can impact the health of the entire body — including brain development, behavior, and mood. Pregnancy and the first two years of life are considered the critical window to nourish a baby's inner ecology to support gut, immune, and brain health.
When assessing autism risk, it helps to remember that a baby's inner ecosystem is passed down from the mother. Caltech researchers discovered that a viral or bacterial infection during pregnancy could increase a child's risk of developing autism. Researchers also observed that changing gut bacteria with beneficial probiotics could help to reduce symptoms of autism. Solidifying the brain-gut connection, researchers believe probiotic therapy could be potentially transformative for children with autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders.6
Establishing a vibrant inner ecosystem is just one way an expecting mother can influence her baby's health — a mother's mood can also help or harm her unborn child.
When a mother is under excessive stress during pregnancy, her fetus ends up with expanded adrenals, and the baby is unable to handle stress. (Adrenals are glands that provide energy to every system in the body.) When the adrenals are healthy, a person is calm and centered with excellent mental focus. Children who experienced expanded adrenal cells in the womb will be highly intelligent but will find it difficult to concentrate. These children are often diagnosed as having ADD or ADHD.
Research also ties mood back to the health of the gut. Friendly gut bacteria have been proven to reduce anxiety, largely related to the gut-brain connection we already discussed. Probiotics can heal the "second brain" to provide a range of neurological benefits. In a study published in Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, researchers suggested that probiotics could help to improve mood, especially in cases of aggression and depression.7
The Body Ecology Diet emphasizes establishing a healthy inner ecosystem, cleansing your body of built-up toxins, and nourishing your adrenals as an ideal way to prepare your body for pregnancy.
If you are thinking about becoming pregnant, it's not too late to start thinking about your own health:
You may have heard of pregnant women who crave the unlikely combination of pickles and ice cream. Craving pickles and ice cream is actually your body's way of saying it needs sour, fermented foods rich in beneficial bacteria and the sugar to feed them. Unfortunately, most commercial pickles and sauerkraut are pasteurized and contain too much salt and vinegar, so you won't get the health benefits of true fermented foods. And ice cream is full of sugar that feeds Candida yeast.
The Body Ecology program is the only nutrient-rich, probiotic diet that encourages daily fermented foods and drinks. These superfoods establish plenty of good bacteria in your intestines that quickly populate your birth canal. Easily digestible milk kefir and cultured vegetables are especially nourishing to a mother's inner ecology. Maintaining this healthy inner ecosystem is the crucial first step to wellness for you and your baby.
When your baby passes through the birth canal, he will be inoculated by beneficial bacteria and be well on the way to establishing his own inner ecosystem. For this reason, research supports the long-term benefits of probiotics during and after pregnancy: Probiotic bacteria can protect children and pregnant women against heavy metal exposure.8 Probiotics during and after pregnancy may also reduce the risk of eczema in children by almost half, another rising childhood epidemic.9 Consuming probiotics during pregnancy can even protect against listeria, a pathogen lethal to pregnant women.10 Nutrients researchers say that supporting the infant gut microbiome with probiotics proves promising to address the growing childhood obesity crisis that can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes.11
Enjoying probiotic-rich fermented foods during pregnancy can provide lifelong benefits:
Ideally, potential mothers and fathers will follow the Body Ecology Diet for six months to two years before conception. A father's genes also contribute to a healthy placenta, liver, and adrenals — all important to strengthen a baby's immunity. You now know that nutrition and lifestyle can significantly impact your health and the health of your baby. If you are planning to have a child, the Body Ecology program is your foundation for creating wellness.
Childhood diseases like ADD, autism, obesity, and diabetes are on the rise, and they all share one common link: Widespread health problems during pregnancy are being overlooked, and these issues are being passed on from mother to baby.
If a mother does not nourish her inner ecosystem during pregnancy, she will not have much to impart to her child during birth. Babies who lack good bacteria at birth may be at risk for a number of health issues, including weakened immunity and poor digestive health that can lead to colic and constipation. Weakened immunity and poor gut health can also leave a baby vulnerable to more serious childhood diseases, including autism.
Supporting your inner ecosystem during pregnancy is the best thing you can do for your baby's lifelong health.
Here are four ways to get started:
It's easy to support your inner ecosystem during pregnancy with fermented foods and drinks. Enjoying probiotic-rich foods like milk kefir and cultured vegetables daily will colonize your gut with plenty of good bacteria to pass on to your baby.
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