May 6-12 is Children's Mental Health Awareness Week — yet many still are not "aware" that a child's diet has a lot to do with mental health. Even fewer understand that mental health really begins in the colon. That's right, the colon. About 80% of our immune system lies right within the gut, and our gut has its own nervous system, connected to our brain. In fact, about 90% of the serotonin in us is produced by our gut, and all other classes of neurotransmitters found in our brain are also in our gut. (Hyman MM. The UltraMind Solution: Fix Your Broken Brain by Healing your Body First. 1st ed. Scribner; 2008) What is wrong in a child's gut has a huge impact on what is wrong in the head. In situations where a child has a mental challenge like autism, this gut imbalance has to be corrected for any healing to occur:
- Candida and pathogenic bacteria must not be fed — refined sugar has to be eliminated.
- Inflammation has to be reduced — fruits, vegetable juice, and omega-3 fats are all anti-inflammatory foods.
Have you read Dr. Michael Donaldson's article on diet and autism? Comment below!