Did you know that the human gut has around 100000000000000 bacterial cells? These cells – or microbes – provide essential nutrients and ensure the proper development of the immune system and brain and so is crucial for proper early life development and lifelong health especially for the first 1000 days of a baby.

Research suggests the gut bacteria in healthy people is different from those with certain diseases. People who are sick may have too little or too much of a certain type. Or they may lack a wide variety of bacteria. It’s thought some kinds may protect against ailments, while others may raise the risk. When the balance of the gut bacteria is not aligned, this could lead to health conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, asthma, diabetes and obesity, anxiety, depression to name a few and this has led to developments which help keep the gut healthy, such as prebiotics and dietary guidelines.

This is also true for babies. Ensuring a healthy gut bacteria from birth can help protect against pediatric disorders and disease later in life.

Quinoa is an edible, grain-like crop from the Andes region of South America and is rich in protein, vitamins, and minerals. Quinoa is a natural organic super-grain that promotes the good bacteria in the gut and therefore is considered to be important for normal child development. The effects of Quinoa in human gut microbes was first tested back in 2016 when a group of scientists observed that Quinoa increased the presence of “good bacteria” that are known to promote health.

Quinoa contains dietary fibre, which is not only considered essential for optimal digestive health, but also imparts various functional benefits. It can help boost the immune system to fight off infections as it is rich in essential fatty acids which play important role in immunity and inflammation. The soluble fibre content is higher than that of wheat or maize, and helps the body to increase the favourable bacteria, thereby serving as ‘prebiotics’.

The consumption of quinoa can therefore have a positive impact on the maintenance of our intestinal ecosystems. We may have heard quinoa being mentioned as a ‘superfood’ as an adult, but as diet can directly influence gut microbiome from infancy, quinoa provides a perfect first weaning food!