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Leading nutrition researchers emphasize the power that certain foods have over the brain. Psychiatrist Drew Ramsey, MD, and also co-author of “The Happiness Diet and Fifty Shades of Kale”, believes that since these years are very important for the development of the brain of children, the food that they eat affects their focus as well as cognitive skills.
The high protein content along with the presence of essential nutrients make eggs one of the best brain-foods for your child. Choline, which is packed into the yolk of eggs, helps in the development of memory and is hence essential for your child.
Dairy foods are rich sources of protein and vitamin B that are essential for the good health of the brain tissues, enzymes and neurotransmitters. With the presence of both protein and carbohydrates – energy sources of the brain, milk and yogurt are essential for boosting brain development.
Fats are crucial for the brain and promotes the brain cells in sending and receiving information. Full-fat Greek yogurt has more protein than any other yogurt. Make your child’s serving delicious by mixing in yogurt with blueberries or dark chocolates both of which have nutrients known as polyphenols and cereals for fibers. Polyphenols promotes flow of blood to the brain and helps to keep the mind sharp.
Tomatoes, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, carrots etc are rich in antioxidants which keep the brain cells healthy and functioning; the deeper the color of the vegetable, the better. Kale is a storehouse of antioxidants which helps in the growth of new brain cells. Kale and spinach, which are high in folate and vitamins, also decrease the risks of dementia during the later years of life.
Nuts and Seeds
With their high content of many essential nutrients including protein, vitamins, essential fatty acids, fibers and a host of other minerals, nuts and seeds are good for the nervous system and also boost mood. Seeds like the sunflower seeds are rich sources of vitamin E, folate and selenium and is also available as a spread. Peanut butter also makes a good and healthy brain food for your child with its vitamin E content that protects the nervous membranes.
Oats / Oatmeal
Oatmeal is rich in protein and fiber and helps to keep a child’s brain functioning smartly all morning when at school. It helps to keep clear the arteries of the brain as well as the heart. Adding cinnamon to oatmeal helps to protect the brain cells. Sarah Krieger, MPH, RD, LD/N, consultant at St Petersburg, Fla and ADA spokeswoman, recommends oatmeal – “grain for the brain” for kids first thing in the morning as they need the excellent energy that this brain-food provides.
These foods not only help in the development of the brain but also promote concentration and focus that your school-going child needs to help him sit through a class and finish home-work but at the same time also provide him the energy to enjoy games. To help your child develop his brain with the right foods, click here.
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