With the increasing pressure of school based education, Olympiads, external competitions like spell bee and extracurricular activities, it becomes important as a parent to set your child on the right path from the very beginning. The brain development of child starts from the very first week of pregnancy and continues throughout the childhood and adult years. As such, taking care of proper brain development by eating brain development food for child , following proper sleep schedule and daily exercise can help. (How to improve concentration in kids?)
What causes Cognitive decline or aging of brain?
Imbalance between antioxidants and free radicals is the basis for free radical damage resulting in aging and cognitive decline. This cycle is natural. However, to protect the body from any damage and early decay, we must maintain a balance of free-radials and anti-oxidants. Therefore, we must eat real foods like whole grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables in as much variety as possible to be able to absorb complete nutrition to keep this balance. Also we must maintain a healthy number of good bacteria in our gut. This combined with anti-oxidants will protect the body from diseases and illness. (How to keep the gut healthy?)
BRAIN DEVELOPMENT FOOD FOR CHILD:
There is no magic pill to prevent cognitive decline. However, consuming a lot of nuts, fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains can protect the brain from early aging and (now common) dysfunctions. Nutrients like omega3 food, B vitamins and antioxidants support brain health. That is why brain development food for child must contain these nutrients and incorporating food rich in these on a regular basis can improve the health of the brain, memory, cognition and attention. In addition to this, Ayurvedic herbs can help with the brain development of child if given from the early years.
Ayurvedic herbal medications are increasingly researched due to their biosafety profile and usefulness in cognitive impairment. They do not yield results over-night. Herbal supplements for brain help only when they are taken for a prolonged period of time. Long-term consumption of purely crafted supplements do not make your body dependent on the herbal drug or supplement. (Do healthy kids need vitamin supplements?)
Bramhi attacks the free radical scavengers and protects cells in prefrontal cortex, hippocampus, and DNA damage. It reduces stress-induced hippocampal damage and hence is a great supplement for brain. Herbal supplements do not have harmful impact on the body.
Brahmi is a superfood for brain and is believed to sharpen the brain by protecting cells and increasing chemicals associated with learning and memory. It has shown to improve spatial learning and retaining power in kids. In older times, kids were often given Brahmi powder with ghee/honey. This would increase their focus and attention, while keeping them calm and destressed. (Foods that help kids keep better?)
Here are some scientific research papers which speak about the positive impact of Brahmi on overall health (read research). Here is a NIH study that elaborates on cognitive function benefit of Brahmi.
Ashwagandha is an adaptogen. Adaptogens are herbal supplements that work to counteract the effects of stress in the body. Stress causes very real physical changes in the body, including harming the neurological, endocrine, and immune systems. Adaptogens have stimulant properties that help counteract those harmful effects.
The root of Ashwagandha smells like horse (“ashwa”), that is why it is called Ashwagandha (on consuming it gives the power of a horse).
Ashwagandha is commonly available as a churna, a powder that can be mixed with water, ghee (clarified butter) or honey. It enhances the function of the brain and nervous system and improves the memory. It improves the function of the reproductive system promoting a healthy reproductive balance. Being a powerful adaptogen, it enhances the body’s resilience to stress, fatigue, pain and anxiety. And improves the body’s defense against disease by improving the body cells immunity and it also possesses potent antioxidant properties that help protect against cellular damage caused by free radicals.
Best way to give Ashwagandha to children is mixing it with milk. Make a paste by mixing it with water and apply to reduce inflammation in the body and treat wounds, ulcers and painful swellings.
Here are some scientific research papers which speak about the positive impact of Ashwagandha on Immunity (read research) and Brain development (read research). More details of this herb around its health benefits, side effects, safety, how to consume it, etc. can be found here.
A compound found in turmeric, offers therapeutic relief. It is a rich antioxidant which supports against brain cell damage. It has found to delay or reverse brain diseases or age related decreases in brain function. This is a great brain development food for child.
Curcumin has a protein called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) which is found in the brain and spinal cord that plays a key role in keeping nerve cells healthy, as well as regulating communication between nerve cells, which is critical for learning and memory for kids. (What is the turmeric home-remedy for cold and flu?)
Consuming turmeric on a daily basis with black pepper helps to keep the nerve cells healthy. It works best when consumed with black pepper, ginger and some honey for taste.
There are several scientific studies on the impact of Curcumin on cognition and memory. Here is a NIH study that elaborates the benefits of Curcumin on cognition. Here is the study which supports Curcumin for memory.
Recipe for RAGI Chocolate Cream Biscuit:
Let’s try to make every food a child wants to eat more tasty and nutritious with hidden herbs and nuts.
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We know that preparing and feeding healthy foods everyday is a huge task. Even more tough when kids are picky eaters. Kids prefer certain foods and formats. It is not easy to feed kids bitter Ayurvedic herbs, variety of vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds everyday.
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