Brain develops rapidly from birth to age 5 in children. It affects overall growth of a child. There are four main areas of development in any child: motor (physical), language and communication, social and emotional and cognitive. Brain development is part of cognitive development. The first 8 years can build a foundation for future learning, health and life success. When it comes to kid’s growth and development, meal time is just as important as play time. Activities like listening to music, reading to your child, letting them explore their surroundings all encourage brain development. But, it’s not the only way you can help your child’s brain blossom. Feeding nutritious food is equally important.
Foods that contain antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, choline and complex carbohydrates are helpful in boosting brain health. Lets understand them below.
- Choline: Vitamin B4, also known as choline, is a nutrient that is essential for brain development, memory and muscle function. It also helps the brain communicate with the rest of the body and can help regulate mood (What other foods help with mood?).
Antioxidants: studies have shown that antioxidants may help to counteract the unstable molecules that comprise free radicals (What are they?), counteracting the negative effects of oxidative stress.
- Omega 3 fatty acids: these healthy fats are crucial to brain and eye development, and can help stabilize mood. (What kind of fat is good?)
- Complex carbs: these nutrients not only fuel brain, but also protect brain cells against damage from free radicals released from pollution, stress (Some super tasty carbs for kids)
BRAIN BOOSTER FOOD FOR KIDS
Because the brain demands such high amount of energy, the foods we consume greatly affect brain function. One of the best things you can do for long term brain health is eating right. Here are some power foods for brain development of children. There are numerous choice for kids who are picky eaters too. The goal is to balance nutrition which supports carbs, good fat that are essential for brain cells to develop.
- Walnuts is plant based omega-3 fatty acid and also possesses more polyphenols (micronutrients) compounds than any other nut. Both polyphenol and omega-3 fatty acids are considered critical brain foods that may counteract oxidative stress and inflammations two drivers of cognitive decline. Eating a handful of walnut a day may help improve memory (5 benefits of walnut for kids?)
- Flaxseeds are rich source of certain compounds that stimulates omegs-3 fatty acid, which helps improve brain function in kids and eye tissues. It also contains protein and fibre, nutrients necessary for healthy digestion (Other foods than help with digestion?)
- Diet deficient in folate (vitamin B9) can cause problems like anxiety, depression, fatigue. B- Vitamins are critical to brain function, especially for memory health. Spinach (Try the recipe of spinach wrap) is one of the most potent memory boosters. It is established fact that spinach contains some of the most valuable vitamins and minerals for promoting cognitive development. Spinach contains 65% of the daily requirement of folate and over 20% of daily vitamin b6.
- Eggs are good source of several nutrients tied to brain health, including vitamin B6, B9 and B12. Eating whole eggs (egg white and yolk) helps regulate memory because of Choline. Research said that regular consumtion of eggs has been associated with improved cognitive performance in kids and adults (What are some more brain food options?)
- Avocado contains high quantities of unsaturated fatty acids. A study conducted in 2012 found that unsaturated fatty acid helps protect cells in brain which provide support to the information carrying nerves in the brain. They are highly nutritious including 20 different vitamins and minerals. Avocado not only increases nutrient absorption from other foods, but they also are high in antioxidants. A study has shown that they are linked to reducing the risk of common eye-related ailments in individual. So, eating avocado can benefit kid’s long term eye health also (What other foods can help with eyesight?)
- According to studies, the antioxidant in blueberries may affect areas of your brain that essential for intelligence. Blueberries help to maintain brain function and improve memory. A study says that antioxidants (What are they and why we need them?) in blueberries stimulate the flow of blood and oxygen to the brain to help keep the mind fresh.
- Compounds in broccoli can help children’s brain grasp better. Intelligence can be categorised in two types: fluid and crystallised. Fluid intelligence is ability to solve new problems without help, any from prior knowledge. On the other hand, crystallised intelligence is problem solving ability stemming from experience. Study says that Lutein, a pigment found in green vegetables like broccoli, helps in preserving crystallised intelligence, by protecting the neuron in the brain (What other vegetable are good?)
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