04 Jun 7 Superfoods to Support Brain Health
The food your child eats plays a key role in keeping their brain healthy and working in peak condition. This helps to improve their mental development including memory, focus and concentration. Optimal brain function also helps your child in the happiness department too, lowering their risk of depression, anxiety, behavioural problems.
You can help support your child’s brain health and boost their alertness, memory and mood by including these foods in their diet.
Eggs have had a bad rap for many years but thankfully they are making a come-back, as befits their function as a nutritional powerhouse. Eggs are a good source of several nutrients tied to brain health including vitamins D, B12 and choline.
Choline is an especially important nutrient the body uses to make acetylcholine – a neurotransmitter that helps to regulate mood and memory. Many kids don’t get enough choline (or vitamin D) so eating eggs is an easy way to get good concentrations of these important nutrients.
The brain is about 60% fat and half of that fat is the omega-3’s. Oily fish such as salmon, tuna and sardines are a major dietary source of the omega-3 essential fatty acids.. Healthy oils are possibly the most important nutrient for optimal brain function because they are a key structural component of all cell membranes.
Avocados contain nearly 20 essential nutrients including healthy fats, fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K, vitamin C plus B group vitamins. Avocados are also high in soluble fibre which will help to soften your child’s stool, a real benefit if they suffer from constipation.
Walnuts & Seeds
These crinkly nuts look like the human brain – maybe nature’s hint they are an excellent brain food. Walnuts are rich in vitamin E, a potent antioxidant plus a variety of vitamins and minerals.
Seeds such pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, flaxseeds, chia seeds and sunflower seeds also contain powerful antioxidants and are high in nutrients important for brain health such as zinc, magnesium and iron. They are also a rich source of the omega-3 oils.
Blueberries, also called brain-berries because in the world of fruit, berries are the richest source of antioxidants and these can help to improve communication between the brain cells. They are also packed with Vitamin C and other beneficial antioxidants to support your child’s brain health. Frozen berries can be added to smoothies or sprinkled over porridge.
Vegetables are packed with powerful plant compounds, including antioxidants. The intense rich colours of vegetables such as carrots, broccoli, tomatoes, sweet potatoes and pumpkin provide your child with antioxidants to keep their brain cells healthy, the more intense the colour of veggies the more nutrition they contain.
FIONA STOCK | THE CHILDREN’S NATUROPATH | MELBOURNE NATUROPATH
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