While your brain may only take up 2% of your body mass, it utilizes up to 20% of your energy. Brains need a complex mixture of proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals to function and grow. If you feed your kid’s brains the right food, they will perform better academically and enjoy improved memory functions.
The most immediate need for all brains is a constant supply of glucose which can be found in whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Ensure a good supply with regular meals crammed with healthy nutrients and augmented with water for hydration. When you don’t eat regularly or when you go for foods that aren’t healthy, you will experience a lack of concentration and memory loss. This explains why your teen’s exam diet of fast food and gummi bears won’t help to improve their grades.
Brains also like iron which you can find in whole grains (like oatmeal), red meat (especially liver) and vegetables like spinach, raw asparagus, snow peas, kale and beets. See a full list of foods rich in iron here.
Eating regularly is also important if you want to keep your brain functioning optimally. Try to avoid drops in your blood sugar with regular meals and snacks on fruit, nuts and granola bars between meals.
The top five foods to feed your brain:
Green leafy veggies: like spinach, kale and cabbage are packed with vitamins B6, B12, Iron and folate.
Pumpkin seeds: just a handful a day is all you need to get your recommended daily amount of zinc, which helps develop your cognitive and memory skills.
Wild salmon: packed with essential fatty acids (Omega-3), these oily fish are a good source of protein.
Whole grains: bran, whole wheat, oatmeal, brown rice and wheat germ all contain lots of vitamin B6 and folate which increases the flow of blood to the brain.
Seeds and nuts: provide Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids which help to improve your mood while their thiamine and magnesium ramp up your memory.
Akai berries and blueberries: These amazing berries are packed with anti-oxidants, vitamins and protein. Akai berries even have omega-3 fatty acids.
Broccoli: a wonderful source of vitamin K, which improves cognitive function and brainpower.
Tomatoes: these happy fruits contain lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that fights free radical damage to cells which contributes to the development of dementia, particularly Alzheimer’s. Tomato juice is also a good source of iron.
Best drinks for your brain
Juices, especially those high in anti-oxidants and vitamins like cranberry juice or aloe juice. Green tea, especially macha which packs a great anti-oxidant punch and many vitamins and minerals to boot.
Always drink 6-8 glasses of water a day. Staying hydrated is important for proper brain function.Pic by Randen Peterson