Brain Food For Kids? Try These 8 Foods To Help Make Your Student Smarter
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. Here are some of the best brain foods to help make your kids smarter.
The top 8 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.
The science behind brain food for kids
To better understand the properties of food that can help make your kids smarter, we broke down some of the science behind these brain food for kids.
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.
Unhealthy sources of glucose can be found in candy, soda and products which contain a lot of refined sugar. Consuming too much sugar can negatively affect your ability to concentrate and may prevent you from effectively accessing your memory. These refined sugars also negatively affect your blood pressure. When this spikes and drops, you will be left feeling lethargic and too tired to think straight.
Keep a constant supply of glucose flowing to the brain by eating regular meals. Avoid skipping meals (especially breakfast) and try to eat small, healthy meals every couple of hours. Always aim to get seven servings of fresh fruits and veggies a day.
Brains are particularly fond of vitamins from the B-family. While vitamin supplements can help, they are no substitute for proper meals. Vital B vitamins are brain food for kids and can be found in whole grains, wheat germ, organic eggs, bran, whole wheat, oatmeal, brown rice and nuts.
Brains love 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.
Foods containing Omega-3 fatty acids are really good for brain health. You can find these in oily fish like wild salmon. Walnuts are brilliant brain food as are edible seeds like flax, hemp and chia.
The antioxidant properties of berries are legendary for their brain-boosting abilities and can be found in green tea, acai and blueberries. Acai berries are also a great source of Omega-3.
Magnesium is also an important nutrient for healthy brains. You can find magnesium in Swiss chard, spinach, potato skins, quinoa, peas, yogurt, cheese, soy products, tofu, fish, nuts and lentils.
A plant compound called luteolin helps to reduce the effects of aging on the brain as well as improve brainpower. Luteolin can be found in carrots and tomatoes, and is also instrumental in promoting good memory.
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.
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.
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