Monday,20 November, 2017
Current issue | Issue 1366, (26 October - 1 November 2017)
Monday,20 November, 2017
Issue 1366, (26 October - 1 November 2017)

Ahram Weekly

Boosting children’s brainpower

Let’s talk about better living! Our interactive family corner aims to expand our lifestyle horizons with practical little pearls of wisdom from the editor and input from our readers

Boosting children’s brainpower
Boosting children’s brainpower

Worrying about how your children are doing in school? Want to improve their ability to focus? Want them to comprehend everything taught in class? Relax — you are not the only one, and many other parents are in the same boat. Luckily, by adding some brain foods to your children’s diet, you can have a significant effect on their academic performance. 

Nutritionists believe that eating smarter makes kids smarter. Brain power foods can supply school-age children with needed focus. And since children are in school for roughly one third of every day, the level of their concentration, memory and intelligence depends to a great extent on what they eat.

Start out right with breakfast, which is critical for school-age children. Leading nutrition researchers have shown that breakfast-eaters do better academically and have fewer behavioural problems than breakfast-skippers. And when it comes to improving children’s concentration, brain foods rich in antioxidants, good fats, vitamins and minerals provide energy and aid in protecting against disease. 


Try to implement a few of these suggestions to boost your child’s brain power:


 

Eggs: These are an excellent breakfast choice. Eggs are a great source of protein, and their yolks contain choline, an important nutrient for memory development. They’re also rich in omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins B12 and D, which are vital for mental power. 

 

Dark chocolate: Though dark chocolate can be bitter, and some kids don’t like the taste, it has tremendous brain power benefits, including increasing blood flow to multiple parts of the brain as well as increasing alertness and clarity. Dark chocolate also contains a healthy amount of caffeine that improves brain function in children.

Nuts: Many types of nuts such as almonds, pistachios and walnuts contain high levels of essential fatty acids that help the brain to perform optimally. In addition, nuts contain a good amount of iron, zinc, protein, and magnesium, which act as antioxidants, help to repair brain cells, promote the strengthening of the nerves, and provide oxygen to the brain, increasing mental alertness and the ability to retain information. A minimum of one ounce of nuts per day is recommended for optimal brain health. 

Spinach: This boosts brain power, and that could mean better grades for your children. Spinach is chock full of folic acid and has even been shown to reverse memory loss. 

Oily fish: A large proportion of the brain is composed of fatty acids that play an important role in brain cell function. The high concentration of omega-3 fatty acids found in fish like salmon, tuna and sardines are essential for proper neural function. Research suggests that eating food rich in fatty acids helps children focus more and learn how to study more efficiently.

Apples: An apple a day can help children to improve their study habits and academic performance. The peel of the apple includes a powerful antioxidant called quercetin that enhances memory function.

Whole grains: Whole grains can lead to enhanced memory function and even better grades. Children can eat whole grain breads, crackers, and pasta while studying for a quick energy boost.

Legumes: These can keep energy levels high. Chickpeas, kidney beans and lentils contain substantial amounts of protein, complex carbohydrates, fibre and vitamins that help power the brain. In addition, legumes of all varieties contain high concentrations of folic acid, which improves the ability to recall information.

Peanut butter: This healthy snack is packed with vitamin E, an antioxidant that protects nerve membranes. It also contains thiamin, which is good for the brain, and glucose which gives energy.

Oats: Oats and oatmeal are excellent sources of energy and brain fuel. Oats are packed with fibre to help keep kids feel full so they don’t snack on junk food. They are also an excellent source of vitamins E and B complex, as well as zinc, to help kids’ brains work at their best.

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