The one thing kids are completely hooked on is their exams right now. Many have their midterms happening at the moment and the one thing parents can do right now is make sure their children are consuming the right kind of diet. This allows them to consume the right kind of food which will keep them energized and able to study with better fervor. In fact, the brain is a very hungry organ — the first of the body’s organs to absorb nutrients from the food we eat, so let’s make sure the right kind of food. Let me now share some of the best kinds of food choices your child should be consuming to keep their brain working effectively.
Smoothies are a tasty way to incorporate lots of nutrients into your child’s diet — and even disguise foods that they might normally fight. You can even call it a “milkshake.” For the best superfood smoothie, add folate-rich and fiber-rich leafy greens like spinach or kale, along with chia seeds or walnuts for plant-based omega-3 fatty acids, fiber and protein. Then throw in avocado for healthy fats, followed by antioxidant-rich blueberries. Adding plain, unsweetened yogurt can also increase your smoothie’s creaminess, protein levels, and gut-healthy probiotics that boost mood.
Fatty fish like salmon are an excellent source of the omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA — both essential for brain growth and function. In fact, recent research has also shown that people who get more of these fatty acids in their diet have sharper minds and do better at mental skills tests. While tuna is also a source of omega-3s, it’s not a rich source like salmon. Tuna is definitely a good source of lean protein, but because it’s so lean it’s not very high in omega-3s like canned salmon. Eat more salmon: Instead of tuna sandwiches, make a salmon salad for sandwiches — canned salmon mixed with reduced-fat mayo or non-fat plain yogurt, raisins, chopped celery, and carrots (plus a little Dijon mustard if your child likes the taste). Serve on whole-grain bread — which is also brain food.
Getting your child to eat leafy greens may be challenging, but research suggests these nutritious vegetables are important for kids’ brain health. Green leafy vegetables like spinach, kale, and lettuce contain brain-protecting compounds, including folate, flavonoids, carotenoids, and vitamins E and K1. Research suggests that a diet high in carotenoid-rich foods, such as leafy greens, may boost cognitive function in children. Carotenoids like lutein and zeaxanthin are concentrated in leafy greens. After you eat these, they accumulate in a part of your eye called the retina.
Strawberries, cherries, blueberries, blackberries. “In general, the more intense the color, the more nutrition in the berries”. Berries boast high levels of antioxidants, especially vitamin C, which may help prevent cancer. Studies have shown improved memory with the extracts of blueberries and strawberries. “But eat the real thing to get a more nutritious package. The seeds from berries are also a good source of omega-3 fats.Add berries to veggies that may need a flavor boost — like sliced sweet cherries with broccoli or strawberries with green beans. Toss berries into a green salad. Add chopped berries to a jar of salsa for an excellent flavor surprise. Add berries to yogurt, hot or cold cereal, or dips. For a light dessert, top a mound of berries with nonfat whipped topping.
Cocoa and cocoa products, such as cacao nibs, are some of the most concentrated food sources of flavonoid antioxidants, including catechin and epicatechin. These compounds have anti-inflammatory and brain-protective properties, and studies have shown they may benefit brain health. Cocoa flavonoids increase blood flow to the brain and improve visual processing. Research has shown they improve performance on certain cognitive tasks in adults. What’s more, consuming cocoa may improve cognitive performance in younger people. Both short- and long-term cocoa intake benefited cognitive performance in children and young adults. Researchers suggested that cocoa consumption may lead to better cognitive performance in tasks related to verbal learning and memory.