6 Focus-Boosting Brain Foods
Why do we need focus-boosting brain foods? Creating a solid foundation for healthy eating habits is imperative during the first years of life. However, having a healthy, well-balanced diet can help boost the brain throughout life.
Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, folate, iron, iodine, zinc, choline and vitamins A, B12 and D support brain function, behaviour, and learning. While processed foods with added sugars can negatively affect cognition, behaviour, motor skills, and language development.
Try these six brain foods to help students stay sharp and focused.
Six Brain Foods to Help Boost Focus
1. Leafy Greens
Eat your greens! Leafy greens like kale, spinach, collards, and swiss chard are rich in brain-healthy nutrients like vitamin K, lutein, folate, and beta-carotene. Greens are a significant source of magnesium for muscle and nerve function. They’re also high in vitamins C and K, which help to strengthen the immune system.
It’s been regularly shown that greens protect your brain, and some studies have found that they may help slow cognitive decline.
So go ahead and pack some greens into your kid’s lunchbox for some brain-boosting eating.
Berries have superfood status. We all want to live long, healthy lives with our full mental faculties, and berries are shown to protect our brains. There are numerous natural antioxidant/anti-inflammatory compounds found in berries that help protect our memory and help reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and dementia.
There are different ways that you and your kids can consume berries. Try eating fresh berries when in season. Frozen berries are a great and cheaper alternative to buying fresh berries. They last longer, and you can add them to smoothies or yogurt!
Nuts are excellent sources of protein and healthy fats, and one type of nut, in particular, might also improve memory—walnuts!
A 2015 study from UCLA linked eating more walnuts to improved cognitive test scores because walnuts are high in omega-3 fatty acids. It’s been seen that diets rich in omega-3 fatty acids are linked to lower blood pressure and cleaner arteries. That’s good for both the heart and the brain.
Walnuts are great as a snack. Add them to a salad, eat them alone, or even add them to your favourite dessert! Next time you’re packing your kid’s lunches, add a handful of nuts in there for them to munch on.
Broccoli is packed with nutritional benefits. This veggie is packed with nutrients, making it a powerhouse vegetable for boosting focus. As an antioxidant, broccoli contains sulforaphane, which promotes cognitive function, reduces inflammation, and helps rebuild neural cells.
Many kids, and perhaps yourself, might not be a big fan of broccoli, but it might be because of how you prepare it. Boiling broccoli is the most common preparation but does little for flavour. Think about roasting your broccoli with other veggies. Add all the seasonings, herbs, and spices to increase the flavours.
Roasting broccoli with lemon and garlic is a great way to get a fantastic flavour that kids will love! Making broccoli a delicious brain-boosting food.
A Harvard study on foods linked to better brain power listed fatty fish, including salmon, as the second most powerful brain food, just after leaf greens. Giving your kids fish at a young age is an excellent protein choice. Children should get more protein from vegetables and fish rather than poultry and meats.
Salmon is a great fatty fish to have your child eat because it’s soft and mild enough for young kids, so they won’t complain about the ‘fishy’ flavours that some kids don’t like. Salmon is also an excellent source of vitamin B12 and omega-3s, which promote healthy brain development and happier moods.
We don’t suggest packing fish in their lunch box, as it might stink up the classroom. However, eating fish for dinner is a great way to include it in your child’s diet.
Eggs are an excellent source of healthy fats and protein. There have been many myths about eggs, one being that they will increase your cholesterol or that eggs will make you gain weight, but they have shown these just to be nothing else but myths.
They are an integral part of brain cell communication and help with memory. Eggs are one of the few natural sources of vitamin B, which has been shown to slow the process of mental decline and lower the risk of dementia.
Eggs are also inexpensive and easy to cook. So cooking up some eggs for your family is an excellent way to save a little time and money. Who doesn’t love that?
Check out this article if you’d like to learn more about the connection between nutrition and learning.
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