Power Up The Brain for School
As the holidays wind up and schools resumes, it is time to ready our kids for reading, writing, learning and critical thinking. In order for children to successfully maintain levels of alertness and focus throughout the long school days, we need to provide them with high quality nutrients for sustained brain function and alertness. Poor food choices for breakfast and lunches will inevitably result in bored, restless, inattentive & sleepy children. Here are some brain boosting food and nutrients that are essential for alert functioning children, which in turn can lead to improved academic performance.
- A substantial breakfast – comprising of complex carbohydrates, protein & a little fat. (Eggs, wholegrain toast, avo – rolled oats porridge with LSA (crushed Linseed, sunflower seeds and almonds) – protein smoothie) This is vital to boost brain function, alertness and concentration. Children who skip breakfast are likely to be more sluggish, less attentive & have less energy in their morning activities. It is important to minimize sugar at breakfast as this is quickly metabolized by the body, thus leading to a very quick onset of inattentive and sleepy behavior.
- B Vitamins – essential for the nerves & brain function
- Omega-3 fatty acids – assists in cognitive development. Research suggests omega-3’s help to decrease the symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and developmental coordination disorder (DCD) in children.
- Zinc – Research studies have identified a correlation between higher zinc levels and improved attentiveness, memory, problem solving & hand-eye coordination.
- Iron – essential nutrient for the production of haemoglobin, which is the component in red blood cells that carries oxygen and delivers it to the tissues. Iron also contributes to the production of neurotransmitters – serotonin & dopamine that have beneficial effects on mood & brain function. Typical symptoms of iron deficiency include lack of energy & sleepiness.
- Choline – essential nutrient needed for proper mental function. Choline stimulates production of the key neurotransmitter Acetylcholine, responsible for memory, mental clarity & the healthy formation of synaptic connections between neurons.
- Water – hydration levels are extremely important for maintaining concentration.
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