Can what they eat affect your child’s ability to focus during study? Help them beat the stress that can build up in the run-up to a big test? Are there certain foods that can boost their brain power? Though it may surprise you to learn this according to science the answer is yes. And they are not expensive, odd, pre-packaged or hard to find.
We know that getting kids to eat healthy foods can be hard. It can, if we are honest, be tough to stick to a healthy eating plan ourselves. The good news here is that most of the ‘top brain foods’ are pretty palatable and can be prepared in ways that even very picky kids will enjoy.
What are these brainpower boosting foods? Let’s take a look:
This fruit (yes, it’s a fruit even though it’s not sweet) is actually one of the healthiest fruits around in general. It’s packed with monounsaturated fats (those are the good ones) that help regulate blood sugar, boost energy levels and even clear skin (you can possibly use THAT as a selling point for teens)
In addition, they contain high levels of folate and Vitamin K. Both of these have been shown, in numerous studies, to improve cognitive function, especially both memory and concentration.
What’s the best way to tempt a kid to eat avocados? It’s great grilled as a side dish for almost any meal, its great with scrambled eggs, excellent on toast with boiled eggs and you can even make avocado French fries!
Blueberries are another super fruit, but as they are far sweeter they are also far easier to tempt kids to eat!
Blueberries contain high levels of Vitamin C and Vitamin K, and they are one of the highest antioxidant-rich foods there are. Antioxidants protect the brain from degeneration and boost energy while also helping to relieve stress.
There are so many ways to serve blueberries, including as a smoothie mixed with – guess what – avocado. Simply throw a generous handful of blueberries and sliced avocado into a blender, add ice, blend and serve.
Fish is a healthy choice in general, but when it comes to boosting brain power, salmon is about as good as it gets. The reason is that not only does it contain lots of those good fats we mentioned earlier but it contains one of the most valuable of all- omega 3 fatty acid.
Omega 3 fatty acids have been shown to play a crucial role in healthy brain development, so they are especially beneficial to kids. It has even been shown to help improve cognition and focus in children diagnosed with ADHD.
Chances are you may already use turmeric in your everyday cooking and meal prep. If so then you’ll be pleased to know that you’ve been helping your child get a brain boost all along.
Turmeric is something of a wonder spice. It can boost antioxidant levels and keep the immune system healthy, while also improving the brain’s oxygen intake, keeping your child more alert and better able to process information.
Most people are aware of the fact that this ‘tree veggie’ is great for your overall health but it actually offers some rather specific brain health benefits as well. Thanks to its high levels of vitamin K and choline, it will help keep your child’s memory sharp, helping to maximize all of those hours of study, especially when it comes to test time.
That’s not all that broccoli has to offer though. You may be surprised to find that it contains almost as much Vitamin c as a same size serving as oranges, so will help your kid ward off those colds and touches of flu that can derail their schooling and their study plans.
A good reason to eat chocolate? Most kids are going to love this one. But it’s true, dark chocolate can be a brain booster. Dark chocolate is full of flavonols, which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. They help lower blood pressure and improve blood flow to both the brain and heart, improving both mental and physical stamina.
Obviously, this is not an excuse to scoff down a whole bar of dark chocolate in a single sitting (sorry kids) All that is needed to gain the benefits it offers is a square or two a day.And do make sure it’s the dark stuff, as milk and white chocolates simply don’t have the same levels of beneficial flavonols.