Alertness, concentration and good memory are the demanded requisites for today’s children. Memory boosters, nutrient supplements and brain foods target school children with their varied form like milk powders, pills and syrup.
Alertness, concentration and good memory are the demanded requisites for today’s children. Memory boosters, nutrient supplements and brain foods target school children with their varied form like milk powders, pills and syrup. But we have to remember that effective memory and intellectual ability are the signs of good health and there is no need to supplement additionally. We have to accept the age old saying of “sound mind in a sound body”.
Milk powders and nutrient supplements are more popular among mothers as they favour weight gain in children. Increase in body weight alone is not the indicator of healthy growth since commercial supplements often result in overdose and paves way for obesity. Micro nutrient deficiencies of iron and iodine result in preventable mental retardation and decrease scholastic performance among school children. If you see right from infancy, there is no need for supplementation of multivitamins or minerals to breast fed infants since breast milk contains necessary amino acids that are adequate for brain development.
Iron helps in certain brain functions like learning ability, motivation and good memory. Lack of concentration, forgetfulness, fatigue and reduced work capacity are the symptoms of iron deficiency anaemia. Seventy percent of iron is in the form of haemoglobin which carrys oxygen to the lungs. Liberal inclusion of iron rich foods to the children is a must and the sources are Liver, organ meats, lean meat, eggyolk, fish, greens, legumes, nuts (Almond, ground nut, cashew nut and pista), fruits (peaches, apricot, seetha phal, sapota and raisins), gingelly seeds and dates.
It has been well proved that iodine deficiency results in lowering the average intelligence of entire school age population by as much as 10 to 15 IQ points. So you have to consume either iodised salt or sea foods in order to get iodine and there is no need to consume a particular brand of iodised salt for brain development. You might not be familiar with two real immune boosters that are nothing but antioxidants and phyto chemicals. We need not search these compounds any where since they are abundantly available in fruits and vegetables (spinach, carrot, cherries, yellow corn, tomatoes, blue berries and onion) and in foods like turmeric, garlic and soya bean. They strengthen our immune system and prevent children from getting infections. Soya bean contains both anti oxidants and phyto chemicals. Hence this golden bean which is also a good source of protein is an excellent food for children.
Phyto chemicals are naturally occurring chemical components present in plant pigments like carotenoids, flavonoids, lycopene etc. A single carrot contains over 100 phyto chemicals where as a multivitamin pill can give you only an isolated beta carotene and lycopene.
Let us see some natural brain foods. Fish fats contain phospho lipids which are required for the formation of brain and nervous tissue. Fish is a rich source of omega 3 fatty acids that are important for the healthy development of brain. Fish is also rich in vitamin B 12 and iodine. Vitamin B 12 is vital for a healthy nervous system.
Studies indicate that Alzheimer’s disease which is characterized by memory loss is associated with diets rich in saturated fats and cholesterol. Using of olive oil in cooking is the best option as it is a mono unsaturated fat and also has numerous health benefits. Almonds can be a healthy snack for kids as it contains antioxidants and folic acid. Folic acid present in almonds can lower homo cystein levels in the body. Higher homo cystein levels are associated with brain shrinkage and Alzheimer’s disease.
Figs contain pectin, a soluble fibre and iron. Eating figs relieve fatigue and increases brain power. It is better to go organic right from child hood. An organic orange has 30% more vitamin C than normal oranges. An organic spinach has 1500 mg of iron where as a non organic spinach contains only 19 mg.
Apart from food, physical activity is also a must to make smarter kids. Yoga directs blood to the brain and cleanses brain cells.
Food and physical activity alone won’t nourish your brain cells. A recent report from the “Daily Mail” says without adequate challenges such as learning a new skill or solving puzzles with friends, our neurons start to wither. These tasks strengthen neurons and boost brain power and memory. So it can be like this “Eat right, Exercise and keep fit so that you can feed your brain.”