The human brain is a marvelous organ, allowing us to think, learn, create, move and feel emotions. It’s also a very hungry one, consuming 20 percent of the body’s total energy expenditure.[i] All that activity takes fuel—especially when it comes to kids, whose brains are still growing. But not all fuel is created equal. Here are seven foods that can help your kids think their best.*[ii],[iii],[iv]
Fish: Fish, particularly fatty fish like salmon, contain Omega-3 fatty acids, which are absolutely essential for brain growth and function.* Omega-3s are particularly good for helping kids pay attention and focus.*[v] Of course, lots of kids are fish-haters, which is why many parents find fish oil a convenient way to ensure their little ones get enough Omega-3s. Vegetarians can get Omega-3s from walnuts, seaweed or a flax oil supplement.
Eggs: Forget what you were told in the 80s about limiting eggs to two per week. Turns out, eggs are good for you — especially your brain. And surprise: Their brain-boosting power is in the yolk, which contains choline. This nutrient makes neurotransmitters, which help brain cells communicate with each other and boost memory.*
Whole Grains: Carbohydrates are the brain’s preferred fuel, and whole grains provide healthy carbs, as well as B vitamins, that nourish the nervous system. Remember, the key word here is “whole.” White flour breads, cereals and pastas won’t do your child’s brain any favors.
Oatmeal: The brain needs a constant supply of energy to function at its peak. High-fiber foods like oatmeal are digested slowly, feeding the brain a steady stream of energy.*
Berries: Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and cranberries are all sources of brain-protecting antioxidants, such as vitamin C. Blueberries in particular have been linked to improved performance on cognitive tests in school children.*[vi]
Vegetables: Almost all vegetables are another good source of antioxidants, particularly brightly colored ones, like sweet potatoes, tomatoes or spinach.
Peanuts: Most kids love peanut butter. Turns out, peanut butter loves them back. It’s full of vitamin E, an antioxidant that protects nerve membranes, and thiamine, a B vitamin that helps the brain convert glucose to energy.
Who knows what your children will accomplish once their brains are turbo-charged!
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.