Our brain needs nutrients to grow and develop. But what sort of food does it exactly need? Let’s get brainy with the food below.
The essential omega-3 fatty acids – found in oily fish are high in DHA, a fatty acid crucial to the health of our nervous system. DHA is present in the nerve endings in our brain. Research has linked the intake of fish to higher IQ and better vision.
2. Lean meat (beef/ pork)
Meat is rich in iron, an essential mineral that helps kids stay energized and concentrate at school. Lean meat is one of the best-absorbed sources of iron. Zinc in meat may also aid memory.
Choline is found in egg yolk. It is a nutrient that is essential for brain development and may help in memory function.
Dairy foods are packed with protein, and B vitamins – essential for growth of brain tissue, neurotransmitters, and enzymes. Yogurt also contains vitamin D and calcium.
Walnuts are rich in omega-3 fatty acids (alpha-linolenic acid, or ALA), which are important for good health. It also contains tryptophan, an amino acid that helps your body create serotonin, a feel good chemical.
Rich in anthocyanins, a phytochemical which may possibly help the brain make new neurons.
Corn is rich in thiamine, which is involved in enzymatic reactions central to energy production and is also critical for brain cell and cognitive function. This is because thiamin is needed for the synthesis of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter essential for memory,
Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable, along with cauliflower and cabbage. This family of vegetables is found to be rich in antioxidants which have been linked to better memory and reasoning.
Rich in beta-carotene, an antioxidant that helps to keep the brain cells healthy and has been linked to better memory and reasoning.
10. Wholegrains (e.g. wholegrain bread)
Rich in B vitamins, which nourish a healthy nervous system. Choose bread enriched with iron, which is essential for the formation of haemoglobin. The fibre in whole grains helps regulate the release of glucose into the body.
By Ms Suzanne Khor, Senior Dietician at Thomson Paediatric Centre, The Child Development Centre Novena Medical Centre
The Child Development Centre
10 Sinaran Drive
#09-04 Novena Medical Centre
Tel: 6397 6627/ 6397 6966 (hotline)
This article was first published in The New Age Parents e-magazine.
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