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Friday, February 19, 2010

Can food choices make your kids more intelligent or smart?

Food can help you become intelligent or smart. As a parent we know that our food should have some important elements such as it should contain protein, carbohydrate, minerals and vitamins and we try to make our food menus rich and fulfilling our daily needs. Our kids are getting sufficient supply of nutritious food and sometimes very rich food which is making our new generation fatter. This article is about tips which can help you determine and check your food menu if your kids are getting the perfect food helping them become smarter and intelligent. As these foods may trigger the brain cells as well.

Foods enhancing brain workout:

Proteins

Protein is the best way to get amino acids which are essential to brain health that the body cannot synthesize itself. A high-protein diet is usually recommended to athletes as it helps to build strong muscles, so give that brain a workout with protein-rich foods!

Spinach: Along with other leafy vegetables, spinach is a good dietary source of protein. An added benefit to spinach is that it contains anti-oxidants that can dispose of free radicals.

Nuts and Seeds: Another great source of protein. Easy to snack on and readily available, nuts/seeds/whole grain foods make for a great way to easily improve your brain power.

Eggs: Not only do they contain a large amount of protein for your brain, but they also carry a great deal of choline, a member of the B-Vitamin group and responsible for maintaining the health of neurotransmitters in the brain.

Fats

We often hear that we need more “omega-3” or that a food is rich in “omega-3”, so when you hear this, know that they’re referring to a type of fatty acid which is usually considered as being food for the brain as well as having the added benefit of reducing heart disease, amongst other things.

Seeds and Nuts: Returning again, seeds and nuts are a fantastic source of fatty acids, including the omega-3 variety of fatty acid. Prime examples of nuts or seeds will include almonds and pumpkin seeds.

Fish and Shellfish: Rich in fatty acids and omega-3, fish truly is food for thought. You’ll often find that people will claim fish is the number one food to make you more intelligent. Anything Oily: Except maybe for people, you’ll find that anything that’s vaguely oily (fish, flaxseed, soya oil, virgin olive oil) will be high in fatty acids and a lot of them will also contain decent amounts of omega-3 for added brain-boosting power.

Carbohydrates

When people think of carbohydrates, they might think of the “carbs” which are bad for them because they induce weight gain. But the truth is that carbohydrates are the main source of fuel for metabolism, the body breaks down carbohydrates and is in return supplied with energy to keep going, thus keeping your brain alert and active. The problem is knowing how much to have, for having too much can indeed lead to weight gain (as can too much of anything) and a high blood/sugar level, but can be partially countered with non-starchy vegetables like broccoli, for example.

Starch-Rich Vegetables: Pastas, corn, carrots and potatoes are all high in carbohydrates and starch, providing the body (and therefore the brain) with an abundant energy source.

Whole Grain Foods: Another supply of energy can be found in common whole grain foods such as breads and cereals, things we commonly have for breakfast to give ourselves that much-needed wake-up boost in the mornings.

Minerals and Vitamins

Vitamins and minerals also contribute to the fight against harmful free radicals, as well as being full of anti-oxidants and other beneficial nutrients, they generally keep the body at its healthiest, maintaining the status quo, as it were. The building blocks of a healthy mind and body. Fruit and Vegetables: The most common and plentiful supplies of vitamins and minerals can be found in such everyday items as small portions of the most common fruits (apples, bananas, oranges, etc) and stir-fried/raw vegetables.

Vitamin Supplements: Supplements shouldn’t be frowned upon for any reason just because they come in little labeled boxes and containers. They can be an incredibly important and beneficial source of health for a person, however, it is important to stress the fact that one cannot live on supplements alone. Think of them as a booster to a well-balanced diet, greatly enhancing the effects of the nutrients contained within normal food.

Ref: 'Teaching tips'

Joy Bauer who is a registered dietitian and the author of several best-selling books, suggests:

When it comes to overall brain health, encourage kids to exercise, eat berries, and increase their intake of foods rich in omega-3 fats and folic acid. Exercise is important because it improves circulation, which increases oxygen flow to the brain.

Blueberries and other berries are powerhouses for young noggins. They’re among the best sources of anthocyanins and flavanols—chemicals that have been shown to increase connections between brain cells, enhancing learning ability and memory. Blueberries also are rich in antioxidants.

Numerous studies on omega-3s have shown that these essential fatty acids help fuel brain power and may be effective in reducing the risk of attention-deficit disorder and dyslexia. Omega-3 fats are especially abundant in salmon, sardines, fortified eggs, ground flax seeds, and walnuts.

Folic acid, a.k.a. folate, is a B vitamin that helps keep your memory sharp by lowering levels of homocysteine, a substance that can damage blood vessels and impede blood flow to the brain. Serve up an Ivy League-inspiring bowl of hearty soup brimming with lentils, beans, and broccoli, and you’ve hit the folic-acid trifecta.

Full article: 'Food to Make Kids Smart'

Related posts around the net:

* What Makes Kids Intelligent?

* 10 Bad Habits that Destruct Brain,Love your Brain
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