There is not one “magic” food that can ultimately put a kid’s brain in turbo mode, but these treats incorporated in a healthy and balanced diet can help improve his overall brain performance. Foods like fish, nuts and fruits are your best bet when it comes to improving brain functions.
Click through the gallery to discover the food that will help your child's brain perform at its full potential.
Watch out for these brain blockers though! Nutritionist and professor at the University of the Philippines Diliman Luz Callanta advises parents to read food labels and stay away from the following:
Trans Fatty acids or hydrogenated oils commonly found in margarine and chips disrupt the communication channels of the brain. It needs some fats to function properly, but no amount of trans fat is healthy. Plus, it’s bad for the heart.
High fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) found in sodas and other sugar-laden bottled drinks only impedes brain development. This highly processed sugar produces ill effects not only in the brain, but in the whole body, too, stresses Dr. Callanta. “Very high levels of sugar in the blood will be shot down by insulin almost immediately,” she adds. It really tires the brain.
Highly processed food like chips, canned goods, and instant food have high amounts of chemical preservatives which are definitely not brain-friendly. They can adversely affect memory and motor skills. So make sure you eat food that’s fresh and free from preservatives.
contains healthy carbs for lots of energy to burn throughout the day. Try oatmeal cookies for your kids’ baon for midday energy refills.
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is the best thing to reach for when thirsty. It’s important to hydrate properly, reminds nutritionist Luz Callanta. Drinking a glass of water helps circulate the nutrients throughout our body, especially to the brain.
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such as deep-sea fish like salmon and tuna help keep the brain sharp and focused. However, these are high in mercury, so I advise to take it in moderation, around once a week,” says Dr. Callanta.
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A handful of healthy nuts such as walnuts, pecans, pistachios, and sunflower seeds can improve memory and lessen brain stress. This is because they contain choline and Omega 3, both of which help in improving brain function.
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Green, leafy vegetables
“Kids with anemia have difficulty concentrating on certain tasks such as homework; and iron helps prevent anemia,” explains Dr. Callanta. The best sources of iron are lean red meat, poultry, and dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach. Nuts are also an important antioxidant source because they contain vitamin E, she adds.
Oranges, lemons, grape fruit, and lime contain vitamin C, a vital antioxidant for the brain. Vitamin A, one of the most important antioxidants the body needs, is most abundant in orange-colored fruits and veggies such as papaya, carrots, and squash. Broccoli is also high in calcium, vitamin C, and other essential nutrients for better brain functions.
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Fruits and vegetables
Antioxidants clear the body of free radicals that accumulate in the body over time. A child should have five servings of fruits and vegetables every day. Dr. Callanta stresses, “Try to acquire these antioxidants from food first. The body recognizes only about 40 percent of these vitamins in multivitamins, so it’s best to get these essential antioxidants through food.”