How to build a healthy brain?
Here we will look at how to grow healthy brains vital for a smart and happy kid.
Follow these Four Golden Rules.
Why is balance so important?
Sugar is your brain's super fuel. But you have to make sure your child is getting the RIGHT TYPES and RIGHT AMOUNT at the RIGHT TIME.
Too much ‘fast’ sugar means a blood sugar high and hyperactivity. The excess sugar in the blood gets dumped into storage as abdominal fat. Eating little and often helps keep your child’s energy and concentration even.
Too much sugar and your child may be hyperactive and find it hard to concentrate.
Too little and they may feel tired, irritable and find it hard to concentrate.
How to balance blood sugar?
Go for foods with slow releasing sugars
|Oats||Brown rice||Rye bread|
|Whole wheat pasta||Brown bread|
|Vegetables (Excluding potatoes and parsnips)|
Eat 3 meals and 2 snacks a day
This will help to maintain your blood sugar levels, and prevent highs and lows.
Combine protein with carbohydrate
Protein slows down the absorption of sugars found in carbohydrates.
|Cereal with seeds/yoghurt/milk||Fruit with yoghurt/seeds|
|Toast with egg||Toast with fish e.g. mackerel|
Why is a fat head a smart head?
60% of a dried brain weight is fat, it is no wonder deficiencies in specific kinds of fats can have huge repercussions on intelligence and behaviour.
If your child is having 3 portions of oily fish and a daily portion of seeds they should be getting a good level to help their brains develop and boost IQ.
How do I give my child all the essential fats they need?
Eat plenty of seeds and nuts
You can grind and sprinkle them on cereal, soups and salads.
Source of essential fats:
|Herring||Pumpkin seeds||Sesame seeds|
|Anchovies||Omega 3 rich eggs|
Eat cold-water carnivorous fish 2 or 3 times a week
This includes sardines, mackerel, herring, kipper or wild/organic salmon.
Choose fish oil and starflower or evening primrose oil to supplement fats
Avoid deep fried, browned and processed foods
Why does your child need vitamins and minerals?
Vitamins and minerals are the intelligent nutrients that keep the brain in tune. They are key to building and rebuilding the brain. They mainly come from fruit, vegetables and wholefoods and can be supplemented for optimum brain performance. Studies giving children supplements show improved IQ.
How do I ensure that my child is having enough?
Make sure that they eat at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day
Choose wholefoods, not refined foods
Give them a chewable multi-vitamin and mineral supplements. Click here to find out why.
Which foods rob your child's brain of nutrients?
Anti-nutrients are substances that knock out essential brain-friendly nutrients. Some children develop an allergy or intolerance against particular foods.
How do I avoid anti-nutrients?
Avoid or minimise:
- Refined sugar: These are essentially carbohydrates robbed of essential nutrients.
- Damaged fats: These come from fried foods and hydrogenated fats.
- Chemical food additives: Especially colourings.
Food intolerances can be detected by a pin prick blood test (see www.yorktest.com) or speak to your GP.
Alternatively you could try eliminating a food group you think your child is allergic to, and re assessing they're mood and behaviour weekly. Click here to understand more about food allergies.