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food for the brain

Championing optimum nutrition for the mind

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.

 

Kids -head -fill

 

Balanced blood sugar

Ensure essential fats

Vitamins and minerals

Avoid anti-nutrients and eliminate allergies

 

 

 

 

BALANCED BLOOD SUGAR


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, irritatable and find it hard to concentrate.

Swing

 

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

 

ENSURE ESSENTIAL FATS


Why is a fat head a smart head?

 

 60greenbrain60% 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:

 

Mackerel Flaxseeds Sunflower seeds
Herring Pumpkin seeds Sesame seeds
Sardines Chia seeds Walnuts
Anchovies   Omega 3 rich eggs
Tuna steak    
Salmon    

 

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

 

VITAMINS AND MINERALS


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.

 

AVOID ANTI-NUTRIENTS & ELIMINATE FOOD ALLERGENS


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.