October Newsletter Article- *Food for Thought* School Edition
With school resuming and you are wanting to make sure your child has all of the essentials to succeed. One of the best things you can do is to make sure your child has an adequate diet and appropriate lifestyle. These matters may help improve brain function and therefore help your child to succeed in classes all year long.
First of all, it is extremely important to provide proper nutrition to developing brain cells. According to reports from the Children's Nutrition Research Center at Baylor University, 37% of American kids skip breakfast. Even though a high-sugar breakfast may be better than nothing and provide fast energy, such foods will result in a blood sugar crash around midmorning. An ideal breakfast will provide protein and complex carbs which provide steady energy and brain power. A good protein source is eggs, which also offer high levels of choline. Choline is important for the development of memory stem cells. Good sources of complex carbs are fresh vegetables, fresh fruits, beans, and whole grains. They provide fiber, and have significantly less calories than fats and simple sugars, such as refined sugars, some juices, and refined grains.
And once your kids have a good start to their day, don't stop there. Avoid junk foods as much as possible and provide healthy snacks. If you are looking for a way to add more nutrients to your child's diet, consider trying Macrolife's Macro Coco Greens, a children's supplement loaded with vitamins, minerals, probiotics, and raw superfoods. It is organic, gluten free, and vegan, and with a great chocolate flavor, can be a mixed into milk for a healthier beverage or added to smoothies.
It is also important to make sure your child gets enough water. Brain cells must maintain a delicate balance between water and various elements to operate properly. When you are dehydrated, your brain function is compromised. Numerous studies have shown that exercise helps improve brain function, along with numerous other benefits. One such study done by the University of British Columbia found that regular aerobic activity boosts the size of the hippocampus, the brain area involved in verbal memory and learning. Other benefits of exercise include an increased good mood and decreased stress.
Another important lifestyle factor is making sure your child gets a good night's rest. Most experts agree that 5-12 year olds need between 10 and 11 hours of quality sleep each night. This is an important time for growing minds to recharge! And last but not least, it is also recommended that children take an age appropriate multivitamin and mineral supplement. The B vitamins and antioxidants (i.e. A, C, and E), as well as calcium and magnesium are especially important for brain function and overall health. Omega 3 fatty acids, especially DHA, have been found to support efficient electrical signaling between nerve cells, reduce inflammation, and may even improve concentration and fight memory loss. A good multivitamin/mineral that has Omega 3 and DHA and is specially formulated for children is Natural Vitality's Kid's Calm Multi. It has a fruity flavor, can be mixed with water or juice, and is formulated for kids 4 and up. As always, check with your child's doctor before changing or adding any supplements to your child's diet.
Prescription for Nutritional Healing, Third Edition by Phyllis A. Balch, CNC