Most people are aware of how important it is for students to eat properly. The links between physical and mental health are well known, and parents have long used the promise of increased brain power to entice kids to eat their vegetables.
While a balanced diet with plenty of fruit and veggies is clearly important, there are several foods that have been found to significantly boost brain function. These foods work by reducing inflammation caused by stress and anxiety, making them particularly helpful for students under pressure.
In addition to reducing inflammation, these foods are packed with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and healthy fats. They protect against brain diseases, provide energy and benefit the whole body.
So, what are these amazing foods that have such wonderful powers? The great news is they are not exotic or expensive items you have to hunt down in specialty stores. Rather they are simple, every day staples you probably already have in your pantry.
Many people mistakenly believe avocados are unhealthy because of their fat content, but these delicious fruits are full of healthy monounsaturated fats. They have been found to improve both memory and concentration, and protect the brain against strokes. Avocados also maintain blood sugar levels and replenish vitamin B and C. Best of all, they are delicious!
You won’t have to talk your kids into eating more blueberries. These natural powerhouses have very high levels of antioxidants. The gallic acid in blueberries protects the brain from stress, and they contain fibre and essential vitamins. Not bad for a fruit that looks and tastes just like a lolly!
This one might be a bit harder to sell to your kids, but it’s worth it. Broccoli is one of the best foods around for boosting brain health due to its high levels of choline and vitamin K. Regularly eating broccoli enhances memory, and just one cup provides 150 per cent of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C. Try broccoli pesto or dips for kids who don’t like it.
Egg yolks have had a bad rap for far too long, but scientists have finally discovered just how packed with goodness they are. The high amounts of choline found in egg yolks are beneficial for brain development in foetuses. Choline also helps to break down a chemical which produces mood elevating hormones, meaning that eating egg yolks can make people feel happier. The most surprising news is that rather than boosting bad cholesterol levels, egg yolks might actually raise healthy cholesterol levels.
It’s hard to believe that something so delicious can be so good for you, but dark chocolate is full of flavonols which improve blood flow to the brain and lower blood pressure. Dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants and has been found to reduce inflammation. Remember, when buying chocolate, the darker the better. Milk chocolate unfortunately doesn’t have the same benefits.
Including these foods as part of a balanced diet gives kids a brain boost!