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Dr. Teralyn Sell, psychotherapist and brain health expert, emphasizes why the foods your child eats is important to consider when it comes to brain health, focus and memory.
“Including nutrient-dense, high-quality foods in your child’s diet is essential for brain function, cognitive development and even for improved behavior in the classroom,” Dr. Sell said. “Include your child in the selection of food and preparation of food. This will create a fun experience overall and in the kitchen.”
Here are Dr. Teralyn Sell’s top five foods that children should eat daily in order to improve brain health, memory, focus and overall cognitive function.
Protein is rich in amino acids, which help with brain function and neurotransmitter production. Serotonin and dopamine rely on high-quality protein.
Think about meats, cheeses, dairy, nuts and seeds as part of a brain-healthy diet.
Additionally, protein helps to stabilize blood sugar which keeps their thinking brain online throughout the day and could help reduce behavioral issues.
Omega 3 fatty acids are imperative in brain function and brain fuel. Fatty fish such as salmon and tuna are great choices for your child.
Omega 3 fatty acid is great for cell production and for your neurotransmitters (serotonin, dopamine).
Recent studies suggest that omega 3’s help with depressive symptoms.
Try to incorporate leafy greens, including spinach, kale, watercress, arugula and chard, into your kids’ daily diets. Leafy greens are rich in fiber, phytonutrients, vitamin C, A & K as well as folate.
All of these nutrients are essential for healthy neurotransmitter production (dopamine and serotonin). Leafy greens are anti-inflammatory and help improve cognitive function.
Think outside of a salad and sneak leafy greens in sandwiches or smoothies.
Berries, including blueberries, strawberries, blackberries and red raspberries, are highlighted as some of the healthiest fruit choices.
Berries are full of antioxidants that help reduce oxidative stress. They are nutrient-dense and fiber-rich which help stabilize blood sugar and help in the reduction of inflammation which is all essential to improving the health of your brain.
Berries are an easy-to-pack, on-the-go snack and fit into any lunchbox.
Eat a veggie rainbow, including bell peppers, cauliflower, broccoli and tomatoes! All of these veggies are rich in fiber, phytonutrients, vitamin C and vitamin A.
Because of their fiber content, they are great for improving the health of your gut, which is essential to the health of your brain.
Include your child in the selection of fun and colorful veggies, trying out new ones every time you shop!