Having a retentive memory is very important for children. They need it to retain most of the knowledge and skills they get from school and from their daily activities and experiences.
Retention enables kids to retrieve the knowledge and skills they have learned when they need them.
Poor memory in children can lead to poor performance in school,which can adversely affect their confidence as they grow up.
There are several ways to boost children’s memory. One of these is by ensuring that they get high nutrition in the food they eat.But how do nutritious foods boost kids’ memory? What are the essential nutrients that enhance memory? Here are well-known memory-boosting nutrientsand their sources.
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Experts say that omega-3 fatty acids promote brain development. Omega-3 has eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). DHA enhances membrane fluidity, which is essential for efficient brain functions.Low levels of DHA are said to be associated with problems in intelligence, behavior, and vision. EPA works to the same degree as DHA and significantly enhances neurologic function of the brain.
DHA and EPA can be found in tuna and salmon. Kids who do not like to eat fish can also get them from peanuts, walnuts, and almonds. Some formula and growing up powdered milk contain DHA. But breast milk is richer in DHA particularly among mothers who have had diet rich in DHA during pregnancy and lactation. Breast milk has 30 times the DHA found in formula milk. It is because of the high content of DHA in breast milk that breast fed children have been found to score higher in IQ tests by 5 points than those fed with formula.
- Taurine and Choline
Taurine has been known to be a great memory booster. There are studies that demonstrate that with taurine, a person is less likely to suffer from weakenedmemory retention, which is a normal tendency for aging people. Meat, fish, and breast milk naturally contain turbine.
Choline, on the other hand, is a nutrient that affects the brain areas responsible for memory function and long-term learning ability. A diet rich in egg, beef, wheat, peanuts, lettuce, and cauliflower is also known to be fortified with choline. The egg yolk, a study shows, calms the brain, thereby improving a child’s concentration.
- Monounsaturated Fats and Glucose
Food that contains monounsaturated fats also nourishes the brain. These can be found from extra virgin olive oil, canola oil, nuts or seeds, and avocado. Others claim that folic acid is a memory booster. The common sources of folic acid are soybeans, whole-grain cereals, spinach, broccoli, oranges, and green peas. Apart from monosaturated fats, glucose has also been provento fuel the brain. Beans are a great source of glucose and other nutrients that enhances brain functioning. Another rich source of glucose is oatmeal.
Aside from glucose, anthocyanin and quercetin are also being looked into as brain foods. Fruits and vegetables such as berries, eggplant, grapes, cherries, apples, cabbage, tomato, broccoli, onions, and apricot contain these antioxidants.
Nutritious foods sharpen the memory by nourishing neurotransmitters in the brain and fuel it for better functioning and concentration.
With nutritious foods, kids can achieve better retentive skills that greatly aid them in their psychosocial, intellectual, and academic growth.Thus, as a parent, it is your responsibility to introduce a diet plan that ensures your child enjoys all the needed nutrients.
Chad Hartman is the Marketing Director at Tropical Foods, a US-based food supplier providing wholesale nuts, dried fruit, raw ingredients, and snack mixes for restaurants, institutional food service companies, and resellers.
Mr. Hartman is also responsible for creating new product lines. His most recent additions include Grabeez and Buffalo Nuts.