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Doing well at school thanks to Brainfood

Lesedauer: 6 Minuten

Do you like to eat as much as I do? I love good food. And the nice thing is, I live and work in Denia on the Costa Blanca. Here, small fishing boats go out to sea every day of the week and bring in fresh fish, which can be bought directly in the adjacent market hall. But if you don’t feel like cooking, you can also get the fresh fish directly in the countless great restaurants.

We all realize how important it is to eat well. But did you know how helpful brain food really is? Especially for students whose brains are still developing, brain-stimulating foods can make all the difference.

Your brain weighs about 1.5 kg and consists of about 86 billion nerve cells. You can think of these nerve cells as little cables that connect the different control areas of your brain. Each of these 86 billion nerve cells is highly complex. Your brain is, so to speak, a mega super high performance computer.

When did you buy your last laptop and when will you buy the next one? If I’m being very optimistic, a computer like that lasts 5 years.

And your brain? We all take it for granted that our highly complex thinking apparatus will function perfectly for 80 years or more.

Do you know this feeling? A speck of dust on the laptop and I get a crisis right away. Tipping soda over the keyboard? Unthinkable. And our brain?

If you want to help your child take care of his or her brain and make learning easier, I have three simple tips for you and your child.

3 tips to help your child learn more easily – thanks to Brainfood

Brainfood tip number 1: Water

The most important food is simply:

Water. Pure water. Without any additives and especially without carbonic acid. Carbonic acid is Co2. You exhale Co2 as a waste product with every breath you take, why would you artificially add it back to yourself?

Pure water helps maintain the proper balance of electrolytes in the body. The brain needs these electrolytes to transfer information between neurons and to facilitate communication between different regions of the brain. In addition, water helps to supply the brain with oxygen and nutrients and to remove toxins from the body.

1 glass of water before class work

A positive side effect of water is also that it increases your ability to concentrate and makes you think faster. Why is that? Your brain works with electrical impulses.  Since water is a good conductor of electricity, a large glass of still water thirty minutes before a class assignment or exam will cause your brain to shift gears quickly and thus run at full speed.

Brainfood Tip Number 2: Antioxidants

Antioxidants are so important for your brain because they help reduce the harmful effects of oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is a process in the body that creates harmful molecules called free radicals. These free radicals can cause damage to cells and tissues in the body, including your brain.

Free radicals are highly reactive and are produced in organisms by exogenous or endogenous factors. An example of endogenous factors is the overload of combustion processes in mitochondria. Exogenous factors can be chemical or physical in nature. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Heat exposure
  • UV radiation
  • X-rays
  • Cigarette smoke
  • Environmental toxins

This is very theoretical. The important thing to remember is that there are factors such as UV radiation, cigarette smoke, X-rays, and so on that create free radicals. And antioxidants are molecules that are able to neutralize these free radicals and thus reduce the harmful effects of oxidative stress. In the brain, antioxidants play an important role in regulating neurotransmitter signaling and maintaining general brain function. Again, the better the signaling works, the faster your thought processes.

Some of the most important antioxidants for the brain are vitamin E, vitamin C, beta-carotene and the flavonoids found in grape skins and grape seeds. These antioxidants are found in many fruits, especially berry fruits, all vegetables, nuts and seeds. Studies have shown that a diet rich in antioxidants can reduce the risk of age-related cognitive impairment and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. That’s a long time away for your school-aged child, but antioxidants are also important for current brain performance to be more efficient and fit in the head.

Other vitamins and minerals also support the brain and improve thinking performance. Vitamins B6 and B12 are important for the synthesis of neurotransmitters, which are responsible for signal transmission in the brain. Magnesium and zinc improve neuronal communication and increase the ability to learn and remember.

Grapes, 2×4 Brazil nuts or three cups of green tea.

If your child is not so keen on fruits, vegetables, salads and sprouts, just give him four Brazil nuts or ten almonds in the morning and in the evening, because they are full of antioxidants.

Is your child allergic to nuts, seeds, etc.? Then you can also cover his daily antioxidant requirements with 3 cups of green tea a day. A 2014 study found that green tea consumption significantly improves memory and attention. If you like it, add some lemon to the tea. Be sure to avoid milk in your green tea, though. I love drinking my tea with milk, but the milk cancels out the antioxidant benefits and then green tea is just a tasty drink, which does no harm and no good. Not bad, but not helpful either.  

So, up to now, every day I have at least one large glass of pure water and 8 Brazil nuts or three cups of green tea.

Brainfood tip number 3: Good fats

Good fats are so important to supply your body optimally. Okay, for the salad many take the “good” olive oil, but for frying or roasting, there does also the cheap. Not at all. Speaking of olive oil, I’ll link a contribution from SWR Marktcheck (Marktcheck reveals: The business with olive oil – YouTube). It is really unbelievable, what is sold to us as good olive oil. So eyes on when buying olive oil 😉.

A good vegetable oil contains a lot of omega 3 and little omega 6 fatty acids. Omega 3 fatty acids are so important because you keep the cells stable and they are responsible for the formation of cell membranes, promote memory and are responsible for the regulation of inflammation of brain tissue in the brain. That’s why you should include omega-3 fatty acids in your child’s diet every day. In yours, too, of course. You’ll find especially high levels of omega-3s in flax oil, canola oil and walnut oil.

Studies show that people who regularly consume fish and vegetable oils have a lower risk of cognitive impairment and higher brain mass. In addition, consuming healthy vegetable oils like olive oil, avocado oil and coconut oil can boost your brain health.

It is important to note that vegetable oil is not just vegetable oil. You should generally keep your hands off sunflower oil, soybean oil and corn oil.

Soybean oil is one of the most commonly used oils in the food industry and contains about 7-8 times more omega-6 than omega-3 fatty acids. Corn oil has a ratio of about 49:1 omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids and the popular sunflower oil even has about 120:1 omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids. So it’s better to stay away.

Olive oil, avocado, salmon or omega-3 pill?

Of course, you can also meet your need for good fats by eating avocados or fish, like I do here on the coast with lots of fresh fish straight from the sea.  Fish contains lots of omega-3 fatty acids, especially DHA (doco-sa-hexaenoic acid), which is crucial for the brain. DHA supports signal transmission between brain cells (so you spark faster) and promotes the formation of new synapses. New synapses are formed, for example, whenever you learn something new. If your child belongs to the neuronally rather slow ones (which is genetically conditioned), you can support it particularly by Omega 3 fatty acids. In addition, omega-3 fatty acids, just like antioxidants, also reduce inflammation in the brain. It’s best to have fatty fish like salmon, herring, mackerel or sardines on the family dinner table frequently.

No chance to get a daily salad with avocado and good olive oil for your child? Then just reach for a good supplement from nutritional supplements. Of course, fresh living foods are better, but I know the drill. You take on so much and bang: again you don’t pay attention. And then it’s always better to take a good organic supplement than not to take the good fats at all.

Conclusion: Mens sana in corpore sano.

A large glass of water, a good portion of fruit and vegetables or four Brazil nuts in the morning and evening and once a day a good fat or a small capsule of Omega 3. It’s so simple, but so effective. You’re doing something really good for your child’s brain. Of course, you are welcome to follow these tips for the whole family. If your child is a student at UNBRICKED, he or she will of course already know these tips, because this is also part of our daily responsibility: to make your child aware of how important it is to treat this precious shell – his or her body – with all the respect it deserves. Always up to date with the latest scientific findings and with a lot of fun, because only “in a healthy body lives a healthy mind”.

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