The exam season is approaching and everyone is stressed-parents, children, pets and even neighbours! Study hours go on till late night or sometimes, begin even before the sun is up. TV time gets severely restricted and anything (read ice cream) that can cause even a small sneeze, is completely banned till vacations.
You take so much precaution of your child’s health and make sure they study well, but how about also helping them to retain their knowledge better? A few dietary changes can really be beneficial for their brain function. Here is a list of the top superfoods to boost your child’s memory-
Fish like tuna, salmon are great sources of omega-3 fatty acids like DHA and EPA, both of which are essential for improving the brain function. Fish also has good amount of protein, which are the building blocks of the body.
If you are a vegetarian, nuts like almonds or walnuts are great alternatives, which supply these essential nutrients.
Eggs are not only good sources of protein, but the egg yolks also contain choline, which has been proven to have a positive effect on the brain function and memory development.
Choline can also be found in broccoli, potatoes, nuts, whole grains, etc.
- Whole grains
The brain uses glucose as its major source of energy. The body coverts the starch from whole grains to glucose, which fuels the brain activity. The fibre in whole grains ensures that this starch conversion is done slowly, so that the glucose supply lasts for a long time.
Whole grains also contain various B-complex vitamins which are essential for a healthy nervous system.
Whole grains include wheat, brown rice, oats, quinoa, ragi, jowar, bajra, etc.
Strawberries, blue berries, raspberries, cherries, blackberries are all great sources of antioxidants, which help to get rid of the toxins and free radicals from the body.
Studies have also shown that blueberry and strawberry extracts can improve memory, but it is always better to consume the whole fruit. The seeds of these berries are also a good source of omega-3 fatty acids.
Like whole grains, beans also provide starch, which supplies glucose to the brain. Additionally, protein and various minerals and vitamins make it a great food to supply energy for long duration study.
Kidney beans, mung beans, chole, masoor, etc. are all great for providing a wholesome meal.
- Colourful veggies
Brightly coloured veggies are rich in antioxidants such as lycopene, flavanoid, etc. Not only do they make the dish colourful and appealing, they secretly help to boost the brain function as well.
In addition, leafy vegetables like spinach, methi, amaranth are good sources of iron, which is essential for focus and concentration. It also helps to reduce lethargy, restlessness and irritability. However, these vegetarian sources need vitamin C for proper absorption of iron. Fruits such as lemon, orange, guava, etc. are rich in vitamin C.
- Milk and dairy
Milk and milk products are excellent sources of protein and calcium, which are required for proper growth and development. Vitamin D found in dairy is also beneficial for the neuromuscular system.
Milk, curd, yoghurt, paneer are all great for incorporating into various preparations.
- Citrus fruits
Citrus fruits like lemon, orange, strawberry, guava, etc. are great sources of vitamin C, which is required for various body functions, including absorption of vital nutrients such as iron and calcium.
Include the fruits whole, and not as a juice, since whole fruits have their fibre intact, which have great benefits for overall health.
Exams, especially preparing for exams can be stressful. But a few simple tips and dietary modifications can help your child study better and smarter, reducing their anxiety helping them relax.
Siddhi Takalkar is a child nutrition specialist in Pune. She is also the founder of NutriWorks and is a Registered Dietitian in Kothrud, Pune with a Masters in Nutrition and Dietetics. She has a vast experience in advising diets for various age groups. She is the best diet consultant for all your Nutritional needs.