Unlock Your Child's Potential

Children are amazing little beings! Think about all that they achieve on a day to day basis and the development they undergo from the time they are born. Childhood achievements and developments largely contribute to their lifetime potential so it all begins now! We all hope for the best in our children, so they can be the happiest and healthiest possible. We also wish for them to get the most from their education and allow their developing brains the opportunity to soak up and retain an expanding wealth of knowledge and information in this world.

Cognition Conquerors

The term ‘cognition’ refers to the mental processes involved in gaining knowledge and comprehension (i.e. learning), including thinking, knowing, remembering, judging and problem solving. Improve your child’s education with these key herbs and nutrients that support learning and healthy cognition:

  • Brahmi is an Ayurvedic herb that has proven clinical efficacy in assisting cognitive function. Studies have found that when used for a period of 12 weeks, Brahmi significantly enhances memory and information processing and reduces anxiety.

  • Gotu Kola is a herb that is useful for brain function and a healthy immune system, circulation and also promotes healing.

  • Grape seed and pine bark extracts contain antioxidant compounds which are particularly good for improving memory, concentration and behaviour.

  • B vitamins are required for healthy energy levels and nervous system function. These are found more in wholegrain food products which children tend not to want to eat. As a result, supplementation may be the answer.

  • Iodine, zinc and tyrosine are important nutrients for cognition, and may assist in supporting critical processes in the developing brain.

Good Fats to Feed the Brain

Essential fatty acids are beneficial fats and the best source of these good fats is oily fish. Unfortunately, many kids are fussy when it comes to sardines and mackerel, making it difficult for them to get good amounts of essential fatty acids, EPA and DHA, from fish in their diets. Therefore, supplementing with a highly purified and concentrated fish oil, containing therapeutic levels of EPA and DHA, is vital to support your child’s developing brain. Just as ‘Bob’ builds wondrous things, we need to ensure our child’s growing brain is being built correctly; this starts with laying a solid structural foundation in the brain. Phospholipids, such as phosphatidylcholine and phosphatidylserine, are another type of healthy fat. They are the building blocks in the structure of the every cell membrane in the body, including those in the brain and the nervous system. As a result, these fats are important for brain and nervous system health, as well as supporting memory, learning and behaviour in your children.

Good Digestive Health

Good digestive health is also essential for healthy brain function. In fact around 80% of our immune function is located in our digestive system. Unfortunately, many foods which children like to consume such as chips, lollies, soft drinks, hot dogs, pies and sausage rolls are high in sugars, wheat, trans fats, artificial flavourings, colourings, preservatives, hormones, antibiotics and pesticides all of which are damaging to our gut lining. This may result in a condition called “leaky gut” whereby toxins escape into the blood stream. These toxins are linked to symptoms such as hay fever, asthma, headaches, eczema and behavioural and concentration problems.

Tips to Boost Brain Power

Here are some simple recommendations to help support your developing child’s learning and information centre:

  • Ensure they eat a nutritious breakfast – many cereals contain high levels of sugar and artificial chemicals which can affect their concentration. Choose a healthy unprocessed cereal like oats, gluten free weetbix or muesli. Eggs are also a great way to start the day, as the protein can help maintain healthy blood sugar levels throughout the morning, helping kids stay focused for longer. Breakfast smoothies containing fruits, vegetables, good fats such as chia seeds, coconut oil and ground nuts and seeds (if not allergic) are also packed full of brain powering foods.

  • Ensure they eat a variety of fresh vegetables and fruits daily. Blueberries in particular contain a compound called brain derived neurotrophic factor to promote a healthy brain. Other good brain foods include carrots, sweet potato, pumpkin, broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms, asparagus and beetroot.

  • Get your children to bed at a reasonable time. Children need more sleep than adults and lack of sleep can negatively affect their learning and concentration.

  • Limit exposure to electronic devices such as mobile phones, iPads, wireless networks and computers. Not only do such devices cause exposure to harmful electromagnetic radiation but they also emit a blue spectrum of light which reduces melatonin production. In addition to regulating sleep-wake cycles, melatonin is a potent antioxidant and immune stimulant.

  • Get regular exercise and spend time outdoors in nature. Studies have found that exercise is crucial for healthy brain function and helps promote brain derived neurotrophic factor required for healthy brain cells.

  • Get into a regular routine. This will make the start and end of the day less stressful for both you and your children.

  • Encourage your kids to talk about their day. This helps them develop their communication skills and can give you valuable insight into how they are progressing.

  • If your child is struggling with tiredness, anxiety, sleep problems, concentration or behavioral problems, it may be useful to have them tested for food sensitivities and digestive problems. Sensitivities to common foods such as sugar, gluten, dairy, nuts, soy, artificial chemicals and even chemicals in fruits and vegetables such as amines and salicylates, can all adversely affect brain function.