6 Superfoods for Brain Power

Brains are amazing, but they need fuel too. These 6 foods can help brain development.

Six superfoods for brain development

We know that part of maximizing our brain’s potential comes from providing it with proper nutrients. Unfortunately, our kids aren’t always as enthralled with kale and Swiss chard as we are.

Feeling ready to give up the fight and surrender to the legion of French fries and cheese puffs? Before you throw in the towel, try incorporating some of these healthy and delicious options:

1) Avacados

The people of California may not realize just how blessed they are to have perfectly ripe avocados available year-round at a reasonable price, but the rest of us sure do! Avocados are packed with vitamin K and folate which can aid in memory recall and concentration.

Besides the obvious (and delicious) guacamole route, try incorporating this superfood into salads and sandwiches. Mash them down to create a spread for toast or blend them into a creamy sauce for pasta.  For the really adventurous among you, we give you: avocado brownies!

2) Blueberries

Clinical studies have shown that the antioxidants and gallic acid in blueberries have a protective effect on the brain and can potentially slow degeneration. Blueberries are easy to incorporate into a kid-friendly diet by adding to yogurt parfaits, oatmeal, French toast, waffles, and pancakes. Make that ice cream sundae just a teeny bit healthier by garnishing with a handful of blueberries on top.

3) Egg Yolks

An easy sell for most kids, egg yolks are rich sources of the macronutrient choline which is needed for the formation of the important neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is involved in memory storage, mental focus and most importantly – neuroplasticity. Brains with a higher degree of neuroplasticity are capable of creating new mental pathways and learning more rapidly and efficiently.

4) Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Instead of frying those eggs in butter, choose extra virgin olive oil. Odds are your kids won’t notice the difference, but their bodies will. EVOO, as extra virgin olive oil is often called, is loaded with antioxidants which may improve memory and aid learning.

Try substituting EVOO for vegetable oil when cooking and baking (just be sure the flavor of your recipe is robust enough to handle the rich olive taste).

5) Tomatoes

That pasta or pizza your kids are begging you for can actually be a source of nutrients. Tomatoes have elevated levels of lycopene, an antioxidant that protects the brain by targeting free radicals. Increase the health benefits of red sauces by making them yourself if possible or ensuring your store-bought versions are made without high levels of added sugar.

6) Water

Water may seem out of place on a list of “superfoods,” but hear us out. Our brains are comprised of nearly 70% water, so if we are dehydrated, it has a serious impact on cognitive function. Lack of water can lead to decreased concentration levels and mental fuzziness.

If your kid is bored with plain water, try livening it up by soaking some fruit in the pitcher overnight to create an infusion. If you’re short on time, mash up some blueberries and add them directly to the water instead.

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