Brain Food

Brain Food

Everyone’s eating clean. New super foods are being discovered left and right. But super foods can be expensive and confusing (how on earth do you use turmeric and bee pollen?)

You do want to make good nutritional choices for the kids, BUT in a simple, affordable way.

So here’s a simplified list of super foods you probably already have in your fridge. Read on to learn what they can do for your brain and how to use them in everyday meals!

Jars containing fruits and nuts

1. Eggs

Eat eggs for a strengthened nervous system.

Eggs are well-known as a rich protein source. Great—protein. It’s good for you, right? What a lot of people don’t know is the egg yolk is packed with choline, which helps your brain nerves develop.

For years, egg yolks were on the bad list for nutritional value. I remember watching mom make scrambled eggs, dutifully tossing each yolk into the kitchen sink with the shell.

But what goes around comes around, and recently it’s come around that yolks are actually the best part of the egg. The choline helps with brain and nervous system development, especially for young children.

That means you can keep scrambling your eggs yolk-in every time. Get creative and try quiches or crepes!

2. Spinach

Eat spinach for better memory.

Spinach is packed with vitamins—specifically vitamin K. In fact, just one cup of spinach gives you 987% of your daily value for that vitamin.

Maybe Popeye was on to something.

So you’re thinking 987%? Isn’t that overdoing it a little?

Not for vitamin K! Especially when it comes to memory. The vitamin K in spinach has been linked to not only sharpening memory now, but lowering the odds of getting dementia later.

3. Yogurt

Eat yogurt for brain growth.

The healthy fats and B vitamins in dairy products help with the growth of brain tissue, neurotransmitters, and enzymes.

And yogurt packs a bigger punch by delivering high protein content and energizing carbs.

It’s also possible that it helps with your mood!

A study at the University of California showed the possibility of probiotic yogurt connecting the periaqueductal grey—the area of the brain that responds to emotion with the prefrontal cortex—the decision-making part of the brain.

That means your kids are asking the why’s—not just immediately responding to emotional situations at home. It helps them stay calmer and happier.

4. Fish

Eat fish for a more alert mind.

Rising to the top for their high omega-3 count, fish in all varieties has quickly become a superfood favorite. And lucky for you, it’s a common freezer item!

The omega 3’s and vitamin D in fish help to sharpen the mind and specifically act as a preventative with cases of ADHD.

Fry up fish for tacos or salads, or just on its own to boost alertness and sharpen mental skills!

5. Walnuts

Eat walnuts for better sleep.

Did you know that walnuts seem to triple the melatonin levels in your body?

That matters because melatonin is a sleep hormone. In fact, it’s the main hormone that regulates the sleep you get each night.

Maybe we’re blaming a distracted, lethargic school day on bad food, phone calls, laundry, and a fussy baby, when we’re really just craving melatonin.

Try incorporating walnuts into your lunch salads, banana bread, and even breakfast cereal.

Just a few walnuts a day can give you a better night of sleep, and a more focused day when you wake up.

6. Oatmeal

Eat oatmeal for a clear head.

Oatmeal is loaded with protein and fiber that keeps your brain arteries clear.

Brain arteries? Yes. Basically, you’ve got 2 main arteries supplying blood to your whole brain. They can get blocked up, which means less blood to the brain and dizziness.

Try comparing it to that feeling you get when you sit up too fast and go fuzzy for a moment. That’s your brain arteries compensating, trying to force more blood to your brain to keep you on the up and up.

Now imagine those arteries blocked, and multiplying that feeling by… well, all the time.

Use oatmeal to keep those arteries cleared out for improved thinking and learning tasks throughout a school day!

Think outside the oatmeal bowl by using whole grain oats in homemade granola, protein drinks, and even breads or coffee cakes.

7. Berries

Eat berries to fight brain damage.

Berries—especially dark berries—are a rich source of antioxidants.

Antioxidants do just what they sound like: they fight against oxidants. These little agents attack the body, potentially causing memory loss and speeding up your brain’s aging process.

So keep everyone’s mind sharp by loading up smoothies with plenty of strawberries, cherries, blueberries, and blackberries. Toss a handful on your pancakes, or just eat them with a drizzle of honey as a snack in the middle of the day.

8. Avocado

Eat avocado for brain efficiency.

Avocados can help with brain signaling. The monounsaturated fats in avocados literally keep your brain-cell membranes more flexible and sensitive to signals. (Support cells called astrocytes connect to the neurons carrying information from other parts of the brain.)

You can protect these brain cells and keep the information flow efficient by adding avocado to the menu.

Slice up avocados to throw on a salad or put into smoothies for creamier consistency. Or just mix up a batch of guacamole for easy snacking.

These are all top foods for marathon training. Just think: if it can help you run 26 miles, it can certainly help your kids focus through the school day. Happy eating!


Children learn about health early on in the Abeka homeschool program.


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