In childhood, you grow rapidly and need nutrients, sleep and exercise to develop well. Another area less visible that rapidly develops at this time is your brain. Childhood is a crucial time for developing your brain and learning skills. The main period of brain development occurs from birth until the end of adolescence and is associated with the growth of your prefrontal cortex (the bit of brain behind your forehead).
During this period, the wiring of your brain occurs, known as ‘synaptogenesis.’ This sets up pathways in your brain to develop skills to learn new things, how to handle this new information, to analyse it and apply it going forwards. In other words, you develop learning pathways as a child which provide future skills for decision making, expanding language skills, and mathematical reasoning.
As your brain develops these pathways, it increases your knowledge. To do this, your brain needs to do two things:
1. Attention – focus on the information being presented
2. Retention – retain information long enough to process it and file it for use at a later date.
Everyday factors can affect these skills, like getting enough sleep to help with mental focus, or having enough down time to process information you learn.
Nutrition is also very important at any age to keep your brain working well. Some key nutrients that help your brain function include:
– Glucose – food is converted into energy that is needed to power your brain
– Minerals, especially zinc, iron and iodine – these support nerve transmission, control hydration and power metabolism
– Fats like omega 3 – essential to replenish the outer layers of your brain cells to protect them, while allowing your cells to send electrical signals to each other to transmit information
– Vitamins, especially A, B and D – these play an important part in brain development
– Water – your brain needs to be properly hydrated in order to work
– Proteins – important for the creation and renewal of cells, including brain cells.
Brain power for all ages
Clinicians Brain Beams and Brain Boost contain nutrients used by the brain for nourishment to support brain health, focus and retention for learning. Brain Beams is for little minds, seven years plus. Brain Boost supports older students, 13 and over, and adults to support mental focus.
Time to make: 5 minutes | Serves: 1
You won’t need your morning coffee after this brain boosting smoothie! It’s packed with protein, omega 3s, healthy fats and antioxidants.
1 serve Clean Lean Protein – smooth Vanilla
1 tbsp chia seeds
1 handful baby spinach
½ cup of avocado
½ cup raw walnuts
¾ cup blueberries
1 cup milk of choice
1. Place ingredients in a blender
2. Blend until smooth and enjoy!