Infancy and childhood
The first years of childhood, especially the first two years, set the foundation for thinking, learning and overall brain health. Good nutrition is fundamental to this. What we eat, and the behaviours we learn towards food during childhood, help to determine both our brain and physical health as we get older. This includes our mental health, concentration, hyperactivity, and risk of developing dementia, as well as our potential for developing diabetes, heart disease and cancer. A lack of the right nutrients might result in poor ability to sleep, issues concentrating, hyperactivity, mood swings and destructive behaviour.
What we advise…
A healthy balanced diet, focused on nutrients and eating patterns that support motor and physical development as well as growth. Sources rich in DHA, EPA, vitamins A, B12, and D, folic acid, iron, iodine, zinc and choline help to optimise brain development.
Eating regularly gives developing brains a more consistent supply of energy and helps with concentration.
Reducing or cutting out junk food and additives can help to minimise symptons of dyslexia, ADHD and autistic spectrum disorder.
DHA and EPA
Impact…helps to improve memory, cognition, information processing, learning, and development of skills such as reading, writing and spelling.
Low levels of DHA are linked to dyslexia, ADHD, and autism.
Found in…oily fish, like mackerel, sardines, salmon and tuna.
Impact…improves cognition, memory and mood.
Found in…red meat, liver, lentils, chickpeas, green leafy vegetables, breads and cereals.
Impact… develops and grows the brain and other organs, and improves immune system function.
Found in…shellfish, legumes, meat, nuts.
Impact…regulates electrical signalling in the brain.
Found in…dairy, green leafy vegetables, and tofu.
Other good nutrients
Vitamins A, folic acid, vitamins B12 and D, iron, iodine, zinc and choline.