Which Brain Supplements for Children? – Omega-3 & Antioxidants
One of the sad but true facts of modern life is that our children often do not have enough time to eat the right kinds of food that deliver the right kinds of nutrients they need to function at their best every day.
As more and more stories appear in newspapers and on TV about how our kids are going to school with nothing more than a sugary carbonated drink, a packet of potato chips and chocolate bar in their lunch boxes it is little wonder that there has been a dramatic rise in attention deficit disorders and other behavioural issues often associated with diets that have too much sugar and too many artificial processed E numbers.
It is for this reason that in many countries, the advice from the relevant leading national health advisory services is that using natural brain supplements is not only desirable but also critical in order to maintain a growing child’s health and attention during the school day.
In light of this almost unanimous advice, this article therefore attempts to examine the benefits of two of the more essential vitamins found in leading brain supplements for kids – Omega 3 and Anti-Oxidants - with a view to helping you understand the importance of additional supplementation as your kids grow older.
Brain Booster Supplements for Kids – Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Perhaps one of the most widely researched vitamins for brain health is the family of Omega-3 fatty acids. These essential nutrients are widely considered to be essential for correct metabolic functioning in the human body.
Commonly found in oily fish and some plants, Omega-3 fatty acids are now widely thought of as being an important first stage treatment for symptoms of autism and/or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). There are now a number of recent research studies showing medium to high positive results in treating both these disorders in children successfully for the long-term.
Having said this, use of Omega-3 fatty acids in helping reduce instances of cancer and heart disease for example has proved controversial as the positive results have been mainly anecdotal and there is a lack of rigorous scientific research to support the claims.
What is clear however, is that the available research studies point very clearly to the nerve protecting properties of Omega-3 and corresponding increases in attentiveness and productivity amongst children who take brain supplements which contain these types of fish oils.
Brain Supplements for Children – Antioxidants
Along with Omega-3 fatty acids perhaps the most widely research substances that have been shown to protect and improve brain health in children are antioxidants. These essential brain nutrients work by effectively protecting the cells of the body and brain against the harmful effects of molecules known as free radicals. Free radicals work against the body and damage cells and nerve endings and researchers show that excessive free radical activity may increase an individual’s chances of getting cancer, heart disease and high blood pressure.
Antioxidants are found in a large variety of foods including most fruits and vegetables some nuts and most types of fish and red meat. However, as stated before many children’s diets do not deliver the right balance consistently and many parents have found that using brain supplements containing selenium and beta-carotene as well as vitamin A, vitamin E and vitamin C can help improve a child’s responsiveness in the classroom.
Unlike Omega-3 fatty acids, where the research has tended to the contradictory and evidence supporting its benefits have been mainly anecdotal, the research has almost unilaterally supported the benefits of using antioxidants to help keep a child’s immune system vibrant and strong. Since free radicals interfere and damage the body’s immune system, antioxidants work in a very practical way to help the body fight common immune affecting illnesses like colds and flu in children.
The Importance of Brain Nutrition for Children
There is little doubt that proper diet and an understanding of brain nutrition can play an important role in your child’s ability to develop and learn as he or she grows older. However faced with an overwhelming choice of multivitamins and vitamin supplement varieties many parents simply shut off and do nothing. As we can see from the above important examples of brain supplements for children, simply by supplementing with Omega-3 and a number of antioxidants you will ensure your child’s development and learning continues at its best for the long-term.
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About the Author
Sam Jansen is a leading brain scientist, lawyer and author, studying neuroscience, social behaviors and the science of happiness.You can find him at Google+