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Nutrition and Brain Health

Nutrition and Brain Health

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Your toddler’s brain growth is rapid during the 1st two years of life and by the age of two, his/her brain reaches 80% of the adult brain size. 1,2

Monday, April 10th, 2017

Nutrients for Brain

  • All nutrients are important but some have vital role to play in brain growth and development. These include iron, zinc, iodine, folic acid, vitamin A, choline, and omega-3 fatty acids.

Here are important nutrients in charge of your child’s brain health:

Nourishing Fats for Brain Development

  • Omega-3 fatty acids like DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) are the building structures to support fetal growth mainly brain and eyes.

B-Complex Vitamins for the Brain

  • Folic Acid plays an important role in functioning and development of brain tissues.
    Vitamin B12 plays a vital role in the gross motor functioning. Deficiency of vitamin B12 may delay gross motor and language development in your child.  4 Choline is present in brain cell membrane and has beneficial effect on memory development. 5Memory Enhancing Minerals
  • Iron and zinc improve child’s attention ability. Iron also helps in language and fine motor skills. 6–8  Iodine plays a crucial role in the intellectual development of children. Iron and Iodine deficient children have a lower IQ than children with adequate levels. Deficiency of iodine also leads to mental retardation, speech, and hearing disability in children.
  • Provide variety of foods in your child’s diet so he or she gets all the essential nutrients for normal brain development.

Ensuring balanced nutrition with age appropriate micronutrients, for your child’s overall well-being should be your prime concern. To have an optimum growth and cognitive development, it is essential that the child’s diet should include all the nutrients important for brain development and maturation. However, if the food that you give your child is not sufficient in meeting the nutrient demands, a nutrient gap (especially an iron gap) is generated, which will affect your child’s brain growth, learning, thinking, and intelligence quotient, among others. One of the best options is to include nutrient-dense fortified foods as part of the child’s balanced diet to meet your child’s adequate micronutrient requirements. This way you can make sure your child is receiving adequate age appropriate nutrition.

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