A nutritionist reminded me recently that we are what we eat. A lot can be said of the effects on our mood and thinking from our diet alone. Malnourish the brain and we get grumpy and irritable children – the reason why Maslow placed food as a priority for the learner as an essential foundation to learning. We simply cannot think efficiently without the right nutrients to feed our brain. Your child simply cannot even begin to think about learning if they haven’t had the correct nourishment. Today we are seeing more and more children coming to school without even having had breakfast – a key indicator of our fast paced lifestyles and fast food mentality, but does this have to be the way of the 21st Century?
Have a well balanced diet and supplement
I’m suggesting that besides ensuring your child has a well balanced diet, including breakfast, that you provide your child with supplements to ensure that they are getting everything they need to perform in a long day of learning, tests and modern day pressures.
Omega-3 oils and myelin
Usana Health Sciences suggests that our brains are wired just like electric wires. In order for messages to flow freely, these nerve fibres need to be insulated like electric cables. The insulation in our brains is made up of a fatty substance called, myelin.
Omega-3 oils improve thinking
Omega-3 fats are essential towards building and maintaining myelin. This will improve student’s ability to think more deeply and critically about their learning. There has been much discussion over the benefits of Omega-3 oils for its calming affect on children with ADHD and learning benefits.
Supplement with Omega-3 or risk mercury intake
Oily fish contain high levels of good, healthy Omega-3 oils, but fish contains mercury and too much mercury can increase toxicity levels in our body. An Omega-3 supplement can eliminate contaminants such as mercury.
Omega-3 oils reduce the risk of heart disease
With heart disease being a number one killer amongst adults, the Australian Heart Foundation (AHF) urges us to consume about 500 milligrams of Omega-3 (marine source) every day (100mg is recommended if you already have heart disease). Eat two to three serves (150 gram each) of oily fish like salmon and fresh tuna per week. The AHF also recommends that you supplement your diet with Omega-3 enriched foods and fish oil supplements.
Who gets to set the health trends for the 21st Century Learner? I’m suggesting that we do, not the fast food industry. Eat well – learn well!