The brain is hungry for omega-3

The brain starts developing in the first days after conception and continues to do so during the first two years of life. After that, there is nothing more than maintenance! To build the brain, the mother and then the baby need the right quantity and quality of essential fatty acids. Fatty acids in the omega-3 family have a few plant-based sources: wild plants in general, including purslane; canola and soy plant oils; and oleaginous dried fruits. There are also marine omega-3 fatty acids that come from “fatty” fish like mackerel, sardines, herring, and salmon. These essential fatty acids are protected by natural vitamin E, often provided by plants that are themselves already rich in omega-3.

In practice, it is not enough to get to children to like vegetables, but to make sure they learn to appreciate vegetables combined with plant oils, an important association for health. Good habits to instill include adding good oils to vinaigrettes for salads and drizzling oil over cooked vegetables.

Nutrients to promote learning

To promote learning, important life habits are essential, in particular getting enough sleep and growing up away from aggression and anxiety. Magnesium, carbohydrates, and B-group vitamins have a role to play: magnesium, because it is involved in neuromuscular impulses; carbohydrates, the favorite food of the brain; and B-group vitamins because they help balance the nervous system.

In practice, plan a menu with: grains and dry legumes, whole-grain bread, mushrooms, meats (especially pork), seafood (shellfish), etc. Older people should avoid toxic substances (medicines, alcohol, tobacco, etc.) and excesses (sleepless nights, gluttony, etc.), and should pay attention to feelings of hunger and sleep needs.

Does phosphorus make you think?

When phosphorus is added to water, it burns. It catches fire with vigor, even exploding. But as for its effects on the brain, there is no such invigorating effect. The brain is made up of phospholipids (fatty matter linked to phosphorus) but nothing indicates that consuming more phosphorus is beneficial. A regular diet is already rich in phosphorus, and that hasn’t made us any smarter!

Want to learn more? In the “Gallery of Vegetables and Nutrients” section, find additional information on magnesium, vitamin E, vitamin B9, and dry legumes and the benefits they provide.