Science Behind Brain Development Nutrition
Children that are deprived of adequate calories and proteins do not adequately grow both mentally and physically. They have a smaller brain than they should due to reduced dendritic growth, reduced myelination, and reduced glial production (responsible for producing myelin).
Brain Development Nutrition
You should implement proper brain nutrition throughout your life to ensure your brain stays active. This article aims to inform you of the importance of feeding for the brain while suggesting the best practices. Read on about proper brain development nutrition.
Why Feeding Is Important
Inadequate brain growth (for children deprived of proper nutrition as young as fetus age) manifests itself through fine motor development, lower IQ, unsatisfactory school performance, and slower language.
A child’s brain development begins with how the mother feeds during pregnancy, continuing even after birth. A pregnant mother should consume an extra 300 calories in a day to gain at least 20 pounds more weight than they would typically have while pregnant.
As a baby grows after birth, the brain now solely depends on what the child is fed on. A child should be well breastfed and be introduced to Iron supplementation at around six months of age.
Iron deficiency is directly linked to cognitive deficits for young children, as iron maintains an adequate number of red blood cells carrying oxygen all through the body.
This means that whether you remain indoors or move out to visit friends or family, a child’s feeding habits need to be carefully accounted for; one such way is packing enough food while you move out of the house.
For high-quality packaging, buy quality extra custom resealable bags when you and the child need more food for the day. These will come in handy when it comes to organizing your day.
Your Brain on Food
The brain is optimal when it receives an adequate amount of high-quality foods containing lots of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
The opposite is also true; the brain does get damage from consuming low-quality food, such as processed or refined food; for example, diets containing high amounts of refined sugar cause a lot of damage to the brain.
When the brain is deprived of good-quality nutrition, damaging inflammatory cells circulate within the brain’s space, contributing to more brain tissue injury. Your brain is responsible for manufacturing the suitable proteins and fats to assist in adding myelin.
Therefore, the brain receives proteins and fats for making the new brain proteins and fats. A deficiency or an over-abundance of nutrients can affect the nervous system.
How Dieting Affects The Neurotransmitters
Some foods contain starting materials for neurotransmitters; where a diet lacks these materials, the brain cannot produce some neurotransmitters. The consequence could be as adverse as mental and neurological disorders, resulting from the brain’s lack of neurotransmitter balance.
Some of the starting materials (precursors) include:
- Choline: found in eggs, liver, and soybeans.
- Aspartic acid: that is found in peanuts, eggs, potatoes, and grains.
- Glutamic Acid: is present in flour and potatoes.
- Tryptophan: is present in skim milk, bananas, eggs, meat, yogurt, milk, and cheese.
- Phenylalanine: that is found in almonds, soybeans, beets, grains, eggs, and meat.
- Tyrosine: is present in fish, legumes, meat, and milk.
How Nutrients Get To The Brain
Nutrients follow a long path with many challenges before they can get to the brain. First, they must be ingested into the body. Once they arrive in the stomach, they are to survive the acid responsible for breaking down food.
After which, they go through the digestive system till they’re absorbed through cells lining the intestine and get transported through blood vessel walls into the bloodstream.
They will then be transported through the liver, where they need to avoid being metabolized. The nutrients are then transported through the bloodstream to the brain, where the blood-brain barrier restricts movement into the brain.
Effects of Malnutrition on The Brain
Vitamins and minerals are deficient when a child, or an adult, is exposed to starvation, a poor diet, damage to the digestive system, alcoholism, and infections.
The human brain grows rapidly from the 10th to 18th week since conception, and this is where proper dieting needs to be adequately emphasized. When the child is just about two years of age, the brain also grows rapidly; this is also a critical point to emphasize dieting for the child.
Suppose a child is malnourished during these two ages. In that case, brain growth will be affected, leaving devastating effects on the nervous system, affecting neurons and glial cell development and growth, affecting myelin development.
If a baby is born to a mother who was under poor dieting, they may have some behavioral problems and some cases, mental retardation. If these cognitive problems are paired with environmental issues, such as abuse, they will eventually develop behavioral issues.
A proper diet can correct some of the effects of malnutrition, with researchers arguing that the timing of malnutrition plays an essential role in determining the extent of the problems expected to occur.
Missing out on a particular nutrient during brain development (especially when the brain needs the nutrient) will cause problems at that age.
The brain is one of the essential organs in the human body and should be appropriately taken care of to perform optimally. Dieting is one such way of ensuring the brain works as it should.
Poor dieting and, in the extreme, malnutrition can bring about complications that may heavily impact how the nerves respond to the body, the child’s decision-making process, the child’s school performance and IQ, and to some extent, the behavior of the child.
Be sure to implement proper dieting habits as early as when you plan to have a child and all through the child’s life. Educate yourself first, and then your child/children, on the importance of dieting and maintaining a beneficial diet.