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Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Education and Diet: Getting Ready For School



As school starts back we are all thinking about what we can do to support kids and their learning. Education is about learning; learning is about being able to put information into your brain that you can later access and use. So, it makes sense to ensure brain health. Two of the most important things about brain health are hydration and diet. Hydration because our brain is made up of mostly water and it take water for our brains to properly work and access things like memory and problem-solving. Diet because the foods we eat either has nutrients and minerals which feed our bodies or not and the food simply keeps us from being hungry. 

Hydration

Back in the day people were told it is best to drink eight eight ounce glasses of water a day. This worked mainly because the average woman in the US weighed 120 pounds. So, on averaged it worked. Now, that Americans come in all shapes and sizes the recommendation has changed.



  • Drink half your body weight in ounces each day.
  • Drink this in water and add other drinks too.


 Though there is a school of thought which says you can get your ounces from other sources such as juices, sports drinks, or vitamin water. It is my opinion you should drink these above your water intake. The exception for me is coconut water. Though there is no clear scientific evidence that coconut water is good for hydration. However, I personally saw how my mother's drinking of coconut water effected her hydration while on chemotherapy. Without it she was in and out of the hospital with low hydration getting intravenous fluid. Drinking coconut water she was at home and well hydrated. 

Diet 

Did you know it is possible to eat everyday and still be starving depending on what you eat.

Most processed food (boxed, bagged, microwaveable) has been processed to remove the nutrients. Food scientist have worked to create synthetic nutrients to replace those lost from the food. However, it is not really known how well the body processes these pseudo-nutrients. Therefore, no one is really sure that these products are good for our bodies. Whole locally grown food is still the best way to eat. I recommend your local farmers market, it is where you can not only know where your food came from but also you can talk to the people who grew it.  

My two favorite grocery stores:


  • Aldi's
  • Trader Joe's
These two chains are owned by the same family. I will say they are not extremely fancy nor do they carry a lot. But, what they do carry is generally healthy, organic foods which are healthier to eat. When I realized Aldi's carried juice boxes which were 100% juice with no sugar added. I was excited. They also sell organic bananas. However, they only sell produce in season, you will not find some things you are looking for. Which means you will have to shop other places for somethings. I can also say these stores are very economical. I can usually buy almost 1/3-2/3 more groceries at these stores verses a larger chain.

If you want to buy whole foods which are better for you I suggest you check them out. 

As I did some quick internet research I found several foods which support brain health. They included:


  • Salmon
  • Walnuts
  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Rosemary
  • Blueberries
  • Avocados
  • Egg Yolks
  • Turmeric
I found this great article by Dr. Axe called 15 Foods to Boost Focus and Memory The article not only tells you what the foods are, but why they boos brain health and then give a recipe for each food. This school year  you can help your children and yourself by boosting the mount of these foods in your diet. Try giving your children avocado toast with boiled eggs on top for breakfast. Or smoked salmon on cucumber slices with salt, pepper, and lemon juice as a dressing. Get creative! Eating these foods should help.

So, this school year help your children boost their focus and memory keep them hydrated and well fed. This is the foundation  of getting and keeping your kids doing well in school.

Believe in Parenting

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