Convention vs Science
Does my child need supplements?
This is a question that is asked by parents everywhere. On one hand, conventional knowledge tells us that a ‘balanced diet’ is sufficient for a child’s healthy growth. On the other, evidence points towards multivitamins for kids resulting in high IQ. Supplements like minerals and essential fats in multivitamins for kids all contribute significantly to brain growth. During a child’s early years, proper supplementation of these nutrients could prove vastly beneficial.
In fact, ten out of twelve scientific trials have proven the mental benefits of properly supplementing your child’s nutrition.
Read on to discover ten supplements for the mental growth of your child. They include some of the best vitamins for kids brain development as well as minerals and essential fats.
1. B Vitamins
The crucial brain food that your child needs
B vitamins are important in the process of brain enzymes using carbohydrates for energy. They also help to synthesize serotonin, GABA, and dopamine. B vitamins are undoubtedly among the best vitamins for kids brain development due to their effect on mental health. A deficiency of vitamin B1 can cause irritability and nervousness while a vitamin B6 deficiency causes low serotonin levels. Supplemented vitamin B can help maintain suitable levels of serotonin, dopamine, and GABA.
2. Vitamin C
Topping the list of the best vitamins for kids brain development
Vitamin C is absolutely essential for various brain function, especially at young ages. Vitamin C saves the brain from free radical damage while manufacturing neurotransmitters at the same time. For a young healthy brain, vitamin C supplements are indispensable.
Proanthocyanidins (found in grape seed extract) are nutrients that enhance the benefits of vitamin C by modifying certain enzyme-related activities. They also regulate dopamine levels in the brain, helping with concentration span and focus ability. For this reason, vitamin C is right up there with the best vitamins for kids brain development.
Spinach isn’t just good for Popeye
While Popeye the Sailor was all about strength, iron, found most popularly in spinach, is vital for brain health. Iron is important in regulating brain activity, particularly the neurotransmitter dopamine. Dopamine directly impacts behavioral tendencies and focus. Iron is abundantly found in meat, poultry, and fish. However, most toddlers are difficult to feed, especially when they just want something sweet. Tablets with sufficient iron as well as other nutrients are the best multivitamin for toddlers which can be ingested easily.
A mouthful that is packed with nutritional benefits
Found mostly in soy and eggs, PS or phosphatidylserine is gaining recognition as an attention and focus-enabling supplement. PS is a component of all cell membranes but is particularly highly concentrated in the brain. It benefits diverse brain functions, helping with dopamine production and nerve connections. It helps with improving a child’s behavior and capacity to learn new things. PS can be found in nutritional supplements containing other nutrients like Omega-3 triglycerides and Vitamin D3. This is perhaps the best multivitamin for toddlers.
Helps with attention disorders and concentration
Zinc is one of the most important cofactors in the brain’s production of supportive neurotransmitters. This includes both serotonin and dopamine as well as others involving learning and focus. Zinc deficiencies have been linked to several attention problems including ADHD. In fact, one study showed that ADHD children have less than half the zinc levels of children without ADHD.
The deficiency behind your child’s behavior problems
Magnesium is found to be a very common deficiency among children with behavioral or attention-related problems. Magnesium is a mineral with calming properties, often severely deficient in children with ADHD. A magnesium deficiency can cause irritability, aggressiveness and attention problems in children. Magnesium enriched supplements help alleviate such behavior.
Usually found in foods kids don’t like
The main naturally occurring source of essential fatty oils is fish liver and fish oils. As anyone who has kids will tell you, these foods are no favorites for a growing child. Two EFAs, namely DHA and EPA are the most important nutrient groups that support the brain. Deficiencies in EFAs are linked to behavior and attention problems in children. EFAs affect behavior by influencing permeability in the intestines and supporting the development of brain tissue. Many supplements contain concentrated EFAs in capsules, which are more easily ingested by children.
8. 5-HTP Health Supplements
The most helpful supplement to curb behavioral problems
5-HTP health supplements are precursor for the neurotransmitter serotonin, which influence behavioral traits and learning. Research has linked low serotonin levels in children to a number of behavioral problems. These include severe symptoms of aggressiveness, hyperactivity, impulsive decisions and concentration difficulties. Luckily these behavioral and learning problems can be solved by proper dietary supplements rich in 5-HTP to maintain serotonin levels.
9. Amino Acids
The protein building blocks
Amino acids are important in the production of serotonin and dopamine, both of which are essential for healthy brain function. Children with attention deficiency symptoms are often found to be deficient in L-glutamine, which is a precursor for GABA. GABA is a neurotransmitter that helps calm the brain. It is also thought to affect hyperactivity. Proper supplementation can help boost these neurotransmitters and consequently, boost attention as well as reduce stress.
Not all bacteria is bad
Probiotics are friendly bacteria usually found in the digestive tract. Research suggests that children with symptoms of attention issues may have imbalances of this bacteria in their body. Brain function can be influenced by an overgrowth of unfriendly organisms with an absence of friendly ones in the intestines. This imbalance can be caused over time by multiple antibiotic courses which are common among children. The resulting imbalance is thought to be linked to the immune system, behavior and food sensitivity. Luckily some of the best foods and multivitamins for kids are rich in probiotics that can correct this balance. Other than nutritional supplements, an intake of fermented foods like plain yogurt is also beneficial.