While the notion of “boosting one’s brain” by means of nutrition may seem a little far-fetched, research is beginning to show that nutrition not only affects our daily cognitive function, but also the long term development our child’s brains (Georgieff MK 2007). In fact, research is beginning to show that a lack of certain nutrients is linked with a vast array of mental disorders (Lakhan & Vieira 2008).
Internationally recognized neuroscientist and founder of the Brain Center, Dr. Majid Fotuhi, writes in Boost Your Brain: The new art and science behind enhanced brain performance, that not only do “recent studies show certain foods do affect brain size, independent of other factors,” but that “the food you eat literally reshapes your brain” (pp. 75-76 2013). In fact, he goes a step further by suggesting that we can actually impact our intelligence (memory, creativity, and mental agility) by the choices we make, including what you eat during your snack break at school everyday.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. In a study where 104 people were tracked over several years, those with high blood levels of Vitamins B, C, D, and E, and Omega-3’s literally had larger brains and performed better on memory tests and tests of executive function (Bowman, Howieson, Traber, Kaye, Shannon, Quinn 2012). Conversely, those with lower levels of these vitamins and Omega-3’s had the lowest brain volume and performed poorly on tests of memory, processing speed, attention, and language skills. Likewise, in children with Autism, significantly lower levels of nutrients in blood, hair, and other tissues have been seen including low levels of magnesium, zinc, selenium, vitamins A, B-complex, D, and E, omega-3 fatty acids, and carnitine (Curtis, Patel, et al., 2008, pp.81).
We took Dr. Fotuhi’s conclusions and found that there is considerable overlap between his method for growing your brain and ways to support children/adolescents’ academic achievement, and even help alleviate symptomology among students with ADHD, Autism, and/or Depression. This compilation and synthesis of what we have learned is how we developed our own raw food bar.