Introduction

Noggin Nosh is a clean, nutrient dense and no-nonsense superfood bar. We’ve put together a deliberate set of ingredients intended to support immediate and long-term improvement in terms of cognitive ability, cognitive efficiency, attention, enhanced mood, brain wave activity and overall health.

Much of what we buy at the grocery store grabs us with misleading marketing that often fools us into believing we are feeding ourselves something healthy when it is not. The plethora of ways that sugar and other harmful ingredients can be repackaged and sold as new and even healthy is astonishing (Hayes 2013).

Furthermore, study after study continues to highlight the link between diet and cognitive function, as well as an increase in mental conditions such as Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADHD and depression. We encourage you to read on in order to more fully understand how ingredients such as DHA, EPA, Vitamin D and other essential nutrients contained in our bar play an essential role in our cognitive well being.


People say they want to make healthful choices, but “food marketers are taking advantage of them by misleading those consumers with deceptive labeling.”
Temple Northup, University of Houston
Picture of a Brain
Those with high blood levels of Vitamins B, C, D, and E, and Omega-3’s actually had larger brains and performed better on memory tests and tests of executive function.
Bowman, Howieson, Traber, Kaye, Shannon, Quinn (2012)

How to Boost Your Brain

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.

You've Been Lied to About Omega 3

While the term “Omega 3” has garnered a great deal of buzz, not all Omega 3 is created equal. ALA, the plant form of Omega 3 (found predominantly in seeds and nuts), is not a true form of Omega 3, but rather a precursor. Studies have found that conversion is poor in humans (Gerster H 1998). In fact, conversion has been found to be lower than 5% (Brenna JT 2002). Many companies have used the buzz surrounding Omega 3 to market their bars as an excellent source, despite the fact that few, if any, contain actual DHA or EPA.

Both DHA and EPA are key nutrients of the Noggin Nosh bar. Every year we continue to see new studies pop up on the benefits of these long chain fatty acids.

In a double-blind, randomized control trial — the gold standard of clinical trial — nearly 500 elementary aged children in Oxfordshire, U.K., were part of a study that linked low omega-3 fatty acid blood levels to school performance. These students were underperforming in reading, but were not participants in any special education programs: “Specifically higher levels of Omega-3 LC-PUFA, and DHA in particular, were associated with better reading and working memory performance, and fewer ADHD-type symptoms, even when controlling for sex and socioeconomic status” (Montgomery, Burton, Sewell, Spreckelsen, & Richardson 2013, p.9). The Omega 3 supplement used in this study was not only algae oil, but also an identical dose to what is contained in two Noggin Nosh bars.

But if DHA is mostly responsible for the benefits, why bother with EPA? The study’s authors explained that DHA supplementation without EPA does not show the same efficacy: “EPA must be present and may play a greater role than DHA in the treatment of these conditions.” In another randomized control trial, a group of children were given 500mg of EPA or placebo for 15 weeks (Gustafsson PA et al 2010). The group receiving EPA showed clinically significant decreases in hyperactivity and oppositional defiance.

Study of DHA and EPA on academic achievement across school children is an exciting area of interest among researchers. In another study in Durham, U.K., a group of students who were 1 year behind in reading and spelling were given an omega-3 supplement. After only 3 months of taking long chain omega-3 fatty acids, these same students made a collective 9.5-month gain in reading age and a 6.6-month gain in spelling age (Portwood 2006). Similarly , elementary aged children in South Africa demonstrated improvements in verbal learning ability and memory after eating an omega-3 supplement (in the form of fish paste) for 6 months (Dalton et al. 2009).

We could go on about the myriad of Omega 3 studies, but you get the idea. life’sDHA has an excellent summary of more of the benefits of DHA on learning here. OmegaResearch also contains a vast library of general fish oil and omega 3 research for further reading.

“Mounting evidence suggests that the fatty acid (FA) deficiencies or imbalances may contribute to several common overlapping childhood neurodevelopmental disorders such as ADHD, dyslexia, dyspraxia (developmental coordination disorder [DCD]), and autistic spectrum disorders.”
Richardson & Montgomery, 2005

Curious about what's inside our bar?

See Ingredients