While minerals are essential for overall health and well-being, there are specific minerals that have been associated with supporting mental health and concentration in young minds.
These minerals play an essential part of a balanced diet and contribute a major role in supporting every child’s cognitive function.
Incorporating the following minerals that will be mentioned below into your children’s diet, along with a healthy lifestyle and regular exercise, may contribute to maintaining their optimal brain health and cognitive performance.
Top 9 minerals to help strengthen your child's mental health and concentration
Magnesium plays a crucial role in regulating a child’s neurotransmitter function and supporting overall brain health.
It is involved in hundreds of biochemical reactions in the body, which can help reduce stress and anxiety.
Magnesium also helps improve the sleep quality of children and enhances their focus & cognitive abilities.
A balanced diet that includes magnesium-rich foods like leafy green vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and legumes is the best way to ensure your child’s adequate magnesium intake, as well as proper supplementation to make sure your child receives the sufficient magnesium they need on a regular basis.
Our Magnesium Gummies taste like a treat with its natural cherry flavor — something that your child wouldn’t want to miss every day! It will serve as their one-stop gummy supplement for sleep and mood support.
You will always see zinc as a highlighted ingredient in many children’s vitamins and supplements. Like Vitamin C + Zinc, for instance.
This is because zinc is vital for proper brain development and improved memory & concentration.
Adequate zinc levels have been linked to improved attention and concentration. Good dietary sources of zinc include lean meats, poultry, seafood, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and dairy products.
Iron is essential for transporting oxygen to the brain, and a deficiency can lead to cognitive impairment, reduced attention span, and fatigue.
Ensuring sufficient iron intake is especially important during periods of rapid growth and development. Make sure your child is getting enough iron regularly by providing iron-rich foods to their diet, such as lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, lentils, tofu, fortified cereals, and leafy green vegetables.
Vitamin C-rich foods, such as citrus fruits and tomatoes, can also enhance iron absorption when consumed together with iron-containing foods.
Calcium is necessary for proper nerve transmission and communication between brain cells. It supports memory, learning, and concentration, making it crucial for children to have enough calcium in their diets.
Good dietary sources of calcium include dairy products (such as milk, yogurt, and cheese), fortified plant-based milk alternatives, leafy green vegetables (such as broccoli and kale), tofu, nuts, and seeds.
Potassium aids in maintaining proper brain function by supporting a child’s nerve impulses, which link to focus and mental clarity.
Potassium also helps regulate blood pressure that can indirectly impact young minds’ cognitive health.
Good dietary sources of potassium include bananas, oranges, potatoes, sweet potatoes, spinach, tomatoes, avocados, beans, and lentils.
Oxidative stress is a physiological imbalance between the production of reactive oxygen species or free radicals. And the body’s ability to neutralize and eliminate them through antioxidants. This is common not just in adults, but also in children.
Selenium is an antioxidant that helps protect a child’s brain cells from this oxidative stress.
Children that have adequate levels of selenium are known to have improved mood and better cognitive function, than those that lack selenium.
Therefore, your child should consume good dietary sources of potassium such as: bananas, oranges, potatoes, sweet potatoes, spinach, tomatoes, avocados, beans, and lentils to ensure sufficient potassium intake.
7. Omega-3 Fatty Acids
While not technically minerals, omega-3 fatty acids, particularly EPA and DHA, are essential for brain health, especially in areas of brain development, memory, mood, and cognitive performance.
Children can obtain omega-3 fatty acids through their diet, primarily from fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, and sardines.
Plant-based sources of ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), another type of omega-3 fatty acid, include flaxseeds, chia seeds, and walnuts. Some foods, such as certain types of eggs and fortified products, may also contain added omega-3 fatty acids.
During early childhood and throughout adolescence, the brain undergoes significant growth and maturation, and thyroid hormones play a key role in this process.
Iodine is an essential component of thyroid hormones, specifically thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). These hormones are produced by the thyroid gland and are critical for the proper development and functioning of the brain during childhood and adolescence.
Iodine deficiency can have severe consequences for a child’s mental and physical development, leading to conditions like goiter and cretinism. Therefore, in areas where iodine deficiency is prevalent, iodized salt or iodine supplements may be recommended to ensure their optimal iodine intake.
Moreover, to ensure your children are equipped with the needed iodine, try your best to incorporate iodine-rich foods into their diet like seafoods (fish and seaweed), dairy products, and eggs.
9. Vitamin D
Although not a mineral, vitamin D is essential for a child’s brain health as it supports neurotransmitter function and may play a role in mood regulation and cognitive function.
Vitamin D is unique because the body can produce it when the skin is exposed to sunlight. However, many factors can influence the body’s ability to produce sufficient vitamin D.
Additionally, dietary sources of vitamin D include fatty fish, fortified dairy products, fortified plant-based milk alternatives, and supplements.
It’s essential to ensure that children get enough vitamin D through a combination of sun exposure, a balanced diet, and, if necessary, supplementation.
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