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Foods to Keep a Teen's Brain Sharp

by
author image Alia Butler
Alia Butler holds a Master of Social Work from Washington University, St. Louis, concentrating in mental health, and a Master of Arts in social-organizational psychology from Columbia University. Currently, Butler is a freelance writer, penning articles focusing on mental health, healthy living and issues surrounding work-life balance. She is the principle/owner of ALIA Living, LLC, providing residential interior design services, professional organizing and life coaching.
Foods to Keep a Teen's Brain Sharp
A bowl of granola with yogurt and berries. Photo Credit merc67/iStock/Getty Images

Overview

When a person lacks essential nutrients, his body will be unable to work as efficiently as it should. This goes for the brain, too. For teens, paying attention to what they eat is especially important because their body is constantly growing and developing and for their brain to function most effectively it requires proper food.

Water

Staying hydrated is important to the overall brain function of teens. Dehydration can make it hard for teens to concentrate. Teens should drink plenty of water throughout the day and avoid quenching their thirst with sugary sodas or sports drinks. A teen can carry around a refillable water bottle to ensure she always has access to water.

Berries

Fruits that come in the form of berries can help teens keep their brain active. Teens can consume blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and strawberries. Teens should eat a variety of these berries. Also, berries are easy to snack on because they already come in bite-size form. According to Belief Net website, berries contain memory-boosting nutrients such as vitamins C and E, beta-carotene and the chemical ellagitannins, which are found in the memory control site of the brain referred to as the hippocampus.

Folic Acid Rich

Eating foods rich in folic acid has been shown to help boost memory, according to research reported by MSNBC. Many foods are fortified with folic acid and teens can take folic acid in a supplement form, but the natural form is generally the best. Foods with high folic acid amounts include whole grain breakfast foods, lentils, black-eyed peas, soybeans, spinach, green peas, artichokes, broccoli and oranges, notes MSNBC.

Fish

Teens who eat fish might improve their ability to remember information. According to the Rush University Medical Center study reported by MSNBC, a diet that contained at least one source of fish per week improved people’s memory and thinking ability when compared to people who did not eat fish. Teens should stick to healthier low fat fish such as salmon.

Breakfast Foods

Eating a healthful breakfast is critical to a teen's brain function throughout the day. CBS News reports that research has shown that children perform better academically and behaviorally in school if they begin every day with a healthful breakfast. Breakfasts should include foods that contain complex carbohydrates, fiber and protein such as oatmeal or low-sugar and high fiber cereals.

Eggs

Although eggs can be high in cholesterol and should be consumed in moderation, they can help a teen’s brain power. Belief Net reports that the yoke of an egg contains the nutrient choline, which can aid in memory, help teens learn more readily and retain what they have learned.

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