Researchers reveal fascinating insights into how diet, water and beverages impact a child's brain development.
The team analysed data of close to 850 elementary school children for the study. Those children who consumed a lot of snacks and sweet beverages were found to score poorly on standardized academic tests. However, the team did not find the same results for children who consumed an unhealthy diet.
The results also showed children who were well-hydrated regularly performed well on tasks that required cognitive flexibility. Drinking about -2.5 litres per day also helped to improve memory.
Researchers warn undernutrition, which has become so prevalent among young children across the globe can do a lot of damage to a child's development.A randomised controlled trial conducted in 26 Indian villages found infants who received a multiple micronutrient powder and early learning intervention significantly improved expressive language, visual reception, as well as social-emotional behaviour.
The team also investigated caffeine and L-theanine's impact on children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The results showed these stimulants had huge benefits for the five boys with ADHD that were part of the study. It helped them stay focused for longer, improved cognitive performance and decreased impulsivity. The study's findings will be presented at the meeting, Nutrition 2019 in Baltimore (US).
Another way to boost your child's brain power is by making sure they sleep more and spend less time on social media, according to another study. "Behaviours and day-to-day activities contribute to brain and cognitive development in children and physical activity, sedentary behaviour, and sleep might independently and collectively affect cognition," Dr Jeremy Walsh, of the CHEO Research Institute, Ottawa, told a news portal. Adding, "We found that more than two hours of recreational screen time in children was associated with poorer cognitive development."
The findings of this study, published in The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health journal, also suggest that brain is not stimulated by screen time in the same way that reading books do. "Each minute spent on screens necessarily displaces a minute from sleep or cognitively challenging activities. In the case of evening screen use, this displacement may also be compounded by impairment of sleep quality," Dr Eduardo Esteban Bustamante, from the University of Illinois, USA, told a news portal.