Fuel Your Brain with Food

Fuel your brain with food. Did you know there are certain “brain foods” which help to boost your child’s brain growth, as well as improve brain function, memory, and concentration?

For growing children, the brain is a very hungry organ, and the first to absorb nutrients from the food we eat. Children who have a healthy diet consisting of several different types of brain foods will thrive. A child’s brain has physically developed 90% of its potential growth before the age of five, so introducing brain food at an early age will get them a head start in life.

For the older child and adults, concentration can sometimes be a real challenge. Eating the correct diet can help while studying and working, and, with exams approaching, there are things we as parents can do to help our children get through a very stressful time.

There are many opinions on what the best foods for your brain are. Here at Exquisite, we’ve taken the time to research the top eight foods that you and your family should try to eat as often as possible, to maximise your brain’s potential. Bon appetite!

Possibly the best food we can eat today! High in healthy fats, this super food should be part of everyone’s daily diet. Sound too healthy? Well fear not, for this versatile fruit can be used to make chocolate brownies – a great way to get the kids eating them.

Another superfood with amazing benefits to the body and brain, beets are high in iron which is great for maintaining healthy blood function, and their known to increase stamina and brain function. Juiced and mixed with fruits makes for a delicious drink for the kids.

Blackberries, blueberries, raspberries – take your pick! These colourful fruits are high in antioxidants and polyphenols, which help fight chronic disease and cancer. Try combining with coconut ice-cream or blended smooth with coconut milk to provide a fantastic snack for children.

Love or hate it, broccoli is the king of the vegetable when it comes to the brain. These super stalks are high in vitamin K and vitamin C, contain an abundance of antioxidants and protect the body from damaging free radicals.

Coconut Oil
Everyone is going coconut crazy and we love it! Coconut oil is one of the best things to give your child. Whether it’s frying eggs or mixing it into soup, there’s a wealth of recipes available to capitalise on this ingredient’s super qualities. The properties in this oil provide natural saturated fats, improving brain function.

Dark Chocolate
The list is not all bad, chocolate is included! Dark chocolate can help build and maintain muscle and memory. Mixed with a few different ingredients such as avocado or berries makes fora healthy, delicious treat for the kids.

Boiled, scrambled, fried and poached, eggs are a great source of protein and vitamin D – imperative for healthy bone growth, and a major factor in reducing heart disease.

Almonds, brazil, pecan and macadamia, organic and raw – nuts are fantastic for boosting energy levels and are filled with good fats, fibre and protein.

Check out the Health Garden for more nutritious dishes, tips offers and brain foods from the heart of Essex!

Must-try healthy recipes at The Organic Kitchen

The Organic Kitchen is an innovative health-inspired restaurant in Buckhurst Hill. Since opening its doors in late 2016 it has been offering a mouth-watering and organically-sourced menu of scrumptious breakfasts and tantalising lunches, as well as an extensive array of beverages, to both sit-down and takeaway customers. This spring they’ll be adding more healthy, delicious recipes, including vegan cheesecake with fruits of the forest, brown bread ice-cream, and warm chocolate and peanut butter brownie – so stay tuned! T: 0203 490 9740 Exquisite Food Swaps  1 Crisps for crisped veg Next time you feel like adding a bit of a crunch to your lunch, swap a bag of crisps for a bag of crisped vegetables. You will be saving yourself from lots of unwanted ‘bad fat’ and calories! 2 Popcorn for edamame beans Swap popcorn for home-cooked edamame beans; it takes just five minutes to boil them, they are packed with good fibre and protein which will naturally stop you from overeating, they are low in calories and represent the perfect sharing snack which you can top up with rock salt, or chilli and garlic.  3 Banana peanut butter smoothie Next time you make a smoothie at home, make sure the banana peels go in the blender and not the bin. Your smoothie will be enriched with fibre – good for your gut-health and appetite control – and a mineral boost, while its taste will be the same. By Specialised Nutritionist & Clinical Dietitian Filip Koidis:

Have you heard of these new superfoods?

At Exquisite, we consider ourselves at the forefront of current luxury lifestyle trends, and new superfoods fall firmly within that category! We investigate the current crazes sweeping health stores around Essex and beyond. Barbecue benefit Forget rehydrating with coconut water after your morning run – this season’s must-have drink ingredient is…charcoal! Don’t worry, you read that right! Although, don’t rush outside to raid the barbecue just yet, because it’s activated charcoal you’re after, available in most health food stores. Charcoal has great detoxifying qualities, as it binds other substances to its surface and so absorbs toxins as they travel through your system. Check out our top charcoal-based new superfood drinks below. Syrup’s out, water’s in Our second sensational superfood is maple water, the celebrity staple, sourced directly from the maple tree. Maple water contains more manganese than kale and has 46 naturally occurring vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, and is low in calories. Make it a double Coffee lovers should ditch the flat white in favour of David Asprey’s ‘Bulletproof Coffee’. If this happens to pop up on the menu in your favourite local coffeeshop, be sure to order one. This double espresso, with grass fed cow’s butter and coconut oil, is a guaranteed morning energy boost. It claims to get the body using oil and protein as a food source, but go easy on the quantity – there’s a high fat content!  Out of Africa African staples are now making their way onto the health food scene. Quinoa, make way for Teff, and Wheatgrass, make way for Moringa. If you haven’t yet heard of it, Teff is an ancient grain from Ethiopia which is high in iron, calcium and protein, and is gluten-free. Health hipsters are favouring Moringa leaves – a native African tree –  as they contain four times the amount of chlorophyll, a blood cleansing agent, than the classic superfood wheatgrass.  

Learning a language is key for child development

Imagine setting off on your holiday, whether to Spain, Italy, the South of France or somewhere even more exotic and as soon as you climb into the taxi, you strike up a conversation with the taxi driver in his native language. That’s the dream, right? If you think you’re too old to start learning a language, you’re wrong, although wouldn’t it be wonderful if your children could get to your age and do exactly that – start a conversation with anyone in any language, without hesitation? We chat to Emily Lusty, founder of The Language Gap, which aims to teach children (and us older generations too) foreign languages in the most effective way possible. Why do you think learning a foreign language is so important for everyone? I have been teaching and learning languages as my main occupation for 25 years, and I am passionate about their importance to all of us. When I tell people what I do, the cry of “Oh! I wish I could speak another language”, is almost always the first reaction. Alternatively, it is “I was no good at languages at school.” How hard is it really to learn a foreign language? There is no genetic predisposition to learning multiple languages. Some people may have more of an aptitude, or more of an interest, but the reason that we British are often monolingual is a lack of opportunity. Why are the Dutch and the Germans famous for their excellent English? The answer lies in how much they are exposed to English as young learners, and their motivation to communicate in order to succeed. Being born German does not make you a better language learner; it may, however, have given you more opportunities to hear foreign languages on TV, the radio, films, and in school. I think the question is, how can we in the UK provide the exposure to foreign languages in order to help us towards fluency in another language? I have so often been asked by parents, “How can we help him/her at home with languages? We don’t speak anything but English!” So how can we encourage our children to become more enthusiastic about learning languages? Language learning at school, with an enthusiastic teacher and decent resources, can be a wonderful experience, but languages are not just offered in schools to pass an exam, or as an intellectual exercise, or even to make us more rounded individuals (although, of course, all these things are useful side effects of language learning). The point of learning a foreign language is to be able to communicate with people who would otherwise remain strangers, it is to help us connect, get what we need, and avoid isolation and misunderstandings. Being able to speak even a little with the local people when you travel is part of what makes us see each other as human, and it can improve every overseas experience enormously. Why is experience so important for learning? A trip abroad is the top motivator for language learning. There is a transformation in the student who has taken the step to immerse themselves even for a few days in the country of their target language. They have a sudden realisation as to the value of what they are doing, and they want to do it better. I have seen this happen countless times. I ensure that each one of my clients chooses the right experience so that they get the most out of a trip abroad. It is vital that they maximise the time they spend overseas in order to learn as much as possible, and come home wanting more. The Language Gap specialises in organising language travel trips all over the world, so if you are a language learner, or want to support the young language learners in your life, Emily can help you achieve your goals! For more language tips, Like The Language Gap on Facebook or visit its website to find a course for you .

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