THE school year has long started. And when you hear the word “school,” what comes to your mind?
“Homework!” my nephew Pannon replied.
“Research work,” Bridda replied. She is the daughter of my friend Illustracio and Nardi.
“Mind! That’s what enters my brain. The mind,” my venerable Aunt Tita Blitte said.
It sounded amusing, but it had an ounce of truth. School cultivates the brain, the seat of the mind. If you do not feed the brain with health-giving food, what kind of output will it give back?
I talked to a teacher in Elementary education regarding some of her students. She said she can identify pupils who had no breakfast. “They are sluggish and inattentive compared to students who had a satisfactory breakfast.”
My Uncle Gustave shared with me his secret dream. “How I wish our government would open a soup kitchen for students. For P1, they can have basic breakfast of rice, one protein, fruit and milkshake. For P3, they can have lunch consisting of rice, one protein, fruit and a plant-based dish.”
“What about classrooms?” my niece Krystalle said.
“Dreams are for free and for the free,” Aunt Tita Blitte said. “It is better to dream than not to dream at all. All our dreams are released into the universe. The universe catches it and sends it back to Earth in whatever way it pleases.”
With that, I told them I would help in building the brain power in school children with my column today. Here are some brain boosters I culled from BBC Good Food, HealthLine and website medicalnewstoday.
FISH. From what we have read and have been told, fish is a good source of brain food. For as long was we can remember, our teachers and parents told us that fish is rich in Omega-3. It supports brain cells and repair.
EGGS. Not only are eggs delicious, they are rich in choline, which boosts memory and good mood. It contains folate and B12 which are known to lower depression.
PUMPKIN SEEDS (white pakwan). This crunchy snack is rich in zinc (good for the nerves and brain receptors), magnesium (memory booster) and copper (controls brain signals).
NUTS. Though they are small, nuts are a big source of vitamin E, which protects neurons or nerve cells from damage.
ORANGES. This rich source of vitamin C can protect the brain from decline.
Other sources of brain boosters are berries, turmeric, broccoli and tomatoes. This last one releases lycopene much more efficiently when cooked. A good way to serve tomatoes is to make spaghetti, using real tomato sauce and cheese.
No wonder I crave spaghetti on days I feel sluggish and inattentive.