“Carry one Healthy diet helps throughout life prevent malnutrition in all its forms, and various noncommunicable diseases and disorders“. It’s a reflection World Health Organization (WHO) serves as the beginning of the theme, which the science has been on the table for a long time. The importance of nutrition in the development and learning of children.
Recently investigation conducted by experts from the Department of Kinesiology and Public Health at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in the USA, investigated The relationship between diet and cognitive ability in children.
This work was presented at the annual meeting American Nutrition Society. Shelby Key, One of the authors said: “We assessed how dieting was associated with children’s attention retardation, ability to resist distractions while learning, and found that only the MIND diet was positively associated with children’s performance on the attentional inhibition task.”
What is the MIND Diet? Known in English as the Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay, this meal plan which combines, among other things,elements of the mediterranean dietfocusing on consumption of fruits, vegetables, legumes, fish and ingredients with proven benefits for brain health.
In this scientific analysis, Key and colleagues compared the benefits of two meal plans: the aforementioned MIND diet and the 2015 Healthy Diet Index) “that young children consume fewer calories compared to high nutrient requirements, and that added sugar should be avoided.”
The study assessed the relationship between adherence to these diets and children’s attention retardation, that is, the ability to resist stimuli that cause distraction while learning or studying.
“Only the MIND diet showed a positive association with children’s performance on a task that measured attentional inhibition. This relationship suggests that the MIND diet may have the potential to improve children’s cognitive development, which is a critical factor for success in school,” said Kay, who presented the results at the American Nutrition Society’s annual meeting in Boston.
The MIND diet, similar to the DASH diet and the Mediterranean diet, prioritizes fresh fruits, vegetables and legumes but also includes specific recommendations for foods like leafy greens and seeds that promote brain health, according to experts. While the MIND diet has been shown to have positive effects in adults, few studies have been done in children.
In the study, the researchers used data from a previous study by Nyman Khan, a professor of kinesiology and public health at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. The 85 study participants, ages 7 to 11, completed a seven-day diet log, which allowed the researchers to calculate the benefits of the HEI-2015 and MIND diets.
The conclusions showed that MIND Diet Assessment were positively associated with the accuracy of the participants in the school assignment, indicating that children who followed this meal plan performed better. However, the researchers emphasized that while the study did show an association, need more finds to dig deeper.
information analyzed the results of this study together with Monica Katz, nutritionist and member Argentine Nutrition Society. “In adults, the MIND diet has been seen to improve and reverse cognitive decline. With this work, we tried to see what happens to the smallest, and the attention in the study was assessed. Compliance with the MIND diet was associated with better attention function and suppression of distracting impulses. So far, this study has established a link or correlation, and we should investigate further.“.
According to Katz, “The MIND diet regimen was originally based on the DASH diet, which is designed for hypertensive patients. DASH has also been used in degenerative diseases of the nervous system; primarily to delay them in adults over 65 years of age. MIND is a Mediterranean diet that includes abundant fruits, vegetables, legumes, fish, olive oil, and healthy fats like avocados. In addition, it includes a little butter and red meat. Roughly speaking, we are talking about partial vegetarianism, because there is little fish and very little red meat.“.
“Food affects children from many places,” the nutritionist continues. In principle, in cognitive development, and even more so, the family menu is the first democratic negotiations that a boy makes, choosing what he likes and accepting what others like to eat. The parental style that parents should feed him will be related to the boy’s relationship to food in his life. There are democratic parents who have a great response and great demand, there are others who are very permissive, and there are authoritarian or disinterested. Parental style implies the future of the boy.
From my side, Ana CaceresPresident of the Argentine Alumni Federation in Nutrition, spoke with information: “The MIND diet and all kinds of diets are usually associated with limited periods of time and restrictions. But we need to improve habits and consumption patterns rather children in particular, and include habits from childhood that persist for the rest of your life. For example, drinking healthy natural beverages, mostly water, and eating patterns that are positive in terms of reducing the promotion of ultra-processed foods.”
In this sense, according to Cáceres, “school spaces should be rethought so that they offer healthy food and allow for a pleasant lunch. These places should allow physical activity, recreation, play and provide safe water for consumption. Currently, we are seeing a shortage of drinking fountains and a lot of sweets in school stalls, among other things. This needs to be changed.”
On the other hand, the nutritionist Nadia Gritsik (MN 5430), specializing in nutrition and sports, reflected in the dialogue with information: “The MIND diet is more of a style of eating than a strict diet: it is an approach or diet that combines aspects of two very popular diets, the Mediterranean diet and the DASH diet. Originally recommended to reduce the risk of neurodegenerative diseases in the elderly, MIND is now associated with positive outcomes in children. It is characterized by priority consumption of foods that are good for the brain and have a positive effect on overall health.
“By focusing on foods rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatorysuch as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, fish, olive oil and nuts, which also contain essential fatty acids such as omega-3- The MIND diet aims to protect the heart and brainGritsik thought.
And he concluded: “Food plays a fundamental role in the development and cognitive abilities of children. Sufficient nutrition is necessary for brain development and the formation of neural connections, which directly affects memory, concentration and learning. A balanced and nutrient-dense diet helps keep energy and focus at optimal levels throughout the school day, as well as during sports or extracurricular activities.