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Unlocking your teen’s academic success without nagging

Unlocking your teen’s academic success without nagging

As parents, we want the best for our teenagers, and that includes helping them succeed in school. But how do we do that without triggering a full-blown teen revolt? It’s not always easy to find the right balance between being supportive and being overbearing.

 

In this blog, we’ll explore some tips and tricks for how parents can best support their teens to study, including nutrition, supplements, movement, and creating the best environment for success.

 

Nutrition Tips for Brain Power

We all know that good nutrition is essential for overall health and wellbeing, but did you know that certain foods can actually boost brain power and help with focus and concentration?

 

Here are some nutrition tips to keep in mind:

 

  • Eat protein-rich foods: Protein is essential for building and repairing brain cells. Make sure your teen is getting plenty of lean protein sources, such as chicken, fish, and beans (1)

 

  • Choose whole grains: Whole grains, such as brown rice and quinoa, are important for maintaining steady blood sugar levels, which is important for concentration and focus (1, 2)

 

  • Load up on fruits and veggies: Fruits and vegetables are packed with vitamins and minerals that are essential for brain function. Encourage your teen to eat a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables each day (3)

 

  • Add some healthy fats: Omega-3 fatty acids are important for brain function and can be found in fatty fish, such as salmon and sardines, as well as in walnuts and flaxseeds (4).

 

 

Supplements for Improved Brain Function

In addition to getting the right nutrition through food, one can consider certain supplements that can help support cognitive function and focus.

 

However, when it comes to supplements for teens, it’s important to choose products that are safe, effective, and appropriate for their age and developmental stage.

 

Here are some key ingredients to look for when choosing supplements to support your teen’s academic performance:

 

  • Suntheanine® L-Theanine: This amino acid is found naturally in tea leaves and has been shown to promote relaxation and reduce stress without causing drowsiness. Studies have also suggested that it may improve cognitive function and attention in young adults (5, 6

 

  • Magnesium: This mineral is essential for many bodily functions, including nerve and muscle function. It has also been shown to have a calming effect on the brain and may help reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression (7)

 

  • Zinc: This mineral is important for cognitive function and has been shown to support memory and attention. It also plays a role in regulating mood and may help reduce symptoms of depression (8, 9).

 

  • Myo-Inositol: This carbohydrate has been shown to have a calming effect on the brain and may help reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression. It also plays a role in the production of neurotransmitters, which are essential for cognitive function (10, 11)

 

  • Palatinose™: Palatinose, also known as isomaltulose, is a low glycemic index carbohydrate that can provide sustained energy and improve cognitive function. For teens who need to study, palatinose can be particularly helpful in maintaining focus and mental alertness for longer periods of time. Unlike high glycemic index carbohydrates such as sugar, which can cause a spike in blood sugar followed by a crash in energy levels, palatinose releases energy slowly and steadily, providing a consistent source of fuel for the brain that can help to improve concentration and memory, making it easier for teens to study and retain information (12, 13) 

 

  • Multivitamin/ mineral: can also help ensure that your teen is getting all of the essential nutrients they need for optimal health and wellness (14).

  • Omega-3: Omega-3s have been shown to improve working memory and cognitive function (15). 

 

Movement and Exercise for Brain Health

 

We all know that exercise is important for physical health, but did you know that it’s also important for brain health? Exercise has been shown to improve cognitive function, memory, and concentration. Here are some tips for getting your teen moving:

 

  • Encourage regular exercise: Encourage your teen to participate in regular exercise, whether that’s through sports, dance, or simply going for a walk or run.

 

  • Make it fun: Exercise doesn’t have to be a chore. Find activities that your teen enjoys and encourage them to participate.

 

  • Take brain breaks: Encourage your teen to take breaks from studying and go for a walk or do some yoga to help refresh their brain and improve focus.

 

Creating the Best Study Environment

 

Creating the right study environment is essential for success. Here are some tips for creating the best environment for your teen:

 

  • Eliminate distractions: Create a quiet, distraction-free space for your teen to study. Turn off the TV, limit phone and computer use, and create a space that is conducive to learning.

 

  • Establish a routine: Set aside specific times each day for studying and make sure your teen sticks to them. Consistency is key when it comes to developing good study habits.

 

  • Use ambient music: While music with lyrics can be distracting, ambient music can actually help improve focus and concentration. Encourage your teen to find music that helps them study.

 

References

  1. Muth, A.-K. and Park, S.Q. (2021). The impact of dietary macronutrient intake on cognitive function and the brain. Clinical Nutrition, 40(6). 
  2. Hawkins, M.A.W., Keirns, N.G. and Helms, Z. (2018). Carbohydrates and cognitive function. Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care, [online] 21(4), pp.302–307. 
  3. Carrillo, J.Á., Zafrilla, M.P. and Marhuenda, J. (2019). Cognitive Function and Consumption of Fruit and Vegetable Polyphenols in a Young Population: Is There a Relationship? Foods, 8(10), p.507. 
  4. Schuchardt, J.P., Huss, M., Stauss-Grabo, M. and Hahn, A. (2010). Significance of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) for the development and behaviour of children. European journal of pediatrics, [online] 169(2), pp.149–64. 
  5. Kimura, K., Ozeki, M., Juneja, L.R. and Ohira, H. (2007). l-Theanine reduces psychological and physiological stress responses. Biological Psychology, 74(1), pp.39–45. 
  6. Kimura, K., Ozeki, M., Juneja, L.R. and Ohira, H. (2007). l-Theanine reduces psychological and physiological stress responses. Biological Psychology, 74(1), pp.39–45. 
  7. Williams, J.L., Everett, J.M., D’Cunha, N.M., Sergi, D., Georgousopoulou, E.N., Keegan, R.J., McKune, A.J., Mellor, D.D., Anstice, N. and Naumovski, N. (2019). The Effects of Green Tea Amino Acid L-Theanine Consumption on the Ability to Manage Stress and Anxiety Levels: a Systematic Review. Plant Foods for Human Nutrition. doi:https://doi.org/10.1007/s11130-019-00771-5.
  8. ‌Slutsky, I., Abumaria, N., Wu, L.-J., Huang, C., Zhang, L., Li, B., Zhao, X., Govindarajan, A., Zhao, M.-G., Zhuo, M., Tonegawa, S. and Liu, G. (2010). Enhancement of Learning and Memory by Elevating Brain Magnesium. Neuron, [online] 65(2), pp.165–177. 
  9. Kawade, R. (2012). Zinc status and its association with the health of adolescents: a review of studies in India. Global Health Action, 5(1), p.7353. 
  10. Granero, R., Pardo-Garrido, A., Carpio-Toro, I.L., Ramírez-Coronel, A.A., Martínez-Suárez, P.C. and Reivan-Ortiz, G.G. (2021). The Role of Iron and Zinc in the Treatment of ADHD among Children and Adolescents: A Systematic Review of Randomized Clinical Trials. Nutrients, [online] 13(11), p.4059.
  11. Chatree, S., Thongmaen, N., Tantivejkul, K., Sitticharoon, C. and Vucenik, I. (2020). Role of Inositols and Inositol Phosphates in Energy Metabolism. Molecules, 25(21), p.5079.
  12. Mukai, T., Kishi, T., Matsuda, Y. and Iwata, N. (2013). A meta-analysis of inositol for depression and anxiety disorders. Human Psychopharmacology: Clinical and Experimental, 29(1), pp.55–63.
  13. Young, H. and Benton, D. (2015). The effect of using isomaltulose (PalatinoseTM) to modulate the glycaemic properties of breakfast on the cognitive performance of children. European Journal of Nutrition, [online] 54(6), pp.1013–1020.
  14. Deng, Q., Haszard, J.J., Conner, T.S., Rapsey, C., Peng, M. and Venn, B.J. (2020). Cognitive performance, mood and satiety following ingestion of beverages imparting different glycaemic responses: a randomised double-blind crossover trial. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
  15. Dodd, F.L., Kennedy, D.O., Stevenson, E.J., Veasey, R.C., Walker, K., Reed, S., Jackson, P.A. and Haskell-Ramsay, C.F. (2020). Acute and chronic effects of multivitamin/mineral supplementation on objective and subjective energy measures. Nutrition & Metabolism, 17(1).
  16. Bauer, I., Hughes, M., Rowsell, R., Cockerell, R., Pipingas, A., Crewther, S. and Crewther, D. (2014). Omega-3 supplementation improves cognition and modifies brain activation in young adults. Human Psychopharmacology: Clinical and Experimental, 29(2), pp.133–144.
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