Five Brain-Healthy Nutrients And Where You Can Find Them

Delicious and nutritious foods bring people together, keeping them healthy and mentally fresh. Our bodies, especially growing children, need all the good brain nutrients they can get to maintain good cognitive function and thrive. It is what will help them maintain focus and memory. Nutritional balance is key, but if you are looking for the best brain nutrients, here are five examples. We will also explore the best food sources and a child nutritional formula (e.g. Similac Gain) recommendation to fill in when need be.1, 6, 8


DHA & Omega Fatty Acids

Docosahexaenoic acid is actually an essential omega fatty acid and it is one of the most important ones for brain function and eye health. It helps the brain react and do better memory recalls, thus helping your child learn better. DHA is very sensitive to oxidative stress, as it breaks down easily, the body constantly needs to refill it through food.1, 7

Found in: It is quite a rare fatty acid to find in large quantities, usually in fatty fish, cashews, walnuts, almonds, and pistachios; some fortified foods like packed milk, snacks, and eggs must be provided.1, 7


Lutein & Zeaxanthin

Natural coloring or what gives fruits and vegetables their color are Carotenoids and they have a protective antioxidant role for the brain.2 Lutein & Zeaxanthin are carotenoids and have anti-inflammatory properties, especially for the eye and nerves. Since a child must have good eye health in order to see and learn, it is important that they get these nutrients as well.1, 2

Found in: It is quite an easy antioxidant to find as they are in pretty much any colored fruits like apples, strawberries, red grapes, beets, and even leafy parts of root vegetables.1, 2


Vitamin E (RRR Vitamin Ed‐alpha tocopherol)

Also, another important antioxidant, it helps keep blood vessels open and upkeeps their resilience, especially in places like the highly active brain of your child. Not only does it prevent oxidative stress, it supports the efficiency of other nutrients like the delicate DHA. Less oxidative stress on the brain means the brain’s health is maintained long term and improves memory retention.1, 3

Found in: Natural food sources of vitamin E are vegetable oils (pure safflower, soybean, sunflower), avocados, seafood (eg. shrimp & oysters), and edible seeds or nuts (eg. Pumpkin, sunflower, peanuts).1, 3



Quercetin is also an antioxidant that improves circulation, especially in the brain. Common in food, but often overshadowed by Vitamin E, Omega Fatty Acids, DHA, and Luein, it is essential for tackling forgetfulness.1

Found in: Quercetin rich foods are also not hard to find as they are in most red (red apple), green (green capsicums), and blue (blueberries) colored foods. It is truly 1 apple a day to keep the doctor away personified for your child.4



You or your child may think that they are drinking enough or think they only have to drink when thirsty, greater hydration equals better cognitive function. If you yourself as a parent have noticed that when you did not have enough water, you felt more irritated than usual with hot feeling eyes or headaches. Water helps lubricate bodily functions and is used by various parts of the system to send messages, distribute nutrients to organs, especially the brain.5

Best sources: clean and pure water is the best for hydration. To make it fun, infuse water with vitamin rich fruit and vegetable pieces for color and taste. Be a role model and drink plenty of water yourself as a parent. Fruits and vegetables with high water content are watermelon, pineapple, cucumbers, and any squeezable citrus fruits.5


Half the battle of keeping a child healthy is getting them to eat healthily. Due to sensory issues, parents may need the support of a child nutritional formula to make up for what nutrients are missing from food. Not all formulas are created equal and are loaded with palm oil fillers that upset the digestive system. That is why millions of mothers’ trust Similac to nutritionally support their children.8 Similac Gain has been scientifically formulated to fit an ever-changing nutritional needs of a child. The exclusive EyeQ Plus nutrition system efficiently delivers the brain nutrients Vitamin E, Lutein, and DHA. With an additional 10 key brain nutrients and fats made from vegetables, your child’s overall cognitive development can be supported when provided together with real food and fresh water.1, 6


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  8. Based on Abbott’s internal computation of Similac HMO global usage, as of Nov. 2018