All-Natural Ways to Improve Your Kids’ Focus This School Year

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We all want our kids to have happy, healthy days all year long. However, that wish goes double once the school year starts! If your little ones are going to get a quality education that serves them well, they need to be healthy, focused, and alert. But is a healthy diet and a good’s night sleep enough to keep your child well until summer comes along?

Keeping your kids healthy during the school year involves much more than feeding them healthy meals and imposing an early bedtime. After all, they go through a lot during the year — mental exercise, germs from other kids, not to mention the physical stress from their backpacks! As parents, we need to feed them the right healthy foods to help them thrive. These foods can include:

Bacopa

Herbal Healing Tea From BrahmiAccording to LiveStrong, the Indian herb bacopa helps enhance neurotransmitters that are integral to paying attention. This herb reportedly affects several neurotransmitters in the brain, including acetylcholine, serotonin and gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA). These neurotransmitters can help keep your child calm, focused, and happy in an all-natural way. In fact, there are some recent studies which suggest that bacopa could be an effective natural remedy for ADHD.

However, it is important to note that the science on less common herbs like bacopa is not conclusive. While it could be an effective way to help your child focus during the school year, it may not work for every child. Make sure you continue using methods that work (omega-3-rich diets, plenty of sleep, etc.), and don’t be afraid to try other safe herbal remedies, too.

 Cod Liver Oil

 If you take supplements yourself, you know how much they can change how you feel from day to day (mentally and physically). Many of the effects you notice in your own supplements can be effective for children too. Fermented cod liver oil (FLCO), for example, can work wonders with a child’s ability to focus. Taking FCLO as a daily supplement could be incredibly useful in any child whose mind tends to wander.

Once again, this natural supplement comes with a note of caution: FCLO can lead to vitamin A toxicity if taken in excess. Make sure you talk with your child’s doctor before you give him or her any sort of supplement, so that you administer the proper dose for the child’s growing body. And of course, monitor your child and stop using the supplement if you notice any adverse effects.

Omega-3s

Oils_with_omega_3Studies show that kids who get plenty of omega-3s in their formative years have a better time concentrating in school and an easier time remembering information. A wealth of omega-3s in our youth can even help improve memory and neural pathways as we age, which makes it one supplement you can never have too much of. Give your child a brain boost with this fatty acid!

A high-protein diet with lots of fatty fish will give your child all the omega-3s he or she needs to boost that brainpower. We recommend Rosita Extra Virgin Cod Liver Oil for kids to give them a good boost of Omega 3’s every day. However, if you have a particularly picky eater, there are many other foods that serve a healthy dose of omega-3s. If your kids won’t take cod liver oil because of the taste, then Walkabout Emu Oil is a better choice as it is mild in flavor and can be hidden in other food like smoothies or yogurt very easily. Additionally, tofu, spinach, even chia seeds are a great way to give your kids the essential nutrients for truly excellent concentration in the classroom.

Keeping Active

Family running on beach smilingThere’s a reason that most people utter the words “health and fitness” in the same breath. An active body is integral to a healthy, thriving mind. While most schools do their part by mandating physical education, it is also important that parents encourage their kids to keep those fitness levels up every day – be it through organized sports, family walks, or simply running around in the yard.

There’s even significant research on the effect exercise can have your child’s ability to focus. The brain’s dorsolateral prefrontal cortex helps eliminate distractions after 30 minutes of exercise, which can help a child succeed in memory and concentration. Regular exercise will help your little one improve test scores, retain information, and even finish his or her homework faster. Best of all, playing outside is the most natural thing in the world for a child to do!

Of course, not all these methods will work like magic. Your child may need to use these supplements for a while before you see results. However, you can be sure that none of these natural methods will be damaging, and in time your child will reap some incredible benefits from regular supplements, a healthy diet, and daily exercise.

While you’re picking up school supplies, and packing those lunches, remember to incorporate some of these natural supplements and methods. Not only will you watch your child’s grades improve, you’ll watch as he or she becomes a healthier child all around – and at the end of the day that’s what we all really want, isn’t it?

 

Author Bio – Alex G Forrester is a content marketing and SEO professional who enjoys the challenge of driving sales through blogging while creating awesome and useful content. In the beginning of 2016, Alex quit his day job and ditched his plan to head to law school all so that he could start his blog and launch his freelance career.  When Alex is not at work for clients or coaching business owners and solopreneurs on how to start a website and earn money online, he can be found on the beach with his black lab, Louie. Say “hi” to Alex on Twitter!

The Coconut Oil Connection: Can Coconut Oil Help Loved Ones with Alzheimer’s & Dementia?

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By now we’ve all heard of the benefits of coconut oil as observed by others. Many of you have even tried it – to improve skin or as a healthy fat substitute in baked goods. Could this delicious-tasting, healthy oil do much more than originally thought?

The Common Benefits of Coconut Oil

First, let’s look at some of the top reasons many people use a high quality coconut oil.

Some include:

  • Improve skin – hair, cuticles, body, lips, as shaving cream or massage oil
  • Enhance Hair – defrizzer, hair mask and even for the treatment of head lice
  • Brush teeth and improve oral care – as a toothpaste, mouthwash or for oil pulling
  • Cleaning – natural household uses include cleaning and conditioning wooden furniture, soften and moisturize leather, season cast iron pans and pots, and helps remove chewing gum from virtually anything.
  • Healing wounds and infections through its anti-fungal and antibacterial properties
  • Control glucose levels
  • Aiding weight loss
  • As a healthy fat in baking & cooking

Recently, study results have linked coconut oil to something much more important than originally thought. Something with the potential to be life changing for so many…

Can Coconut Oil Prevent and Treat Dementia?

While the uses mentioned above are ways people have observed coconut oil improving their lives, a recent University of Oxford study uncovered that coconut oil might help improve symptoms in people suffering from forms of dementia, like Alzheimer’s disease.

Alzheimers.net recently shared the following on their site about the study:

“…although the effects of coconut oil may be temporary, Alzheimer’s and dementia patients have indeed seen short-term benefits resulting from its use.”

Florida neonatologist Dr. Mary T. Newport explains in this Tedx Talk how this potential miracle oil helped her husband regain many functions after being stricken with early-onset Alzheimer’s. In her book, Alzheimer’s Disease: What If There Was A Cure?, she shares her family’s story and her theory, “…that ketones, which are byproducts of the breakdown of fats in the body, play an important role in brain health. The idea is that by boosting ketones, found in coconut oil, we can improve cognitive function.”

Dr. Newport’s second book published in 2013, The Coconut Oil and Low-Carbohydrate Solution for Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Other Diseases, offersa practical guide to using coconut oil and MCT oil and a sensible approach to lowering carbs in the diet to increase ketones, which provide alternative fuel for the brain.”

Studies are underway to look at the affects of coconut oil and a high ketone diet to improve or even stop the symptoms of dementias like Alzheimer’s. Many families desperate for help when nothing seems to be helping slow the disease in their loved one, have turned to coconut oil. You can read their testimonials all over the web.

The Science Behind Coconut Oil For Brain Function

In someone who has Alzheimer’s, some areas of the brain stop processing glucose – a primary source of energy. Question is, what if that gap could be plugged up to prevent this energy loss to keep brain cells alive?

Some have called dementia “diabetes of the brain.” Cells don’t function properly without insulin. As an alternative, the brain can use ketones as another fuel for the brain. Therefore, a ketogenic diet could be very beneficial. What exactly is a ketogenic diet, you ask? A ketogenic diet is one that is high in fat, low in carbs and rich in MCT (medium chain triglycerides) – found in and extracted from coconut oil. Some people with dementia symptoms experienced improvement after just one dose.

Dr. Newport shared a link on her Facebook page, to a recent study by The Nisshin Oillio Company, the largest edible oil company in Japan. The company studied MCT oil for the past 20+ years. The study shows how lauric acid, the only other source of which is found in mother’s breast milk, directly and potently “activates production of ketones in astrocytes which are brain cells that control energy metabolism in the brain and nourish neurons.”

This early evidence certainly is eye opening and encouraging.

Quality – What to Look For in a Coconut Oil

organic_virgin_cold-pressed_coconut_oilIt’s important to consider quality when deciding which oil to choose and how to use it. You’ll find a variety on the market but all are not alike.

Wendy Bazilian, R.D., author of The SuperFoodsRx Diet, shares the differences between various types of coconut oils in a SHAPE Magazine article titled “Everything You Need to Know About Coconut Oil”:

“Coconut oil that is labeled “virgin” or “extra virgin” is extracted from coconut meat {called Copra} using delicate methods such as cold-pressing. This type of oil will have more antioxidants as well as a stronger coconut flavor and aroma,” Bazilian says.

Good news is cold-pressed as well as expeller-pressed versions have a long shelf life. They keep for 2 years without needing refrigeration – longer than other types of oils.

Choosing an organic unrefined coconut oil (likely to contain no trans fats) that has not been hydrogenated, is the healthiest choice. Bazilian recommends researching brands online to find ones that avoid using harsh chemicals to refine their coconut oil. The fewer chemicals used in treating the oil means the fewer chemicals in the oil itself. Organic, unrefined coconut oil, such as Green Pasture Blue Breeze Organic Virgin Coconut Oil or Perfect Coconut Oil (organic, cold-pressed & extra virgin) is never processed with chemicals.

For those who aren’t yet into the coconut flavor, coconut oil capsule supplements like Perfect Coconut Oil Softgels will do the trick. These supplements travel well, too.

In a Coco-Nut Shell

While there is still a lot of research to be done on the benefits of coconut oil to treat dementia, there is a lot to be hopeful for, too. As with any natural remedy, it’s always best to check with your doctor before beginning any regimen.

 

Resources:

  1. Can Coconut Oil Prevent Alzheimer’s?: http://www.alzheimers.net/2013-05-29/coconut-oil-for-alzheimers/
  2. Health.com– Beauty Benefits of Coconut Oil
  3. Amazing Beauty Tricks With Coconut Oil: http://www.prevention.com/beauty/coconut-oil-cures-for-your-skin-and-hair
  4. Countless Uses for Coconut Oil – The Simple, the Strange, and the Downright Odd: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/11/18/coconut-oil-uses.aspx
  5. 10 things we didn’t know about coconut oil: Separating myths from miracles: http://www.today.com/food/10-ways-use-coconut-oil-separating-myths-miracles-t9451
  6. Alzheimer’s Disease: What If There Was A Cure?: http://coconutketones.com/