The Benefits of Proteins for the Brain of the Child

Oleh: Morinaga Platinum

Which parent does not want their child to have an optimal growth and development process so that the child grows into an active, healthy, and intelligent individual? In addition to appropriate stimulations according to the age of the child that is provided routinely, a balanced nutrition is also required to ensure the optimal development of the brain and nerve cells.

One type of nutrients required for an optimal brain development is proteins. What are the benefits of proteins for the brain of the child? This is further explained as follows:

Neurotransmitters

An intelligent brain indicates that there is an active communication or relationship between the brain cells. The connections between brain cells are carried out by neurotransmitters, which are composed of proteins. For instance, a protein known as tryptophan assists the brain in producing a neurotransmitter known as serotonin, which regulates mood, appetite, and sleeping pattern. Similarly, a protein known as tyrosine supports the brain in the production of norepinephrine, which plays a role in regulating the heart rate and blood pressure. Proteins also play a role in maintaining the flow of neurotransmitters to ensure that the brain functions well.

Proteins increase the learning abilities of the child

A diet rich in protein will help the child to think clearly and be more focused in processing information, thereby increasing their learning abilities. A study published in the Behavioral and Brain Functions journal in 2008 demonstrated that children with a lack of protein intake have low IQ scores, behavioral problems, and other cognitive function disturbances.

How much protein is required for the brain development of the child? For a child aged 6 months old, the recommended amount is 1.12 grams for each kilogram of body weight. As the child grows older, their requirements gradually decrease. For a child aged 10 years old, the protein requirement is 0.74 grams for each kilogram of body weight.

Parents can fulfill the protein requirements of the child by serving food rich in plant and animal proteins. Examples of animal proteins that can be given include eggs, red meat, milk and its processed products, as well as fish. Meanwhile, plant proteins can be obtained from beans such as soy beans, tofu, tempeh, and red beans.

Now, parents are more aware of the importance of protein intake in the daily diet of the child in order to stimulate an optimal brain development. So, ensure that the child receives the nutrition needed in order to be able to grow and become a healthy and intelligent individual.

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