Teenagers... the golden period of development.

Teenagers... the golden period of development.

Many parents with children who are in the 'Teenage' have to sit with a facepalm on their children’s behaviors that have begun to change. Such changes are common among teenagers, once this teenage phase in life has passed, the behaviors that their parents saw as strange would disappear on their own over time. Teenage or adolescence is the age where the need for nutrients is greater compared to childhood because the body of adolescents needs nutrients for the development of both the brain, eyesight, and strength of the body.       

How best to enhance intelligence, eyesight and health for teenagers?

  The brain of every child after birth has the same pattern. It is divided into a left and a right hemisphere. The right brain is the part of imagination and creativity, which develops most between the ages of 4-7 years. The left hemisphere is the rational part of the brain which develops between the ages of 9-12 years. And both sides of the brain mature by 11-13 years of age. The keys that shape each child's IQ are various ways of encouraging learning and parenting styles. Unconnected brain cells are destroyed and the efficiency of that part of the brain is lost such as, thinking, problem solving, creativity and initiative thinking. For example, in Thai people, this part of the brain will shrink because we do not encourage children to practice thinking. 

 Nutrients needed for the development of adolescent brains include:

1.  DHA or Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) 
          DHA is an unsaturated essential fatty acid in the Omega-3 family. DHA is an important building block of the brain and optic nerve cells. According to clinical data, 40% of the fatty acids in the brain and 60% of the fatty acids in the optic nerve are DHA. Benefits of DHA in the development of the brain and eyes of teenagers include: 
  Help develop brain and eyesight.

  Aid in learning, enhance memory.

  Help prevent attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and improve concentration.

 Help prevent learning delays both reading and writing.
2.  Lecithin and Choline. 
     Choline in lecithin is essential for the body because choline is used as a raw material for the production of a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine, which is used to communicate information between nerve cells and nerve tissue. Lecithin is also an important component of cell membranes in the tissues of vital organs such as, brain, liver, heart, especially the brain which has lecithin as a component of up to 30%. Benefits of lecithin in the brain development of teenagers include: 
  Facilitate development of the brain, speech and movement.

  Aid in learning, enhance good memory, regulate and promote the functioning of the nervous system.

 Help relieve stress from studying.

 What kind of food can help to nourish the eyes of teenagers ...technology age?
Technology and teenagers. 
     In today's world, various technologies are developing rapidly and affecting teenagers, especially the most popular technology in the society namely computers, social media, internet, including various applications. These things have many benefits, but on the other hand, they can become catastrophes on health, especially 'eyesight' with no adequate protection. And this is the reason why premature myopia or nearsightedness, blurred vision and premature optic nerve degeneration were found in children. The nutrients that nourish the eyes therefore play an important role because good eyesight will result in teenagers’ readiness to learn and develop well in various fields.  

Nutrients needed to nourish the eyes of adolescents include:

1.  Carotenoids.     
          Carotenoids are naturally occurring compounds in fruits and vegetables such as, pumpkin, carrots, and broccoli, of which the important carotenoids are alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, cryptoxanthin and lycopene. Carotenoids are precursors of vitamin A, and are converted to vitamin A in the body as needed. This nutrient is useful for this age, including; 
   Support body’s growth and development, and strengthen tissue cells such as, skin, eyes, nose and internal organs.
   Boosts immunity, prevent infection.
   Act as an antioxidant to protect cells and organs in the body from the destruction of free radicals.
   Help nourish the optic nerve cells, eyesight, preventing night blindness.

2.  Lutein and zeaxanthin.     
          Lutein and zeaxanthin are a group of carotenoid compounds that can be found in the eyes and most commonly found in the center of the retina inside the eyes called macula. Lutein is a component of the yellow layer of matter in the eyes. These two important nutrients will benefit teenagers as followed: 
  Help absorb the blue light in sunlight, the light from computer screens and televisions that cause negative effects on the eyes. 
  Act as an antioxidant, help to slow down the degeneration of the retina and lens of the eye thereby prevent macular degeneration.  

What kind of food helps nourish the body of adolescents...growth age?
   Teenagers are especially in need of vitamins and minerals because teenagers have a very rapid growth and natural changes within the body in terms of gender development and the influence of sex hormones. Boys tend to have musculoskeletal growth and tend to be more active than girls. Girls have musculoskeletal growth as well. Moreover, girls also need special nutrients in preparation for menstruation. 

The vitamins and minerals needed for teenager’s growth include:
1.  Vitamin B1 (Thiamin).
Vitamin B1 helps in the metabolism of food such as, carbohydrates in order to be used as energy for the body which is necessary for the brain, muscles, heart and the nervous system to sharpen logical thinking. 
Vitamin B1 deficiency can cause adverse health effects,
     including beriberi. Numbness may be experienced in both hands and feet, arm and leg muscle weakness. The body is weak, easily forgetful, the eye muscles are tired. If the symptoms are severe, heart palpitations, myocardial hypertrophy, tachycardia, panting and exhausted can be presented which resulted from eating foods low in B vitamins.     

2.  Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin).    
Vitamin B2 is necessary for the production of various hormones, red blood cell formation, boost immunity, and body growth. It helps to burn fat, protein, carbohydrates and helps to increase energy for brain cells.
Vitamin B2 deficiency can cause adverse health effects, 

     including sores at the corners of the mouth on both sides, known as “canker sores”, cracked lips, sore tongue, dry skin, sensitive eyes to sunlight, swollen legs and abnormal nervous system function.  

3.  Biotin
     Biotin is necessary for the metabolism of fats, protein, and carbohydrates to be used as energy for the body. Helps in maintaining the health of the skin, hair, nervous system, bone marrow, sex hormone production during adolescence. 
Biotin deficiency can cause negative health effects 
     which are dry skin, hair loss, lack of appetite, mental fatigue, muscle pain, fatigue and enlarged liver.

4.  Folic Acid
     It is important and necessary for the body as it helps to produce red blood cells, white blood cells, build cells, regulate mood and appetite and the creation of genetic material. DNA and RNA are necessary for the growth of the body, especially the baby, preschool and school age children. It also helps to strengthen the immune system, nervous system and the brain development.
Folic acid deficiency can cause adverse health effects 
     which are irregular mood, mood swings easily, degeneration of the spine which causes the body to become weak, staggered and dizzy.    

5.  Vitamin C.
          Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin. The body is unable to produce and store the vitamin taken daily. It is important for the immune system, keeps your body healthy and helps reduce free radicals. Vitamin C is necessary for strengthening and repairing blood vessels and cells within the body, it helps prevent various infections and colds.       
Vitamin C deficiency can cause adverse health effects. 
          People who lack vitamin C tend to get sick more often due to low disease resistance. Vitamin C deficiency can cause red and swollen that bleed easily. If the symptoms get worse, the teeth will become wobbly and get loose easily. These symptoms are known as 'Scurvy'.
6.  Zinc. 
     It is important for the immune system, muscles, and bones. It helps wounds to heal faster, help in the metabolism of carbohydrates and proteins, help in development of the reproductive system and sensory systems such as, hearing, smelling and taste sensations, help strengthen the eye muscles, nourish the skin, hair and nails, prevent acne and allergies. Therefore, teenage has a greater need for zinc compared to childhood. It was found that during teenage, there is a chance of zinc deficiency. 
Zinc deficiency causes negative health effects 
     which are white spots on nails and skin, hair loss, hyperactivity, slow body growth and short stature.

7.  Iron.
     Iron is an essential component of blood cells and is involved in promoting the normal functioning of the immune system by helping to protect and neutralize free radicals, enhancing the nervous system and metabolic processes.  
Iron deficiency causes negative health effects, including:  
     Teenagers who are iron-deficient will experience anemia, slower learning abilities and affect nervous system function. They will have a weak body, frequent headaches, easy to catch a cold or skin disease. 

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