Cognitive Development refers to how a person recognizes, thinks and interacts with their surroundings. It is a construction of thought processes which include decision-making, problem-solving and memory functions from childhood to adolescence. It is proven that babies are well aware of their surroundings and begin to explore them from the time they are born. Through infancy, they learn to recognize faces, imitate facial expressions and begin to follow sounds and try to speak short words before they move into toddlerhood. Children grow and develop traits rapidly in the first five years across four main areas of development, physical, social/emotional, communicative and cognitive.
A major part of brain development occurs during the growing years of childhood and dietary support plays an important role during those years. A healthy and nutritious diet along with some physical activity can help support cognition right from the early ages of a child. The human brain needs a continuous supply of fuel. When this supply is interrupted, brain cells begin to die. Outside of mother’s milk, coconut oil is nature’s richest source of Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT’s). MCT’s bypass bile metabolism and go directly to the liver where they are transformed into ketones. The liver then immediately releases the ketones into the bloodstream where they are transported to the brain, where it is used as fuel.
Coconut has been called a “potential cognitive strengthener”. Coconut oil contains 92% of saturated fats, out of which almost 48% comes from lauric acid and 7% from capric acid which are medium chain fatty acids (MCFA).
Over the years research has shown that coconut oil is one of the healthiest products that can be used for consumption owing to its myriad health benefits. The two main types of coconut oil are copra oil and virgin coconut oil. Both of these oils have similar fatty acid profiles; however the latter contains higher amounts of some nutrients (e.g., vitamin E) and dietary bioactive compounds (e.g., polyphenols). Cold Pressed Virgin Coconut Oil has long been an indispensable part of Indian households. It is obtained from the fresh and matured kernel of the coconut by natural means – a Cold Pressed or No heat extraction process. This process of extraction preserves all the natural goodness of the oil such as its high content of Vitamin E and minerals.
How MCFA present in Cold Pressed Virgin Coconut oil can help support cognition in children
- Ketones from MCTs found in cold-pressed virgin coconut oil help in not only supplying a superior source of energy to a child’s brain but also triggers the activation proteins called brain-derived neurotrophic factors. Brain-derived neurotrophic factors function in brain cell maintenance, repair, and protection. They are also known to stimulate the growth of new brain cells to the take the place of the dead or dying brain cells in your child’s brain which allows for healing and repair to take place
- Organic Cold Pressed Virgin Coconut Oil is packed with anti-bacterial, anti-microbial and anti-fungal nutrient lauric acid. This nutrient provides excellent support to help boost the immune system in children
- Virgin Coconut Oil possesses antioxidant properties that are important for maintaining a healthy brain
Inputs by Sheryl Salis, R.D, C.D.E.