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The Importance Of A Healthy Diet For Teens

The Importance Of A Healthy Diet For Teens

Healthy eating during adolescence is imperative as the physiological changes that occur during this time affect a young person’s nutritional and dietary needs. Nutrition comes from a variety of sources such as vitamins, minerals, amino acids, lipids, enzymes, carbohydrates, and more. Teens require extra nutrients to support hormonal changes, bone growth and organ and tissue development, including the brain. An adolescent’s brain is not yet fully developed. Healthline provides a list of foods that are known to encourage brain health and development, some of which include the following examples:

  • Fatty fish (e.g., salmon, sardines, trout, etc.) are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D
  • Deeply colored berries (e.g., blueberries, blackberries, etc.) deliver anthocyanins (plant compounds with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects)
  • Broccoli is very high in vitamin K and antioxidants 
  • Pumpkin seeds contain antioxidants and are a terrific source of iron, zinc, copper, and magnesium
  • Eggs are a good source of essential nutrients (e.g., folate, choline, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12)
  • Nuts contain healthy fats, antioxidants, and vitamin
  • Beans (e.g., red kidney beans, chickpeas, edamame, etc.) are a good source of iron
  • Milk, cheese, and other dairy foods are a great source of calcium

The neurotransmitters (brain chemicals that are responsible for regulating behaviors) in one’s brain are controlled by what a teen ingests. Certain foods can increase the production of dopamine and/ or norepinephrine that enhance a teenager’s ability to think more clearly, remain more alert and gives them better focus. Eating nutritiously can help keep a teen’s complexion clearer and healthier. Proper nutrition from healthy eating gives teens the energy and strength to be physically active. A healthy diet and regular physical activity can reduce the risk of child obesity. A healthy diet for teens can help improve their immune system and strengthen their immunity. Eating a varied and balanced diet can help a teen lay the foundation for building good habits for adulthood.

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