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Eating for better performance

by Naturopathes de La Boite à Grains 05 Jun 2024 0 comments
S’alimenter pour mieux performer - La Boite à Grains

Parents are concerned about their children's academic success. We are able to help them and facilitate their learning with various means. Discover here a method that will help your child improve his attention and concentration. The secret... is in the sugar!

Blood sugar

Blood glucose, or blood sugar concentration, is one of the body's most important mechanisms. It ensures that the body and cells are properly nourished by supplying glucose, a sugar molecule. The brain is the organ that uses the most glucose. It is therefore essential that blood sugar levels are balanced to ensure optimal brain function.

Blood glucose levels vary throughout the day. For example, when you wake up, your blood sugar is at its lowest. After a snack or meal, blood sugar levels rise again and when glucose (sugar) is used by the cells, blood sugar levels naturally drop. This is when the hunger signal appears. This is a typical picture of the blood sugar cycle, as drawn in blue on the diagram below.

However, the scenario is not always so rosy. In our western population, it is not uncommon to see small and large people with wildly fluctuating blood sugar levels, as shown in red. Since the brain is primarily fed by glucose, it is affected by these irregularities. As a result, mood, concentration and focus are affected by this abrupt cycle.

Glucose irregularity

Tips and advice: Eating for better performance

Glycemic irregularity means that blood sugar levels fluctuate in a more abrupt manner. Be careful not to confuse blood sugar irregularity with diabetes. This is a picture of anyone who has blood sugar levels that are considered "normal" from a medical standpoint, but not necessarily optimal.

Causes and Solutions

Diet, especially sugar, is the main cause of blood sugar irregularity. According to the most recent Canadian Community Health Survey, our Canadian children consume 33 teaspoons of sugar per day, which is 5 times the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended dose. Therefore, it is imperative to reduce the intake of sugars in the first place natural and refined sugars of our children in order to obtain a better glycemic stability.

Tips and advice: Eating for better performance

Secondly, we must also balance the intake of dietary sugars (carbohydrates) with quality proteins and fats. By combining these macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins and fats), we ensure a much slower fluctuation of blood sugar levels, which stabilizes brain function, particularly attention, concentration and mood.

For example, for breakfast, we can offer sprouted grain toast (protein + carbohydrates) with almond butter (protein + fat) and an apple (carbohydrates). A smoothie of mango (carbs), avocado (fat), soy milk (protein) and chia (protein + fat + carbs) is another good option. You can also include a protein powder to achieve better satiety. The smoothie also makes a great morning snack. Other examples of snacks include carrot sticks (carbs) and hummus (protein + fat) or plain Greek yogurt (protein + fat) with flax seeds and blueberries (carbs).

For lunch or dinner, serve a bowl of grains, such as brown rice or quinoa (carbohydrate) with a protein (tofu, chicken, pork, etc.), and grilled vegetables well coated with a healthy fat, such as avocado or coconut oil.

To master the art of balancing macronutrients, don't hesitate to ask a naturopath or a nutritionist. In addition, the team at La Boite à Grains team will be happy to help you eat better!


Have a great first day of school!

Véronique Cousineau; ND, NHN


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