A Daily Spoonful of Essential Nutrients


5 facts about brain development

Our amazing brain depends on both proper nutrition and mental stimulation to develop and function properly. Therefore, it is wise to give your child good nutrition already during pregnancy.

1. 25 years to mature

The human brain is not even nearly fully developed at birth. It needs years of continuous stimulation from the environment to mature completely. In fact it is not considered fully matured until the age of 25!

2. The exciting second year

In the second year, language development happens very quickly. Most children undergo some kind of word race, where they multiply their vocabulary in just a few months. A precondition for this development is a normal function of the brain’s speech center, since voice formation and control of the strength and pitch is controlled by a fine interplay between brain and hearing.

3. This happens in the brain when you learn something new

Learning is the process of creating new connections between brain cells. When you experience or read something, a memory of this is formed in your brain by a thousands of brain cells linking together. When you recall this situation later, the same links between the relevant neurons reactivates.

  • Good memory is a result of several paths to the right link in the brain, explains Norway’s two leading neuroscientists, Edvard and May-Britt Moser.
  • There is also an interesting link to creativity here. Good memory in the sense we are talking about, develops the ability to associate and it is the basis for creativity. Having many paths to the various links as this means that they can be activated in new contexts.

4. Omega-3 is good for the brain

Mother’s intake of fatty acid DHA during pregnancy contributes to the fetus’s normal brain development. Although children and pregnant women are the ones who needs nutrients from marine sources the most, they are among the groups with the lowest fish consumption in Norway. Results from the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study, showed that the average weekly seafood intake was approximately 250 grams, of which only about 85 grams were oily fish. This is less than half the recommended amount.

5. Keep your brain in shape

Physician and neuroscientist Andreas Engvig have found that daily mental memory training has a measurable physical effect on the brain. He believes that the brain becomes visibly bigger by training, just like a muscle. But for the training to have an effect, it should be perceived as pleasurable.

Sources: Norwegian Health Informatics, regjeringen.no, tidsskriftet.no