Let’s face it: student success is closely connected to whether teachers are alert and motivated in class. When teachers are alert and engaging, student learning improves.
If teachers are unable to perform well in the classroom, they lose focus which in turn causes students to be distracted. The result is an alteration of the learning curve for both students and teachers.
There are many different cross-disciplinary theories explaining alertness that also help us understand human motivation.
Although environment is one of the most important elements to help keep teachers pumped up during class, other factors also play major roles. For example, nutrition affects alertness because nutritional intake determines our energy levels throughout the day.
Proper nutrition provides us with sufficient energy for the day. Consuming a balanced diet that contains enough protein, essential fats, carbohydrates, and vitamins and minerals plays is key to providing energy and proper function.
Why is nutrition important?
Nourishment from essential foods is required for better health and overall improved lifestyle. Many health problems and diseases can be avoided through a balanced diet that contains enough vitamins and minerals. Poor diet is the root cause of many common diseases that exist in the world today, such as obesity and heart disease.
In a classroom setting, teachers who are not taking care of themselves by eating a healthy, balanced diet are at risk of fatigue and sluggishness during learning hours. When combined with physical activity, nutrition can help teachers reach and maintain healthy weight levels, thereby promoting overall health and wellbeing.
Macronutrients (ex., proteins, fats, and carbohydrates) and micronutrients (ex., minerals and vitamins), play a huge role in the concentration and focus that are essential elements for success in a classroom setting.
Research shows a direct correlation between what you eat and how your body functions. A clean diet that is high in vegetables, fruits, and healthy grains, is more likely maintain improved brain function, a critical factor in keeping teachers alert in a classroom.
What are natural ingredients?
Natural ingredients do not include any artificial ingredients or preservatives. Natural ingredients are usually minimally processed with limited amounts of antibiotics and other chemicals in them. For the most part, natural ingredients usually do not contain added chemicals.
Natural foods are not genetically modified (GMO); meaning they do not contain added chemicals.
Added chemicals can interact with the naturally-occuring chemicals in the body, create an imbalance, and thus lead to a decrease in activity levels and focus levels.
Several natural ingredients can help teachers stay focused. Below are the top natural ingredients for keeping teachers alert during class. Many brands offer each of these natural ingredients in various forms.
It is not our goal to advertise any of them; we merely want to make you aware of their individual benefits. If you’re interested – just go to Google and type in the name of each ingredient and the word supplements to find a product for every budget.
Rosemary is considered a “brain food” that can be used to improve memory and help with brain function. Rosemary increases blood flow to the brain, helping to strengthen memory and concentration in individuals. Rosemary leaf has been shown to fight free radicals that cause damage in the brain. Rosemary leaves can also protect the brain from stroke and other neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s.
Lutein is a yellow pigment that falls under the carotenoid category and is related to beta-carotene and vitamin A. It is commonly found in foods such as spinach, kale, kiwi, grapes and broccoli. Lutein is emerging as a key ingredients in cognitive health; preliminary research indicates it can help enhance memory and learning abilities.
A diet that contains enough magnesium has been proven to restore critical brain plasticity, improving the function of the brain. Magnesium deficiency is linked with poor cognitive processing, headaches, physical, mental and emotional fatigue, and insomnia. Therefore, enough magnesium can help alleviate all these factors in order to improve student learning.
Curcumin is an essential antioxidant found mainly in turmeric. It is the natural pigment that gives the turmeric spice its bright yellow color. Curcumin is linked with providing several different health benefits, such as boosting working memory and mood. Curcumin supplements are also available in the market.
Ashwagandha is a traditional medicinal herb attributed to multiple health benefits: reducing anxiety and stress, fighting depression, and boosting brain function. Ashwagandha is also linked with lowering the stress hormone, cortisol. Ashwagandha seems to help support energy levels and improves memory- essential factors in a classroom setting.
Astaxanthin is another carotenoid under the xanthophyll (oxygen containing) category. Astaxanthin comes from two primary sources: microalgae and the organisms that consume the microalgae. It is produced naturally in microalgae, fungi, and bacteria. Astaxanthin is commonly found in shrimp, lobster, and crab. With its high antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, astaxanthin has many overall benefits such as: reducing inflammation, reducing oxidative stress, and protecting the brain and nervous system. These benefits, along with those mentioned above, are all useful in reducing the effects of diseases such as Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases. Therefore, it is important to incorporate astaxanthin into your diet.
The Bottom Line
Nutrition plays a major role in keeping teachers alert throughout the day.
Teachers following a balanced and healthy nutrition plan, can help ensure that students are receiving the highest level of education because the teacher is alert and motivated. Lutein, magnesium, curcumin, ashwagandha, and astaxanthin are all essential ingredients that promote high energy levels and alertness in the classroom.
The combination of ingredients listed above all appear to help support memory, attention, focus, mood and alertness- important factors if teachers want to be as effective as possible in the classroom.