Cognitive development is influenced by many factors, including nutrition. Nutrients provide building blocks that play a critical role in cell proliferation, DNA synthesis, neurotransmitter, and hormone metabolism, and are important constituents of enzyme systems in the brain.
Brain development is faster in the early years of life compared to the rest of the body, which may make it more vulnerable to dietary deficiencies. Brain development starts early, during gestation and most of its development is completed in the early years of life.
The absence of nutrient elements at critical moments of brain development results in impaired function and sometimes disease states. Therefore, good maternal health, breastfeeding, and feeding of diets rich in these nutrients have a positive effect on cognitive development.