What To Eat During Pregnancy For An Intelligent Baby?

What To Eat During Pregnancy For An Intelligent Baby

Image: Shutterstock

One of the major contributors to good health is a well-balanced diet. A healthy, balanced diet becomes all the more important when you are pregnant. This is because whatever a soon-to-be mother consumes not only provides physical nutrition to her unborn baby but also promotes brain development of the fetus. The fetal brain typically starts developing from week 6 of the gestational period. Thereafter, growth is rapid (1). Therefore, if you wish that your baby is born intelligent, it is important that you eat certain foods to help nourish your baby’s brain right from the time he/she is in your womb. So, here’s a list of foods that you can eat during pregnancy to have an intelligent baby:

Food Rich In Choline

Food Rich In Choline

Image: Shutterstock

Choline is an important compound, some of which is made in the liver. However, a good amount of it needs to come from the food you consume. This nutrient is necessary for regulating the mood, muscle control, memory, and other functions related to the brain and the nervous system. Which is why pregnant women are often recommended to add choline to their diets. It is easily available in foods like meat, milk and milk products, chicken, fish, and eggs; vegetables like potatoes and cauliflower, beans, seed, whole grains, and nuts (2).

The Blood Nourisher: Iron

The Blood Nourisher Iron

Image: Shutterstock

According to research where 278 children were studied, it was found that children who had a low supply of iron in the womb had poor IQ scores, poor language ability, inadequate gross and fine motor skills, and attention span difficulties by the age of 5 (3). Iron is an extremely important nutrient for the production of blood. In fact, human blood contains 70% of iron in the form of red blood cells – also called hemoglobin. A rich supply of blood to the brain is important for its ideal functioning. Iron is available in meats and poultry, sea foods like fish and mussels, green leafy vegetables, beans, etc (4).

The Healthy Fat: Omega 3 Fatty Acid

The Healthy Fat Omega 3 Fatty Acid

Image: Shutterstock

The human brain and eyes are primarily made up of the structural fat known as Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA), which is found in the omega 3 fatty acids. The brain contains 97% of this fat whereas the eyes contain 93%. During the third trimester, the retinal and neural development of the fetus is rapid. Since it is not found in the human body, it is important to consume foods that are rich in omega 3 fatty acids to help nourish your baby’s developing brain and vision. The richest source of this essential fatty acid is low-mercury fish and fish oil supplements. Other important sources are flaxseed, canola, soybean, etc (5). However, steer clear of high-mercury fish like king mackerel, shark, tilefish, and swordfish (6).

The Important Mineral: Zinc

The Important Mineral Zinc

Image: Shutterstock

Zinc is a mineral that is known to improve the body’s immune system, support healthy growth, and help in healing wounds (7). However, a group of researchers who were studying the effects of zinc during pregnancy found that the deficiency of zinc could lead to adverse effects in the baby’s brain functions. The findings of this research have been published in the Journal Of Nutrition. According to the study, zinc deficiency was linked to abnormal fetal development, disrupted neuropsychological function, and growth delays among others (8). Zinc is found in foods such as red meats, fortified cereals, whole grains, beans, nuts, and poultry (9).

As you can see, these are the important foods that might help you have a healthy and intelligent baby. But, do not limit your nutrient intake only to those mentioned above. Remember, to have a balanced diet, it is equally important to eat foods that contain proteins, calcium, and other vitamins too. However, no matter what you include, make sure you do not overload your diet with any of the above-mentioned nutrients. Make sure to check with your doctor for any allergies and consult a good nutritionist to help you chalk out a balanced diet. Here’s wishing you a healthy pregnancy and an intelligent baby! Good luck!

Click
Featured Image