Most women know that a healthy diet becomes even more important at the time of pregnancy. What you eat when you’re pregnant affects the mental and physical growth of your newborn for years to come. So the addition of good nutrition while you’re expecting aids your baby to grow strong and big while helping to become smarter too. As a matter of fact, even simple choices that you make every day such as eating leafy-green salads in lunch to walking on the treadmill for a day’s workout can help develop your baby’s brain.
Enhance your baby’s IQ, memory, and behavioral skills well into adulthood by including these brain-boosting foods in your diet at the time of pregnancy and even pre-pregnancy:
Eggs are rich in choline, which is believed to promote brain function and the growth of memory in developing babies. Two eggs supply half the suggested daily amount of choline to pregnant women and also provide certain added benefits: they are a complete source of protein and contain iron in an easily absorbed form. It is believed that both protein and iron can increase birth weight. Low birth weights are linked to lower IQ.
Oily fish are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are an important brain food for your developing child. In a study conducted in the year 2007 among 12,000 pregnant women, those children who were born to mothers who included less than two servings of fish every week in their diet scored lower on intelligence tests, development and behavior than children born to mothers who included, at least, two servings of fish every week. If you’re pregnant, you should not eat large predatory fish such as swordfish, which can be a source of high levels of mercury.
However, women who don’t like fish can go for fish oil capsules, which act as a good substitute.
Besides vegetables, fruits contain powerful antioxidants, which help protect your baby’s brain from any injury. Include dark-colored produce, such as tomatoes, blueberries and kale in your diet chart to derive the highest antioxidant levels. But before eating, always wash the fruits and vegetables thoroughly to make them free of dirt and germs. If pregnancy-linked food aversions or nausea make fresh produce unpalatable, 100 percent vegetable juices, soups, and fruit smoothies can be tried to meet your daily nutritional requirements.
Probably the most significant element to consider while choosing brain foods for your baby is not what you should eat, but how much you should eat. If you eat less during pregnancy, it can create marked differences in how fetal brain cells increase and connect with each other, thus damaging the brain parts which regulate problem-solving and behavior.
Conversely, too much weight gain at the time of pregnancy can result in preterm birth, which can further create significant behavioral and learn problems in children. The ideal consumption of calories on a regular basis for pregnant women is 300 calories more than pre-pregnancy caloric requirements.