– EN Fitness & Wellbeing – It’s time to get nuts about nuts if you’re pregnant; a new study has found that expectant mothers who snack on the food boost their baby’s brain power while still in the womb.
An unborn child relies on its mother for all nutrients before being born. And while most pregnant women ease up on their diets during this time, indulging in treats they may normally restrict, it’s important they also fill their diets with nutritional foods.
And nuts, especially during the first trimester, should most definitely be added to that list.
In a study of 2,200 mother-child pairs, carried out by researchers at the Barcelona Institute for Global Health, it was found that mums who ate three 30g servings of nuts a week in the first part of their pregnancies produced children who scored better on cognitive function, attention and memory tests.
“This is the first study to explore the possible benefits of eating nuts during pregnancy for the child’s neurodevelopment in the long term,” said study author Florence Gignac. “The brain undergoes a series of complex processes during gestation and this means maternal nutrition is a determining factor in foetal brain development and can have long-term effects.”
The study was focused on the consumption of walnuts, almonds, peanuts, pine nuts, and hazelnuts.
Florence added that the high levels of folic acid and essential fatty acids like omega-3 and omega-6 found in the nuts was most likely the reason behind the impressive results.
“These components tend to accumulate in neural tissue, particularly in the frontal areas of the brain, which influence memory and executive functions,” she explained.