What if we told you there was a magical food you could eat during pregnancy that could potentially increase your newborn baby's level of intelligence? Well, according to a recent study, there's one food group that just might do the trick - and that's fruit!
The researchers' findings are preliminary, but they certainly are intriguing: By analyzing data on 688 children who were a part of the Canadian Healthy Infant Longitudinal Development study, the researchers found that every additional serving of fruit a woman consumed per day during pregnancy corresponded with an increase in her child's cognitive scores one year after birth, the Wall Street Journal reports. In the past, only one other food - fish - has been linked to a boost in children's cognitive development.
The study showed that was a strong correlation between a pregnant woman's fruit consumption and her child's increased cognitive scores. But even still, this study should only be taken as a mere suggestion.
This is a single study, and we haven't looked at the health effects of increased fruit intake. Eating too much fruit during pregnancy might increase a woman's risk of developing gestational diabetes or lead to excessive weight gain.
Many physicians suggest that pregnant women simply "meet the recommendations" the U.S. government sets for daily fruit consumption, which is one and a half to two cups of fruit per day.
The study also found approximately 50% of pregnant women aren't even eating that government-recommended amount of fruit.
To up your fruit intake during pregnancy, Good Housekeeping Institute Nutrition Director Jaclyn London, suggests adding a serving of it to your breakfast, your salad at lunch and your mid-afternoon snack. "Fruit is an amazing source of phytonutrients, antioxidants, key vitamins, and minerals and prebiotic fiber - all of which can play a role in improved cognitive function both in-vitro and in-vivo. This study serves as a great reminder to eat-up!"