Before Albert Einstein developed the Theory of Evolution and Nikola Tesla became a world-renowned engineer, they were developing fetal tissue. Being that they were born in the 1800s, it would be difficult to ask their mothers what they ate, however, it is very likely they ate foods that expedited the brain development of their sons. Many mothers are unaware of the correlation between pregnancy dieting and fetal brain development. The foods your baby receives in utero are responsible for things like how quickly and efficiently your child will gain motor skills, attention span, and determine whether your baby will develop neurological birth defects.
Fetal brain development foods
There are lots of nutrients necessary to eat during pregnancy for healthy fetal brain development. For instance, incorporating foods with Omega-3 fats are extremely beneficial. Studies show that mothers who eat enough Omega-3s give birth to babies with an intellectual edge. They have a greater attention span as well as higher DHA levels, which also help with nervous system development. Consuming Atlantic salmon, Pacific cod, tuna, walnuts, and almonds will provide sufficient amounts of Omega-3s during pregnancy.
It is also necessary to consume folic acid. Folic acid is a derivative of vitamin B and produces red blood cells. Folic acid also helps develop the neural tube and when taken within the first four weeks, it protects the brain and spinal cord from birth defects. It also prolongs fetal gestation, allowing the brain to fully develop before delivery. Without folic acid, premature birth becomes more probable. Folic acid-rich foods include leafy greens (kale, spinach, etc.), blueberries, avocado, and beans.
In addition to consuming enough folic acid and Omega-3s, antioxidants are also beneficial for brain development. They protect fetal brain tissue as well as pair with folic acid to help develop the brain’s neural tube. This is especially important for mothers with diabetes as the lack of antioxidants increases birth defect probability by an upwards of 500%. Antioxidant-rich foods include artichokes, berries (strawberries, blueberries,etc.), and beans.
For rapid brain cell development, pregnant women should incorporate foods containing iodine. Brain cell development has a direct correlation with the mother’s iodine intake. Iodine-rich foods, including dairy (cheese, yogurt, milk), fish, and sea salt, improve learning and motor skill development outside of the womb.
Diet is important for both the mother and the developing fetus. Eating properly during your pregnancy ensures that your baby will have a leg up on brain function. Keep in mind that ingesting large amounts of fish increases the probability of consuming Mercury. Do your best to buy high quality fish and consult your healthcare provider if you experience any adverse effects. It is also important to stay hydrated and take your prenatal vitamins. Prenatal vitamins typically supplement the nutrients the mother doesn’t receive in her diet. Be sure to get adequate amounts of rest and practice healthy habits such as light exercise and walking to positively impact your little one’s brain development.