A new study published in the journal EBioMedicine suggests that pregnant women who eat more fruit have smarter children.
For the study, a little over 800 children were tested by child development experts at the age of one; results were then compared with records of each mother’s fruit consumption from pregnancy.
Researchers discovered that test results improved on average by 2.38 points for every serving of fruit the mother ate each day!
A few factors didn’t make a difference when it came to the child’s intelligence:
- The amount of fruit the child consumed
- The mother’s omega-3 and fiber intake
When researches conducted comparable tests on fruit flies, they had similar results. Fruit flies had better memory skills if their parents consumed more fruit juice; however, there wasn’t much improvement in learning when only the children consumed fruit. The similar results could be due to a hormone known as cyclic adenylate monophosphate pathway, which is found in both fruit flies and humans.
Study highlights include:
- Cognitive development was assessed one year after birth and discovered to be favorably affected by higher fruit consumption.
- Socioeconomic status had nothing to do with study results. In fact no link was found between a higher socioeconomic status and higher scores.
- There was little correlation between cognitive development at one year and at three years. So eating fruits while pregnant might not necessarily mean your child will end up at an Ivy league school, but it does have a short-term effect on babies.
- Pregnant women with diabetes (including gestational diabetes) shouldn’t consume more fruits without advice from their doctors.
Keep in mind that it’s still important to encourage your kids to eat their fruits and vegetables. Children between the ages of nine and 13 are encouraged to eat between seven and 11 servings of fruits and veggies each day; however, less than four percent of American children eat this amount. More kids can recognize junk-food giants like McDonald’s but are less likely to be able to properly classify certain vegetables!
Experts suggest that it’s important to begin instilling good eating habits in children when they are young to avoid complications later in life, such as diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure.
Source for Today’s Article:
Bolduc, F. V., et al., “Cognitive Enhancement in Infants Associated with Increased Maternal Fruit Intake During Pregnancy: Results from a Birth Cohort Study with Validation in an Animal Model,” EBioMedicine, published online April 22, 2016; doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ebiom.2016.04.025.