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Expectant mothers should eat nuts
Many parents certainly want their child to be more attentive at school and achieve better results when doing classwork. According to a recent study, children's performance can be boosted by the fact that expectant mothers eat more nuts during pregnancy. This led to increased attention, better memory and a general improvement in mental abilities in children later in life.
A recent study by the Barcelona Institute for Global Health found that expecting mothers eat nuts during their pregnancy, which has a positive effect on the child's thinking and memory. The results of the study were published in the English-language journal "European Journal of Epidemiology".
Nuts should be consumed in the first third of pregnancy
The new study suggests that eating nuts in the first trimester of pregnancy increases the baby's mental ability. This process seems to be triggered by folic acid and fatty acids contained in nuts, the researchers suspect. It is recommended that pregnant women should eat approximately three handfuls of nuts per week (90 g) within the first three months of pregnancy. “For this, walnuts, almonds, pine nuts or hazelnuts are suitable,” says the researchers.
2,000 mothers and their children took part in the study
2,200 mothers and their children were examined for the study. The mothers completed a questionnaire on eating habits and their young children passed various exams. These assessed their ability to think, attention and memory at the age of 18 months and at the age of five and eight years.
The children whose mothers consumed the most nuts in the first trimester achieved the best results. The observed positive effects could be due to the fact that the nuts were high in folic acid and especially essential fatty acids like omega-3 and omega-6. "It is the first study to examine the potential long-term benefits of consuming nuts during pregnancy for child development," the study authors report.
Maternal nutrition affects the brain development of the fetus
The brain goes through a series of complex processes during pregnancy. This means that maternal nutrition is a critical factor in fetal brain development and can have long-term effects.
Folic acid and especially essential fatty acids such as omega-3 and omega-6 tend to accumulate in the so-called neural tissue, especially in the forehead areas of the brain, which affect memory and executive functions. It is already known that nuts can also lower the risk of high blood pressure and diabetes and protect against mental deterioration in old age. The study also examined nut consumption in the last three months of pregnancy, but found that such consumption had little subsequent effect. (as)