Let’s be honest – pregnancy diets are less than fun. There are countless restrictions and even total eliminations on some of the more fun things life has to offer, like alcohol, for example.
However, the importance of sticking to the pregnancy diet cannot be stressed enough. Fun things aside, the pregnancy diet is the same as your standard food regimen with the addition of a few extra calories.
Following the right diet is obviously crucial as it lowers the risk of pregnancy complications such as gestational diabetes and pre-eclampsia. It also reduces the amount of morning sickness, constipation and mood swings experienced.
There are also several advantages for the baby, such as, higher chances that the baby will be born at an ideal weight and without any birth defects such as Spina Bifida. Following the pregnancy diet to the ‘T’ may even eradicate behavioural issues such as picky eating.
All this aside, there is one final monumental advantage in maintaining a well-balanced diet that addresses both yours and baby’s needs, and that is: having a baby with above-average intelligence. This means that your child may exhibit signs of quicker mental and physical development. From being able to stand and walk at a younger age to having the ability to distinguish between various words and pick up musical instruments rapidly.
Though genetics does play a HUGE role in every child’s cerebral development, there are certain things that every mother can do in order to maximize the chances of having a baby with high IQ. After all, you are obviously looking to give your baby every advantage possible.
If this wasn’t the case, you might not have even bothered reading up to this point.
Nourishing your baby with the right foods in-utero could make a significant difference in their development as they grow. Listed below are some foods that will speed baby’s development along and why.
Foods high in Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids have been scientifically and conclusively proven to contribute to baby’s brain development while in-utero. Some foods that are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids are
- Fortified eggs
- Flaxseed oil
- Cereals that have been enhanced with iron
Omega-3 fatty acids boost your baby’s brain development by increasing neuron production. In a nutshell, neurons are nerves that transmit electrical impulses to the brain and send messages to other parts of the body.
In short, Omega-3 fatty acids helps to increase the volume of gray matter. In this manner, it accelerates the cognitive development of your baby.
Fruits and Vegetable
So, the age old adage of ‘you have to eat your fruits and vegetables’ definitely holds true here. In the same way a regular person’s healthy diet must consist of these elements, a pregnant woman’s diet must contain these too. In fact, pregnant women are highly encouraged to eat almost twice the daily recommended amount of fruits and vegetables.
Fruits and vegetables are high in antioxidants. This is a term well-known in the beauty industry to help limit the onset of aging and to remove fine lines and wrinkles.
However, when ingested, antioxidants have the ability to neutralize cell damaging particles known as free radicals. These free radicals may harm your baby in-utero and cause birth defects and foetal growth restrictions.
Without the right amount of antioxidants, baby’s brain development will also slow down significantly.
Some examples of great sources of antioxidants are
- All dark green leafy vegetables
- Acai Berries
Foods high in Iron
If you’re in your second or third trimester, you’ve probably heard this about a million times by now. Iron is CRUICAL during pregnancy. Both for yourself and the little life growing inside you.
The average woman needs about 18-miligrams of iron everyday while a pregnant woman needs 27-miligrams. Listed below are some of the best sources of iron
- Red meat
- Dried fruit
- Bread that has been fortified with iron
The biggest issues with pregnant women consuming sufficient amount of iron is that the vast majority have been consuming lesser than the daily recommended amount even before they were with child. This means that they have to more-than-double their intake of iron right off the bat.
Consuming large amounts of iron will be made easier by mixing up your diet a little. Instead of just eating meat, add beans and pasta into the mix.
Iron helps to transport oxygen to the baby and without adequate amounts of it, this could result in a lack of oxygen in the womb. A lack of oxygen in the womb slows down all bodily function, including brain development, an issue that can persist even once the baby has been delivered.
If this issue isn’t taken care of quickly and effectively, problems such as pre-term delivery, low birth weight and even infant mortality may arise.
Foods high in Protein
While in-utero, your body and your baby will be working together to create new cells, hormones and connections in the brain that will be imperative when your child enters the world and starts learning how to function. In order to promote the development and the growth of these cells and hormones – protein is key.
Protein is made up of amino acids. Amino acids – in turn – are the building blocks of a body’s cells. As your baby’s body grows ad develops at accelerated rates in your womb, having sufficient amount of protein becomes increasingly important.
Pregnant women are encouraged to increase their intake of protein by 10-miligrams. This increase is particularly vital during the second and third trimesters. Listed below sources are some excellent sources of protein
- Peanut butter
Last – but certainly not least – we have folic acid. From the moment you set foot into your OBGYN’s office, you have probably been lectured incessantly about its importance. Whether it’s your first time being pregnant or your fifth, doctors and nurses never fail to stress the importance of this mineral.
Folic acid is an extremely important component of brain cell formation. It helps prevent neural tube defects and allows your baby to develop quicker on a cognitive level. Most pregnant women use supplements to get their full intake of folic acid.
However, if you are looking to minimize the amount of chemicals you’re putting into your system, these sources will also provide you folic acid
- Tomato Juice
- Orange Juice
Every mum wants to deliver a baby with an above-average intelligence. This means that putting the right foods in your body over the 3-trimesters is essential. These lists can also serve as a way to expand the type of foods you have been eating and give you more variety.
Ultimately, what’s the harm in giving your baby every advantage possible?