5 Foods To Eat When You're Pregnant That Increase Your Baby's IQ

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The food an expectant mother eats has a direct impact on the physical development of her baby.

It is not a new information that the food an expectant mother eats would have a direct impact on the physical development of the fetus.

But recent studies show that those foods a pregnant mother eats will also affect the intelligence of the baby.

Not just food, but everything a mother does, eats, and feels during pregnancy will influence the baby’s brain. This includes physical exercises, eating leafy vegetables, and more.  


Below is a guide of what to eat when you're pregnant to help raise your baby's IQ:

If you are an expectant mother, you need to ensure that you have a healthy diet that consists of all the essential vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. Below is a list of what to eat when pregnant in order to have a healthy pregnancy:

1. Omega-3 foods

Foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids helps in the production of neurons. Neurons are those nerves that connect the brain with every other body part and facilitates message transfer through electric impulses.

A pregnant woman should ensure at least 300 milligrams of DHA Omega 3s daily, especially in the third trimester when baby’s brain growth is at its peak. Omega fatty acids are plentiful in foods such as eggs, tofu, flaxseed, different types of beans, spinach, or any other leafy vegetables and red meat.

2. Fruits and vegetables  

Fruits and vegetables contain essential vitamins such as vitamin A, B, C, K and also plenty of antioxidants that will eliminate harmful free radicals from your body. These free radicals, if they stay inside the mother’s body, can cause serious damage to the baby’s brain.

Some of the fruits and veggies that are rich in antioxidants are leafy vegetables, tomatoes, papaya, Blackberries, blueberries, oranges, kale, etc. Coffee also offers antioxidants if taken moderately.

Also, consider eating organically grown fruits and vegetables whenever possible. If not, at least wash them thoroughly as the chemicals can cause brain damage and development issues for the fetus.  

3. Protein

Protein promotes the development of new cells and balancing various hormones, both important for pregnant women. The amino acids in the protein are the building blocks of the body cells. So a fetus is growing in a mother’s womb, the protein consumed by the mother is used for building the body of the baby including its brain.

Women who are carrying are recommended to increase their protein intake by at least 10 grams above the normal quantity especially during the second and third trimesters. The ideal protein intake for women during their pregnancies vary from 40 grams to 70 grams depending on the individual weight.

Foods that are rich in protein will help to cover the required amount. Some protein-rich foods are cottage cheese, Yogurt, egg whites, beans, lean beef, and whey protein.


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4. Iron-rich foods

Iron is also important while being pregnant so like protein, it is recommended to double the amount of iron in your diet. This will promote better oxygen transfer throughout the body and will reach the baby.

But the truth is that most of the women, whether they are pregnant or not, are already deficient of enough iron in the blood. This will make it difficult for oxygen to reach the womb. Lack of sufficient oxygen will hinder the healthy growth of the baby and affect its IQ.

Pregnant women should, therefore, ensure the right amount of iron in blood as soon as the pregnancy is identified. Either iron syrups, pills or supplements can be used or natural foods containing a good amount of iron can be included in the diet.

Some of the foods that are rich in iron are lean beef, legumes, chicken, pulses and cereals, tofu, liver, dried fruits (such as raisins), apricot, whole grains (such as wheat and brown rice), and eggs.

5. Vitamin D

Vitamin D is the essential component for stronger bones and strong immune system. During pregnancy, women are required to have 600 international units of vitamin D; both for the baby and the mother.

Enough vitamin D will ensure bone strength and brain development for the baby while it sustains energy for the mother to carry her child for nine months.

Of course! Sunlight is the biggest source of vitamin D and pregnant women are recommended to walk or stand in the morning or evening sunlight to get sufficient vitamin D.

Doctors also recommend newborn babies need sun exposure to get vitamin D in order to prevent chances of causing newborn jaundice. Other than sunlight, vitamin D sources are orange juice, eggs, salmon or any fatty fish, milk, and cereals

All the above foods can help to maintain a healthy growth for babies in the womb; both physically and mentally. Beyond the above-mentioned foods, there are various pregnancy exercises that can improve the child’s brain growth and development. However, it is always advised to consult your doctor before trying them.


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Donna Begg is an expert editor, a mentor, analyst, and a researcher.

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