Don’t all of us parents want our babies to be intelligent and smart? But do you think that the process of making a baby intelligent and boost his grey matter begins after his birth? Then you are wrong. It begins as soon as you conceive the baby. That’s right! So do you want to know what to eat during pregnancy for having an intelligent baby? Read on as we take you through the vital minerals that your baby needs to boost his grey matter and foods that must be a part of your pregnancy diet.
We all know that a healthy mind and body is the result of a nutritious and balanced diet with a proper exercise regime. Now that you are pregnant, you need to eat healthy because only then will your baby get all the vital nutrients for proper growth and development. Raising a naturally intelligent child from birth will require you to consume foods that are scientifically proven to increase the baby’s intelligence. A boost of nutrients that actually help build your baby’s brain cells will certainly impact your baby’s IQ levels.
Fetal Brain Development – When Does It Happen?
Fetal brain development is not an overnight process but goes through several stages of development. Just a month from conception, the neural tube along your baby’s back is closes and from here the spinal cord and the baby’s brain will begin to develop. Because sensory organs and nerves are not yet developed, the fetus does not feel any pain at this point.
It is very very important to negate the chances of birth defects in the brain and spinal cord. This is why folic acid tablets are recommended to pregnant women. You should be absolutely careful of what you eat and avoid chemically laden, dangerous food items that can cause irreparable harm to the fetal brain.
Further, during the second trimester of pregnancy, the nerve functions, sensory organs, brain development begin to synchronise and differentiate. It is generally between twenty-fourth and forty-second week of pregnancy that the baby’s brain develops at a rapid pace. Healthy fats are known to provide faster development during this stage of pregnancy.
The third trimester marks the baby’s ability to learn and build memories. Talking to the womb, playing soothing music etc. have favourable effect on the child’s brain.
What To Eat During Pregnancy To Have An Intelligent Baby?
Prenatal nutrition forms the basis of the physical as well as mental development of your unborn baby. To have an intelligent baby, you need to take care that the consumption of some vital nutrients is not missed during your pregnancy. These nutrients in particular hold the secret to having an intelligent baby. These are –
- Iron: Iron supplements are often recommended to pregnant women because iron helps in carrying oxygen to your baby’s brain in the womb. The less iron your blood has, the less oxygen the baby’s brain receives and this problem can lead to poor fetal brain growth and lower IQ
- Omega-3 fatty acids: These fatty acids found in oily fish play an important role in the development of your unborn baby’s brain. They are also vital for the development of the baby’s eyes and nervous system. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), a type of omega-3 fatty acid is especially vital for both the brain and the retina. Consumption of omega-3 fatty acids during pregnancy has positive effect on the cognitive and visual abilities of a baby
- Proteins: The building blocks of our body, proteins are full of various amino acids and enhance the cognitive function of the brain making it healthier and faster
- Antenatal vitamins: Prenatal vitamins are a must for you want to have a baby who has better IQ abilities. Never skip them and have them religiously as directed by your doctor
- Choline: Though choline has an important role in the fetal brain development, it is often overlooked. The functions of memory, mood, spinal cord, early brain development are supported by this important nutrient not easily available through diet
- Zinc: The lack of zinc in your prenatal diet can weaken the axonal and synaptic transmission and impair DNA, RNA and protein synthesis. Make sure you have enough zinc in your diet to support your own immune system as well
Remember, that while the above mentioned nutrients are vital for fetal brain developments, you must never consume any supplement without consulting your doctor first.
A baby’s cognitive development starts to take place in the womb only, so you need to accentuate your diet with foods that contain these super minerals.
Foods To Eat During Pregnancy For An Intelligent And Smart Baby
Now that you are aware of the minerals that your baby needs in the womb for good cognitive development, you must be wondering what foods to eat to have an intelligent baby. Well, we give you some of the top brain-power boosting foods that you can include in your diet and ensure that your baby is smart and has a higher IQ. However, do ensure that you check this with your doctor for any contraindications with any medical condition that you may have.
The fact that walnuts resemble the structure of the brain is not a coincidence but a proof that walnuts are exceptionally good to boost brain power. It contains highly concentrated DHA, a type of Omega-3 fatty acid that is scientifically known to improve brain health, cognitive development and memory. Other nuts like almonds are also good for prenatal health.
Oily, fatty fish are rich in Omega-3 fatty acid, the DHA which actually composes 2/3 of your brain. Plus, it contains considerable amount of proteins. While including other oily fish in your diet is a good idea, steer clear of fish that contain mercury such as sushi, shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish. Note that high levels of mercury can be fatal for an unborn baby.
3. Green leafy vegetables
Whether its spinach or kale or any other green leafy vegetables, including them in your prenatal diet provides one of the most important mineral for making your unborn baby intelligent – iron. However, do note that many pregnant women also take iron supplements so make sure that you don’t go overboard.
These delicious berries are full of powerful antioxidants help in boosting memory and improve brain function by fighting the oxidative stress that negative affects your brain’s power. Other foods with similar benefits are tomatoes, blackberries, artichokes and strawberries.
You knew this one didn’t you? Eggs are one of the very few sources of choline, the micronutrient that boosts the production of a neurotransmitter to regulate your mood as well as your memory. Apart from choline, eggs also contain significant amount of vitamins B6 and B12 and folate making them an absolute must for a pregnant woman to have an intelligent baby.
Versatile in tastes and full of yumminess, cheese is one food that most pregnant women would love to indulge in. All the more, you get the very important vitamin D that helps in cell division, boosts immunity and improves bone and teeth health.
7. Greek Yogurt
You couldn’t have a great brain if it weren’t for calcium! While most pregnant women have a calcium supplement to be taken all through, you can also consume Greek yogurt that has concentrated calcium content as well as a little iodine.
Again, proteins and iron being critical for your unborn baby’s brain development, you can amp up the boost of these two minerals by having beans regularly all through your pregnancy. While iron helps in sending the oxygen supply to your baby’s brain cells, proteins release amino acids that are vital for brain health.
9. Pumpkin seeds
Apart from being rich in Omega-3 fatty acids that have been known to boost cognitive abilities, pumpkin seeds also contain zinc which is critical for the brain’s learning and memory functions.
To boost your baby’s brain while in the womb, you can include oatmeal in your prenatal diet for its amazing properties as a brain-food. It contains significant amounts of vitamins B, E potassium and zinc which help in aiding not just the mental development of the baby, but also physical development.
We couldn’t leave out milk from this list. Dubbed as a complete food in itself, people who drink milk have a naturally occurring antioxidant called glutathione in the brain that counteracts any damages that the brain might have. Moreover, milk is also known to improve memory and retention.
The fact that what you eat affects your baby’s development should be enough to compel you to eat right and healthy, not just during your pregnancy but even after. Having a baby who is intelligent right from birth can be realised if you choose to include the above mentioned minerals and foods in your prenatal diet. If you cannot have any food from the above list, seek out your doctor’s advice for a substitute. Rest assured, including the above foods during pregnancy to have an intelligent baby will surely help you.