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The brain and eyesight of your infant can greatly develop if you include fatty fish in your diet regularly during pregnancy, says a new research. According to study author Kirsi Laitinen, a mother's diet during pregnancy and breastfeeding is the main way that valuable long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids become available to a fetus and infant brain during the period of maximum brain growth. Such fatty acids help to shape the nerve cells that are relevant to eyesight and particularly the retina. They are also important in forming the synapses that are vital for the transport of messages between neurons in the nervous system.
The study results revealed that infants whose mothers ate fish three or more times a week during the last trimester of their pregnancy fared better than those whose mothers ate no fish or only up to two portions per week. Long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids within the fish, along with other nutrients like vitamins D and E are responsible for brain development.
Some other studies in the past have highlighted how eating certain foods can influence a baby's brain and help its development in the later years. According to a research by Cornell University, choline-rich foods such as egg yolks, nuts and cruciferous vegetables during pregnancy can boost your kids' memory and brain skills. The nutrient choline is also found in lean red meat, fish, poultry and legumes. Daily consumption of these foods during the last trimester of pregnancy was shown to improve the kids' processing speed and visuospatial memory at the age of four, seven, 10 and 13 months.
Folic acid is another essential nutrient that's necessary for good brain development in kids. Sufficient intake of folic acid-rich foods like tofu or soya paneer, dark green veggies like spinach and fenugreek, bottle gourd, muskmelon, peanuts and peanut butter is very necessary.
Sprout beans, poultry, soya milk and other sources of vitamin B 12 are also great for the unborn baby's brain development.
Don't just focus on these nutrients. A well-balanced diet suggested your doctor should be sufficient to give you all the essential nutrients for a healthy baby.
With inputs from ANI and IANS
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