When expectant mothers consume sufficient amounts of the nutrient choline during pregnancy, their offspring gain enduring cognitive benefits, a new Cornell University study suggests.
Consuming foods such as egg yolks, lean red meat, fish, poultry, legumes, nuts and cruciferous vegetables - that are rich in nutrient choline - during pregnancy may boost your baby’s brain, the study has found.
The study suggested that maternal consumption of choline-rich foods like lean red meat, fish, poultry and legumes daily during the last trimester of pregnancy improved the kids' processing speed and visuospatial memory at the age of four, seven, 10 and 13 months.
"In animal models using rodents, there's widespread agreement that supplementing the maternal diet with additional amounts of this single nutrient has lifelong benefits on offspring cognitive function. Our study provides some evidence that a similar result is found in humans," said Marie Caudill, Professor at the Cornell University in New York, US.
The finding, published in The FASEB Journal, is important because choline is in high demand during pregnancy yet most women consume less than the recommended 450 milligrams per day.
But, eating choline-rich foods close to twice than the recommended amount daily during the last trimester of pregnancy helps in producing optimal cognitive abilities, the researchers said.
For the study, the team divided pregnant women into two groups. While the first group consumed 930 mg per day, the second group consumed 480 mg per day.
While children in both groups showed cognitive benefits, higher brain development was significantly faster for the first group, the results showed.
(with IANS inputs)