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8 May 2019, 15:40
A new study has claimed that eating nuts early in your pregnancy can boost the baby's intelligence
Children's intelligence can be boosted if their mum eats nuts during their first three months in the womb, a study has suggested.
It's claimed that the children of mothers who ate nuts at this time developed better memory, higher levels of concentration and more thinking skills.
The study suggested that around three handfuls of nuts a week - or 90g - was the optimum quantity to consume.
It is said that the folic and fatty acids are to thank for the supposed boost to brain development that comes with nut consumption.
Researchers have claimed that walnuts, almonds, peanuts, pine nuts or hazelnuts are best for the healthy fatty acids they contain.
The study, conducted by the Barcelona Institute for Global Health, tested 2,200 mother and child pairs. The women completed a questionaire on eating habits, and the children later took tests on their memory, thinking skills and attention capacity at 18 months and five and eight years.
Study leader Florence Gignac said: “This is the first study to explore the possible benefits of eating nuts during pregnancy for the child’s neurodevelopment in the long term.
“The brain undergoes a series of complex processes during gestation and this means that maternal nutrition is a determining factor in foetal brain development and can have long-term effects.
“The nuts we took into account in this study were walnuts, almonds, peanuts, pine nuts and hazelnuts.
“We think that the beneficial effects observed might be due to the fact that the nuts provided high levels of folic acid and, in particular, essential fatty acids like omega-3 and omega-6.
“These components tend to accumulate in neural tissue, particularly in the frontal areas of the brain, which influence memory and executive functions.”
The findings were published in European Journal of Epidemiology.