Certain foods have been proven to positively affect your baby’s memory and capacity to learn, and others can hinder proper brain development. Here, what to eat and what to avoid while you’re pregnant.
Pop Your Prenatal Vitamin Daily
Taking it will help ensure that you get the balance of nutrients your baby needs, like folic acid and vitamin B12 to make red blood cells, vitamin C to produce collagen, vitamin D for bone building, and zinc for brain development. If your vitamin upsets your stomach, don’t just ditch it: Try taking it with a meal, or talk to your doctor about switching brands.
Munch on Fruits and Veggies
Produce contains antioxidants, which are good for your baby. “Antioxidants protect the baby’s brain tissue from damage,” says nutritionist Elizabeth Somer, RD, author of Nutrition for a Healthy Pregnancy. Choose deep-colored produce — like dark leafy greens, papaya, blueberries, and tomatoes — for the biggest antioxidant punch. Just remember to wash all fruits and vegetables thoroughly, even fruits that have a rind (since cutting it will drag germs through the flesh).
Your body needs more protein right now to build cells and make hormones for your growing baby. In fact, your protein intake must jump by 10 extra grams per day. Some good protein boosters: a yogurt smoothie at breakfast, a cup of bean soup at lunch, peanut butter on whole-grain crackers for a snack, or a 3-ounce portion of lean beef (tenderloin and sirloin are good choices) at dinner.
Pump Up Iron
Your iron intake needs to double during pregnancy since Iron helps deliver life-sustaining oxygen to your baby. Trouble is, many women enter pregnancy already deficient, says Somer. If your baby’s deprived of oxygen in the womb, the risk of poor growth — and lower IQ — increases. Ask your doctor to test you for iron deficiency. Then make sure your diet includes iron-rich foods like lean beef, chicken, legumes, and fortified breakfast cereal.
Though fetal alcohol syndrome is associated with heavy alcohol abuse during pregnancy, even moderate amounts of beer, wine, or liquor can harm a baby’s brain, according to the March of Dimes. Light to moderate drinking can lead to problems with learning, attention, memory, and social skills down the road.
Also Read: ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT PREGNANCY CRAVING