As you feed your growing appetite throughout your pregnancy, take a moment to consider the impact that the food you eat may have on your growing fetus. While many mothers-to-be know which foods to avoid, few consider all the potential health benefits that could arise from carefully choosing what to eat. By selecting foods with proven baby brain development benefits, you could set your child up for success simply by chowing down on the the right types of food during your pregnancy.
A diet rich in protein will help keep you healthy throughout your pregnancy — and may offer brain-building benefits to your child. Protein is a vital nutrient in brain development, and as such, it may be beneficial to bolster your protein intake as you move throughout your pregnancy. An assortment of foods, including lean meats, poultry, beans, tofu and egg white, are protein-rich and can be easily added to your daily food intake.
Vitamin-Rich Fruits and Veggies
Many vegetables are rich in an assortment of brain-building vitamins, including vitamins A and B6. Vegetables, including carrots, leafy greens and sweet potatoes, provide healthy doses of vitamin A, a vitamin tied to baby brain and eyesight development. If you want to upgrade your intake of vitamin B6, try adding some potassium-rich bananas to your diet, as they offer a hearty helping of this red blood cell-building vitamin, which is vital to baby’s circulation and brain development.
Omega-3 is often discussed when talk turns to promoting baby brain development. This fatty acid is found in abundance in foods, including salmon, trout, tuna, herring and other varieties of fish. It is also now a key ingredient in many prenatal vitamins. Because the brain is made primarily of fat, this healthy-fat compound is tied directly to the blossoming of your baby’s brain. The most common food source of omega-3 is fish; however, pregnant mothers should heed their doctor’s warnings regarding fish before dedicating themselves to filling their plates with Omega-3 containing foods, as many fish are also high in mercury and, as such, doctors often advocate for limited fish intake during pregnancy.
As Parents.com reports, zinc is a vital mineral in your baby’s brain development. Many of the tasty treats that you already enjoy as part of your diet are rich in zinc, including chocolate and peanuts. Wheat germ, tahini and toasted pumpkin seeds are also all rich in zinc.
Benefits of Balance
When planning your diet, don’t focus too heavily on filling up with super foods and forget to balance your eating. Just as when you are not pregnant, you should remember to eat an assortment of different foods. Each food has its own distinct health benefits. If you, for example, go on a banana binge to get your B6, you will likely not eat some other things that are vital to your baby’s development, leaving him lacking in another area.