A healthy diet helps the child’s neurological development

Babies whose mothers had a more balanced diet during pregnancy would experience better neurological development, according to a study by French researchers.

It is no surprise that good nutrition during pregnancy allows the future baby to limit the risk of developing certain pathologies when they are born. French researchers have pushed even further the study of the relationship between a healthy diet in pregnant women and the neurological development of the future baby.

The result is clear: a healthy diet promotes the cognitive development of the unborn child.

Children were followed over three years

For their work, the INSERM research team led by Blandine de Lauzon-Guillain examined the eating habits of 18,000 expectant mothers. During the last 3 months of pregnancy, the food was examined.

The researchers then examined the children’s neurodevelopment every year until they were 3 and a half years old.

Food and neurodevelopment are closely linked

By cross-checking this data with others regarding the child’s socioeconomic environment and family background, the researchers determined that children whose mothers had a good quality diet during pregnancy had better development.

This is especially true among women who consumed more fruit and vegetables or fish. At the age of 3.5 years, a better cognitive development was noted.

Avoid products from the food industry

Conversely, in children whose mothers consumed more processed products or cold cuts, a weaker development was observed until the age of 2 years. A “delay”, which is then completed between 2 and 3.5 years. For scientists, this will be mainly due to the fact that from the age of 2 other factors take precedence for the child’s development. In all cases, it is advisable not to exceed 150 grams of processed products per week in accordance with ANSES recommendations.

Of course, these findings need to be consolidated with further research. This INSERM work can be consulted on the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition website.

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