Babies born to mothers who consumed six-seven servings of fruits per day had higher cognitive abilities at one year of age, said a new study.
The study published in the Journal ebiomedicine
conducted by researchers from the University of Alberta found that expectant mothers who ate fruits gave birth to babies who performed well in the developmental testing.
‘Prenatal fruit consumption can help improve the cognitive abilities of babies.’
Piush Mandhane, the lead author of the study and his team, examined 688 Edmonton children including the factors affecting their brain development such as economic status, maternal and paternal education and the age of children.
They tested their cognitive abilities using simple tests such as finding hidden objects and arranging things and measured their skills using a traditional IQ scale.
The team found that if pregnant mothers ate six or seven servings of fruit or fruit juice a day, on average, their infants placed six or seven points higher on the scale at one year of age.
The combination of fructose and lycopene in tomatoes and oranges has helped in improving the cognitive skills of the babies. The same combination was tested in fruit flies, where prenatal fruit consumption boosted the memory of flies too.
"It is the first study to show that gestational fruit influences cognitive development in children," Mandhane said. "We found that one of the biggest predictors of cognitive development was how much fruit moms consumed during pregnancy. The more fruit moms had, the higher their child's cognitive development."
"We know that the longer a child is in the womb, the further they develop and having one more serving of fruit per day in a mother's diet provides her baby with the same benefit as being born a whole week later."