It’s common knowledge that expectant and breast-feeding mothers should watch what they eat. This fact is highlighted by a long-term study featured on Science Daily, which analyzed women’s diets before childbirth and their effects on kids’ brain development.

Researchers from the NUTRIMENTHE project worked with families with young children and found that several vitamins, minerals, and compounds influenced children’s mental and behavioral development.

Folic acid, which is normally taken by women during pregnancy, was found to have reduced the chances of behavioral problems in young children. Omega-3 found in fish also reportedly helped improve brain development, while iodine sharpened their reading skills.

Lead researcher Cristina Campoy explains that mothers should take into account not only their health during pregnancy, but also the well-being of their child. “It is important to try to have good nutrition during pregnancy and in the early life of the child, and to include breastfeeding if possible, as such ‘good nutrition’ can have a positive effect on mental performance later in childhood,” she advises.

(Photo by Kanko* via Flickr Creative Commons)

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