What your pregnant partner eats isn’t all pickles and ice cream, and it’s the start of many nutritional decisions that could shape the course of your kid’s future. Research already suggests that your kid gets their intelligence from their mother (just genetically speaking), but a new study from the University of Alberta claims that such smarts can be boosted with fruit. Unfortunately this time, it’s not from your loins.
The research, published in the journal EBioMedicine, analyzed data from the Canadian Healthy Infant Longitudinal Development Study, which followed 688 children and included extensive information about their mothers’ diets during pregnancy. When babies were measured using the Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development a year after they were born, they found prenatal fruit consumption led to increased cognitive scores in kids. More surprisingly, scores seemed to go up with each additional serving of fruit, before the effect tapped out around 7 servings. The good news for you is that this does grow on trees.
Authors of the study were so surprised by these findings that they did the experiment again, this time with fruit flies (who could use smarter kids too), and observed the same effect. Still, authors of the study were careful to acknowledge that these findings are preliminary at best. “We don’t want pregnant women to go out and eat a tremendous amount of fruit,” Dr. Piush Mandhane, senior author of the study, noted. This could be confusing depending on what your mother ate carrying you.
The problem is that the study did not look that the potential health effects from too much fruit, but experts warn that it could raise your pregnant partner’s blood sugar and increase the risk of gestational diabetes. Until more research is done, it’s best stick to the recommended amount of 2 to 4 servings a day. Your little top banana can figure out the rest in medical school.
[H/T] The Wall Street Journal