Child's brain development before birth...5

Child's brain development before birth...5

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Child's brain development before birth...5
Posted in 2015

Eating to support baby's brain development

Because your baby's nervous system starts developing right out of the starting gates, it's important to consume 400 micrograms of folate (aka folic acid or vitamin B) daily as soon as you think you might want to get pregnant. This nutrient is essential for fetal cell growth, tissue development and DNA — and consuming enough before (and early in) pregnancy reduces a baby's chance of serious neural tube defects (like spina bifida) by 70 percent. Research also suggests that the nutrient can reduce the chances your child will be born with an autism spectrum disorder by up to 40 percent. So take your prenatal vitamin (which should have at least 400 mcg), and make sure to eat plenty of folate-rich foods (like leafy greens and whole grains).
Another important nutrient for brain (and eye) development: omega-3 fatty acids, specifically DHA (aka docosahexaenoic acid). Getting enough — especially during your third trimester, when baby's brain is developing the fastest — is vital, since it's a major structural fat in the brain and eyes. The good news: DHA is found in lots of safe-to-eat fatty, cold water fish (like salmon, trout and cod), along with seaweed and DHA-fortified eggs.


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