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Maternal intake of egg yolks, nuts can boost baby’s brain

Choline is in high demand during pregnancy yet most women consume less.

IANS | New York |

Want to have smarter kids? Eating foods such as egg yolks, nuts and cruciferous vegetables — that are rich in nutrient choline — during pregnancy can boost your kids’ memory and brain skills, a study has found.

The study suggested that maternal consumption of choline rich foods like lean red meat, fish, poultry and legumes daily during the last trimester of pregnancy improved the kids’ processing speed and visuospatial memory at the age of four, seven, 10 and 13 months.


“In animal models using rodents, there’s widespread agreement that supplementing the maternal diet with additional amounts of this single nutrient has lifelong benefits on offspring cognitive function. Our study provides some evidence that a similar result is found in humans,” said Marie Caudill, Professor at the Cornell University in New York, US.

The finding, published in The FASEB Journal, is important because choline is in high demand during pregnancy yet most women consume less than the recommended 450 milligrams per day.


But, eating choline rich foods close to twice than the recommended amount daily during the last trimester of pregnancy helps in producing optimal cognitive abilities, the researchers said.

For the study, the team divided pregnant women in two groups. While the first group consumed 930 mg per day, the second group consumed 480 mg per day.

While children in both groups showed cognitive benefits, higher brain development was significantly faster for the first group, the results showed.