Want to give birth to the next Einstein? First, get in line, and second, start eating more apples. And bananas. And cantaloupes. And kiwis.
A new study out of Alberta has linked infants’ cognitive development with the quantity of fruit that moms eat during pregnancy.
“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 shows the same results as being born a whole week later,” says Dr.e Piush Mandhane, associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, and senior author on the study.
Six to seven servings of fruit per day for a mom during her pregnancy resulted in an IQ boost for the baby of six to seven points when tested at age one, the study found. And, really, that’s not an outrageous amount of fruit if you consider how easy it is to drink your servings. (Could this be a reason to dig out that juicer that’s been collecting dust?)
Data was collected from 700 babies, all of whom were measured on various tasks to track cognitive behaviours like memory and attention. The researchers controlled certain elements, too, including the parents’ education and when the baby was conceived, to rule out factors that may have helped to increase their brain development.
But don’t go getting all extreme with your fruit consumption. Mandhane warns that the impact of increased sugar levels in the body—even natural sugars—during pregnancy hasn’t been fully studied.
So, if you’re preggers, have a bowl full of berries instead of chips, sure. But don’t go jumping on some wild, Gwyneth Paltrow-style diet where all you eat is organic grape skin and papaya for the next nine months.