The development of a baby’s brain begins 3 weeks after the fetus is conceived and goes on up to the 42nd week with significant changes taking place from the 34th week onwards. A wide array of valuable nutrients are necessary during this crucial time so it is advisable to maintain an eating habit that is as healthy as possible.
DHA which is found in omega 3 fatty acids is vital for development of a baby’s brain and further ensures that the baby’s brain functions normally. Although a baby can receive DHA from breast feeding after birth, a pregnant woman needs to consume foods with vitamins that have dha including foods such as cod fish, Atlantic salmon, tuna and omega 3 fortified dishes to ensure that the fetus gets a fair share of this vitamins for eye and brain development.
Spinach is a natural source of folate which is an antioxidant that protects vital tissues of a baby’s brain from any kind of damage. It also regulates metabolism of cells and the synthesis of DNA. To ensure that all the nutrients found in spinach are retained it should be steamed lightly to avoid killing off the nutrients. Other sources of folate include broccoli, asparagus, pinto beans and turnip greens.
Eggs are a good source of choline which is necessary during the formative stages of a baby’s brain and the subsequent memory and learning abilities of a child. The best source of choline is the York of an egg best taken when boiled. However, choline can also be found in other foods like fish, soybean, chicken, mushrooms and pork although in smaller concentration levels.
Snacking on peanuts is common for pregnant women. However, peanuts are not just snacks but are necessary for providing folate, niacin and protein nutrients. They also have a high concentration of Vitamin E which ensures that cell membranes of the brain are not damaged. Vitamin E is also known to be very good for relieving and handling stress due to its oxidation capability. Peanut butter, when taken without adding any oil to it is also a good source of Vitamin E.
Vitamin B6 is vital during pregnancy for proper development of a baby’s brain other than ensuring a good immunity system. B6 is one of the vitamins that are soluble in water and is essential for good memory and for wading off depression. Vitamin B6 deficiency is detrimental to the brain with the common symptoms being confusion and depression. Also referred to as pyridoxine, it can be found in a wide variety of foods including soybeans, carrots, pork, cabbage, beans and fish.
Oleic acid is an omega 9 fatty acid which is important for proper development of the brain. One of the best sources of oleic acid is avocado which can be cut into pieces to be taken in a sandwich or added to your favorite salad.
Thiamine, which is also known as “the mood booster”, is good for alleviating depression hence ensures proper functioning of the brain. Sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, pork, tuna are just some of the food that are rich in thiamine.