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Prescription for pregnancy: Experts say to eat nuts

The same food that’s been shown to improve cholesterol levels, heart health, depression and cognitive decline may also benefit a pregnant woman’s child. 

It’s more than a healthy snack. A new study shows eating nuts during pregnancy could benefit your baby years later.

Researchers in Spain followed 2,208 pregnant women and their children. The moms reported on their nut intake during the first and third trimesters of their pregnancy. Then, their kids were evaluated at one and a half, 5, and 8 years of age. 

Results showed moms who reported the highest intake of nuts during their first trimester had kids who did better on cognitive tests at all the ages measured. These moms consumed about three servings, or 25 grams, of nuts per week.

Nuts contain folic acid, healthy fats, proteins, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. The authors believe these components could influence how the brain functions. So if you’re expecting, grab that bowl of nuts. Your baby will thank you later. 

The nuts in the study included walnuts, almonds, peanuts, pine nuts, and hazelnuts.

Interestingly, the scientists found weaker or insignificant associations between nut consumption during the third trimester and a child’s cognitive outcomes later on.