Fruit is good for you—that much is certain. But it turns out that eating fruit could have a surprising benefit on your offspring, as well. A new study by the University of Alberta show that the benefits of exposure to fruit could begin as early as in the womb.
The results, which were published in the EbioMedicine journal, used data from a 3,500-subject study of Canadian infants and their families to draw the conclusion that fruit intake could be a key factor in the future development of a child's brain. "We wanted to know if we could identify what factors affect cognitive development," says Piush Manhane, senior author of the paper and associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Alberta. "We found that one of the biggest predictors of cognitive development was how much fruit moms consumed during pregnancy. The more fruits moms had, the higher their child's cognitive development," he adds.
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The study found that the children of mothers with the highest fruit consumption during pregnancy performed better on developmental tests at one year old. The tests used a traditional IQ scale as its model, where the average IQ is 100. On average, kids whose mothers ate six to seven servings of fruit per day during pregnancy scored six to seven points higher on IQ tests later in life.