How to raise a smart child
In this competitive age, parents are often concerned about whether their child would be intelligent enough and wonder if they can do anything to help their child’s brain development.
Inherited genes play a major role in determining intelligence and personality, but the right nutrition and lifestyle choices can help ensure those genes are programmed in the womb.
Since 70% of the brain growth occurs during foetal life, appropriate nutrition during this period is critical for optimal brain development.
Here are some practical tips which aim to help you raise a smart child.
- Eat Healthy Food: Eating healthy food that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables is crucial for the healthy development of the foetus. The foetal brain also requires Omega-3 fatty acids (especially DHA) for development. So, include foods such as fish, walnuts, beans, leafy greens, hemp seeds, flax seeds & chia seeds. Studies have shown that babies born to the mothers with DHA rich diet, tend to have higher birth weight, better vison, and intelligence. Most experts recommend 200 mg of DHA either through diet or supplements.
- Include Folate in Your Diet: Folic acid, or folate is essential for the proper development of the brain and spinal cord of the foetus. Some studies have shown that women who started taking folic acid supplements at least 2 weeks before conception and continued to take them until the 8th week of pregnancy had a much lower chance of giving birth to a child with autism and neural tube defects. Folic acid is found in dark green leafy vegetables, lentils, nuts, and avocados.
- Eat Eggs: Eggs are rich in choline, which is an important vitamin of the Vitamin B-complex family. It is said that consuming foods containing choline while pregnant is very good for the developing baby and has long-term beneficial effects on the child’s memory.
- Get Some Sunshine: Vitamin D is essential for the development of strong bones and heart of the baby. So, make sure you get enough sunshine, as your body synthesizes vitamin D when your skin is exposed to sunlight. If you have a vitamin D deficiency, consult your doctor before taking supplements.
- Exercise: Staying fit and active during pregnancy helps the baby develop a smarter brain. Exercise releases endorphins, which are feel-good chemicals that make their way to the baby, aiding in brain development. Exercise increases blood flow to the womb, and this is good for the baby’s healthy development.
- Avoid Alcohol, Drugs, and Nicotine: Substances like alcohol, tobacco, drugs, and caffeine can cause serious developmental disorders in the developing baby. They also affect foetal brain development. It is, therefore, very important to avoid exposure to such harmful substances when pregnant.
- Don’t ignore the supplements: During pregnancy, your body needs extra nourishment. Though a wholesome meal will provide you with ample nutrition, you must take additional supplements for the well-being of the baby and a smooth delivery. However, it is necessary that you consult your doctor before taking any supplements.
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