"Eat Green" for Baby's Brain | Fit Pregnancy

"Eat Green" for Baby's Brain

Reducing your intake of pesticides and nitrates early in pregnancy may enhance your baby's academic achievement years down the road.

Reducing your intake of pesticides and nitrates early in pregnancy may enhance your baby's academic achievement years down the road. Researchers at the Indiana University School of Medicine examined test scores of Indiana students in grades 3 through 10 and found that children conceived between June and August scored lowest in math and language. The scientists suspect that high pesticide and nitrate use on crops during these months—and a newly pregnant woman's consumption of food contaminated by these chemicals—could affect the fetal brain.

Would buying organic fruits and vegetables help? "There is evidence that [eating] organic vegetables can reduce children's pesticide levels," says study author Paul Winchester, M.D. "It would seem reasonable to reduce pesticide, nitrate and other contaminant exposures wherever possible. This is especially important during pregnancy, when we have such a critical period of development in the first few months."