Research has shown that at six months, babies need four times as much zinc as an adult man and nine times as much iron and relative to weight, protein requirements are the highest they will ever be. Both zinc and iron are minerals that play a vital role in the development of a baby’s brain, yet deficiency is widespread. For example, about 20 per cent of pregnant women and children are iron-deficient.
By the age of two, a baby’s brain reaches 80 per cent of its adult weight. A lot is going on in a very short amount of time. Ensure your baby is getting all the raw material he/she needs to sustain such rapid growth.
Here are some foods that would make your baby smarter:
Wild-caught Fatty Fish.
Fatty fish is one of the best places to find long-chain omega-3 fatty acids. These fats are particularly important for your baby’s developing brain because they are literally what a human brain is made of — 60 per cent of the brain is fat. Essential fatty acids don’t only make up brain tissue; they also play a key role in a healthy immune system and help to regulate gene expression in the brain.
Fish eggs — such as salmon roe — and egg yolks are a good source of Vitamin D, Foliate, and Choline 9. Choline is an important nutrient for the brain because it supports neurotransmitter synthesis and the healthy expression of DNA. Like Foliate, Choline protects against neural tube defects during pregnancy. It’s also essential for good memory.
Like fatty fish, roe, and yolks, liver can almost do it all. But unlike these foods, liver isn’t as prized in modern culture. It’s usually the thing that’s thrown away or fed to pets. Still, liver is one of the most nutrient-dense foods that you can offer your baby and eat during pregnancy.
This is because liver contains:
Important brain-building minerals like iron and zinc. Most B vitamins, including foliate, Vitamins A and D
Choline, although there has been controversy surrounding eating liver during pregnancy, associated with potential birth defects. Excessive vitamin A from liver is thought to cause birth defects in a growing baby, particularly in the first few months of pregnancy. However, research has also shown that moderate weekly liver consumption is a possible remedy to vitamin A deficiency among women, without exceeding an intake level that could cause toxicity.
With all the benefits of liver, it’s critical to source your liver from well-raised animals since it can contain contaminants from the environment.
There are several benefits of giving your baby fermented foods early on. Just by adding small amounts of fermented vegetables — such as cabbage, carrots, and onion — to your baby’s cereal, will help to double the bioavailability of iron. As gentle and nourishing fermented foods like Kefir move through the digestive tract, they introduce probiotics — good bacteria and yeast that have been found to support health. The network of support created by probiotics extends beyond the gut, influencing your baby’s immune system and behaviour.
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