Pregnant women who snack on nuts are more likely to have a smart child

Tips for having a great relationship?

Pregnant women who munch on walnuts, almonds or pine nuts are more likely to have a brainy child, a study suggests.

Spanish scientists found children whose mothers ate three 30g servings of nuts a week in the first trimester scored better on cognitive function, attention and memory tests.

Nuts are rich in folate and essential fatty acids, which are thought to accumulate in brain tissue responsible for memory and attention spans.

The research of 2,200 mother-child pairs was carried out by the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal).

Florence Gignac, a predoctoral fellow in perinatal and pediatric epidemiology, led the study.

She said: ‘This is the first study to explore the possible benefits of eating nuts during pregnancy for the child’s neuro development in the long term.

‘The brain undergoes a series of complex processes during gestation and this means maternal nutrition is a determining factor in foetal brain development and can have long-term effects.

‘The nuts we took into account in this study were walnuts, almonds, peanuts, pine nuts and hazelnuts.


Pregnancy health charity Tommy’s gives a list of actions which would have a positive impact on the health of a pregnancy and the future child if done before the mother stops contraception.

Take folic acid

Taking 400mcg of folic acid daily from two months before stopping contraception can help protect babies from developing neural tube defects such as spina bifida.

Quit smoking

Smoking during pregnancy causes 2,200 premature births, 5,000 miscarriages and 300 perinatal deaths per year in the UK.

Be a healthy weight

Being overweight before and during pregnancy increases the risk of potentially dangerous conditions such as pre-eclampsia and diabetes.

Eat healthy and be active

A healthy mother is more likely to give birth to a healthy baby, and both will help maintain a safe body weight.

Speak to your GP if you are taking medication

Some medications may affect pregnancy, and it is best to check with a GP as soon as possible

Source: Tommy’s

‘We think the beneficial effects observed might be due to the fact the nuts provided high levels of folic acid and, in particular, essential fatty acids like omega-3 and omega-6.

‘These components tend to accumulate in neural tissue, particularly in the frontal areas of the brain, which influence memory and executive functions.’

To uncover how eating nuts during pregnancy affects a child’s future development, the researchers analysed more than 2,200 mother-child pairs living in Asturias, Guipuzcoa, Sabadell or Valencia.

During the women’s first and third trimesters, they completed questionnaires on their eating habits, which included their nut intake.

The children’s neurodevelopment was assessed via several ‘internationally validated standard tests’ at 18 months, five years and eight years old.

Results – published in the European Journal of Epidemiology – revealed the biggest benefit occurred in the group whose mothers ate the highest amount of nuts, with a weekly average of just under three 30g servings.

This is lower than the three-to-seven servings a week that is recommended in the healthy eating guide published by the Spanish Society of Community Nutrition.

‘This makes us think if the mothers consumed the recommended weekly average the benefits could be much greater,’ Ms Gignac said.

Health authorities in the UK and US do not have specific guidance on how many nuts we should be eating. However, the United States Department of Agriculture and the World Health Organization both advocate them as part of a healthy diet.

Despite the benefits of eating nuts during a woman’s first trimester, the same effects were not seen when the mothers munched on the snack later on in their pregnancies.

Study author Dr Jordi Júlvez, assistant research professor at ISGlobal, said: ‘This is not the first time we have observed more marked effects when an exposure occurs at a specific stage of the pregnancy.

‘Scientific literature speculates the rhythm of foetal development varies throughout the pregnancy and there are periods when development is particularly sensitive to maternal diet.’

The researchers stress that due to this being the first study to explore the effects of nuts on a child’s neurodevelopment, the results should be treated with ‘caution’.

‘We must work on reproducing them in the future with more cohort studies as well as randomised controlled trials,’ Dr Júlvez added.

Other studies have linked nuts to everything from low blood pressure and a reduced risk of diabetes to slower cognitive decline.

  • Courtesy:


Tips for having a great relationship?

Connecting with someone romantically, emotionally, and physically can be really amazing. But there’s a lot of work that goes into building a good relationship.

What are some tips for having a great relationship?

No relationship is perfect all the time. But in a healthy relationship, both people feel good about the relationship most of the time. A great relationship takes more than attraction — it takes work, and both of you have to be willing to put in the effort. Here are some tips for building a healthy relationship:

  • Love yourself. Being comfortable with who you are means you’ll be a happier partner.
  • Communicate. Talk to your partner about your feelings. Ask questions and listen to their answers. If you’re upset, say so — don’t make your partner try to figure out what’s up. Talking through problems builds trust and makes your relationship stronger. And it’s not all about how to deal with your problems — don’t forget to let them know when something they do makes you happy.
  • Be honest. Be truthful with each other about what you do, think, and feel. Honesty creates trust. Few things harm a relationship more than lies.
  • Give each other some space. Couple’s time is great, but spending ALL your time together isn’t. It’s healthy to have your own friends and interests outside of the relationship.
  • Agree to disagree. You’re not always going to see eye to eye, and that’s OK. The important thing is to respect each other’s opinions and ideas.
  • Forgive and ask for forgiveness. Everybody makes mistakes. Be willing to apologize for yours — and accept your partner’s apologies.
  • Support each other. When your partner does something great, tell them! Your partner should do the same for you.
  • Talk about sex…openly and honestly. Telling your partner what feels good and what you like and don’t like helps you have better sex. Never pressure your partner into doing something they don’t want to do, or let your partner pressure you — consent is a must.
  • Take care of your sexual health. Talk to your partner about how you’re going to protect each other against STDs and unintended pregnancy. Practice safer sex and get tested for STDs.

How do I know if my relationship is healthy?

It’s good to check in with yourself from time to time to see how you’re feeling about your relationship. The questions below focus on romantic and sexual relationships, but they can apply to other kinds of relationships, too. After you’ve asked yourself these questions, it could be helpful to answer them again from your partner’s perspective.

  • Does your partner listen to and respect your ideas?
  • Does your partner give you space to spend time with your friends and family?
  • Do you have fun spending time together?
  • Do you feel comfortable telling your partner when something they do upsets you?
  • Do you feel comfortable sharing your thoughts and feelings?
  • Can you tell your partner what you like sexually?
  • Does your partner make an effort to get along with your friends and family?
  • Is your partner proud of your accomplishments and successes?
  • Does your partner respect your differences?
  • Can you talk to your partner about birth control and/or safer sex?

Relationships can be complicated, but if you answered “yes” to all of these questions, there’s a good chance you’re in a healthy relationship. If you answered “no” to two or more questions, you might be in an unhealthy relationship.

How can I make my relationship better?

Keeping your relationship in great shape definitely takes work. Talk to your partner about things that you think could be better. Be clear about what’s bothering you, and be respectful. Good communication is a big part of solving problems. If you have trouble working through things on your own, you might consider getting help from someone outside your relationship. Sometimes talking with a counselor or therapist can help couples work through issues and improve their relationships.

  • Courtesy:  Planned Parenthood Federation of America