10 superfoods to grow your baby’s brain

Some foods have a positive impact on your growing baby's memory and ability to learn. Read on...


Your baby’s brain starts forming three weeks after conception, so it’s vital to pay attention to the food you put in your body, since this will have an effect on your baby. A baby’s brain undergoes rapid changes between weeks 24 and 42 of pregnancy, while the brain grows significantly from week 34.

Check out SP’s list of stand-out foods that offer top nutritional benefits for both you and baby, according to Body with Soul nutritionist Susie Rucker and Jaclyn Reutens, a clinical and sports dietitian at Aptima Nutrition & Sports Consultants.

1. Pumpkin seeds
Packed with zinc and antioxidants, pumpkin seeds are great for boosting immunity and mopping up free radicals in the body.

What you need: 7mg of zinc daily during pregnancy. Whole roasted pumpkin seeds contain about 10mg of zinc per 100g.

Dish it up: Eat these on its own or make a pesto sauce for pasta by blending with leafy greens like watercress.

2. Sweet potatoes
Sweet potatoes are high in soluble fibre, which helps to prevent constipation, a common problem among mums-to-be.

What you need: Orange fleshed sweet potatoes have the highest levels of beta-carotene, a nutrient converted by your body to vitamin A. About 700mcg daily is recommended.

Dish it up: Boil two large sweet potatoes, some ginger, dried black dates and dried longan for 30 minutes, or till potatoes soften. Add sugar to taste.

3. Avocados
The skin-enhancing properties in an avocado ― an excellent source of monounsaturated fats and vitamin E ― help the mum-to-be fight her skin woes. Fat also makes up around 60 per cent of the baby’s developing brain.

What you need: 25 to 35 per cent of your daily calories should come ideally from monounsaturated fat.

Dish it up: Sliced avocado tastes great with salads and sandwiches!

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Photo: INGimage