A smart pregnancy diet for a smarter baby

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Amidst all of the conflicting information about what expecting mothers should or should not eat, a few foods have emerged as clear winners. Though there’s no guarantee that these will boost your baby’s IQ, there’s some scientific evidence to suggest that they might. If nothing else, they’re delicious, nutritious and easy for an expecting expat to pack into her prenatal diet. Here are some particularly good Bangkok spots where you can find them.

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Chow down on fish (just make sure that it’s the right kind). A 2014 study (http://www.ajpmonline.org/article/S0749-3797(14)00257-8/abstract) concluded that consuming fish on a weekly basis was enough to help protect an adult brain’s memory and cognitive abilities. [PT1] If you’d like to pass some of those benefits to the next generation, try working some of Thailand’s excellent seafood into your diet. Just steer clear of mercury-rich fish (think big predatory species like swordfish, tilefish and bluefin tuna) and raw or undercooked seafood. Omega-3-loaded fatty fish like wild salmon are best.

Where to get it in Bangkok: The Oyster Bar (http://www.theoysterbarbangkok.com/) has much more than its namesake creature on the menu. The name of the game here is sustainably harvested seafood, served as fresh as it gets. Do yourself a favor and order the Cajun-style black bass or one of the other finned menu items.

Snack on walnuts and flaxseeds. Nuts and seeds in general are loaded with trace minerals and nutrients such as magnesium, copper and iron that a pregnant woman needs. Walnuts and flaxseeds have the added bonus of those oh-so-vital omega-3’s. These are great for both mamas and babies, so be sure to load up.

Where to get it in Bangkok: Not all nuts are created equal, so be sure to get yours from a health food store that does a brisk turnover. Sunshine Market (https://www.facebook.com/SunshinemarketThailand) just off of Sukhumvit should have anything you need.

Don’t forget those dark, leafy greens. We all know that those dark, leafy vegetables are good for just about anything that ails us (how else do you explain the popularity of kale chips and smoothies?). What you may not realize is that they also tend to be high in folic acid, an essential nutrient for a growing baby’s brain.

Where to get it in Bangkok: Glow (http://www.comohotels.com/metropolitanbangkok/dining/glow/menus) has all sorts of healthful, satisfying dishes, including marinated kale and sea vegetable salad with a tamari citrus dressing.

Scramble up a few eggs. Sure, eggs may be the perfect lazy Sunday morning food, but did you know they’re also packed with vitamin D, omega-3’s (when fortified), trace nutrients, memory-boosting choline and plenty of protein?

Looking for a doctor for your OB/GYN, WOMEN – GYNECOLOGY questions? We recommend:
Sirithorn Karnjanathanalers , M.D. Sirithorn Karnjanathanalers , M.D.
Pulmonary Critical Care, Samitivej Sukhumvit
Questions about your pregnancy, child birth or life with an infant? Ask the Doctor!

Where to get it in Bangkok: Brunch with the best at the classic Roast (http://roastbkk.com), where the crab cake eggs Benedict comes on a homemade English muffin dripping with sunshiny hollandaise. Or head to the newer Rocket (http://www.rocketcoffeebar.com/) where the cheekily named OMG omelet comes with broccoli, ham and ooey-gooey Gruyère.

References.

  1. Cyrus A. Raji, MD, PhD, et al: Regular Fish Consumption and Age-Related Brain Gray Matter Loss. American Journal of Preventive Medicine Volume 47, Issue 4, Pages 444–451, October 2014. Available from: http://www.ajpmonline.org/article/S0749-3797(14)00257-8/abstract. Accessed November 5, 2014

 [PT1]Doctor suggests having fish at least 3 meals per week.

Photo Credit: spinster cardigan via Compfight cc

ExpectingExpats.com

Expecting Expats is the online resource for parents in and around Thailand.

We provide lifestyle and medical content to our visitors, with new content posted daily. Our lifestyle contributors are themselves expat moms who share their experiences and lessons learned through blog articles. We also provide medical content from our partner doctors at Samitivej Hospital in Bangkok, Thailand. Articles of interest span from before pregnancy through the toddler years and cover medical, behavioral and cognitive issues.

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