These foods may boost mental health in pregnancy

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Scientists from University College Dublin and elsewhere found that fiber, magnesium, and particular B vitamins may boost mental health in pregnancy.

Pregnancy and being a new parent are a time of huge change.

The combination of physical, social, and emotional changes in pregnancy may, for some, lead to mental health issues such as anxiety and depression.

Previous research has found that women are more at risk of depression while they are pregnant, and during the weeks and months after having a baby.

During pregnancy, hormone changes can affect brain chemicals and cause depression and anxiety. Sometimes, pregnant women don’t realize they are depressed.

What a mom eats during pregnancy affects not only her own health and well-being and the development of her baby.

There is substantial evidence that it can have a lasting impact on the health and well-being of her child later in life.

In the current study, researchers aimed to examine associations between dietary intake and well-being in pregnancy.

Their analysis combined three studies: the ROLO Study (a randomized controlled trial of a low-glycemic-index diet in pregnancy), the Pregnancy Exercise and nutrition Research Study with smartphone application support (PEARS), and a randomized controlled trial on probiotics.

All data from 1521 women were collected before study interventions (16 weeks). Dietary intakes during pregnancy were examined using 3-day food diaries.

The team used the five-item World Health Organization Well-Being Index to assess mental well-being.

The researchers found that fiber, magnesium, niacin, thiamine, and folate were all strongly linked to better well-being in pregnant women.

They suggest that maternal nutrition and well-being are related during early pregnancy.

These findings suggest that fiber, magnesium, and particular B vitamins may be of importance for promoting positive mental well-being during pregnancy.

The research was published in Nutrition and conducted by Cara A Yelverton et al.

If you care about nutrition, please read studies about how the Mediterranean diet could protect your brain health and the best time to take vitamins to prevent heart disease.

For more information about health, please see recent studies about plant nutrients that could help reduce high blood pressure, and these antioxidants could help reduce dementia risk.

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