What you eat alters your genes and those of your children. A new study reviews maternal diets during pregnancy and how maternal nutrient status and intake can cause epigenetic (environmental effects on gene expression) changes that increase obesity risk and other disease risk in offspring. Frontiers in Genetics
→Takeaway: Nutrition is THE most important environmental factor that can influence early fetal development. Through its ability to alter fetal epigenetic profiles, nutrition has “a profound impact on individual susceptibility to certain diseases or disorders in the offspring later in life.” The number one gift you can give your child in the womb is good nutrition. While healthy eating during pregnancy can be challenging, focusing on what you can ADD into your diet, as opposed to what you should CUT OUT, is helpful. Introduce lots of leafy greens daily as well as other fresh raw and cooked vegetables to crowd out undesirable foods. Interestingly, a recent study found that as we eat bitter foods, including Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and kale, within as little as 7 days, proteins in our saliva change, muting the bitterness and making the foods more desirable. So, the more you eat leafy greens you eat, the more you’ll want to eat them. Give yourself a week; your children will thank you!