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It included more than 2,200 children who were assessed when they were 1.5, 5 and 8 years old. Those born to mothers who ate the most nuts during pregnancy (an average of 74 grams, or 2.6 ounces, of nuts a week) scored much higher on tests of sustained attention, working memory and IQ than those of mothers who ate fewer nuts, The New York Times reported.
The study was published in the European Journal of Epidemiology.
"This is the first time we have seen this effect, and it is not enough information to change guidelines," said senior author, Jordi Julvez, a researcher at the Barcelona Institute for Global Health, Spain, The Times reported.
"We need to replicate these results in other populations. Still, I would recommend that women eat nuts at least three times a week, especially almonds, walnuts and hazelnuts," Julvez added.
While the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists approves of nuts during pregnancy for their protein content, it makes no claims about potential brain benefits, The Times reported.
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