According to this new study, babies grimace when their mother eats... cabbage!

Author: Clark Tos
2022-10-09 09:15:01

Kale is well known for its many nutritional benefits. But for many of us, its taste can be difficult to appreciate. And it turns out adults aren't the only ones who think so.

Credit: Alice Dias Didzoleit / iStock

Indeed, a very serious study recently conducted at the University of Durham, England, and published in the prestigious specialized journal Psychological Science revealed that unborn babies grimaced when their mothers ingested this vegetable. 'A number of studies have suggested that babies can taste and smell in the womb, but these are based on results after birth, while our study is the first to see these reactions before birth” says Beyza Ustun, a postgraduate researcher in the Fetal and Neonatal Research Laboratory in the Department of Psychology at Durham University

The team of scientists carried out 3D ultrasounds of 100 pregnant women in order to analyze the reaction of babies to different foods eaten by their mothers. And the least we can say is that the observations were very different depending on the menu tasted by the mother. For example, after the participants ate carrots, the fetuses appeared to have delighted faces that almost looked like laughter. In contrast, fetuses appeared to wince in disgust when their mother ate kale. Experts believe that fetuses are able to experience these flavors by inhaling and swallowing amniotic fluid in the womb.

Credit: Prof. Jackie Blissett

Credit: Prof. Jackie Blissett

An encouraging discovery

“It was really amazing to see the reaction of the babies kale or carrot flavors during scans and sharing those moments with their parents. We believe that this repeated exposure to flavors before birth could help establish food preferences after birth, which could be important when thinking about messages about healthy eating and the possibility of avoiding complications during weaning.” added young researcher Beyza Ustun.

Source : Psychological Science