Babies in the womb smile for carrots but wince for kale, study finds

Babies in the womb smile for carrots but wince for kale, study finds

Further research is needed to determine with certainty whether fetuses are capable of experiencing emotions.

Fetuses make more of a “crying face” response in the womb when exposed to the flavor of kale eaten by their mother and make more of a “laughing face” response when exposed to carrots, a new study published this week found.

“The results of this study have important implications for understanding the early evidence for the ability of the fetus to detect and discriminate between different flavors,” the researchers wrote in the study published in wise logs.

They examined the healthy fetuses of around 100 women in England. The researchers gave the mothers capsules containing powdered versions of both foods. 35 women were placed in an experimental group that consumed an organic kale capsule, 35 were placed in a group that took a carrot capsule, and 30 were placed in a control group that were not exposed to the wilt flavor.

About 20 minutes later, the researchers said 4D ultrasounds showed that most fetuses exposed to kale appeared to grimace, while most exposed to carrot appeared to smile. The control group, on the other hand, had the same response.

“When fetuses were exposed to carrot flavor, they were more likely to show ‘laughing’ responses and when exposed to kale flavor, they were more likely to show ‘crying’ responses” , the researchers wrote.

“We also found that facial responses to flavors became more complex as fetuses matured,” they added.

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Now, the study researchers are proposing, based on the findings, that repeated exposure to certain flavors in the womb may be a factor in establishing food preferences after birth. They believe that if a fetus was regularly exposed to a vegetable like kale in the womb, it might be more likely to tolerate or enjoy it later in life.

The researchers also said that mothers who eat a healthy diet during pregnancy may also find that their babies are less picky eaters. However, the study authors noted that more research is still needed to determine with certainty whether fetuses are capable of experiencing emotions, likes and dislikes.



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