“The Seed of Intelligence” – Book Review

The ultimate scientific FAQ collection for expecting parents! “The Seed Of Intelligence“, the second book in the Your Baby’s Developing Brain series by Dr. Chong Chen, research scientist at the RIKEN Brain Science Institute, Japan, takes a in-depth look at what makes for optimal nutrition and healthy lifestyle for expecting mothers and how to safely achieve these developmental goals.

Dr. Chen’s medical training and internship in gynecology, obstetrics and pediatrics are definitely expressed in this exceptional volume that puts together all you need to know about the main factors that influence a woman’s physical health and mental comfort during the nine months of pregnancy.

The six chapters of the book provide a comprehensive approach to pregnancy-related significant subjects such as diet and nutrition, nutrition supplementation, food safety and substance abuse, work, physical exercise, environmental risks and sleep.

The book guides future parents through all the critical steps that one can take to ensure the optimal environment for a baby’s development in the womb and is filled with evidence-supported tips on how to maintain or boost the influence of these early health decisions in the first years of the baby’s life.

For example, in the “Diet & Nutrition” Chapter you will discover how a mother’s eating habits, even those during pregnancy, affect the offspring’s food preferences, how the mother’s weight influences the baby’s mental and physical development, what makes for healthy energy intake and entire diet strategies that will help you experience a healthy pregnancy and create the optimal physical environment for your baby while still in the womb.

Other questions that find their answers in the same chapter include:

  • Can I diet while pregnant?
  • How much fruit/vegetables  should I eat daily?
  • How much gestational gain weight is healthy and why?
  • How to successfully start a healthy diet change?
  • What is mindful eating and why is it important?

The “Nutrition Supplementation” Chapter will help you understand all the various roles vitamins and other supplements play in a healthy pregnancy, and how to achieve their optimal levels. Sub-chapters address main nutrients such as folic acid, iron, vitamin D, multiple micronutrient supplements, Omega-3 and Omega-6. You know, all those things that you see in various ads but cannot always decide upon the product validity because you may not yet understand all the terms. Now you’ll assess these things differently and will be able to make an informed decision.

“Food Safety & Substance Abuse” Chapter contains perhaps the most critical information about what a pregnant woman should do in order to avoid the main pregnancy risks that can be controlled, such as coffee and tea intake during pregnancy, snacks and smoking. This segment of the book also addresses alcohol  intake and drug use and their negative effects at both physical and mental levels, for both mother and child.

The Chapter on “Work, Physical Exercise, & Environmental Risks” allows the reader to understand how their job is affecting the developing baby, what kind of physical exercise is recommended during pregnancy and the importance of a green environment in this specific context.

The last Chapter, “Sleep”, provides the main information a future mother needs to know in order to enjoy increased sleep quality and manage the main sleep-related issues that may occur during the pregnancy period.

As you can see, there’s plenty of educational value hidden inside the covers of “The Seed of Intelligence”.

Another thing that I discovered while reading the book – along with my own opinion about the series in the book’s first pages – is that although its intended audience mainly refers to women who are already pregnant or plan to have a baby in the near future, the strategies and tips included in “The Seed of Intelligence” can also be easily implemented in the life of anyone who is interested in achieving a healthy lifestyle. We all need to understand what a healthy diet looks like, how to get in shape mentally and physically through mindful eating, sleeping and exercise and how to make sure that our external environment supports all our developmental efforts.  The book provides great motivation in this sense.

*This is usually the place in my reviews that I dedicate to whatever constructive feedback I may have regarding the book I’m reviewing. Here I would post about something that I think can be improved or something that I simply did not like. Considering the promise of this book and its delivery, this time I simply couldn’t find it. The book delivered above my expectation, so nothing of the sort jumped at me. I won’t force it.

Healthy parenting starts with robust education and “The Seed of Intelligence”, along with the other two volumes in the Your Baby’s Developing Brain series, provide the required knowledge about a healthy lifestyle, for both parents and baby.

So I highly recommend you read, assimilate and implement the strategies so generously offered by Dr. Chen is this wonderful guide for optimal nutrition and healthy lifestyle.

The Kindle version of “The Seed of Intelligence” is available starting September 12th, and you can order it here.

Your Baby’s Developing Brain Series Reviews:

Volume 1: Psychology For Pregnancy

Volume 2: The Seed of Intelligence

Volume 3: The Wonder of Prenatal Education – In development.

P.S. This is not a commercial endorsement deal. I get no commission from the sales of this book. The author invited me to read and honestly review his book for Psychology Corner.

Photo Sources: Copyright (C) Brain and Life Publishing. Used with author’s permission.

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