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Shëndeti

The food that makes babies happiest and not at all happy when they are still in the womb!

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Scans of 100 mothers-to-be show fetuses giving more "laughing" responses to carrots, but "crying" responses to green cabbage. Findings by scientists at Durham University may now help research into how human taste and smell receptors develop. They believe that pregnant women can influence their children's taste preferences and can help shape healthy eating habits.

Fetuses are thought to experience taste by inhaling and swallowing the amniotic fluid of the womb. The experts recorded reactions immediately after the mothers took capsules flavored with carrots and green cabbage. Postgraduate Beyza Ustun, who led the research, said:

"Studies have suggested that babies can taste and smell in the womb, but they are based on results after birth. Our study is the first to look at these reactions before birth. We think that repeated exposure to smells before birth can help establish of food preferences after birth which can be important when thinking about healthy eating messages and the potential to avoid 'food confusion' during weaning. It was really amazing to see the reaction of the unborn babies and to share those moments with their parents."

Face-first responses in both taste groups showed that exposure to just a small amount of carrot or green cabbage taste stimulated a response. Research co-author Professor Jackie Blissett, from Aston University, Birmingham, said:

"The next step is to examine whether fetuses show fewer 'negative' responses to these flavors over time, resulting in greater acceptance when babies taste them for the first time outside the womb."