Adolescents who eat more fruit have a lower risk of developing breast cancer later in life. Pregnant women who consume more fruit have babies with higher IQs. These are the results of two, new, separate studies.

Avoiding Breast Cancer

One recently published study touted the benefits of eating fruit. A lower risk of developing breast cancer was one discovery. Tens of thousands of questionnaires were given to women between the ages of 27 and 44 in regards to their diets. The first questionnaire was given in 1991 and then another in 1998. The latest tally of these showed that over 1400 women did not develop breast cancer. Those women consumed a large amount of fruit during their adolescence (ages 13-18).
“Higher early adulthood intake of fruits (and vegetables rich in ‘a’ carotene) was associated with a lower risk of premenopausal breast cancer.” Apples, bananas, and grapes consumed in higher amounts were most beneficial to adolescents. Oranges and kale proved to further reduce risk when consumed during early adulthood.

IQ Booster for Baby

A recent Canadian study shows that babies in the womb benefit from their mom’s fruit consumption. The University of Alberta tested approximately 700 children in Edmonton. Pregnant moms who ate more fruit during pregnancy had babies who scored higher on the test. The infants’ developmental levels and IQs were higher than the babies of pregnant moms who ate little-to-no fruit. The children of expectant moms who ate six or seven servings of fruit daily actually ranked over five points higher.
The lead researcher, Mandhane, collaborated with another scientist who studies genetic similarities between humans and fruit flies. Although they’re extremely different species, flies have 85 percent of the genes used in human brain function. Fruit flies, in particular, have been used as models to study human learning and memory. So, it was pretty fascinating to find that flies whose mothers were given fruit juice also had better memories.

Not Too Sweet

Both studies clearly show the health advantages from consuming fruit, especially during adolescence and when pregnant. Experts, however, warn of overconsumption. Excessive amounts of fruit can be too much sugar, even if it’s naturally obtained. Pregnant women may put themselves at risk for developing gestational diabetes or having an overweight baby. Six servings a day are plenty to reap fruits’ benefits. For more studies on healthy foods, check out