Breastfeeding isn't just healthy for children, it may result in a higher IQ score later in life

Research by the University of Adelaide, Australia, shows that many of the nutrients needed for the development of brain tissues are consumed in the first two years of life.

Breastfeeding, followed by a nutritious diet, has the most positive effects on brain development. Breastfeeding for the first six months of life supplies the best quantity and quality of nutrients, because this is the food supply nature intended for a newborn.

Infants digest breast milk easily and efficiently. In addition, the anti-infective properties of breast milk and colostrum reduce infant illness.

Breastfeeding is also associated with higher IQ scores, particularly verbal scores, when children were tested at six-and-a-half years.

Healthy Eating = Smarter Kids

After breastfeeding, healthy eating still matters. Eight-year-old children raised on healthy diets had higher IQ scores than those who ate more junk foods.

Another study using cognitive testing found children who ate healthy diets between the ages of six and 24 months outperformed children who ate less nutritious diets.

Originally published in Wellness Matters, Canada Wide Media’s quarterly newsletter on health and wellness.