Fetuses in the womb smiled after their mothers ate carrots but scowled over kale, research says

A U.K. study offers a rare look via ultrasound at how fetuses react to foods their mothers eat.

Researchers at England’s Durham University found the first direct evidence that babies react to taste and smell in the womb, a study published on Sept. 21 said. Fetuses exposed to carrot showed more “laughter-face” responses while those exposed to kale showed more “cry-face” responses, the study said. Credit: Beyza Ustun, Nadja Reissland, Judith Covey, Benoist Schaal, and Jacqueline Blissett via Storyful

Fetuses in the womb scowled after their mothers ate kale but smiled after they ate carrots, according to a new study of around 100 pregnant women and their fetuses in England.

The study offers a rare look at how fetuses respond to flavors in real time.

The researchers gave the participating women capsules containing powdered versions of the two foods. Thirty-five women consumed the equivalent of one medium carrot, and 34 women consumed the equivalent of 100 grams of chopped kale. The remaining 30 women didn’t consume either.

Read the full report here.