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There are various of different views regarding kale. Although it is well known for its numerous nutritional benefits, the taste kale is still difficult to stomach. It turns out that adult humans aren't the only ones who are struggling to get use to the taste.

A study conducted at Durham University in England discovered that unborn babies grimaced after their mothers ingested the vegetable. Beyza Ustun, postgraduate researcher in the Fetal and Neonatal Research Lab, Department of Psychology, Durham University, explained that “A number of studies have suggested that babies can taste and smell in the womb, but they are based on post-birth outcomes while our study is the first to see these reactions prior to birth.”

The study was conducted by taking 4D ultrasound scans from 100 different pregnant women. During the ultrasound they analysed the response from the unborn babies to various of different foods ingested by their mothers.

One of the food that the foetuses had the most pleasant reaction to was carrots. After their mothers ingested carrots the foetuses appears to be delighted, almost a smiling reaction. However, after ingesting kale, the foetuses looked as though they are grimacing in disgust. It is believed that a foetus is able to experience the flavours of the food their mother are ingesting by inhaling and swallowing the amniotic fluid in the womb. 

Uston further explained, “It was really amazing to see unborn babies’ reaction to kale or carrot flavours during the scans and share those moments with their parents. We think that this repeated exposure to flavours before birth could help to establish food preferences post-birth, which could be important when thinking about messaging around healthy eating and the potential for avoiding ‘food-fussiness' when weaning.”

The results from this study were published in Psychological Science.

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