Pregnant Women Who Follow Mediterranean Diet Protect Their Offspring From Asthma.
Pregnant women the world over now have even more reason to watch what they eat. Researchers at the University of Crete have proven that expectant mothers who follow a traditional Mediterranean diet are protecting their unborn children from the nasty consequences of childhood asthma and allergies.
The Mediterranean Diet study was conducted on pregnant women who lived in Menorca, a Spanish island. Researchers from the University of Crete monitored what sort of Mediterranean foods the women ate, and scored them correspondingly.
The pregnant women in the study, who all hailed from Menorca, an island off Spain, were monitored by the quality of the Mediterranean foods that they ate. Mothers’ diets were designated as high quality, low quality, and Western diet. The study started in 1997 and followed 507 pregnant women. Their offspring were monitored until they turned 6.5 years. Although 507 mums were in the study only 468 children were eventually documented. (Some apparently were eliminated for a variety of reasons.)
Protecting Newborns from Asthma | Research
The children were monitored annually until they reached the age of 6.5 years. These children were also skin tested at the end of the study, which began in 1997, for 6 common respiratory allergens. Researchers also concluded that the diets of the children once born had much less of a protective benefit than the insurance provided by their pregnant mothers’ diets.
What is the Mediterranean Diet? This diet is so called as it is based on a pattern of eating followed by various regional folk who live around the Mediterranean. Typically, Mediterranean cuisine comprises of plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, red wine, and olive oil. Fish is eaten moderately, and red meat is rarely eaten. Dairy products such as eggs, milk, cheeses, yogurts, and poultry are eaten in lesser amounts.
Researchers surmised that the protective health benefits of Mediterranean Diet for the unborn children came from 2 sources, antioxidants and omegas. Both these 2 ingredients are found in high amounts in Mediterranean cuisine. Antioxidants are beneficial in providing tissue health and omegas provide anti-inflammatory properties, especially in the airways (important in asthma).
There are many known and proven Mediterranean Diet health benefits already.These include preventing heart disease, diabetes type 2, prostate cancer, stroke, and many other insidious life shortening diseases that are wide spread through the Western world. The University of Crete study into the Mediterranean Diet and pregnancy has proven that allergies and childhood asthma can be significantly reduced.
Conclusion – The already impressive health benefits of a Mediterranean diet now also include providing unborn children with protection against allergies and asthma. This is an impressive and important breakthrough considering that WHO estimates 300 million people worldwide suffer from asthma.