During pregnancy, a woman’s body undergoes significant changes, both physically and mentally, as it prepares to support the development and growth of a new life. It is crucial for expectant mothers to follow a healthy routine and maintain a balanced diet to ensure the proper nutrition of their babies. A new study suggests that following a Mediterranean diet may be the best choice for pregnant women.
The Mediterranean diet originated from countries located around the Mediterranean Sea and emphasizes the consumption of fruits, beans, vegetables, lentils, whole grains, nuts, olive oil, seeds, herbs, and spices. This diet also includes moderate consumption of fish, dairy, and poultry, while red meat is limited.
Benefits of the Mediterranean diet during pregnancy include a reduced risk of preeclampsia and gestational diabetes, decreased chances of preterm birth, and improved quality of eggs and sperm for conception. One of the reasons for these benefits may be the nutrients present in the Mediterranean diet, such as antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats.
There are some guidelines to follow when adopting a Mediterranean diet during pregnancy. It is recommended to consume fruits daily, particularly as part of a nutritious breakfast. Cooking with extra virgin olive oil is essential, as it provides a rich source of healthy fats. Snacks can consist of nuts, seeds, oatmeal, yogurt, or trail mixes.
Fish should be included in the diet two to three times a week, but it’s crucial to select options with low mercury levels. Whole grains, such as whole wheat bread, oats, rye, barley, corn, brown rice, bulgur, and quinoa, are beneficial choices. Experimenting with herbs and spices, such as parsley, cilantro, cumin, thyme, oregano, and paprika, can enhance the flavor of meals.
The Mediterranean diet places a strong emphasis on fruits and vegetables. Pregnant women are advised to include half a plate of vegetables in most meals to ensure an adequate intake of essential nutrients.
Following a Mediterranean diet during pregnancy can provide numerous benefits for both the mother and the developing baby. It is important to consult with a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian before making any significant changes to the diet during pregnancy.
– Study on Mediterranean Diet Benefits During Pregnancy
– Health Benefits of Mediterranean Diet During Pregnancy
– Mediterranean Diet: A Healthy Eating Plan