The Mediterranean diet is also good for the health of future babies. During pregnancy it is important to pay attention to the diet. A diet rich in vegetables, legumes, dairy products and olive oil would significantly reduce the metabolic risk in the fetus. The benefits of the Mediterranean diet were already known by the inhabitants of Greece, Crete or Italy. This diet consists of vegetables, extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), whole grains and dairy products such as yogurt. It has currently been the subject of numerous studies that have highlighted its health benefits, particularly for the heart, as well as to delay brain aging.
Mediterranean diet also for children
Until now, only few studies had been devoted to show the virtues of the Mediterranean diet in children’s health. However, these new works by Spanish researchers published in the Journal of Pediatrics aim to assess whether the Mediterranean diet during pregnancy influences growth and metabolic risk (blood pressure or cholesterol) in newborns. The researchers studied more than 2700 women from Asturias, Guipúzcoa, Sabadell and Valencia, as well as the weight and height of their children up to 4 years. They also underwent blood tests and blood pressure at 4 years.
The researchers observed that the Mediterranean diet had positive consequences on the development of newborns. Pregnant women who followed this diet were 32% less likely to have overweight children at birth than those who did not follow this diet. Sílvia Fernández, author of the study, also points out that mothers who did not follow this diet were younger and consumed more calories, compared to women who followed the Mediterranean diet.
These findings support the hypothesis that a healthy diet during pregnancy can have a beneficial effect on the development of the child, and show the existence of possible dietary patterns shared between mothers and children and epigenetic modifications that regulate the metabolism of the fetus. However, the study did not show a correlation between the Mediterranean diet during pregnancy and a reduction in metabolic risk during childhood.Anyway, during pregnancy, it is recommended to take special care in the diet. It is recommended to maintain a varied and balanced diet that provides the necessary nutrients for the mother and the baby.