Moms-to-be, switch to Mediterranean diet

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London, Jan 16 (UNI) A piece of advice for all those moms-to-be who are worried about what to eat-- switch to the Mediterranean diet, as it can ward off asthma and allergies in babies.

A study said if pregnant women ate a diet rich in olive oil, fruit, vegetables and fish, their unborn children were healthier.

The Greek-based research showed children whose mothers had a high-quality Mediterranean diet during pregnancy were up to 50 per cent less likely to suffer from complaints such as wheeze and allergic skin problems.

The researchers said eating vegetables more than eight times a week, fish more than three times a week and legumes, such as beans, more than once a week seemed to offer the best protection.

However, eating red meat more than three or four times a week appeared to increase the risks, the Daily Mail reported.

The researchers said exposing kids to a high level of antioxidants before birth, may improve their lung function.

The Daily Mail quoted them as saying, ''Cereals, particularly wholegrains, are rich in antioxidant compounds of vitamin E, phenolic acids and phytic acid and they have all been shown to have a protective effect against asthma in children.'' ''Similarly, fruits, vegetables and legumes are known to be high sources of antioxidants and may therefore help to protect the airways against oxidative damage,'' they added.

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