To Your Health
May, 2022 (Vol. 16, Issue 05)
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The Pregnancy Diet

By Editorial Staff

Pre-eclampsia is a serious pregnancy complication that can cause serious - and sometimes even fatal - problems for mother and/or child if left untreated. High blood pressure, excessive protein in the urine, or other signs of damage to the kidneys or other organs are hallmark symptoms. The exact cause is poorly defined, although compromised placental blood circulation may be a contributor, leading to poor maternal blood pressure regulation.

With all that said, it makes sense that reducing the risk of pre-eclampsia should be top of mind during pregnancy.  According to new research, what the expectant mom eats could make a difference; this is the diet to choose. Among more than 8,500 women (average age: 25 years) enrolled between 1998-2016 in the Boston Birth Cohort, risk of developing pre-eclampsia was significantly lower (20 percent lower) for those who followed a Mediterranean-style diet while pregnant. Black women experienced the greatest risk reduction. Findings appear in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

The Mediterranean diet promotes eating vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, olive oil, whole grains, and fish; while minimizing / altogether avoiding dairy, red meat – and of course, an increasingly long list of processed and fast foods on the market. Considering the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet extend beyond pregnancy health, as demonstrated in abundant previous research, it's worth discussing with your doctor; whether you're pregnant or not.