Health

Eating for Health During Pregnancy

Eating for Health During Pregnancy

In December of 2018, the journal Nutrients reported on a study on the effects of the Mediterranean diet when eaten during pregnancy. The study was carried out at the Hospital of San Carlos and several research facilities in Madrid, Spain.

A total of 874 women at 13 weeks of pregnancy were included in the study and advised…

  • to eat more than twelve servings of different fruits a week, and over twelve servings of a variety of vegetables as well.
  • to ensure they drank less than two glasses of juice each week. The sugar content of juice is absorbed faster than it would be from whole fruit. The fiber in whole fruit slows down the absorption of sugar and is removed during the juicing process.
  • to snack on at least three servings of nuts a week, and to
  • use at least 40 ml of extra virgin olive oil on more than six days a week.

The pregnant women who complied well with the diet were 35 percent less likely to develop Gestational diabetes and had a lower risk…

  • of developing urinary tract infections,
  • of giving birth prematurely, and
  • of giving birth to babies who were small for their gestational age.

One serving of fruit might be…

  • a small apple, around 75 calories,
  • a half cup of dried fruit such as raisins, pears, or apricots,
  • 30 raspberries, approximately 65 calories,
  • 1 cup of whole strawberries, 46 calories,
  • 1 cup of cubed watermelon, around 46 calories,
  • ½ cup blueberries, 42 calories,
  • 32 grapes, no more than 40 calories, or
  • 1 cup orange sections, say 85 calories.

One serving of vegetables might be…

  • raw broccoli ½ cup, 10 calories,
  • 1 cup of carrots or 12 baby carrots, around 50 calories,
  • 1 cup of raw chopped cabbage, say 22 calories,
  • 1 cup of raw cubed eggplant, 21 calories,
  • ½ cup, or 6 spears of asparagus, approximately 22 calories, or
  • ½ cup peas, about 42 calories.

A serving of nuts might be…

  • 7 whole walnuts, 185 calories,
  • 23 almonds, approximately 162 calories, or
  • 40 pistachios, at 170 calories.

40 ml of extra virgin olive oil each day equals around 1.35 US ounces. Extra virgin olive oil is the type pressed at room temperature and yields less oil than pressing olives at warmer temperatures but preserves more of the aroma and flavor.

Add fruit to your oatmeal for breakfast and eat an apple for a snack in the afternoon. Have a tasty dinner salad dressed with extra virgin olive oil in the evening, and you will be all set.