Eating traditional vegetables before conceiving helps you and your baby
It is a dream of many women to become a mother. And, many couples trying to conceive would do almost anything to start a healthy family. While there is usually a mental checklist of all of the things “to do” before becoming pregnant, moms-to-be should also be sure to pay close attention to their nutritional habits for not only their own health benefit, but their future baby’s as well.
The University of Queensland School of Public Health set out to research the association between pre-pregnancy dietary patterns and the risk of preterm birth (prior to 37 weeks gestation) and low birth weight (<2500 grams). Through the ongoing Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health, researchers analyzed food frequency questionnaires from previous cohorts of mothers noting four different dietary patterns. The most significant finding was the association between “traditional vegetables” eaten pre-pregnancy and the result of lower risk of preterm birth.
Carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, green beans and cabbages are among the list of vegetables that accounted for this group’s dietary patterns, which made up a significant percentage of their diet. Keeping in mind pregnancy nutritional needs, what these vegetables all have in common are good sources of fiber, folate, iron, retinol, and thiamine, just to name a few, which are crucial to proper development. Vegetables such as these are high in antioxidants, showcasing anti-inflammatory properties, which together, play a significant role in minimizing the risk of adverse birth outcomes.
Therefore, better diet quality of the mother preconception may be directly transferred to the developing fetus, setting up the baby for a healthy start in life, even with less risk of metabolic or chronic disease later in life. Of course, eating vegetables throughout pregnancy is equally important and consuming them while breastfeeding gets extra bonus points as the chances of your baby equally having a love for vegetables early on will be due in part to early exposure. After all, Momma knows best!
Regardless if you are trying to conceive or not, more vegetables in your diet is never a poor choice for better life satisfaction and longevity. Plus, Dole has quite a few fun recipes that not only encourage more vegetables, but that taste good too!