- Emerging studies suggest that a mother’s prenatal diet, particularly the intake of apples and fish, can potentially lower rates of asthma and allergies in their offsprings.
- Children whose mothers consumed more than four apples per week during pregnancy have shown significant declines in the chances of developing symptoms of asthma and wheezing.
- Intake of fish more than once a week by expectant mothers can reduce the chances of their offsprings developing eczema, a common allergic condition in children.
- While these findings are significant, the importance of maintaining a balanced and diverse diet during pregnancy is emphasized. Avoidance of certain foods like nuts, peanuts, and shellfish may also protect the child from food allergies.
- Avoidance of cigarette smoke pre and post childbirth is also fundamental in preventing asthma in children.
Ever heard of the saying, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”? Studies today suggest that pregnant women consuming an apple a day might indeed provide immunity benefits not only for them but also more significantly, for their unborn children.
The Impact of the Mother’s Diet During Pregnancy on Asthma Rates?
There is emerging evidence that prenatal nutrition can potentially predispose an unborn child to lower rates of asthma if the mother consumes apples during her pregnancy. How fascinating that the bounty of health for your child might start even earlier than we thought.
In the United States, more than 20 million people suffer from asthma, including a worrying statistic of 6.2 million children. This gives us a reason to probe deeper into this possibility.
Do Apples Provide Some Protection?
A Dutch study analyzing 1,253 children from inception to the age of 5 suggests this correlation might just be truth. The study discovered that children whose mothers consumed apples in abundance (more than four per week) during pregnancy exhibited a 37% lower likelihood of having ever experienced wheezing. These children were additionally 46% less prone to show signs of asthma symptoms and 53% less likely to have physician-diagnosed asthma versus those whose mothers didn’t indulge much in the fruit.
Some speculate that these positive results might be due to the flavonoids and other antioxidants housed in apples. However, additional studies are required to fully comprehend this protective effect.
The Fish Factor
Besides apples, mothers who included fish in their diet more than once a week during pregnancy had offsprings who were 43% less likely to develop eczema. Eczema is an allergic condition that manifests as dry, itchy skin, predominantly in babies and children.
A Well-Balanced Diet During Pregnancy
While these findings are promising, they do not undermine the importance of a balanced, nutritious diet during pregnancy. Pregnant women are advised not to focus excessively on consuming any one food. Avoiding foods like nuts, peanuts, and shellfish during pregnancy might also decrease the chances of your child developing a food allergy.
Choose Your Foods Wisely
Expectant mothers must bear in mind that their diet today may influence the future health of their baby. It is due to the above evidence that emphasis is placed on the selection of nutrient-rich foods. Of course, the field of prenatal nutrition and its effects on offsprings’ health is still a developing one, but these findings give us valuable insights.
Beyond diet, steering clear of cigarette smoke pre and post childbirth is fundamental to preventing asthma in children.
Learn More About Allergies
Head over to the U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute for a more detailed understanding of allergies and their underlying causes.