It is said that you should be extra careful of your diet during pregnancy. Pregnant women should not drink and ideally refrain from smoking as well. A balanced diet with essential nutrients like folate, iron and calcium may do wonders for pregnant women and the health of their offspring within the womb. According to a latest study, women consuming a traditional ‘three-veggies’ could offset risk premature delivery and complete their full-term.

For the study, University of Queensland PhD candidate Dereje Gete analysed the diets of nearly 3,500 women and found that good consumption of carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, pumpkin, cabbage, green beans and potatoes before conception helped women reach full-term pregnancy.

“Traditional vegetables are rich in antioxidants or anti-inflammatory nutrients, which have a significant role in reducing the risk of adverse birth outcomes,” Gete said.

“Women depend on certain stored nutrients such as calcium and iron before conception, which are critical for the placenta and foetus tissue development,” he added.

“Starting a healthier diet after the baby has been conceived may be too late because babies are fully formed by the end of the first trimester,” he said.

Professor Gita Mishra said the study suggested dietary intervention and strategies change behaviour that may be helpful when women start thinking about having a baby.

“People born prematurely face a greater risk of metabolic and chronic diseases in adulthood, as well as poor cognitive development and academic performance,” Professor Mishra said.

Premature births are defined births that take place before 37 weeks of gestation. It must be noted that the study was observational in nature, and there is not enough evidence elucidating a causal relationship between eating these vegetables and reaching full-term of pregnancy.

(This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.)

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By Papa