The benefits of antioxidant foods during pregnancy

The benefits of antioxidant foods during pregnancy

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Before and during pregnancy, it is recommended to eat a healthy and balanced diet. Remember to regularly invite foods rich in antioxidants on your plate ...

What are antioxidants exactly?

  • Antioxidants include various molecules present in foods, including vitamins (A, C and E), carotenoids (lutein, zeaxanthin ...), mineral salts (zinc ...) or more than 5000 types of polyphenols ... What do they have in common? Fight the effects of free radicals. Antioxidants allow, among other things, to limit cell aging and support immune defenses.

Antioxidants: Important roles for the fetus and the mother

  • It is impossible to list all the known benefits of each antioxidant but it must be remembered that many of them have a role in the development of the embryo and the fetus. Zinc, for example, is involved in cell division while vitamin C participates in the development of the placenta. Vitamin E is necessary for the proper development of the nervous system of the future baby ... Regular consumption of antioxidants during your pregnancy is also good for you. Vitamin E, in particular, helps strengthen your immune system and improve your blood circulation.

Antioxidants during pregnancy: long-term benefits for baby?

  • Many studies have been conducted or are still ongoing on the importance of a diet rich in antioxidants before and during pregnancy. One example is the Children's Hospital in Philadelphia *, which has already highlighted the benefits of a diet rich in antioxidants in animals during pregnancy: it reduces the risk of obesity and diabetes for children. small. It remains to prove clearly that the effects are identical in humans but this study is very promising ... Another example: the study conducted by researchers at the University of Aberdeen (Scotland) **. By analyzing the data of more than 2000 pregnancies, she tends to demonstrate that regular consumption of vitamin E in pregnant women reduces the risk of asthma during early childhood ...

Where to find antioxidants?

  • You can find most of the antioxidants in fresh fruits and vegetables, although some can also be found in egg yolk, shellfish or offal. It is best to diversify your food sources (do not always eat the same vegetables, for example) to consume different antioxidants. However, as with all other nutrients, avoid excess: during your pregnancy, do not take antioxidant supplements without medical advice.
  • It should also be kept in mind that certain foods are not recommended in pregnant women or require special preparations (washing, cooking): your doctor can tell you precisely what you can eat or not.

Quick, take a look at our Food and Pregnancy file

* Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Diabetes, doi: 10.2337 / db10-0301

** American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, Vol. 171, No. 2, p. 121-128