New research from the University of Crete shows that asthma is less common in children whose mothers ate a Mediterranean diet rich in fruit and vegetables during pregnancy. Eating vegetables more than eight times a week and pulses (peas, beans and lentils) more than once a week helped most. These foods contain a wide range of vitamins and minerals including antioxidants which help keep us healthy. This study also found that eating red meat more than three to four times a week increased the risk. The UK has one of the highest rates of childhood asthma worldwide; one in 10 children is affected.
Chatzi L, Torrent M, Romieu I, Garcia-Esteban R, Ferrer C, Vioque J, Kogevinas M, Sunyer J. 2008. Mediterranean Diet in pregnancy protective for wheeze and atopy in childhood. Thorax. 63 (6) 507-513.