Mediterranean Diet as a healthy way of living provides for a balanced life and a balance between body and mind. Med diet helps in preventing or reducing the impact of many diseases and/or malfunctions. Following the results of several researches it was found the Mediterranean diet prevents premature births and in the event that such a birth happens it helps the premature infant to survive.
Premature Birth occurs before the baby is 37 weeks in pregnancy. Statistics show that about 10% of the pregnancies result to premature births. Premature births may occur for many reasons. A premature birth may be caused from smoking, infections, pregnancy of twins or other multiples, poor nutrition of the mother, an accident etc.
Premature babies, otherwise known as preemies
Preemies when born weigh much less than normally born babies, their organs are under develop and thus the preemies experience health problems. Due to their health status they are kept in the intensive care of the hospital or clinic and are monitored till they grow to natural healthy levels.
Mediterranean diet or Med diet, is a healthy diet, a way of living which originated in the Mediterranean region and was spread and adopted throughout the world. It is a diet based on fresh vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, cereal, olive oil, low-fat dairy products, and fish. It also includes small amounts of white meat and even rarer consumption of red meat. Med diet is completed with daily physical exercises and moderate consumption of wine. One of the many fruits that are part of the med diet is the pomegranate.
Role of Med diet in Premature Births
The pomegranate is a fruit that originally grew in the Middle East and over the years spread in the Mediterranean region thus becoming a basic fruit of the Mediterranean diet. In ancient times, among the civilizations of the Mediterranean, the pomegranate had sexual symbolism, was closely related to marriage and was used as a medicine for pregnancy and menstruation.
There are many medicinal prescriptions in which either the seed or the juice of the pomegranate is used for pregnant women before and after child birth. The pomegranate is known it contributes to health, longevity and fertility. The pomegranate juice among other nutritional elements it contains tannins and flavonoids which are known to be powerful antioxidants and preservatives.
One of the reasons of premature birth is the decreased oxygen and blood flow to the infant’s brain and this is usually caused from some kind of poor nutrition of the mother. A great percentage of preemies develop hypoxia-ischemia which off course leads to brain injury. During a study it was shown that pregnant women who drunk pomegranate juice reduced the risk of ischemia and thus brain injury and thus premature birth. This is due to the strong antioxidant polyphenols, from tannins and flavonoids, which has a protective role against brain damage. It should be noted that in the ancient times women were given pomegranate juice during the 5th month of their pregnancy so that they would avoid abortion, this off-course was done without scientifically explaining the reasons.
As we said another reason for premature births is infections and sickness of the mother. Research again showed that pomegranate juice protects women and/or reduces the risk of breast cancer thus keeping the mothers healthy to carry their babies and give a normal birth.
Women who continued to eat the pomegranate seeds or drink the pomegranate juice during the lactating period after giving birth, had healthier and stronger infants since the positive effects of pomegranate passed to the infants.
It should be mentioned here that it is not only the pomegranate that has antioxidants but many other Mediterranean diet foods. By following the Mediterranean diet mothers can be healthy throughout their pregnancy and not only avoid premature births but give birth to healthy babies as well.