Avocados Might Be The Perfect Pregnancy Food, According To Science
But just when you thought they couldn't get any better, they did. According to a new study, avocados are a must-eat for pregnant women.
Studies constantly waver on what pregnant women shouldn't eat—be it alcohol, caffeine, or raw fish—but we rarely hear about the specific foods they should be eating. In general, they're just told to eat a well-balanced diet, which could be interpreted in a million different ways.
But this study, published in Nutrients, suggests that the avocado, already known as the healthy source of fat, should be a staple in pregnant women's diets. As the authors note, it is part of a larger effort to "review the evidence that avocados may be a unique nutrition source for pregnant and lactating women and, thus, should be considered for inclusion in future dietary recommendations for expecting and new mothers."
We already know that, aside from healthy fat, avocados are a good natural source of folate, a B vitamin known to help prevent birth defects when taken during pregnancy (although recent research suggest that too much of it could be bad), iron, potassium, vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin K, and the list just keeps going.
But this study found that, though avocados aren't included in a traditional Mediterranean diet, our favorite savory fruit complements the diet beautifully (i.e. they contain MUFA, fiber, antioxidants, and are low-glycemic). The researchers say these diets, in particular, have been found to be healthier for pregnant women—and those trying to get pregnant!—than a vegetarian diet or a USDA-recommended diet (which, shockingly, does not include avocados).
They conclude that, though more research is needed to identify the direct effects of inclusion of avocados in the diet on maternal health, their hunch is that it fits the description of a federally recommended food for pregnant or lactating women.
"[A]vocados offer a range of beneficial nutrients that can make a substantial contribution to a nutrient-rich diet when offered as a staple food for the periconceptional period, as well as during pregnancy and lactation," the authors write.
If I'm interpreting this correctly, science is telling you to stuff your face with guac whether you're pregnant, trying to conceive, or neither of those things. So ... whenever. Sound good? Thought so.
Ready to learn more about how to unlock the power of food to heal your body, prevent disease & achieve optimal health? Register now for our FREE web class with nutrition expert Kelly LeVeque.