Diet: These vegetables reduce the risk of premature birth

Diet: These vegetables reduce the risk of premature birth

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Vegetables with a positive effect on pregnancy

Pre-pregnancy diet can have a significant impact on the course. If pregnant women rely on traditional vegetables, this can have a positive impact on the course of pregnancy, according to a recent study.

A diet high in “traditional vegetables” such as carrots, broccoli or potatoes prior to pregnancy reduces the risk of premature birth, according to the University of Queensland report on the study results. The study was published in the specialist journal "The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition".

Four dietary patterns compared

Australian researchers Dereje G. Gete, Michael Waller and Gita D Mishra from the University of Queensland examined the nutrition of almost 3,500 women who together gave birth to 3,508 children. With the help of so-called factor analyzes, they determined four nutritional patterns in the test subjects:

  • Meat and high-fat food;
  • careful nutrition;
  • Sugar, refined cereals and processed foods;
  • as well as traditional vegetables.

To the Category of traditional vegetables counted:

  • Carrots,
  • Cauliflower,
  • Broccoli,
  • Cabbage,
  • green beans,
  • Potatoes
  • and pumpkin.

Positive effect of the vegetables

The researchers report their results on a diet with a high proportion of traditional vegetables, which was associated with a lower risk for premature births, especially for spontaneous premature births in women giving birth.

"Traditional vegetables are rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients that play a significant role in reducing the risk of adverse birth results," explains Dereje Gete.

Is it too late after conception?

Before conception, women are "dependent on certain stored nutrients such as calcium and iron, which are of crucial importance for the development of the placenta and fetus tissue," Gete continued. And after conception, it may be too late to "start eating healthier because the babies are fully trained by the end of the first trimester."

Change your diet before pregnancy

"People who are born prematurely have a higher risk of metabolic diseases and chronic diseases as well as poor cognitive development and academic performance," explains Prof. Gita Mishra. She therefore advocates dietary interventions that should be carried out in advance of a desired pregnancy. If women start thinking about a baby, it would also be advisable to eat more traditional vegetables. (fp)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the requirements of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.

Dipl. Geogr. Fabian Peters


  • The University of Queensland, Faculty of Medicine: Traditional vegetable diet lowers the risk of premature babies (published 14.04.2020),
  • Dereje G. Gete, Michael Waller, Gita D. Mishra: Prepregnancy dietary patterns and risk of preterm birth and low birth weight: findings from the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health; in: The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (published April 13, 2020),

Video: 5 Tips for Reducing Your Risk of Preterm Birth (January 2023).