3 Benefits of Olive Oil During Pregnancy
Olive oil is a pillar of the Mediterranean diet. In addition, it’s a product that contains a high quantity of healthy fats. Therefore, consuming olive oil during pregnancy on a regular basis can provide many short- and long-term health benefits.
In addition, olive oil is especially good for pregnant women and contributes to the development of the fetus. Keep reading to learn more about the benefits of consuming olive oil during pregnancy, as well as what science says about it.
Health benefits of olive oil
From a nutritional point of view, olive oil stands out for its high levels of unsaturated lipids. As for lipids, they have double bonds in their chemical structure, which help regulate inflammation.
According to a report from The Cochrane Database of Systemic Reviews, Omega-3 helps prevent cardiovascular diseases.
Although it’s recommended to consume this oil regularly, you shouldn’t heat it too much. This is because excessive heat converts cis fatty acids into trans fatty acids, and this can be harmful to your health.
Benefits of olive oil during pregnancy
The most important benefits of consuming olive oil during pregnancy are the following:
Better fetal cognitive development
During this period, the fetus suffers many changes. To promote a healthy development, it’s important to include essential nutrients in the mother’s diet.
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential nutrients pregnant women should consume. According to a research study from the Brazilian magazine, Revista Brasileira de Ginegologya e Obstetricia, Omega-3 consumption related to healthy cognitive development.
Since this type of oil contains Omega-3 fatty acids, its consumption reduces the chances of developing nervous system problems in babies.
This type of oil prevents depression
Many different studies have tried to prove a relationship between Omega-3 fatty acids consumption and postpartum depression. However, results continue to be discordant.
Notwithstanding, there’s certain positive relation between the consumption of these fatty acids and a reduction of depressive symptoms. Therefore, including olive oil in the mother’s diet may be beneficial for her mental health.
Less risk of metabolic syndrome
One of the most frequent complications during pregnancy is swelling and fluid retention, especially in the joints. Sometimes, these complications may end up affecting metabolism, and problems like gestational diabetes may appear. In fact, this condition relates directly to the quality of the mother’s diet.
The Omega-3 fatty acids present in olive oil have anti-inflammatory characteristics. This is why the consumption of this type of oil reduces the chances of suffering from metabolic disorders and swelling.
Remember that in order to obtain these benefits, you shouldn’t heat the oil. If you do, you’ll convert cis fatty acids into trans fatty acids, which have inflammatory characteristics. Therefore, try not to use it to prepare stir-fry or baked food.
Olive oil, a healthy product to consume during pregnancy
Due to all the good qualities mentioned above, olive oil provides many benefits for pregnant women. However, when consuming excessive amounts of it, there can be an energy imbalance, which causes weigh gain. Since this is counterproductive, olive oil intake should be balanced.
Furthermore, it’s important to avoid overheating it, in order to maintain cis fatty acids. Following these tips, you’ll be able to enjoy all of the Omega-3 benefits provided by this oil. Finally, you can also find Omega-3 dietary supplements. But if you’re planning to take them, you should ask your doctor first.It might interest you...
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
- Abdelhamid AS, Brown TJ, Brainard JS, Biswas P, Thorpe GC, Moore HJ, Deane KH, AlAbdulghafoor FK, Summerbell CD, Worthington HV, Song F, Hooper L. Omega-3 fatty acids for the primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2018 Jul 18;7(7):CD003177. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD003177.pub3. Update in: Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2018 Nov 30;11:CD003177. PMID: 30019766; PMCID: PMC6513557.
- Politano CA, López-Berroa J. Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Fecundation, Pregnancy and Breastfeeding. Rev Bras Ginecol Obstet. 2020 Mar;42(3):160-164. English. doi: 10.1055/s-0040-1708090. Epub 2020 Mar 31. PMID: 32232824.