Researchers at Yale University have come up with a suggestion that many expectant moms would love to carry out – eat chocolates if you are pregnant. The team has found that eating chocolates three to four times a day can help prevent the risk of pre-eclampsia among pregnant women.
Pre-eclampsia is a condition where women who are pregnant may get high blood pressure leading to difficulty for the baby to get nutrients from the placenta and oxygen for breathing. This may result in premature births, still born babies, risk of caesarean or it could be fatal to the mother.
The researchers asked 2500 women about their dietary habits and also other health related questions during their pregnancy like their body mass index, smoking or drinking habits, medical history, number of babies they had etc. They were also asked about their weekly consumption of chocolates or other product that contained cocoa.
They found that women who consumed chocolates at least three times a week had 50 percent less chances of a complicated birth. Also for women in first to third trimester only 36% of those who took cocoa based products developed pre-eclampsia.
The research team believes that the chemical theobromine present in cocoa that gave chocolates its bitter taste prevented the blood pressure from rising. They stated, “Women who reported regular chocolate consumption of more than three servings a week had a 50 per cent or greater reduced risk of pre-eclampsia. Regular chocolate intake during the first or third trimester was equally protective.”
The study has been published in journal Annals of epidemiology and though the findings are positive, many experts feel more needs to be done about the positive affect of chocolates in preventing pre-eclampsia as the study was not conducted in a controlled environment. – Atula, Staff Writer
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