Broccoli for Healthy Babies

By Susan Littlefield

Expectant mothers know that eating a healthy diet while pregnant is important for the development of healthy babies. Now new research indicates that substances in the diets of pregnant mothers might confer on their offspring life-long protection against certain illnesses.

David Williams of the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University, as reported in the October 4, 2010 issue of Time Magazine, has found that when expectant female mice were fed a phytochemical derived from cruciferous vegetables, like broccoli and cabbage, their offspring were much less likely to develop cancer, even when exposed to known carcinogens. And the protection extended well into maturity, even though the offspring were never exposed to the phytochemical again once they were weaned.

While more research needs to be done to establish this protective effect in humans, this study is intriguing. And it adds to the many reasons for including lots of vegetables in your diet, especially if you are expecting. And what better way to include fresh, pesticide-free broccoli, cabbage, kale, Brussels sprouts, collards, kohlrabi and cauliflower than growing your own?

To read the entire Time article, go to: How the First Nine Months Shape the Rest of Your Life .

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