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Extra Virgin Olive Oil – Pregnancy & Childhood

Olive oil is vital during fetal development during pregnancy, a lack of it may have harmful effects on the baby’s development.

Mothers who consumed olive oil while pregnant birthed babies who performed better regarding weight, height, behavior and psycho-motor reflexes.

Vitamin E is essential for a fetus in order to grow properly. Newborn babies need a store of vitamin E in order to combat oxidative stress from entering the oxygen atmosphere. Olive oil can provide this benefit, as it contains vitamin E in enough quantity thanks to the high resistance of olive oil to oxidation.

Olive oil & breastfeeding

The level of vitamin E concentrates in the mother’s breast glands during labor. Therefore, during breastfeeding, the mother continues to supply vitamin E to the baby. It is important that the mother maintains adequate levels of vitamin E while breastfeeding.

Premature babies and newborn infants with kidney or pancreatic failure should also be given vitamin E because of it helps boost the hepatic-biliary system.

Olive oil provides not only more than enough of the essential fatty acids needed for the baby’s development, but because of it’s ratio of linoleic acid to linolenic acid (essential fatty acids) matches that of breast milk.

Oleic acid helps prevent hypercholesterolemia and atherosclerosis, which starts during childhood.

Oleic acid also positively influences growth, bone development and bone mineralization during the infancy period.

Dietary requirements

Most doctors advice expectant mothers to intake more fat, especially monounsaturated fat, during their pregnancies and while breastfeeding. However, these women should still follow general dietary guidelines and reduce the amount of saturated fat and cholesterol intake, in order to avoid excess weight gain.

For children under the age of three, the general dietary guidelines are slightly different. For children who are less than three years old, 40 percent of their consumed energy comes from fat, whether its breast milk, or from another source.

It is recommended that children maintain this type of energy intake to ensure they meet their developmental requirements.

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