If you are pregnant and dreaming of healthy babies, it's time to load up your plate with some salmon. Apparently, children born to mothers who had eaten salmon during their pregnancy are less likely to acquire asthma, as compared with children born to non-salmon-eating mothers.

Asthma is not something you would want your kids to have. It is a common but chronic disease that inflames the airways of the lungs, causing wheezing, coughing and shortness of breath. It can pose as a life-threatening condition if not treated properly.

Professor Philip Calder from the University of Southampton conducted a pregnancy study wherein two groups of pregnant ladies were required for the purpose of the study. While one group of women ate salmon two times a week from week 19 of their pregnancy and throughout, the other group did not.

Once the babies were born, allergy tests were performed on them. The first allergy test was performed when the babies were six months old, and the second was carried out when the children were two or three years old. The results were astounding.

At six months of age, the allergy rates were similar among the offspring of both groups. However, the second allergy test that had been carried out a couple of years later interestingly revealed that children born to the mothers who had eaten salmon throughout their pregnancy had a lesser chance of asthma, as compared with the children of the mothers who did not consume the fish.

Oily salmon, a type of fish, is an excellent source of vitamin B12, vitamin D, niacin, selenium, omega-3 fatty acids, protein, phosphorus and vitamin B6. The associated health benefits are aplenty.

Professor Calder's research highlights that certain fatty acids, or the lack of them, are in fact contributing factors toward various common diseases, from chronic allergies to atherosclerosis as well as inflammatory conditions such as Crohn's disease.

This Salmon in Pregnancy study will tremendously aid scientists toward garnering a better understanding of the relationship between nutrition and immunity.

The findings of the study were presented by Professor Calder in San Diego at the recent Experimental Biology Congress. At the event, Calder was named as the 10th recipient of the Danone International Prize for Nutrition for his breakthrough research on fatty acid metabolism and its functionality, focusing notably on the immune, inflammatory and cardiometabolic systems.

Photo: Jeremy Keith | Flickr 

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