Researchers in Sweden have uncovered a link between the consumption of large amounts of garlic among pregnant women and a reduced risk of premature births. The scientists say the evidence shows garlic is beneficial to pregnant women, but they’re not entirely sure why that is yet.
According to The Local, researchers surveyed nearly 20,000 pregnant women about their dietary habits during pregnancy. About 4 percent of pregnancies end in premature births, but that risk dropped by 30 percent if the pregnant woman ate garlicky food during the early stages of her pregnancy.
"We have seen previous studies about how women’s diets affect the gestation length," said professor Bo Jacobsson in a statement. "Now we can go on and test our hypothesis that certain foods can prevent premature birth, by studying the underlying hypothesis."
Eating garlic at the beginning of a pregnancy seems to have a positive effect on the health of the pregnancy, and so does eating dried fruit like raisins at the end of the pregnancy, according to the study, which was recently published in The Journal of Nutrition. But in spite of the study’s results, the scientists say it is still too early to make official dietary recommendations for pregnant women without further study.
"The effects of garlic are particularly interesting, but it’s too early to change dietary recommendations for pregnant women," Jacobsson said. "We need to study it further."
If you are interested in lacing your food with a bit more garlic, check out our best garlic recipes for some cooking ideas.