Pregnant women who eat a Mediterranean diet can help protect their children against asthma and allergies, suggests a small study.
Researchers from the University of Crete studied 468 mothers and their children from pregnancy to six and a half years after birth.
They found asthma and allergies were significantly less common in children whose mothers followed a traditional Mediterranean diet, high in fish, vegetables, fruit and nuts.
The authors said that eating vegetables more than eight times a week, fish more than three times a week and legumes more than once a week seemed to be particularly protective.
They added that eating red meat more than three or four times a week was found to increase the risk.
The study is due to be published in a forthcoming edition of Thorax.