By Bob Condor

The Mediterranean diet has been long praised as heart-healthy, even with its fat content from olive oil, fish and nuts. Those omega-3 fats, of course, are healthy and far from the artery-clogging nature of saturated fats and trans fats. Another plus of the Mediterranean diet: Lots of antioxidants from fruits and vegetables.

A new study broadens the health value of those omega-3 fats and antioxidants, along with the fresh produce and whole grains—and don’t forget the feta—that are staples in countries such as Greece. Research published this month in the professional journal Thorax indicates the Med diet can help expectant moms protect their baby from asthma and allergies.

It adds a whole new perspective and tang to Greek salad.

Remember, too, that the Mediterranean diet only serves up eggs, milk and chicken in moderate amounts and even less red meat.

Scientists at the University of Crete in Greece followed 460 mother/child pairs from pregnancy through age 6. The moms were scored as high or low in Mediterranean diet quality. T

he better the Med diet quality, the smaller the risk that the new baby would suffer from allergies and asthma.

Some specific examples: Expectant mothers who consumed eight or more servings of vegetables each week were statistically less likely to bear children with chronic wheezing. The researchers found a similar pattern if the moms ate three or more fish servings per week.

Eating healthy while expecting is a logical step. This new research, while needing follow-up studies, suggests that new moms can become even more strategic about the types of foods and meals they plan to eat.

“Bob Condor is the Daily Health Blogger for Barton Publishing . He is also the Living Well columnist for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer . He covers natural health and quality of life issues and writes regularly for national magazines, including Life, Esquire, Parade, Self, and Outside. He is a former syndicated health columnist for the Chicago Tribune and author of six books, including “The Good Mood Diet” and “Your Prostate Cancer Survivors' Guide.” He lives in the Pacific Northwest with his wife and two 11-year-old kids.”