The journal JAMA Pediatrics published a study last month that found soon-to-be moms might be able to lower their child’s risk of developing allergies to peanuts or tree nuts by eating more nuts during pregnancy, or within a year of giving birth.
The researchers followed 8,205 children who were born between 1990 and 1994 and whose mothers reported their diets before, during and after pregnancy. By 2009, 140 of the people studied, or 1.7% had developed allergies to peanuts or tree nuts, including almonds, pistachios, cashews, pecans, walnuts, macadamias, hazelnuts, and Brazil nuts.
The kids whose moms ate the most nuts were the least likely to develop nut allergies. As long as the moms were not allergic to nuts, eating 5 or more servings a week appeared to give their kids a higher tolerance for nut allergens.
The prevalence of childhood peanut allergies has been rising in the U.S. in recent years. In 1997, 0.4% of kids were affected by peanut allergies; the rate had tripled to 1.4% in 2010, according to the study.
And, for people who don’t have nut allergies, a recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that nuts are a good source of fiber, unsaturated fats, vitamins and minerals. The study also found that despite their high calorie count, eating nuts does not increase body weight or waist circumference. A study published in November (see our blog post, November 27th, 2013) in the New England Journal of Medicine reported eating nuts everyday could lengthen life. Check with your healthcare provider before eating nuts if you think you may have an allergy to them……sanfranciscochronicle.com 1/8/14