Can Eating Nuts During Pregnancy Lower Your Child’s Risk Of Allergies?

peanutsA new study published in JAMA Pediatrics found that pregnant women who consume nuts can reduce the risk of nut allergies in their child. Peanuts are one of the most common types of foods linked to allergies. This new study shows that the diet of a woman during pregnancy can impact the likelihood of the child having an allergy.

What happens during an allergic reaction to nuts?

The immune system in the body is a marvelous thing.  It can fight off an immense amount of bacteria and infection.  When you are allergic to a food though, the immune system is going to react to the proteins that are found in that food.  The allergic reaction is triggered when the immune system mistakenly believes these proteins are a threat to the body.

An allergic reaction to nuts can result in some unfortunate medical events that can impact both kids and adults. Some of the medical events linked to an allergic reaction to nuts includes wheezing, vomiting, diarrhea, breathing difficulties, hives and red spots.  The reaction that someone has depends on that particular person, and reaction times can also vary by individual.

Preventing your child from having allergies to nuts

The study found in JAMA Pediatrics – led by Dr. A. Lindsay Frazier – focused on a group of 8,205 children.  These children were all born to mothers who were part of the Nurses’ Health Study II, which required giving information on their diet before they were pregnant, while pregnant, and after pregnancy.

The study found that pregnant women who consumed nuts during pregnancy helped reduce the risk of their child developing an allergy to nuts.  Women who consumed nuts on average of five times per week or more helped reduce the risk of their child having an allergy more than woman who did not.  Of course, the pregnant women also did not have the allergy before starting this diet.

Diet diversity may help build tolerance

Is it possible to help your child build up a tolerance to certain types of foods by eating them during pregnancy? While this study is certainly not conclusive, it does support what many have believed for some time; having a diverse diet during pregnancy can help avoid some food allergies for your child.

In recent years there has been a surge in the number of peanut allergies that have been seen in children. Allergies to nuts are seen very early on during the development of a child. Consult with your healthcare provider for more information.

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