Could eating peanuts during pregnancy help prevent peanut allergies in your child? New research says maybe!
For a while, some women were avoiding eating peanuts when they were pregnant, thinking that avoiding peanuts (and other nuts) helps to prevent allergies in children. However, research now shows that children may have a lower risk for peanut and tree nut allergies if their moms ate nuts during pregnancy.
In a recent issue of the journal JAMA Pediatrics, researchers looked at the records of more than 8,000 children whose mom's participating in an ongoing study on diet and health habits. Dr. Michael Young of Boston Children's Hospital and his co-authors concluded mothers who choose to eat any kind of nut at least a half a dozen times per month, their baby may grow a tolerance against nut allergies. The study supports the theory that early exposure to possible allergens increases tolerance and lowers risk of childhood food allergies.
So, if you are pregnant and love peanuts, enjoy them! You may be helping your baby avoid allergies. A varied and well-balanced diet during pregnancy will benefit both you and your baby. As always, check with your healthcare provider for specific advice.
For more from Anne, check out Maternity Corner.