Until recently, nuts have been placed on the “do not eat” list for pregnant women. They were considered a major risk and consuming them during pregnancy and breastfeeding was believed to conduct to severe allergy in children. To the surprise of both the medical world and general public, the recent studies completely changed the perspective on this issue.
The Statistics Behind Forbidding Nuts
It is scientifically proved that the allergies can range from mild to life threatening and nuts allergies are usually discovered during early childhood after the first exposure.
Currently, according to the medical statistics, the number of children with food allergies in US has increased three time between 1997 and 2010. In this case 1,4 % of the children in the nation suffer from a peanut allergy.
These statistics determined the nutritionists to recommend that the pregnancy diet should be free of any possible allergens to ensure that the baby will have an allergy free life.
The Nurses’ Health Study II analyzed a group of 8205 children born to mothers who kept track of their pregnancy and breastfeeding diets. The scientists led by Dr. Lindsay Frazier discovered that the mothers who included five servings of nuts during a week in their diet had children with the lowest risk for developing nut allergy.
In case of the mothers who had nut allergies the statistics remain unchanged because the risk for the babies to develop the same allergy is very high.
Why the Change?
This study simply analyzed the impact early allergens have on the development of the children in utero and during their first year of live. It seems that early exposure to these allergens increases the food tolerance preventing the development of a future allergy.
A pregnant woman’s nutrition is surely focused on healthy elements that will support the development of the baby. Most mothers have tried introducing nuts in their nutrition in spite of the food regulations and the result was a positive one.
In spite of the fact that the findings need further documentation, this study caused the medical world to no longer recommend women to avoid nuts in their pregnancy diet.
Consequent to the study, in an editorial from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Dr. Ruchi Gupta advises pregnant women to include nuts in their diets considering that nuts are an important source of folic acid and protein, both vital for the healthy development of the babies.