Expecting mamas: eat your nuts!
Study reveals pregnant women who eat nuts are less likely to have children with a nut allergy.
In this day in age, we know a lot more about what’s safe and what isn’t during pregnancy. Not long ago, it wasn’t unusual to spot a pregnant woman puffing on cigarettes or enjoying the occasional happy hour, causing serious damage to their child’s health. Aside from booze and nicotine, certain foods today are also considered questionable and even restricted, like deli meat, soft cheeses, and some types of fish.
Nuts, on the other hand, aren’t limited by doctors, but many women are nervous about eating peanuts or tree nuts during pregnancy because they’re worried that the exposure will result in a higher chance of allergies in their babies.
But a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association states the exact opposite: Expecting mamas who ate peanuts and/or tree nuts more than five times a week gave birth to children who had a 30% reduction in the risk of developing peanut allergies and other nut allergies.
Here’s a different study: In 2013, the University of California, San Francisco found that the longer kids had pets when they’re young (ideally during their first two years), the less likely they are to develop respiratory allergies. They also discovered that babies raised in a home with two or more dogs/cats were 77% less likely to develop various types of allergies at age six than kids raised without pets. And get this —those kids were also less likely to develop reactions to dust mites, ragweed, and grass.
Is there a pattern here? I think so. These studies prove that early exposure to a potential allergen might increase tolerance and help prevent the allergy from developing, making exposure one of many natural allergy remedies!
At 25 weeks, I’ve had my fair share of nutty cravings throughout my pregnancy: Snickers bars, roasted cashews, pecan pie, and peanut sauce, just to name a few. But these bite-size nutritional powerhouses aren’t only consumed on my cheat days. I also enjoy a dollop of peanut butter in my superfood shakes every morning, add sliced almonds to savory dishes, and munch on a handful of mixed nuts to hold me over until dinner.
You see, having these crunchy snacks during pregnancy is important:
- They’re rich in magnesium, which helps curb the chances of premature labor.
- They’re packed with protein to support the development of fetal cell growth.
- They’re filled with fiber to help keep things moving (yes I’m talking about constipation, one of the many “joys” of pregnancy).
You want this kid to be at the top of his/her class? The vitamin B2 and omega-3 fats found in walnuts, almonds, and pistachios are essential for brain and eye development as well as their nervous system.
The zinc in pine nuts helps form your baby’s organs, skeleton, nerves, and circulatory system. This essential mineral also helps support your immune system, maintain your sense of taste and smell, and heal wounds.
The calcium in almonds helps develop your baby’s bones and teeth. The folic acid helps prevent birth defects. The iron helps support your growing volume of blood along with anemia and fatigue.
As you can see, nuts are nature’s way of showing us that good things come in small packages — healthy pregnancy packages!
Take home message: Moms, if you’re pregnant with nut allergies, continue to keep these out of your diet. But for the rest of us, fueling ourselves with these power-packed nuggets is ensuring we get enough nutrients during pregnancy to safeguard the health of our developing babies.
Be sure to cater to those pregnancy cravings with over 50 varieties of Nature’s Eats mouth-watering products including raw and cooked nuts, trail mixes, dried fruit and other tasty treats!
Written by Cristina Blackwell