Old pregnancy advice busted: why eating nuts can have major benefits
The benefits of nuts are pretty well documented... And now it seems there are even MORE advantages.
Yes, research shows that mothers-to-be should eat nuts because doing so will reduce the chances of their children developing allergies in the future.
The study showed that children of women who eat peanuts and other nuts during their pregnancy are a third less likely to suffer from asthma by the age of seven, compared to those whose mothers avoid them.
Of course, we’re constantly being fed tales of what to eat and what not to eat during pregnancy and for years women were advised against eating nuts of any kind - due to concerns that they could increase the risk of allergies in their offspring.
But in 2009, the Food Standards Agency revised its advice, saying there was "no clear evidence that eating or not eating peanuts during pregnancy, breastfeeding or early childhood has any effect on the chances of a child developing a peanut allergy".
And Danish scientists have gone a step further, finding that eating nuts while expecting has a protective effect on babies.
Experts said they hoped the "robust" seven-year study of some 60,000 mothers and their children would help discredit the myth that foods containing nuts were somehow dangerous for babies in the womb.
Nut eating during pregnancy reduced the chance of a child being classed as asthmatic at 18 months by about a quarter, and a third at seven years.
Danish researcher Ekaterina Maslova wrote: "We found that maternal peanut and tree nut intake one or more times per week during pregnancy decreases the risk of allergic disease in childhood. These results do not support avoidance of nuts during pregnancy.”
It was a study in the early Eighties that "found" a link between nut eating during pregnancy and an allergic response that convinced women not to eat any type of nut during their nine months of carrying their child. Now, the chairman of nutrition at the Royal College Of Paediatrics And Child Health says this study was in fact found to be very weak.
However, dieticians have nevertheless warned that, of course, women who had a "dreadful family history of allergy" to nuts should still avoid them, while those unsure should consult their doctors.
Looks like that's another old pregnancy tip busted then...