Introducing Peanuts to Infants May Reduce Allergy Risk into Adolescence, Study Reveals

Introducing Peanuts to Infants May Reduce Allergy Risk into Adolescence, Study Reveals

Introducing Peanuts to Infants May Reduce Allergy Risk into Adolescence, Study Reveals

The Nutritional and Health Benefits of Peanuts

- Peanuts, often misunderstood as nuts but actually legumes, are a staple in diets worldwide. Known for their versatility and rich flavor, peanuts are more than just a tasty snack; they pack a punch in terms of nutritional value and health benefits. This article explores the myriad advantages of incorporating peanuts into your diet.

Nutritional Profile of Peanuts

- Peanuts are a powerhouse of nutrients. A 100-gram serving of raw peanuts provides approximately: 

- Calories: 567
- Protein: 25.8 grams
- Fat: 49.2 grams
- Carbohydrates: 16.1 grams
- Fiber: 8.5 grams
- Vitamins: E, B1, B3, B6, Folate
- Minerals: Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Zinc, Iron

Health Benefits of Peanuts

1. Rich Source of Protein

- Peanuts are an excellent source of plant-based protein. For vegetarians and vegans, they are a vital component of a balanced diet, offering essential amino acids necessary for growth and repair of tissues.

2. Heart Health

- Peanuts contain high levels of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which are heart-healthy fats. Consuming these fats helps reduce bad cholesterol (LDL) levels and increase good cholesterol (HDL) levels, lowering the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Additionally, peanuts are rich in arginine, an amino acid that helps maintain the elasticity of blood vessels, further supporting heart health.

3. Antioxidant Properties

- Peanuts are loaded with antioxidants such as resveratrol and p-coumaric acid. These compounds help combat oxidative stress and reduce inflammation in the body. The presence of Vitamin E also adds to their antioxidant capacity, protecting cells from damage and contributing to overall health.

4. Weight Management

- Despite being high in calories, peanuts can aid in weight management. Their high protein and fiber content promote satiety, helping you feel full for longer periods. This can reduce overall calorie intake and aid in weight control. Studies have shown that moderate consumption of peanuts does not contribute to weight gain and can be part of a healthy diet.

5. Blood Sugar Control

- Peanuts have a low glycemic index, meaning they have a minimal impact on blood sugar levels. The presence of healthy fats, fiber, and protein helps slow down the absorption of sugars in the bloodstream, making them a suitable snack for individuals with diabetes or those at risk of developing the condition.

6. Bone Health

- Peanuts are a good source of magnesium and phosphorus, both essential for maintaining healthy bones. Magnesium plays a crucial role in bone formation, while phosphorus is a key component of bone mineral density. Regular consumption of peanuts can contribute to stronger, healthier bones.

7. Cognitive Function

- The nutrients in peanuts, including niacin and Vitamin E, support brain health. Niacin (Vitamin B3) is known for its role in brain function and protecting against age-related cognitive decline. Vitamin E's antioxidant properties also help protect the brain from oxidative stress.

Versatility and Culinary Uses

- Peanuts can be enjoyed in various forms: raw, roasted, boiled, or as peanut butter. They can be added to salads, stir-fries, desserts, and even smoothies. Their versatility makes it easy to incorporate them into a variety of dishes, enhancing both flavor and nutritional content.

- Peanuts are more than just a convenient snack; they are a nutrient-dense food with numerous health benefits. From supporting heart health to aiding in weight management and promoting cognitive function, peanuts are a valuable addition to any diet. However, it's essential to consume them in moderation due to their high-calorie content. Embrace the goodness of peanuts and enjoy their benefits as part of a balanced and healthy lifestyle.

Early Peanut Introduction in Babies Linked to Lower Allergy Risk in Teen Years, Study Shows

- Introducing peanut butter to babies starting in infancy and continuing until they are 5 years old has been found effective in reducing peanut allergies into the teenage years, according to new research from King’s College London.

- The LEAP-Trio study, published in NEJM Evidence, revealed that children who began eating peanuts early in life were 71% less likely to develop peanut allergies by age 13.

- This study follows the initial Learning Early About Peanut Allergy (LEAP) clinical trial, both sponsored and co-funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).

- In the original trial, participants were split into two groups: one group consumed peanuts regularly from infancy to age 5, while the other group avoided peanuts entirely during this period.

- The researchers discovered that early peanut introduction reduced the risk of developing a peanut allergy by 81% at age 5. The follow-up study involved 508 original participants, now around 13 years old, who were tested for allergic reactions in a controlled setting.

- The prevalence of peanut allergies was significantly higher among children who had avoided peanuts during their first five years.

- The study authors noted, "Regular, early peanut consumption reduced the risk of peanut allergy in adolescence by 71% compared to early peanut avoidance."

- This protective effect persisted regardless of whether the children continued to eat peanuts after the age of five.

- Gideon Lack, lead study investigator and a professor at King’s College London, explained to Fox News Digital that the key finding is that early peanut consumption in the first year of life provides long-term protection against peanut allergy into adolescence, even without continued peanut consumption after age five. This study is the first to demonstrate long-term oral tolerance as a preventive strategy against peanut allergy.

- To prevent peanut allergies, researchers recommend giving young babies as early as 4 months old peanuts in the form of peanut puffs or peanut butter at least three times a week during the first four to five years of life.

- "I was not entirely surprised, but nevertheless impressed by the strong protective effect of early peanut consumption preventing peanut allergy all the way into adolescence," Lack noted. "This indicates that lifelong tolerance may have been achieved."

- Sherry Coleman Collins, a food allergy dietitian in Marietta, Georgia, who was not involved in the study, shared her insights. She stated that early introduction of infant-safe peanut foods has been proven to help prevent peanut allergies, especially in infants at risk for them.

- Collins added, "In this study, they found that even if children who ate peanut foods in infancy stopped eating peanuts for a period of time, they were still protected against developing a peanut allergy."

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