If you are pregnant, you may have heard about the benefits of eating peanut butter. It has been known to lower the risk of preterm birth, and studies have shown that the consumption of the protein may lower the chances of your baby developing health problems.
Avoiding food allergens
It’s a fact that eating peanut butter during pregnancy may help reduce the chances of your baby developing a nut allergy. However, the question is whether it’s wise to do so.
Peanut butter is a good source of protein. In addition, it’s high in antioxidants. As a result, it may have several other benefits for your pregnancy.
There are many studies that have suggested that consuming peanuts in moderation during your pregnancy may reduce the risk of developing allergies later in life. Moreover, it has been reported that children who eat peanuts during their first year of life are less likely to develop an allergy than children who do not.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended avoiding foods that may cause an allergic reaction during your pregnancy. The advice is based on a study that examined data from more than 8,000 pregnant women. While there are no hard and fast rules, the study found that a balanced diet can be the best way to prevent allergic disease.
Another study, from the U.K., compared the effects of a peanut snack five times a week during pregnancy to a strict no peanuts at all policy. It found that kids who received the peanut snack performed better on an oral test for peanut allergies than those who were strictly forbidden.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, it’s not necessarily the best way to avoid food allergens. Instead, the study suggests introducing common allergenic foods to your baby between four and six months of age.
Despite the study’s positive findings, it has been estimated that at least 250000 pregnant women have a close family member with eczema. Therefore, it’s important to discuss your family history with your midwife, physician or healthcare provider. If you have a family history of allergy, a discussion of the potential effects of consuming foods with high concentrations of allergy-causing substances may be worth the effort.
For your own health and safety, avoid high-fat peanuts, such as roasted or salted versions, during your pregnancy. You may also want to avoid any peanut butter that contains vegetable oils. Lastly, choose peanut butter that does not contain added sugar.
Omega-3s in peanut butter may reduce the odds of preterm birth
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for the development of the baby’s brain and retina. They are also considered an anti-inflammatory agent. The human body does not synthesize omega-3 fatty acids, so they must be obtained from food or fish oil supplementation.
There is some evidence that omega-3 fatty acid supplementation during pregnancy reduces the risk of preterm birth. However, the effect of these supplements on other endpoints such as gestational diabetes and perinatal death were not found.
In addition, there is some evidence that fish oil supplementation during pregnancy can support the development of the child’s brain. It is important to note that the infant’s DHA level declines in the first six months of life. Without additional dietary intake, the infant will not synthesize enough cellular DHA to prevent declines in plasma levels.
Prenatal supplements may also lower the incidence of sensitization to specific allergens. This may have a positive impact on the development of allergic rhinitis. But it is unclear whether the risk of asthma is decreased by taking the supplements.
Another study examined the effects of omega-3 PUFA supplementation on glycemic control. Fasting glucose levels were not affected, but dietary advice was given to increase the consumption of whole-plant foods and to avoid trans fatty acids.
Several observational studies have investigated the relationship between dietary ALA intake and risk of CHD. A meta-analysis in 2018 found a 15% lower risk of fatal CHD with higher ALA exposure.
Nevertheless, more studies are needed. The American Heart Association issued an advisory that there was insufficient evidence to suggest a benefit for long-chain omega-3 PUFA supplementation on cardiovascular mortality in patients at high risk of cardiovascular disease. Those at risk include those with type 2 diabetes and those who have had a prior atrial fibrillation.
A recent systematic review of 11 randomized controlled trials assessing the cardioprotective effects of omega-3 PUFA in pregnant women found no statistically significant effects on cardiovascular mortality or major cardiovascular events. These trials consisted of 5,272 participants. Some of the trials had very high attrition rates. Other studies included a wide variety of lipid levels and a large percentage of the participants were on cardiovascular medications.
Keeping mood swings at a distance with a healthy snack
Keeping mood swings at bay is a tall order. Thankfully there are products, services and activities to help guide you through the maze. The biggest challenge is knowing which ones to trust and which ones to stay away from. Taking the time to sift through the sands will make you a happier, more productive and more patient spouse. Most couples are not built for each other, and that is okay as long as you aren’t the worst kind of person. As a rule of thumb, your partner will not judge you for the bad stuff. If you’re lucky, you’ll even end up sharing the same bed.