Let them Eat Peanutbutter
I don’t know about you, but when I was in school I didn’t know anyone with a peanut allergy. Growing up, peanut butter was a staple in our household. For a period of time, the only thing my brother would eat was peanut butter and honey sandwiches. Now that I am older and have a family of my own, it remains a staple. River loves it. It’s a quick and easy go-to for snacks or lunch. Especially if I haven’t prepared something ahead of time to avoid the “hangry” meltdowns. It is a source of unsaturated fat, protein, and dietary fibre.¹ It contains minerals such as calcium, copper, iron, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and selenium.¹ It also contains vitamins B3 (Niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B9 (folate), and E.¹ However, not all peanut butter products are created equal. Most products on the market contain added hydrogenated oil/trans fats, salt, and sugar. So be sure to read the label before purchasing to avoid any potentially harmful ingredients. What we buy is usually organic peanut butter where the only ingredient is ground peanuts, you can also make your own peanut butter at home.
Currently, peanut allergies are the most common food allergy among Canadian children, affecting 168,703 children between the ages of 0-17.² It kind of makes me wonder why is there such a prevalence now with food allergies? Here are a couple of possible explanations:
- Children born via cesarean section are more likely to develop allergies compared to those born vaginally, the bacteria babies are exposed to during a vaginal birth plays an important role in supporting their immune system.³
- There tends to be a common trend between the levels of intestinal flora and allergies in children. Children who have less good gut bacteria have more allergies vs children who harbour more good intestinal flora.⁴ The use of antibiotics kills not just bad bacteria but good as well. Good bacteria is killed along with the bad when we use antibacterial products like hand & dish soap, eat animal products that have been exposed to antibiotics and take antibiotic medications.
- Studies found that people in India on plant-based diet were much less likely to suffer from allergies than those who ate meat.⁴
If you are looking for more information sources 3 and 4 are worth having a watch.
¹ Health Canada. (2018). Nutrient profile: Peanut butter, natural. Government of Canada. Retrieved from: https://food-nutrition.canada.ca/cnf-fce/report-rapport.do#fn1
² AllerGen: Allergy, Genes and Environment Network. (2017). Table 1: Estimated food allergy prevalence among Canadian children and adults. AllerGen. Retrieved from: http://allergen-nce.ca/wp-content/uploads/Canadian-food-allergy-prevalence-Jul-2017.pdf
³ Greger, M. (2013). Preventing the common cold with probiotics?. NutritionFacts.org. Retrieved from: https://nutritionfacts.org/video/preventing-the-common-cold-with-probiotics/
⁴ Greger, M. (2014). Preventing asthma with fruits and vegetables. NutritionFacts.org. Retrieved from: https://nutritionfacts.org/video/preventing-asthma-with-fruits-and-vegetables/