By Dr. Mercola
Research actually suggests that exposing children to peanuts early on can help reduce their risk of developing an allergy, while strict avoidance actually heightens the risk.
Moreover, giving trace amounts of peanuts to children with peanut allergy has been shown to de-sensitize their immune systems and boost their tolerance over time.
More general recommendation that parents should avoid feeding their children peanut products during infancy has now radically changed. In fact, research suggests early exposure to peanuts may cut the risk of allergy by 80 percent or more.
Peanuts do contain a number of valuable nutrients, including trace minerals such as copper, manganese and molybdenum, along with vitamins B1, B3 and E, folate, biotin and phosphorous. They also contain a number of highly beneficial antioxidants, including resveratrol and p-coumaric acid.
Unfortunately, peanuts tend to be heavily sprayed with pesticides and are frequently contaminated with aflatoxin — toxic metabolites produced by certain molds that grow in soil and moist environments.
To avoid pesticides, buy only organically grown peanuts and peanut butter. Just beware that organic peanuts are not a guarantee they’ll be free of aflatoxin.Contamination can occur anytime during pre-harvest, storage and/or processing, and is therefore difficult to avoid.Gut problems such as leaky gut can be related to the presence of mycotoxins such as aflatoxin.
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