About one to two percent of the general population in the United States has a peanut allergy, and that’s roughly about 3 million people. Moreover, this number continues to rise. Peanut allergies are more common among children below 3 years old. If your family member suffers from a peanut allergy, natural remedies for peanut allergies will help ease the symptoms.
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You will learn the following from this post:
What is a Peanut?
Peanut is a legume crop grown for its seeds because they are edible. Unlike most crop plants, the pods of a peanut develop under the ground; this is perhaps why peanuts have the name hypogaea – meaning ‘under the earth’.
Although peanuts are not precisely nuts, people categorize them under tree nuts like walnuts and almonds. Therefore, peanuts and peanut butter are the most selected nut choice in the United States.
Advantages of Peanuts
Both peanut and peanut butter aid fat loss and support your metabolism when you take them with omega-3 foods like chia seeds and flaxseeds. In addition, peanuts are a rich source of magnesium, vitamin B6, iron, calcium, potassium, protein, dietary fiber, and omega-6 fatty acids. The following studies have indicated that peanuts are healthy foods:
- In a study published in Nutrients in 2010, there is an indication that the consumption of nuts (both tree nuts and peanuts) is effective for reducing coronary heart disease and gallstones in both men and women. Nut consumption also reduces diabetes in women. Further evidence has also suggested that nuts are beneficial in reducing inflammation, cancer, cholesterol, and hypertension.
- A 2015 study printed in JAMA Internal Medicine discovered that peanut consumption (and nuts generally) was adequate for decreased overall and cardiovascular mortality across various ethnic groups and people from low socioeconomic statuses.
Disadvantages of Peanuts
There are some health challenges when it comes to eating both peanuts and peanut butter. The issues include the following:
- Peanuts can cause an imbalanced ratio of omega 3 to 6 because they are high in omega-6 fats and low in omega-3 fats. This imbalanced ratio is a common issue in America today.
- Because peanuts grow on the ground, they tend to be very moist, resulting in mold or mycotoxins. The mold that grows on a peanut can also develop a fungus known as aflatoxin, which can affect the health of your gut.
- Peanuts have a connection with a slow metabolism, leaky gut, and food sensitivities. This is because aflatoxin can compete with probiotics in your stomach and thus damage your digestive health. This is even a more common ailment from peanut butter that are not organic. In addition, the mold in peanuts may be the reason many children have inflammatory immune reactions to peanuts.
- If you don’t have a peanut allergy, you can avoid harmful fungi peanuts often grow by choosing Jungle or Valencia peanuts. These two peanuts do not grow on the ground but in bushes higher up or off the ground, which gets rid of the mold issue.
What is Peanut Allergy?
Peanut allergy develops when the body’s immune system has an abnormal, hypersensitive response to one or more of the peanut proteins. It is one of the most acknowledged and severe food allergies in both adults and children. Peanut allergy is the leading cause of mortality and anaphylaxis because of food allergy. In addition, it is hard to avoid peanut because it is a common food ingredient.
Peanut allergy has significantly increased over the past ten years, especially in westernized countries. The increase in prevalence has also occurred with other allergic conditions like hay fever (allergic rhinitis), asthma, and eczema (atopic dermatitis). Peanut allergy is not common in underdeveloped countries, such as countries in Asia and Africa.
Symptoms of Peanut Allergy
Allergy from peanuts is one of the most serious of all the immediate hypersensitivity reactions to food in severity and persistence. The symptoms of peanut allergy include the following:
- Anaphylaxis (a less common symptom) – anaphylaxis is a life-threatening response to an allergen. It is a rare condition, but it’s a symptom that should be taken with extreme seriousness when it occurs.
The symptoms of anaphylaxis include the following:
- Gastrointestinal issues
- Impaired breathing
- Swelling in the throat
- A sudden drop in blood pressure
- Blue lips or pale skin
Anaphylaxis can result in death if it is not immediately treated with epinephrine (adrenaline).
- Hive or itchy skin. The hives could be large welts or small spots
- Congested or runny nose
- A tingling or itchy sensation in or around the throat or mouth
Avoiding Foods that Contain Peanuts
Peanut is a common crop, so it can be pretty challenging to avoid foods containing them. I have listed below the foods that contain peanuts. If you know you are allergic to peanuts, you should try as much as possible to avoid the following foods:
- Marzipan, a candy made of nuts, sugar, and egg whites
- Mixed or ground nuts
- Grain bread
- Baked goods such as pastries and cookies
- Granola and cereals
- Frozen desserts and ice cream
- Energy bars
Some foods that may contain peanut or peanut proteins are less noticeable. Some examples of these foods include:
- Pet food
- Arachis oil, an alternative name for peanut oil
- Salad dressings
- Foods sold in ice cream shops and bakeries
- Nut butter (such as almond butter), chocolate candies, and sunflower seeds
- Ethnic foods such as Vietnamese, Thai, Mexican, Indonesian, Chinese, and African dishes
8 Natural Remedies for Peanut Allergies
The only sure cure for a food allergy is to remove the allergen entirely from your diet. However, there are natural remedies for peanut allergies that you can use to improve your symptoms. The best of them include:
- Oral immunotherapy
- Supplement with a multivitamin
- Introduce peanuts earlier
- Add garlic to your diet
- Sip green tea
Quercetin is capable of blocking allergies to some foods, such as peanuts.
A report printed in the Iranian Journal of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology explained an analysis of the effects of quercetin on rats that suffer from peanut sensitivities. For more than a month, the rats received 50 milligrams of quercetin daily. As a result, the researchers discovered that quercetin completely revoked peanut-induced anaphylactic reactions. It means that quercetin can suppress peanut allergy symptoms and works as an alternative treatment for food allergies that bring about similar symptoms.
2. Oral Immunotherapy
Inducing oral immunotherapy in both children and adolescents that are allergic to peanuts may help lower the severity of symptoms during peanut exposure. Therefore, scientists carried out a study concerning the efficacy of oral immunotherapy on peanut allergy, and they came up with different results.
Below are the highlights from the study:
- 551 people with peanut allergies underwent the test, and the majority of these participants were between the ages of 4 and 17. These participants received a peanut-derived drug known as AR101 or placebo in escalating doses for 24 weeks.
- By the time the trial ended, 67 percent of all the participants in the treatment group and 4 percent in the placebo group could ingest a dose of 600 milligrams or more of peanut protein without exhibiting any dose-limiting symptoms.
- Those who used oral immunotherapy also experienced lower severity of symptoms during peanut exposure than those taking the placebo.
Probiotics are capable of re-colonizing and restoring microflora in the intestinal tract. Scientists have conducted various studies on the role of probiotics in treating and preventing allergic disorders. Some of the impressive discoveries include the following:
- A study in 2005 indicates that the management of allergies with the introduction of probiotics can reduce the incidence of atopic eczema. In addition, there was a demonstration of probiotics in infants through the use of lactobacillus.
- When you combine probiotics with a minuscule amount of peanut protein, it can serve as a natural form of oral immunization and help alleviate peanut sensitivities and allergies.
- The combination of probiotics and small peanut protein can induce immune changes that modulate the peanut-specific immune response of children, automatically making them a lot more tolerant of peanuts.
Bromelain is a potent anti-swelling and anti-inflammatory agent. In addition, bromelain inhibits allergic airway disease. The health benefits of bromelain may help people with peanut allergies reduce the symptoms and the result of an overactive immune system.
5. Supplement with a Multivitamin
Children with multiple food allergies are susceptible to poor growth and deficient mineral and vitamin intake. These children with food allergies have a deficiency in selenium, zinc, copper, and vitamin D. a 3 to 7-day food diary can indicate the possibility of vitamin deficiencies among children with allergies.
Always ensure that children with food allergies get the micronutrients they will need to help boost their immune system and ultimately regulate their immunological response to allergens.
6. Introduce Peanuts Earlier
The early introduction of peanuts to infants significantly decreases the frequency of the development of peanut allergy. However, you may risk your child developing a peanut allergy if you introduce peanuts to them at a very young age. Therefore, if you are willing to introduce peanuts early to your child, you have to take extreme caution, usually with the guidance of a doctor.
In 2017, health professionals, sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, released clinical guidelines to support introducing peanut-containing foods to children at an earlier stage. The guidelines present three different suggestions based on the risk the infant may face:
- Infants at high risk (those who have an egg allergy, eczema, or both) should have peanut-containing foods as early as 16 to 24 weeks old. Ensure that you first check with your infant’s healthcare provider so that the healthcare provider may carry out an allergy blood test or recommend a proper specialist for your child based on its health and medical history. The doctor may recommend that these peanut-containing foods be introduced under supervision or not at all.
- Children with mild to moderate eczema should consume peanut-containing foods from 6 months old. This may vary according to your family’s dietary preferences. Do not forget to inform your healthcare professional about your intention to introduce peanut-containing foods to your child, as supervision may be necessary.
- You can freely introduce peanut-containing foods to infants with no food allergies or eczema.
It does not matter whether the infant is at risk; all infants should begin taking other solid foods before starting with peanut-containing foods. You should also never your child whole peanuts because they may choke on them. Try powder or paste in small amounts instead.
7. Add Garlic to Your Diet
Ginger is effective in the treatment of various gastrointestinal discomforts associated with peanut allergies. Its antibacterial, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties can help curb digestive spasms, diarrhea, indigestion, vomiting, and nausea. In addition, ginger reduces allergic airway inflammation, possibly by the suppression of Th2-mediated immune response.
- Consume 2 or 3 cups of tea made from ginger. In making the tea, simmer a few slices of ginger in 2 cups of boiling water for about 10 minutes. Endeavor to strain the mixture, add honey to taste, and drink this warm tea.
- There is another method. Simply mix 1 teaspoon each of freshly extracted ginger juice and honey. Take this mixture before eating your meals. This will help improve your digestion.
8. Sip Green Tea
Green tea is one of the most effective natural remedies for peanut allergies because of its antihistamine, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties. It also assists your digestive system to function correctly and boosts your immune system. In addition, the catechins of green tea have antinutritive and nutritive properties that help control the bioavailability of potential allergens inside the gut, thereby making the food product less allergenic.
- Pour 1 to 2 teaspoons of good-quality green tea into a cup and pour hot water on it.
- Cover and allow it to steep for some minutes.
- Strain and then add some lemon and honey to taste.
- Drink 3 to 4 cups of tea each day for maximum results.
It would be best to understand that it is not safe to consume green tea in large doses.
Unfortunately, peanut allergy has no cure; you can only manage the symptoms with natural remedies for peanut allergies. Even though it is hard to predict the natural history of peanut allergy accurately, an individual can outgrow the allergy, but not in all cases. If there is the likelihood that a person has outgrown their peanut allergy, then a physician-supervised oral food challenge can come in.
Having a bad reaction to foods we eat on occasion is normal; it does not always mean that we are allergic to such foods, except the reaction continues each time we take the food. So, for example, you have to be sure that you have an allergic reaction to peanuts before considering the natural remedies for peanut allergies.