For almost 40 years, I’ve been teaching pregnant mothers to have an occasional glass of alcohol, an ear of corn, or some sugar and peanuts.
Contrary to everything I teach about diet on TV, I believed expectant mothers should eat this way during the 9 month gestation period because in essence I viewed it as a method of “priming the immunologic pump,” if you will. As it turns out, I was correct.
The December 23rd edition of JAMA Pediatrics points out that if a mother isn’t allergic to peanuts and tree nuts, eating them during her pregnancy actually lowered the incidence of allergic reactions to those foods in her children.
The human immune system is an intricate and delicate system. What we can learn from this study is that mothers provide immune protection in their children far beyond making certain that they are breastfed. So many pregnant women are told to avoid eating the most common allergenic foods (wheat, eggs, milk, sugar, yeast) during their pregnancy. If this article is correct, just the opposite counsel should be given.
Although a limited study, I have long believed that if they weren’t food allergic themselves, pregnant mothers could provide much needed immunity to the growing child by simply eating a large array of foods, thereby offering passive immunity to their children.
Imagine if the medical community ever thought this through carefully. They just might begin immunizing pregnant women in their 3rd trimester as a safer alternative to immunizing the extremely fragile and immature immune systems of every child once born!