Babies Who Eat More Fruits and Vegetables Are Less Likely to Develop Food Allergies

13 Aug 2013 --- Babies who ate more fruits and vegetables and fewer packaged foods were less likely to develop food allergies in a new study that looked at overall diet patterns instead of just specific foods.

"We have been aware that certain diets seem to reduce the risk of allergy in infants," said Dr. Magnus Wickman, a professor at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, who was not involved in the study.

"The mechanism behind that is that we think that different kinds of fatty acids and antioxidants, different kinds of vitamins and essential minerals are good for your health and also prevent allergy," he said.
Researchers estimate that up to 8% of children have a food allergy.

Parents are sometimes advised to avoid certain foods as a means of preventing food allergies from starting. But Kate Grimshaw, lead author of the new study and a researcher at the University of Southampton in the UK, said she has been concerned that parents are reducing the nutritional diversity of their infants' diet without there being a great deal of evidence to back it up.

To see how parents are feeding their infants, and whether that appears to have any influence on food allergies, Grimshaw and her colleagues collected food diaries from the parents of 1,140 babies.
The parents typically maintained the diet log for the first year of life, Grimshaw and her colleagues report in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

During that time, 41 children were diagnosed with a food allergy, and Grimshaw's group compared these infants to 82 similar babies without an allergy.

The researchers scored the babies' diets based on the combination of different foods they ate.
They found that babies without food allergies scored higher than babies with allergies on a diet that was rich in healthy, often homemade, foods -- including fruits, vegetables, poultry and fish -- and scant on processed foods such as pre-made meals, potato chips, cook-in sauces and bacon.

"The analysis showed that the infants who were having more fruits and vegetables and less commercially produced baby foods and also less adult foods were the ones who were less likely to develop an allergy by the time they were two," Grimshaw said.

"It's not that they didn't have commercially-made baby foods, it's just that they did not have them predominantly in their diet," she added.

The study could not determine why the fresher type of diet seemed to protect against food allergies, and the results do not prove that the dietary patterns caused the differences in allergy rates.

Wickman said that studies on diet and allergy are extremely difficult, and that it is a challenge for researchers to account for other factors that might influence what a child eats and his risk for developing a food allergy.

Still, it is possible that the foods themselves are responsible.

"We know that there are nutrients in the diet that educate the immune system. And one could argue that if they're not there in adequate amounts when the child's immune system is developing, that may be one way that this is working," Grimshaw said.

Wickman said that there is no evidence that avoiding allergenic foods, such as nuts, fish and eggs is beneficial in preventing food allergies.

She added, there is very little risk in recommending that parents focus on fresh fruits and vegetables.
"Healthy food has so many good things, and maybe it also can reduce the risk of food allergy in the child," Wickman opined.

Doctors and health officials already recommend that children get plenty of fruits and vegetables and avoid junk foods.

Grimshaw said the results are just another reason for parents to feed their children fruits and vegetables and to try to serve home-made meals.
 

Related Articles

Nutrition & Health News

Satiety: Mushrooms may trump meat in helping to feel fuller for longer

19 Oct 2017 --- If breakfast is the most important meal of the day, then a new Mushroom Council-funded study suggests mushrooms may be one of the most important ingredients. The study on satiety, published in the October issue of the journal Appetite, indicates that eating a mushroom-rich breakfast may result in less hunger and a greater feeling of fullness after a mushroom breakfast compared to a meat breakfast.

Nutrition & Health News

Health claims on snack bar packaging lead to better consumer sensory acceptance: study

19 Oct 2017 --- A study looking into the influence of package and health-related claims on perception and sensory acceptability of snack bars has found that when health claims were given to consumers, a better sensory acceptance was observed. Among other findings, package attributes, price and flavor were also highlighted on purchase intention of bars.

Nutrition & Health News

Golden opportunities: SternLife taps into turmeric trend with drinks and capsules

19 Oct 2017 --- SternLife has launched two curcuma latte options, aimed at fitness-minded and health-conscious aficionados, as well as curcuma capsules that help with weight management. 

 

Nutrition & Health News

Brussels sprouts and green tea could convert breast cancer from lethal to treatable form

19 Oct 2017 --- Researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) have found a dietary combination that transforms the most lethal of all breast cancers into a highly treatable breast cancer. Specifically, scientists involved in the Scientific Reports study say sulforaphane – from cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli sprouts – along with polyphenols from green tea may be the key.

Nutrition & Health News

European parents increasingly turning to charities for meals, survey reveals

19 Oct 2017 --- A new survey by commissioned by Kellogg, has revealed that families are struggling to afford a balanced and healthy diet, and are increasingly reliant on Breakfast Clubs, foodbanks and charities, especially during school holidays. 

 

More Articles
URL : http://www.nutritioninsight.com:80/news/Babies-Who-Eat-More-Fruits-and-Vegetables-Are-Less-Likely-to-Develop-Food-Allergies.html