In the United States, peanut allergy constitutes:
- The most frequent food allergy
- The leading cause of death from food allergy
WARNING! The danger of food allergies (including that to peanuts) derives from the fact that they often begin for the first time at a young age ; especially during early childhood , the child does not have the communication skills necessary to manifest such a severe physical discomfort, therefore, parents (or whoever they are) should:
- Have a table of what are the potentially allergenic foods, in order to exclude them from the feeding of the child up to a more suitable age
- Read food labelscarefully , as it is not uncommon for products such as peanuts (or their derivatives) to be used as ingredients in baby foods
- Knowing how to recognize an anaphylactic reactionand intervene promptly by calling 118 and immediately carrying out the essential first aid maneuvers.
Peanuts are the hulled seeds of Arachis hypogaea , an annual herbaceous legume of South American origin imported from the Portuguese to Europe in the 16th century AD; despite being a legume , peanuts (also called American peanuts ) have a chemical-nutritional profile much more similar to that of achenes ; therefore they are also placed in the food category of dried fruit .
Peanuts can be eaten roasted and peeled (often salted), or in the form of derivatives; the refined foods / derivatives based on popular Peanuts are: groundnut oil , butter peanut( hydrogenated ), peanut flour and paste (in the food industry).
Causes and Symptoms
Peanut allergy is triggered by the body’s reaction to two proteins contained in them; the symptoms of peanut allergy are mostly minor, for example: urticaria , asthma and gastrointestinal disorders . However, it must be specified that, being an immune-mediated reaction, peanut allergy can trigger a real anaphylactic reaction which, if not diagnosed and pharmacologically moderated, can induce a state of shock until death. . NB . Experimental research on the production of GMO peanuts is in progress
, devoid of the 2 proteins responsible for food allergy.
As for other allergies , even that towards peanuts must be prevented by TOTALLY and PERMANENTLY excluding them from the diet (including derivatives); it is advisable to pay close attention especially to packaged foods (sweets, sauces and snacks) and to ethnic Chinese culinary preparations. Note that, as this is an adverse body reaction to some proteins, seasoning oils and fats SHOULD not be potentially allergenic; however, ESPECIALLY in COLD extracted peanut oils (albeit qualitatively better than REFINED), it is possible that there are some peptide traces sufficient to create discomfort for the hyper-sensitive organism.
Peanut allergy can be related to cross-reactivity towards other legumes , such as: beans , peas , chickpeas , broad beans , tegolini, carob , soy , tamarind , guar gum , gum arabic and licorice ; not only that, it seems there is also a correlation to allergies: almonds , walnuts , hazelnuts , pecans , pistachios , pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds .
Peanuts in the diet
In Italy, peanut allergy does not create significant nutritional discomfort for the people who suffer from it since the Mediterranean diet does NOT provide for them in any form and at any time of the year; however, overseas (USA), they are such a widespread food that their dietary exclusion is a highly investigative behavioral intervention that is difficult to preserve over time.
It is true that peanuts provide some essential nutrients such as: ???? ac. linoleic fat ( omega family – ?? 6, 41% of TOT lipids ), magnesium (Mg), phosphorus (P) and niacin ( vit. PP); on the other hand, providing an energy quota that is nothing short of high (sheared and / or salted peanuts: 594kcal) which derives 50% from fats, we can say with certainty that the relative consumption portions would ANYWAY be so small ( a few grams per day) to totally nullify its ???? dietary importance in a Mediterranean nutritional regime, which we know is characterized by 25-30% of lipids compared to ???? daily energy TOT.