August 21, 2017

peanut allergies › probiotics ›

Possible cure for peanut allergies?

With so many people being highly allergic to peanuts we have always been a peanut free facility, even though we get a number of requests from people to sell things like jungle peanuts etc. It's just not worth it to us to jeopardize the health of some of our loyal customers. 

A number of my daughters friends are highly allergic to peanuts, so much so that we keep an epipen in our house "just in case", with us being house of nuts it's always a concern for me even though we don't have much in the way of peanuts, i still like to play it safe. That's why reading articles like this makes me excited, a cure for peanuts would be amazing and would help to put so many parents minds to rest. As one of our friends has observed there are still so many places in the world where peanuts are used in everyday cooking and being able to feel that your child can travel through these places without fear of their lives would be such a relief. 

Here's the article in full, the link to it is here.

"A major breakthrough in allergy treatment shows that a permanent cure for peanut allergy might be close. Eighty-two per cent of children with peanut allergies who underwent the clinical trial suddenly found themselves able to tolerate the killer nut.

Prof. Mimi Tang of Murdoch Childrens Research Institute in Australia says she is “very excited about the results,” which would allow allergic kids to consume peanuts without fear of death. Effects from the treatment lasted for years from the original study — 80 per cent were still eating peanuts four years later.

“This is a major step forward in identifying an effective treatment to address the food allergy problem in Western societies,” Tang said in a news release.

Peanut allergies have risen dramatically in recent decades, and the anaphylactic shock that comes with them is extremely deadly. Researchers from AllerGen NCE Inc. estimate that one in thirteen Canadians have a food allergy, and 1.93 per centˇ — over 700,000 — have a serious peanut allergy.

Tang’s trial gave children the probiotic, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, along with peanuts in increasing amounts every day for 18 months, to build up a tolerance. She also ran a placebo trial, in which only four per cent of kids were tolerant to peanuts after the trial.

When Tang followed up four years later, she found that the majority of kids who completed the study had been freely eating peanuts without a care in the world. Over half were eating “moderate to large” amounts.

“The importance of this finding is that these children were able to eat peanut like children who don’t have peanut allergy and still maintain their tolerant state, protected against reactions to peanut,” she said.

Now, Tang is looking at whether the effects of the treatment improved kids’ quality of life, which should be a much easier study." 

Walnuts may improve gut bacteria!


"Walnuts have been called a 'superfood' because they are rich in the omega-3 fatty acid, alpha-linoleic acid and fiber, and they contain one of the highest concentrations of antioxidants," notes Dr. Byerley. "Now, an additional superfood benefit of walnuts may be their beneficial changes to the gut microbiota." Read more here.

We love hearing this stuff! It helps to validate what we are doing. As with anything nutty, please make sure you are buying the freshest, best quality nuts you can find, and if you can, soak and dehydrate them before eating. At NutHut we keep our nuts and seeds refrigerated at all times to ensure you get the freshest foods available.

Buy your walnuts here.  Learn about soaking and dehydrating here.

Pistachios and your health

Nuts in general have been found to be good for our health. However pistachios in particular because of the presence of gamma-tocopherol which is a form of vitamin E have been found to be of particular benefit in the reduction of some cancers. Fortunately we sell delicious raw pistachios from Nevada.

"Vitamin E is made up of a variety of fat-soluble vitamins, including gamma-tocopherol, that perform many functions in the body. Vitamin E-rich foods act as antioxidants, helping to prevent damage from free radicals, protect skin from ultraviolet light, and allow for proper cell communication.
"Pistachios are not only a good source of vitamin E, but are rich in B vitamins -- specifically B6, which is great for the nervous system and helps to promote proper breakdown of sugars and starches," You can read the full article here.

Brazil nut news

Bolivia produces most of the Brazil nuts that make it to market in North America. Depending on availability we sell either from there or Peru. Unfortunately due to extreme drought for the last couple of years, the harvest has been severely impacted. Most recently northern Peru has experienced torrential rains that have all but destroyed the annual mango and grape harvest. Challenging times to be sure. The price of Brazil nuts are expected to go up by up to 80% for the next while. Let's hope that the people harvesting these nuts are receiving some support during these times! Read below for some interesting info on the tasty Brazil Nut.

"The Brazil Nut is  one of the most nutritious and largest nuts in the world—it grows in a softball-sized seed case that holds around 20 fat nuts—the Brazil Nut was planted extensively by ancient Amazonians and is now something that anthropologists look for as a marker for signs of pre-colonial human habitation in the jungle.

One of the largest and tallest trees in the Amazon and with a lifespan exceeding 1,000 years, each Brazil nut tree could feed thousands over many generations."

"Brazil Nuts cannot be grown in plantations, but depend on the ecosystem of forests.  They live and thrive only in symbiosis with a multitude of plants and animals resident there. Above all, brazil nuts are dependent on the female orchid bee (Euglossa): only this bee, with its extra long tongue, is able to pollinate the large yellow flowers of the tree. Additionally, this bee species does not live in colonies and therefore couldn't be kept on a plantation. The local population in the structurally weak rainforest regions live exclusively on the wild brazil nut harvest, explains Mario Ebel. "People would cut down the rainforest if we didn't consume brazil nuts, because they would have to look for alternatives to survive. We took the trouble to calculate that one container protects up to 700 hectares of rainforest from deforestation, and feeds up to 90 people for an entire year."  Excerpt from this article here

This is also quite interesting:

"Some of the tree species that are abundant in Amazonian forests today, like cacao, açaí, and Brazil nut, are probably common because they were planted by people who lived there long before the arrival of European colonists,"

The dark side of cashew production

Cashews are a popular nut, from dairy alternatives, to nut flours and snack food there is a reason cashews are one of the worlds largest nut crop. But unlike most of the nuts we consume, such as almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, pistachios and macadamia nuts, which are grown primarily in North America or Europe, cashews are grown in the poorest parts of the world. India, Africa, Vietnam and Brazil are where the majority of cashew growing, harvesting and processing occurs. Unfortunately at times the lack of labour and safety standards in these parts of the world can result in disturbing practices within the cashew industry.

Shelling cashew nuts involves hard and dangerous manual labour. The cashew nut contains a caustic liquid between its two layers of very hard shell, if workers are inadequately trained or protected, the liquid can cause vicious burns. Shelling is most often done by women, many who have permanent damage to their hands, lungs and eyes because of the lack of proper protective gear. It is not just safety and health issues that plague the cashew industry, human rights violations are also documented. TIME magazine has dubbed Vietnamese cashews  “Blood Cashews”, in reference to the shelling of cashew in forced labour camps under brutal conditions. The American Department of Labour has listed Brazil and Guinea as places known to use child labour for cashews shelling.

It doesn't have to be this way; our cashews come from small farms in Flores, Indonesia, where the workers are fairly paid and given proper protective gear. These cashews are organically farmed, sparing the farmers and the local ecosystems from exposure to chemicals. These cashews do cost significantly more, but this added cost ensures that the people who work so hard to farm and process our cashews are properly compensated and protected.