CISRA’s Synergy Health Newsletter

Issue 10. Almond and Walnut Allergy/Sensitivity (2007)

by J. C. Waterhouse, Ph.D.

The outer covering of the almonds have more polyphenols and I have found the tend to provoke allergy/sensitivity reactions more than the inner part. To avoid the outer part, you can either use almond flour, or you can blanch the whole almonds and it will probably be less reactive (though some may still not tolerate them). To blanch them, pour boiling water over the almonds in a bowl to barely cover them and then let the almonds sit for 1 minute. Drain, rinse under cold water, and drain again. Pat dry and slip the skins off (rubbing them with a towel may help). If you let the almonds sit in the water too long they lose their crispness.

Walnuts and Walnut Oil

I have recently found that I am less sensitive to the walnut oil than to the walnuts themselves. This means that part of the carbohydrate or protein part of the walnut contains the allergen. For this reason, I only use the walnut oil and not the walnuts. I have also found that the walnut oil I buy from Flora (phone: 800-446-2110) tends to have some protein and/or carbohydrate that contains the allergen and that it collects in the bottom of the bottle, giving the oil at the bottom a more turbid, opaque appearance. So now, when I get to the bottom of the bottle and notice the change in appearance, I toss out the rest of the walnut oil. I have found that keeping it in the refrigerator seems to work better than the freezer for allowing the allergenic portion to sink to the bottom.

I believe that besides the lower allergenicity, another advantage to using the walnut oil, is that there is not the same problem of high levels of arginine relative to lysine, which can be a problem for some people who have viruses from the Herpes family (including shingles, EBV, CMV and Herpes zoster). The arginine-viral issue is discussed further here: Issue 10. Lysine, Arginine and Viral Infections. Walnut oil also is one of the few plant-based sources of omega 3 fatty acid.

Interestingly, for some reason, in my case, the short cut pulse test on walnuts is the only one that seems to require about 4 days to reach its peak reaction. So, if I test walnut oil the day after I stop consuming it, or even 2 or 3 days later, I may miss the reaction (or require several tsps of oil in order to detect it). I don’t know if this will be the case for others. For more on the short cut test see Issue 10. Detecting Food Allergies/Sensitivities/Intolerances: Beyond the Pulse Test. Be sure to read Cautions section of allergy article before testing or making dietary changes.

Written by synergyhn

October 28, 2007 at 2:23 pm

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