Walnuts are some of the most popular and tastiest nuts around. The good news is that they are showing more and more promise in the fight against a wide-range of cancers.
By Dawn Flemming
As you age, the risk of developing cancer increases. This is why the median age for cancer is 66. Diet fortunately and unfortunately plays an important role in the development and remission of cancer. We know that processed foods are strongly linked with cancer. We also know that fruits and veggies can help fight cancer.
However, in conventional knowledge not much attention has been paid to the importance of nuts in a diet. Nuts were one of the primary sources of human nutrition since the Neolithic times and as homo sapiens, our bodies are strongly geared towards them.
A particularly powerful nut are walnuts. Important studies on mice have shown that walnuts may reduce the risk of certain cancers. The study concluded that
1)the walnut-containing diet inhibited the growth rate of human breast cancers implanted in nude mice by ∼80%; 2) the walnut-containing diet reduced the number of mammary gland tumors by ∼60% in a transgenic mouse model; 3) the reduction in mammary gland tumors was greater with whole walnuts than with a diet containing the same amount of n–3 fatty acids, supporting the idea that multiple components in walnuts additively or synergistically contribute to cancer suppression; and 4) walnuts slowed the growth of prostate, colon, and renal cancers by antiproliferative and antiangiogenic mechanisms.
In other words, walnuts were effective in inhibiting the cancerous growth of breast, prostate, colon and renal cancers.
The question here is how does this work? Healthline summarizes it as follows:
Urolithins can have anti-inflammatory properties in your gut, which may be one way that eating walnuts helps protect against colorectal cancer. Urolithins’ anti-inflammatory actions could also help protect against other cancers (5).
What’s more, urolithins have hormone-like properties that enable them to block hormone receptors in your body. This may help reduce your risk of hormone-related cancers, specifically breast and prostate cancers
Walnuts also have another added benefit. Although they are dense in calories, they are very filling and can contribute to a lessened appetite and may lead to fat loss. Fat loss is also important in the battle against cancer.
Walnuts can be added into almost any meal. They can be added in smoothies, salads, pastries, yogurt or eaten on their own. Try adding some walnuts to your diet and see the difference in your health.
Dawn Flemming is Director of Business Services at Geriatric In-Home Care in Fresno, California.