January 29, 2016
Adding nuts to your diet is associated to a reduction in the risk of cancer. This is the main conclusion of multiple studies that have shown that eating 2 or 3 servings per week (57-84 g) of nuts, such as peanuts, walnuts or almonds, is associated to a reduction in the risk of some types of cancer (breast, colon, pancreatic and lung cancer).
A study by Dr. Soriano-Hernandez and his team at the University of Colima (México) has concluded that frequent consumption of peanuts, walnuts or almonds is associated to a reduced risk of breast cancer by a factor of 2 or 3. Researchers analysed 97 patients with breast cancer and 104 control subjects who did not have the pathology. Another study from Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School (USA) showed that eating 2 servings of nuts per week during adolescence is associated to a 36% lower risk of breast cancer compared to women consuming less than 1 serving per month.
Different studies have shown that nut consumption can reduce the incidence of colon cancer as well. In 2004, the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition showed a reduced incidence of colon cancer in women who ate an average of 16 g of nuts and seeds daily. This study revealed that women who consumed more than 6.2 g per day of nuts and seeds was associated to a 31% lower risk of colon cancer. Earlier this year, a team of researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School (USA) found that women who consumed nuts twice or more per week (approx. 56 g per week) had a 13% lower risk of colorectal cancer compared with women who rarely consumed nuts.
Furthermore, eating just 2 servings (56 g) is associated with a 32% lower risk of pancreatic cancer among women and researchers from the DCCPS National Cancer Institute (Maryland, United States) have reported that nut consumption was statistically associated with a reduced risk of lung cancer.
The conclusion is that eating nuts is not only associated with a lower risk of cancer but also a reduced risk of death from cancer. These are the results of the PREDIMED study (PREvención con DIeta MEDiterránea), which indicated last year that participants who habitually had 3 servings (57 g) per week of nuts enjoyed a 40% reduction in deaths from cancer.