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Nuts May Prevent the Growth of Cancer Cells

nuts may prevent cancer cells

Adding a handful of roasted nuts as a daily snack can be part of a cancer-protective diet.


February is Cancer Prevention Month – a time to bring awareness to how a healthy diet and being active can help prevent cancer. Did you know that approximately one-third of the cases of the most common cancers in the United States could potentially be preventable through simple lifestyle changes? Per the AICR, that equates to about 374,000 cases of cancer that would never have to happen.

One simple change that you could make today is to trade in that snack of fried potato chips or sugary pack of cookies for a handful of roasted nuts. Research from Germany suggests that the nutrients in nuts may have the ability to inhibit the growth of cancer cells.

Dr. Wiebke Schlormann says “For a long time now we have known that nuts are full of substances that are good for the heart and the cardiovascular system.” The reason? Some nut compounds are involved in activating the body’s own defenses for detoxifying reactive oxygen species that cause DNA damage that could potentially lead to cancer development.

Which type of nuts are best? The researchers studied five different types – macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, walnuts, almonds and pistachios – and found that all of them contained the potential for inducing programmed cell death in cancer cells.

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Here are some easy ways to add nuts to your diet:

1. Top hot or cold cereal with nuts for a nourishing breakfast.
2. Sprinkle almonds on top of yogurt.
3. Add peanuts to nonfat frozen yogurt.
4. Use nuts to replace croutons in salads or soups.
5. Crush and add as a topping to side dishes, such as almonds on a green bean casserole or pecans on a sweet potato casserole
6. Add to curries, stews, pasta dishes etc!

Journal Reference:
Wiebke Schlörmann, Michael Glei et al. Chemopreventive potential of in vitro fermented nuts in LT97 colon adenoma and primary epithelial colon cells. Molecular Carcinogenesis, 2017; DOI: 10.1002/mc.22606

Additional Resources:
American Institute for Cancer Research
India Times

Photo Credit:
By Sage Ross - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons