One aspect of alternative health is simply eating well and choosing healing foods that have actual healthful effects on the body. With that in mind, we turn again to the food group that represents some of the best quick snacks you can have: nuts. A new study has found that walnuts may protect against breast cancer.
A study in “Nutrition and Cancer” found that the risk of breast cancer dropped significantly in mice when their regular diet included a modest amount of walnuts. It compared the effects of a typical diet and a diet containing walnuts across the lifespan: through the mother from conception through weaning, and then through eating the food directly. Equating the amount to humans, it comes in at about two ounces a day.
During the study period, the group whose diet included walnuts at both stages developed breast cancer at less than half the rate of the group with the typical diet. The researchers also noticed that the number of tumors and their sizes were significantly smaller. The power of the walnut comes through when you find out that these mice were genetically programmed to develop cancer at a high rate.
Adding walnuts to a diet means adding healthy forms of fat. This, in turn, reduces the amount of unhealthy fats that you take in. Aside from the fats, many studies have clearly shown that walnuts contain a slew of natural substances that are believed to reduce your risk of cancer, and also to slow the growth of an existing tumor.
The researchers found that the walnut results are relevant to breast cancer in both mice and humans. Other tests showed that increases in omega-3 fatty acids did not fully account for the anti-cancer effect, and found that tumor growth decreased when you get more vitamin D in the diet.
It helps show that food is medicine and what we choose to eat and drink will determine how the body functions, and what its response to illness and health will be. This particular study indicates that eating more walnuts is a valuable part of a healthy cancer-preventative diet.