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Cancer & Nuts

According to the statistics of the National Cancer Institute, roughly 33% of cancer deaths can be linked to dietary habits (i.e. inadequate or unhealthy diets). Unlike most other environmental factors that are cancer-related, your eating habits are completely under your control. Modifying your diet so that you are eating healthier, well-balanced meals can negatively impact your risk for cancer. In other words, eating "right" can fend off death.

One diet that is recommended by specialists and nutritionists worldwide is the Mediterranean diet. Recent studies seem to suggest that the Mediterranean diet also decreases your risk for cancer. This diet is particularly rich in nuts. Nuts in general contain an exceptional amount of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that have been linked to combating cancer, particularly breast and colorectal cancer. Nuts contain the following vitamins, nutrients, and minerals, amongst others:
 

  • Monounsaturated fatty acids
  • Vitamin E
  • Selenium
  • Vegetable fiber
  • Folic acid
  • Flavonoids

These vitamins, nutrients, and minerals all collaborate and interact in order to prevent cancer, fight cancer, and slow down the progression of cancer.
 

  • Vitamin E
    •  
    • Vitamin E has been linked to the regulation of cellular reproduction. Since cancer is chiefly distinguished by a lack of genetic control over cell growth, vitamin E is an essential component in the fight against cancer. Additionally vitamin E is also antioxidant. Antioxidants counteract free radicals to prevent cellular damage.
    • The nuts that have high quantities of vitamin E are as follows:
      • Walnuts
      • Almonds
      • Hazelnuts
      • Sunflower seeds
  •  
  • Monounsaturated fatty acids
    •  
    • Research suggests that monounsaturated fats can defend your body against certain types of cancer, including breast cancer. Although this is still slightly controversial, the results of these studies have, for the most, part, become mainstream information.
    • Nuts and seeds that are rich in monounsaturated fatty acids are
      • Almonds
      • Walnuts
      • Hazelnuts
      • Brazil nuts
      • Pistachios
      • Sunflower seeds
      • Sesame seeds
  •  
  • Selenium
    •  
    • Selenium is an element that is also an integral part of antioxidant enzymes. Research indicates a positive correlation between selenium and cancer prevention. Nuts that have a high selenium content are:
      • Brazil nuts
      • Walnuts
      • Cashews
  •  
  • Folic acid
    •  
    • Folic acid is implicated in DNA-related processes including the function, production, and repair of DNA. A lack of sufficient folic acid in your diet may result in genetic instability and torn chromosomes, drastically increasing your risk for cancer.
    • Nuts with a high concentration of folic acid are:
      • Almonds
      • Cashews
      • Hazelnuts
      • Sesame seeds
      • Pistachios
      • Pumpkin seeds
      • Walnuts
  •  
  • Isoflavonoids
    •  
    • The lower incidence of breast, prostate, and endometrial cancer in Japan and China as compared to the US and European countries is thought to be a result of the large quantity of isoflavonoids consumed in China and Japan as compared to the other countries mentioned.
    • Nuts that contain isoflavonoids are:
      • Hazelnuts
      • Brazil nuts
  •  
  • Fiber
    •  
    • Research indicates that dietary fiber plays a role in reducing your risk for cancer. The fiber expedites intestinal movements, thus reducing carcinogen exposure in your intestines. (Carcinogens are substances that play a role in advancing or spreading cancer.)
    • Nuts and seeds that contain high doses of vegetable fiber are:

 


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