According to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, regular consumption of nuts can significantly increase the prognosis of people with stage III colon cancer.
Researchers at Yale Cancer Center conducted a study to look at the effect of nut consumption on colon cancer recurrence and survival. The research team examined 826 individuals with stage III colon cancer. The dietary intake of the participants was reported on food frequency questionnaires and they were also enrolled in a randomized adjuvant chemotherapy trial. After an average of six and a half years, the researchers followed-up on the participants and they were treated with chemotherapy and surgery.
Results of the study revealed that cancer patients who ate two or more servings of nuts every week show 42% improvement in disease-free survival and 57% improvement in overall survival when compared to those who did not consume nuts.
Furthermore, researchers have also found that disease-free survival increased by 46% among the subgroup of nut consumers who ate tree nuts like walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, almonds, and cashews, instead of peanuts.
Temidayo Fadelu, the lead author of the study said:
“These findings are in keeping with several other observational studies that indicate that a slew of healthy behaviors, including increased physical activity, keeping a healthy weight, and lower intake of sugar and sweetened beverages, improve colon cancer outcomes.”
Fadelu added that their findings want to emphasize the importance of lifestyle and dietary factors in surviving colon cancer. The study also highlighted the links between biological mechanisms that worsen the disease, not only in colon cancer but also in type-2 diabetes and other chronic diseases.
The findings in this study are in line with the results of previous studies that reported nuts can help reduce insulin resistance, a condition wherein the body finds it hard to process the insulin hormone, thus resulting to unhealthy sugar levels in the blood as well as a predecessor to type-2 diabetes and related disease.
Moreover, previous studies found that conditions of colon cancer patients worsen when they lack exercise, obese and eats a diet rich in carbohydrates.
Charles S. Fuchs, senior author of the study states that:
“These studies support the hypothesis that behaviors that make you less insulin resistant, including eating nuts, seem to improve outcomes in colon cancer.”
Fuchs also noted that nuts can satisfy hunger with less consumption of carbohydrates and other foods with negative results. Others may not be eating nuts because they might have thought of its high-fat content, which could lead to obesity and worse outcomes. Yet, on the other hand, regular eaters of nuts in the study were found to be leaner.
Why You Should Eat Nuts
Nuts are highly nutritious. Aside from being low in carbs, they are a great source of nutrients like selenium, manganese, and magnesium. Another reason for you to eat nuts is that they are rich in antioxidants which help fight free radicals that harm the body. It may also help in managing cholesterol and triglyceride levels, lower the risk of heart attack and stroke, help in losing weight, and reduce inflammation.
The most commonly consumed nuts hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, walnuts, almonds, cashews, Brazil nuts, pistachios, pine nuts, and pecans.