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Eating Nuts may Prevent Cardiovascular Disease and Cancer

Almonds Ripening on the Tree

Nuts May Prevent Re-Occurrence of Stage III Colorectal Cancer

A study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology February  28, 2018 showed that people who had Stage III colon cancer had a better survival rate and less of a chance of the cancer returning if they ate nuts at least twice a week. The study followed 826 patients for 6.5 years who had Stage III colon cancer. In 199 of them the cancer came back or they developed new primary tumors, but those who ate nuts had significantly less re-occurrence of cancer and a lower death rate.

Benefits of Eating Walnuts

Several studies have shown that walnuts have the potential to improve risks for cardiovascular disease and may also help to prevent breast, colorectal and prostate cancer.

Walnuts May Prevent Cardiovascular Disease

An updated review of an earlier meta-analysis from 2009 was published July, 2018 by researchers at Harvard University. The original study from 2009 examined 13 trials representing 365 participants. Walnuts were shown to reduce total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, apolipoprotein B, blood pressure and weight.

The latest review included 1059 participants ages 22-75 years old, some of whom suffered from high cholesterol, Type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, obesity or overweight, while the rest were healthy. Diets that were enriched with walnuts in comparison to control diets  showed a greater decrease in total cholesterol (3.25%), LDL cholesterol (3.73%), triglycerides (5.52%), and apolipoprotein B (4.19%). The walnuts also did not have a bad effect on blood pressure or cause weight gain.

Walnuts Recognized as Heart Healthy Food

The American Heart Association and U.S. Food and Drug Administration recognize walnuts as heart-healthy for being a rich source of polyunsaturated fat, omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid, antioxidants, polyphenols and gamma tocopherol.

Walnuts and Cancer

There have been several animal studies that showed that nuts like walnuts and almonds are a chemo-protective food for some kinds of cancers, mainly breast, colorectal and prostate.

Breast Cancer and Prostate Cancer

A study published February 5, 2014, in Nutrition and Cancer found that maternal mice that had the equivalent amount of walnuts eaten by humans added to their chow showed less occurrence of breast tumors and less tumor growth compared to mice fed a control diet with corn oil. The maternal mice were mated with male mice and after the baby mice were weaned they were randomized to the same two diets: The walnut enriched diet and the corn oil diet. The off-spring mice on the walnut enriched diet also had less occurrence of breast and prostate tumors than the off-spring mice on the corn oil diet.

Colorectal Cancer

A mice study published in Cancer Prevention Research discovered that walnuts have a beneficial effect on gut bacteria in the colon. For the study researchers divided mice with human cancer cells into three groups. One group ate a walnut enriched mouse diet, another group of mice ate a flax-seed oil enriched diet and the third control group ate a diet enriched with corn oil. The mice that ate the flax-seed oil or the walnut enriched diet had fewer and smaller sized tumors than the mice fed with the corn oil diet.

Rehabilitation after a Cardiovascular Event

If you or your loved one are in need of rehabilitation after a heart attack or stroke the Ditmas Park Rehab Care Center in Brooklyn, New York offers excellent stroke and cardiac rehabilitation.


While nuts, including walnuts and almonds may help to prevent cardiovascular disease and cancer, no study has shown that they can cure these diseases. If you suffer from cardiovascular problems or have a serious disease like cancer you must be under the care of a qualified physician and you can eat nuts alongside of proper treatment. If you or your loved one are a cancer survivor you may want to include nuts in your diet, as they may help to prevent it from coming back.





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