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Sunday, December 22, 2013

This popular snack food is a cancer-beater

Eat More of This Snack to Lower
Your Cancer Risk!

When you’re searching for a healthy snack, would you be more likely to choose a piece of fruit… some crunchy popcorn… or a handful of nuts?
Believe it or not, the nuts may be your best choice—especially if you’re looking for natural ways to keep cancer at bay. It seems like every week there’s more good news about nuts. Keep reading to get the latest. . .
Continued below…

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Recent research points to regular nut consumption as a factor in lowering risk of pancreatic cancer in women.
Results reported in the British Journal of Cancer came from a team of Harvard researchers examining data from the long-running Nurses' Health Study.
The investigation followed more than 75,600 women and found that those who ate at least one ounce of tree nuts two or more times a week had a reduced risk of pancreatic cancer when compared to study participants who did not include nuts in their diet.
And if you’re wondering whether a certain type of nut is better than others—you’ll be happy to know the health benefits were tied to many kinds, including:
  • Almonds
  • Brazil nuts
  • Cashews
  • Hazelnuts
  • Macadamias
  • Pecans
  • Pine nuts
  • Walnuts
Could the lower risk
be tied to other factors?
Lead study author Ying Bao, MD, ScD from the Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School said in a statement that “the reduction in risk was independent of established or suspected risk factors for pancreatic cancer including age, height, obesity, physical activity, smoking, diabetes and dietary factors.”
Dr. Bao’s team took painstaking efforts to represent participants’ long-term diet by calculating the cumulative average of nut consumption.
Because people often change their diets after being diagnosed with a major illness, the investigators stopped updating all dietary variables when participants reported a diagnosis of stroke, heart disease, angina, or cancer.                                             
The team began tracking the women in 1980 and followed up every four years through 2010.
In addition to the decreased risk of pancreatic cancer, the study also demonstrated that women who included nuts in their diet tended to weigh less than those who avoided them—despite the high fat content!
This is important, because the most common objection to nuts is their high fat content. Regular readers of this newsletter know the fats found in nuts are good for you. (See Issue #328 for more.)
As always, let me repeat that no one food or supplement is a “miracle cure” for cancer. Nuts are one of a wide range of cancer-fighting foods you want in your life. This recent study is especially exciting because it shows nuts help you fight one of the most dreaded types of cancer. . .
Here’s why you should be concerned
about having a healthy pancreas…
Your pancreas is an organ that sits behind your stomach. It serves two main functions:
  1. To produce digestive enzymes, and
  2. To produce and release insulin, the hormone that helps get sugar from your blood into your cells
It’s easy to see how problems with your pancreas could cause problems with digesting different foods… difficulty in stabilizing blood sugar levels… unintended weight loss… and a variety of other problems.
And any problem with the pancreas is a matter of life and death. You can’t survive without it.
According to estimates from the American Cancer Society, more than 45,000 Americans were diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2013 (the final figure isn’t in yet). About 38,000 people die each year from the disease. In fact, very few people survive this type of cancer. Unlike, say, breast cancer and prostate cancer – which even the bunglers in conventional medicine can often cure if they catch it early enough – pancreatic cancer is widely seen as a death sentence.
As with any type of cancer, your diet and lifestyle will influence pancreatic cancer development and progression.
But the new study suggests that including nuts as part of an overall healthy diet may be a simple and tasty way to reduce your pancreatic cancer risk.
So what makes nuts such an awesome cancer-fighting food?
Researchers aren’t completely sure why nuts fight cancer and boost health. But what they do know is that nuts contain unsaturated fatty acids, minerals and plenty of other disease fighting nutrients. Consider these examples:
  • Almonds—provide the richest source of vitamin E, which is a powerful antioxidant to help fight cell-damaging free radicals that are linked to cancer.
  • Brazil nuts—pack more than 100 percent of the daily value for the mineral selenium, which may help prevent bone, prostate, breast cancer and other cancers, according to the National Institutes of Health.
  • Macadamia nuts—contain the greatest amount of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats per serving.  The fats in these nuts are ‘good fats’ that lower LDL (‘bad’) cholesterol levels and reduce blood pressure.
  • Peanuts—Technically a legume rather than a nut, peanuts have a high folate content—a mineral essential for brain development and protection against cognitive decline.
  • Pistachios— rich in the antioxidant gamma-tocopherol, a type of cancer-fighting vitamin E; University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center researchers found that eating two ounces of pistachios daily may reduce lung cancer risk.
  • Walnuts—rich in vitamin E and also an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which help fight inflammation.

So why not grab a handful of your favorite type of nut to snack on today? Far from being a diet disaster—this delicious treat is sure to provide a healthy dose of cancer-fighting nutrients!
I always recommend eating raw nuts rather than roasted and salted nuts. Cooking destroys some of the nutritional value, and the oils added for roasting are often NOT healthy fats. But this study didn’t take note of the difference, so apparently even roasted nuts confer some protection against cancer. No doubt most of the participants in the study ate roasted and salted nuts because that’s what most people eat.

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