It’s Cancer–Go Nuts!
Can nuts really affect Cancer?

by Mark Sandoval, M.d.

According to the World Health Organization, there were 14 million new cases of cancer and 8.2 million cancer-related deaths worldwide in 2012. They also state that the number of new cases is expected to rise by about 70% over the next two decades. Cancer is not going away any time soon. So, what can you do about it?

Uchee Pines has been helping people with cancer for over 40 years, and research is confirming many of the practices that we have been using for quite some time. Today, I want to share with you some dietary factors that can help you decrease your risk of cancer or improve your chances of surviving cancer-free if you already have it.

My advice for you today is simple—go nuts! I don’t mean run around crazy and screaming at the sky. I mean eat nuts in moderate amounts (about a handful), and regularly (daily).

Why? Nuts are an excellent source of antioxidants. In fact, 25 walnuts have the same antioxidant effect as the Vitamin C that would be found in 100 oranges! The two common nuts in the American diet that have the highest antioxidant content are walnuts and pecans, beating out peanuts, pistachios, cashews, almonds, brazil nuts, pine nuts, macadamia nuts, and hazelnuts (in decreasing order).

Nut intake has been shown to decrease breast cancer development in women, and even to decrease the development of fibrocystic breast disease (a potential precursor to breast cancer) in the daughters of mothers who ate more nuts compared to mothers who ate fewer nuts.

Research shows that two handfuls of nuts consumed per week can significantly reduce the risk of pancreatic cancer in women, compared to those who mostly avoid nut consumption. If you want to avoid or treat liver cancer, the three nuts that have the greatest effect in reducing liver cancer cell growth are walnuts, pecans, and...peanuts! That’s right—peanuts. Coming in 4th place is almonds. But what about colon cancer cells? The top three nuts are... walnuts, pecans, and peanuts again! But this time, almonds, pine nuts and macadamia nuts also have good effect.

So, how do nuts work? Research shows that nuts induce cancer cell death, inhibit the ability of cancer cells to multiply, reduce the potential to spread to other locations, inactivate genes that promote cancer cell survival, inhibit enzymes that increase cancer cell invasiveness, and inactivate molecules that promote the formation of new blood vessels through which cancer cells receive nutrients.

How should you eat your nuts? Preferably raw or dry roasted. Try to avoid salted, honey-roasted, oil-roasted or other processed nuts. It may be better to eat the nuts than to eat the nut butter, but nut butter will be better for you than no nuts at all. Make sure you chew your nuts well, because some people with diverticulosis can develop a painful and potentially life-threatening condition called diverticulitis because of un-chewed pieces of nuts in the colon.

What if you have cholesterol problems? We have found that people on a completely plant-based diet (with no animal products or byproducts in their diet) who continue to have high cholesterol usually do so because of the use of oils (in cooking, salad dressings, condiments, etc.), or too much nuts (several handfuls of nuts daily, or drinking almond milk, eating roasted nuts, making nut loaf, cashew cheese sauce or other nut-containing dishes, and sprinkling nuts on their salads). Try to limit your total daily nut intake to a handful (about 100 grams), and you should be fine.

So, just as a recap: nuts can reduce your risk of developing cancer or dying from it; the three nuts most effective against cancer in the research are walnuts, pecans, and peanuts; you should eat them in moderation (handful), and regularly (daily); make sure that you chew them thoroughly; and don’t go nuts over nuts—eat them in moderation.

Source: From the April 2016,
Uchee Pines Newsletter, "Emphasis: Your Health". You may subscribe to the Uchee Pines Newsletter here.