When you’re hungry and on the go, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better snack than a handful of raw nuts. Portable, crunchy and satisfying, these tiny nutritional powerhouses are packed with vitamins, minerals, protein, antioxidants, and heart-healthy fats. Nuts have a variety of health benefits including lower cholesterol, weight control and better heart health, and as an added bonus, new findings suggest that nuts can reduce your risk of colon cancer.
Researchers in South Korea conducted a study to examine the effects of a nut-rich diet on colon cancer risk. The study involved 923 patients who had been diagnosed with colon cancer and 1,846 patients who did not have colon cancer. The researchers found that men who ate a 0.5 ounce serving of nuts three or more times per week had a 69 percent lower chance of developing colon cancer than those who did not eat nuts. Women who consumed three or more weekly servings had an 81 percent lower risk than those who did not eat nuts.
Several types of nuts were included in this study, but peanuts were the most widely consumed nut among study participants. Researchers also analyzed colon cancer in various locations of the colon. Nuts were found to reduce risk among all locations examined.
Although the study did not establish a causal relationship between nut consumption and lowered colon cancer risk, researchers suspect that certain compounds found in nuts, such as fiber and antioxidants, could be a factor. Study author Dr. Aesun Shin, an associate professor of preventive medicine at Seoul National University College of Medicine in South Korea, also explained that study participants were asked to recall their nut intake, which may have impacted the results (Source: LiveScience).
Further research is needed to understand the relationship between nut consumption and colon health, but one thing is for certain: you can’t go wrong by noshing on a handful of nuts for good health. There are plenty of varieties to choose from, so dazzle your taste buds with almonds, cashews, walnuts, peanuts, and pecans! Your appetite will thank you, and your colon just might thank you too!