Walnuts Go to the Head of its Class

Walnuts provide antioxidants and fight cancer

(RxWiki News) Almost every healthy eating buzz word can be associated with nuts: gluten-free, dairy-free, protein substitute, dietary fibers, and high quality protein. But until now, no one has told us which nut outclasses the rest.

Joe Vinson, Phd., performed the analysis of all nuts to determine which nut reigns supreme in terms of antioxidants and promoting a healthy heart. Walnuts won by a mile.

dailyRx Insight: Eat walnuts to improve your healthy heart and reduce cancer risk.

The antioxidants in nine different nuts were analyzed by Vinson. He included walnuts, almonds, peanuts, pistachios, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, cashews, macadamias, and pecans. Not only did walnuts have the highest levels of antioxidants, the quality of those antioxidants was also the highest. When asked why  people are not eating more of them, Vinson saw two possible reasons: lack of education on the healthful benefits of nuts and fear of excessive calorie intake.

While Viinson concedes walnuts are highly caloric, you only need to eat about seven a day to receive the health benefits available in them. Additionally, he pointed out a 2009 study which found nut consumption associated with a much lower risk of obesity and weight gain.

Cancer is diagnosed in over 12 million people each year, kills over 7 million and one out of every three people will be diagnosed with an invasive cancer at some point in their lifetime in the United States. Cancer is a group of diseases classified by abnormal and uncontrolled cellular growth in a particular organ or tissue type in the body. Cancer is caused by a multitude of factors including genetics and infections, but a majority of cancers can be attributed to environmental causes, such as smoking, and being exposed to carcinogens or radiation. Cancer will produce symptoms that affect the organ it is located in, such as coughing and shortness of breath from a lung cancer, constipation and bloody stools from colon cancer, or headaches and cognitive problems from a brain cancer. Other cancers such as leukemia and blood cancers may produce flu-like symptoms and sudden infections. Some cancers may be discovered by physical evidence, such as feeling a lump in breast cancer. Treatment for cancer is usually one of, or a combination of, surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. Newer treatments such as hormonal drugs and targeted drugs (Herceptin® in breast cancer, Erbitux® in colon cancer, Avastin® in several) are making cancer treatment even more specific to the patient and the disease. Diagnosis is based off of physical examination and several imaging techniques such as MRI, PET scan laparoscopy and when a pathologist examines a piece of cancerous tissue.

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Review Date: 
March 28, 2011