Many individuals make sure to eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables each day in order to obtain an array of potentially cancer-fighting antioxidants. Researchers at Marshall University conducted a study which suggests that walnuts may also help keep cells healthy.
In a mouse model involving rodents that were genetically predispositioned to develop breast cancer, a team of scientists found that a walnut-rich diet cut the risk of developing the carcinoma in half. Additionally, walnut-eating mice that did develop breast cancer had smaller and fewer tumors than those that had not been fed the nut.
Authors of the study noted that the rodents that ate walnuts also had mothers that ate the nut from conception through nursing.
The researchers theorized that the healthy fat contained in the nuts may have given the mice an advantage over those that were fed normal diets. Additionally, the scientists suggested that the omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E could have played a role in cancer prevention.
“Food is important medicine in our diet,” said lead author Elaine Hardman, Ph.D. “What we put into our bodies makes a big difference – it determines how the body functions, our reaction to illness and health.”