One of my oldest and most popular posts is Healthy nuts and seeds you should eat every day, and it’s still just as relevant today as it was when I wrote it back in October 2010.

A recent 7-year study found that stage III colon cancer survivors who ate at least 2 ounces (57 grams) of tree nuts per week – roughly 48 almonds or walnuts (that’s only about 7 per day) – were 42% less likely to have their cancer return and 57% less likely to die from their cancer than those who did not eat nuts.

The researchers analyzed a questionnaire about dietary intake from a clinical trial of 826 patients with stage III colon cancer. All of the patients in the study had received surgery and chemotherapy to treat their colon cancers.

19% of the study participants, who reported that they ate more than two ounces of tree nuts per week, had a 42% lower chance of cancer recurrence and a 57% lower chance of death over the next 7 years than those who did not eat nuts.

The benefit applied only to those eating tree nuts (almonds, walnuts, Brazil nuts, pistachios and cashews) but not peanuts, which is technically a legume. Peanuts and peanut butter can also be contaminated with aflatoxin. Avoid peanuts.

The study did not differentiate between raw or roasted nuts, so it’s safe to assume that the study participants ate a variety of both.

According to this peer-reviewed study, roasting almonds doubled the antioxidant activity and phenolic compounds in almond skins, better than freeze drying or oven drying.

Nuts aren’t just good for colon cancer. Eating a handful of nuts every day cuts your risk of several types of cancer (including breast cancer and pancreatic cancer), cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.

Another study found that colon cancer survivors who followed the American Cancer Society guidelines for healthy living were 51% less likely to die than survivors who didn’t.

The patients were scored based on these healthy behaviors:

– Eating at least 2 ½ cups of fruits and vegetables a day (10 servings per day is optimal)
– Eating whole grains instead of white flour (oats, brown/black/red rice, quinoa, Ezekiel Bread, etc.)
– Limiting red meat and processed meat (Eliminating animal products completely is best)
– Maintaining a healthy body weight with a BMI between 18.5-25 (the lower end is better)
– Exercising at least 30 minutes per day (this includes brisk walking, running may be better)
– And little to no alcohol consumption (no alcohol is best for cancer patients)

The more people followed these guidelines, the less likely they were to have their cancer come back and the less likely they were to die.

he 162 survivors with the highest healthy lifestyle scores fared best with a 51% lower risk of death and a 36% lower risk of cancer recurrence than the 187 survivors with the lowest healthy lifestyle scores.

Action Steps:
Eat at least 7 almonds or walnuts per day. I eat at least twice that amount per day.
Replace peanut butter with almond butter.
Follow the guidelines above!

Article written by Chris Wark

Chris Wark