Ladies, get cracking: Walnuts may protect your breasts
New research suggests women defend themselves against breast cancer with none other than a nutcracker: eating about two small handfuls of walnuts everyday may "significantly" curb your risks of the disease.
The study announced last week was conducted by researchers at Marshall University in the US who found that a daily dose of walnuts -- equal to 2 ounces a day for humans -- reduces the growth of breast cancer tumors in mice.
The study is published in the journal Nutrition and Cancer.
"Food is important medicine in our diet," said the study's led researcher Elaine Hardman. "What we put into our bodies makes a big difference -- it determines how the body functions, our reaction to illness and health." She adds: "The simple stuff really works: eat right, get off the couch, and turn off the TV."
Other good reasons to nibble walnuts? Walnuts are loaded with antioxidant polyphenols, compounds that interact with free radicals to stabilize them and prevent them from wreaking havoc on our cells.
Walnuts also have almost twice as many antioxidant polyphenols as almonds, peanuts, pistachios, hazelnuts, cashews, macadamias, Brazil nuts, and pecans, researchers said.
"A handful of walnuts contains almost twice as much antioxidants as an equivalent amount of any other commonly consumed nut," said US chemistry professor and study researcher Joe Vinson, who completed a separate study on walnuts announced earlier this year. "But unfortunately, people don't eat a lot of them."
Plus, like all nuts, walnuts are loaded with protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.