The healthiest, anticancer mid-morning snack you can choose? A handful of nuts, especially walnuts and pecans. In fact, nuts are a concentrate of antioxidants capable of working in synergy with an important anticancer action. This emerges from a very recent scientific research that appeared in the journal Molecules thanks to the work of a team of Mexican scholars (Stevens Barron et al, Molecules, 2022).
Diet is an ally against cancer
The fight against cancer also passes from the table. In fact, as can be seen from the numerous research on the subject, some types of cereals, fruit, vegetables and herbs show anticancer properties, counteracting the proliferation of diseased cells, blocking their nourishment and promoting their apoptosis, that is, programmed death. Among these protective foods for our health, we must certainly include nuts that, as we will see, contain precious substances that inhibit the vitality of diseased cells.
The incredible properties of nuts
Nuts have a peculiarity, namely that they combine substances of different types, both soluble in oil, such as tocopherols, and in water, such as phenolic compounds that include catechins, gallic, ellagic and chlorogenic acids. Each substance taken individually has shown, in previous studies, to be able to counteract the proliferation of cancer cells, in a more or less marked way. However, to date, the combination of these substances, as is found in nuts, had never been considered. The complex of fat-soluble and water-soluble substances, in fact, can work in synergy by increasing the action of individual substances or can hinder the action of each compound. To understand this action, scientists have developed the study we are talking about today.
Nuts against tumors, the study
Mexican scientists have placed cancer cells in contact with antioxidant extracts obtained from nuts in the laboratory. Specifically, the extracts included tocopherols, phenolic compounds and a mixture of these as found in nuts. The extracts were obtained from almonds, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios and walnuts. What emerged was that the antioxidant substances, taken individually, all had a mild antitumor action but that this was significantly increased when the two types of antioxidants were combined together, as happens in the nuts we eat. This indicates that the antioxidants found in nuts work in synergy, maximizing the anticancer action of each individual substance contained in the fruit. Not only that, walnuts and pecans were found to be the type of dried fruit with the greatest antitumor action, capable of inhibiting the vitality of cancer cells more efficiently than other types of dried fruit.
Therefore an excellent mid-morning snack is definitely enjoying a bowl of dried fruit, favoring walnuts and pecans but without forgetting almonds, pine nuts and pistachios, perhaps accompanied by a cup of green tea, a drink with an important anticancer action.