Did you know that walnuts health benefits may help reduce not only the risk of prostate cancer, but also breast cancer?
The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of walnuts health benefits protect against chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer, particularly prostate and breast cancer.
Antioxidants are free-radical scavengers, helping to prevent oxidative damage, which is a major cause of cancer. Walnuts health benefits contain several antioxidants, such as melatonin and quinone juglone, that cannot be found in other nuts. Russel Reiter, Ph.D., professor of cellular and structural biology at the University of Texas Health Science Center, says, “Walnuts contain melatonin that is absorbed when it is eaten, and that improves our ability to resist oxidative stress caused by toxic molecules called free radicals.”
Research has shown that the highly potent phytonutrient quinone juglone, also abundant in walnuts health benefits, destroys cancer and precancerous cells while leaving healthy tissue intact.
Walnuts are also high in vitamin E—but not the common form of vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol). Walnuts are packed with the gamma-tocopherol form of vitamin E, which provides enhanced antioxidant activity and significantly reduces the risk of heart disease and its symptoms.
Walnuts health benefits are not only rich in antioxidants, but they are also replete with the essential fatty acid, Omega-3. Omega-3 is “essential” because our bodies need this polysaturated fat in order to function properly.
The anti-inflammatory effects of omega-3, when combined with the lower risk of oxidative stress ensured by antioxidants, help prevent and treat prostate and breast cancer.
Scientists have discovered that when cancer cells are subjected to omega-3, cancer cell apoptosis (self-destruction) increases. Omega-3 also inhibits an anti-inflammatory enzyme that advances breast cancer, and activates two genes—BRCA1 and BRC2 (breast cancer genes 1 and 2)—that help prevent cancer development.