Eating around an ounce of walnuts a day could reduce the risk of developing the cancer by more than 200 per cent, say researchers at the University of Connecticut. In addition, the nut acts as a natural probiotic that keeps the colon healthy.
Walnuts contain the most polyunsaturated fats of all the nuts, as well as having the highest ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids, and they are also rich in cancer-fighting vitamin E.
And they are more than the sum of their parts, say the researchers, with cancer-fighting qualities that seem to especially target colon cancer, the third most common type.
Earlier studies have found that walnuts also protect against heart disease, diabetes and neurological diseases.
The nut’s cancer-fighting qualities have been seen only in mice trials at the moment, although the researchers think the benefits would be replicated in humans. The mice that ate an equivalent of an ounce of walnuts a day had 2.3 times fewer tumours than did the mice not fed the nuts.