Regularly eating tree nuts such as almonds and walnuts has been shown to be particularly beneficial for people with bowel cancer.
A Yale Cancer Center study, published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, found the regular consumption of all nuts significantly lowered the risk of disease recurrence and even death in patients with stage III colon cancer.
Researchers followed 826 participants in a clinical trial for a median of six-and-a-half years after they were treated with surgery and chemotherapy.
The study found those who regularly consumed at least two, 28 gram servings of nuts each week demonstrated a 42 per cent improvement in disease-free survival and a 57 per cent improvement in overall survival.
"Further analysis of this cohort revealed that disease-free survival increased by 46 per cent among the subgroup of nut consumers who ate tree nuts rather than peanuts," said senior author Dr Charles Fuchs, director of Yale Cancer Center.
Tree nuts include almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, cashews, and pecans, among others. Peanuts belong in the legume family of foods.
Lead researcher Temidayo Fadelu says the results highlight the importance of dietary and life-style factors in boosting survival.
"These findings are in keeping with several other observational studies that indicate that a slew of healthy behaviours, including increased physical activity, keeping a healthy weight, and lower intake of sugar and sweetened beverages, improve colon cancer outcomes," he said.
Australian Associated Press