Walnuts are a magically food. They contain ellagic acid. Ellagic acid promotes a healthy and diverse microbiome (good gut bugs).
Ellagic acid also is gut wall protective. It promotes appropriate gut wall permeability. Thus, ellagic acid is an immune booster because most of our immune system lives inside the gut wall and performs its job descriptions by constant cross-talk with our gut bugs. Thus ellagic acid, and eating walnuts, helps treat food reactivities as well as many gut problems. It also helps to prevent them. But it’s especially cancer protective.
Walnuts fight cancer. In animal models, walnuts, given as part of the diet, have been repeated shown (a hallmark of good science) to protect against both colon cancer and breast cancer.
The amount of walnuts necessary to block growth out of control and tumor growth is equal to a handful of walnuts a day. More is not better. With consuming walnuts, consistent moderation is powerful.
How do walnuts fight cancer?
- First, the ellagic acid helps protect against growth out of control. That is one hallmarks of cancer.
- Second, walnuts contain almost 10% melatonin. Melatonin is a robust cancer fighter. When you eat walnuts, within minutes, increase of blood melatonin concentrations occur.
Melatonin is produced (when we are young) inside our brains at night to help sleep. Many of us know this. We just don’t realize melatonin is a cancer fighter, too. This is another job of this nocturnal hormone. It helps fight diverse cancer cells while we sleep.
I worked as a hormone scholar at a hormone think tank at Tulane University. Researchers there were demonstrating that melatonin is secreted at night to help us tamp down cancer cells while we sleep.
Melatonin has been shown to be effective against almost 60 cancer cell lines.
Melatonin keeps estrogen acting as a more balanced player, promoting healthier ratios between the two major estrogen receptors: alpha to beta.
Melatonin “quiets” estrogen signals so effectively that if a premenopausal woman takes excessively large amounts of melatonin, she can go into early menopause.
Melatonin has been shown to act like a natural aromatase inhibitor. Drug companies have been scrambling to add it to pharmaceutical aromatase inhibitors as it performs better than they do. But melatonin by itself can’t be patented as it’s a natural human hormone. My functional cancer docs say they don’t want to help pay for some lawyer’s pool as drugs are okayed by the cancer regulatory boards, not natural nutraceuticals or food pates! So they add it to their protocols, but they can’t lean on it more like they would like to, and less on the approved meds.
We all tend to make less melatonin from our pineal glands as we age. Our pineal glands get calcified. In cadaver dissection in my training, we saw this in most of the cadavers we worked on. So as we age, we need to supplement melatonin with nutraceuticals. And with walnuts!
Walnuts do more good. They protect the brain.
Walnuts have been found to protect neuronal plasticity in the epicenter of cells where focus and memory lives: the hippocampus. This is a set of cells deep inside our brain that nature considers so critical for life, these cells have the highest blood flow of any tissue in the entire body. These cells also have more energy centers, mitochondria, per cell volume, than any other cells in the body.
Walnuts protect precious set of hippocampal cells.
Melatonin (and thus walnuts) reduce the “hits” to which aging brain are vulnerable. Walnuts have been shown to nullify toxicity of metals and other contaminants linked to brain aging, cognition and even Alzheimer’s.
I have long been discussing the benefits of walnut pate’ which is a very bioavailable form of walnuts, and delicious and fun to make and eat.
I came up with this recipe years ago. I try to eat it several times a week. If I am traveling, I take some with me inside a cooler bag in my suitcase. Or buy walnut butter at the health food store where I am visiting.
Walnut pate’ is great on Nancy’s Gone Crackers, on veggies like celery and slices of red pepper, and even great as a side dish with salads, chicken, fish or beans.
Walnut Pate’ recipe:
In a Vita Mix put: 1 stalk of celery, ½ to one carrot, 1 ½ cups of organic raw walnuts, if you like onions – 1/3rd of sweet or yellow onion and onions are one of the highest anti-inflammatory foods and I love them so much I also add a Tbsp. of dehydrated onions but it’s up to you, 2 Tbsp. of gluten free soy sauce, 2 small cloves or garlic and/or 1 Tsp. of raw garlic granules, juice of one to two limes, sea salt, and 1 heaping tsp. of organic dried parsley flakes (these are especially high in the flavonoid apigenin that turns back on the killing machine deep inside supposedly immortal cancer cells).
Add enough olive oil to blend to the consistency that tastes good to you. The celery and onions give a lot of moisture to help the blending. I like this chunkier and some like it smoother. Fresher veggies have more water in them.
More Options: For more zing: Add 1 tsp. of smoked paprika and 1/2 tsp. of cayenne pepper. Adding some turmeric is good as that helps reduce polyp growth.
Often I add even more dehydrated onion flakes I like a very onion-y flavor oh so much.
• Non-dairy cheese addition: Sometimes I add a chunk of the non-dairy cheese, Daiya wedge (only wedge, not purchased as grated or in slices as this cheese in these forms do not taste anywhere near as good). Adding this to the mix makes a chunky cheese-y very cool flavor and creamy texture.
• You can add a few Tbsp. of water. That makes it too creamy for me but some folks adore it.
Cancer Prev Res (Phila). 2016 May 23. pii: canprevres.0026.2016. Effects of walnut consumption on colon carcinogenesis and microbial community structure.
Nutrition. 2015 Apr;31(4):570-7. doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2014.06.001. Synergistic anti-tumor effects of melatonin and PUFAs from walnuts in a murine mammary adenocarcinoma model.
Nutr Neurosci. 2014 Dec 18. The effects of walnut supplementation on hippocampal NMDA receptor subunits NR2A and NR2B of rats.
Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2005 Nov;1056:430-49.Amyloid, cholinesterase, melatonin, and metals and their roles in aging and neurodegenerative diseases.
Nutrition. 2005 Sep;21(9):920-4. Melatonin in walnuts: influence on levels of melatonin and total antioxidant capacity of blood.
Toxicol In Vitro. 2014 Oct;28(7):1215-21. doi: 10.1016/j.tiv.2014.05.015..Anti-aromatase effect of resveratrol and melatonin on hormonal positive breast cancer cells co-cultured with breast adipose fibroblasts.
Med Hypotheses. 2008 Dec;71(6):862-7. doi: 10.1016/j.mehy.2008.07.040. Epub 2008 Sep 7. Aromatase inhibitor-induced joint pain: melatonin’s role.
Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2005 Dec;94(3):249-54. Melatonin enhances the inhibitory effect of aminoglutethimide on aromatase activity in MCF-7 human breast cancer cells.
Int J Cancer. 2006 Jan 15;118(2):274-8.Melatonin inhibits the growth of DMBA-induced mammary tumors by decreasing the local biosynthesis of estrogens through the modulation of aromatase activity.
Br J Cancer. 2007 Sep 17;97(6):755-60. Inhibitory effects of pharmacological doses of melatonin on aromatase activity and expression in rat glioma cells.