Seeds, nuts, and popcorn may protect against colon disease

August 26, 2008 in Gastrointestinal Health, Healthy Eating, Nutrition Topics in the News

Seeds, nuts, and popcorn may protect against colon disease

Contrary to popular belief, eating seed, nuts, and popcorn does not cause the painful colon disease called diverticulosis or its complications, say researchers from the University of Washington.

Diverticulosis is the development of small pouches in the colon that bulge outward through weak spots. About ten to 25 percent of people with diverticulosis suffer painful attacks of diverticulitis caused by inflammation in the bulging pouches.

Some people with diverticulosis avoid high-fibre foods - like nuts and popcorn - because they believe it may cause diverticulitis.

In this new study, the researchers look at the eating habits more than 47,000 men who were followed for a variety of health issues for 18 years. New cases of diverticulosis and attacks of diverticulitis were recorded among these men.  

Men who ate nuts more than twice a week had 20 percent less risk of diverticulitis than those who ate nuts less than once a month. Higher consumption of popcorn and seeds were also linked to lower risk of diverticulitis.

Digestive health experts advise eating a high-fibre diet for optimal colon health. Seeds and nuts - which are high in fibre - may even provide some protection from diverticulitis.  

People with diverticulosis may be depriving themselves of valuable nutrients if they avoid eating seeds and nuts, says the lead researcher of this study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

In addition to fibre, seeds and nuts contain vitamin E and heart healthy monounsaturated fat. Other high-fibre foods that are good for colon health include: 100% whole wheat bread, large rolled oats, ground flaxseed, and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage.  

All research on this web site is the property of Leslie Beck Nutrition Consulting Inc. and is protected by copyright. Keep in mind that research on these matters continues daily and is subject to change. The information presented is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. It is intended to provide ongoing support of your healthy lifestyle practices.