I just love it when research shows that food is your best medicine. A Taiwanese University report suggests that you can dramatically cut your risk of colon and rectal cancer simply by eating a very common food.

The researchers followed the eating habits of 23,941 residents across Taiwan. They looked at the peanut intake of those with colorectal cancer compared to those without cancer. They concluded that peanuts can sharply cut your risk. In fact, they said that eating peanuts twice weekly can cut a woman's risk by 58% and a man's chance by 27%.

What's the miracle in peanuts? It appears that peanuts contain a significant amount of our friend resveratrol. In fact, they contain more resveratrol than red wine. Peanuts contain 30 parts per million of resveratrol compared to 1 part per million in red wine.

This is an observational study and not absolute. However, it's another indication of how whole foods can protect you. If you eat peanuts, please be sure that they are fresh. If you eat peanut butter, please be sure that it's fresh ground. You don't want the poor quality commercial jarred brands. They can contain large amounts of toxic hydrogenated oil, added sugar (usually high fructose corn syrup), and have most of the nutrition stripped during processing.

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There is one downside to peanuts. They are high in fat. I believe the healthiest diet is 80-10-10, whole food carbs-fat-protein. Peanuts are about 50% fat and 30% protein. You can get the same protection - and many other nutrients you won't find in the meat of the peanut - and none of the negatives, if you simply eat peanut sprouts.

You can get peanut sprouts at some natural food markets, farmers markets, Asian markets, and specialty food stores. Or you can grow your own. It's really easy. Simply buy some raw peanuts, stick them in a Ziploc bag (shelled or unshelled) with a wet paper towel inside. Within a few days, you'll have sprouts. They taste somewhat sweet and have a nutty flavor. They're a great addition to your salads. They're full of resveratrol. And they have naturally less fat content! Check out http://www.sproutpeople.com/seed/peanut.html for more information on peanut sprouting.

Ref: World J Gastroenterol, 2006 January 14;12(2):222-227.

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