Zinc plays an important role in maintaining and improving prostate health. Recently, scientists at Johns Hopkins University and the Agricultural Research Service (the research arm of the U.S. Department of Agriculture) found that cancerous prostate tissue contains significantly less zinc than healthy organ tissue. While zinc is found in every organ, tissue and cell in the human body, in males, the prostate has more zinc than any other tissue except bone.
As men get older, they tend to exercise less and their diets change as well, often causing them to fall short of the recommended daily allowance of zinc. Men who don't have significant levels of zinc in their diets tend to have higher instances of enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH) and prostatis (an inflammation of the prostate). They also have higher prostate cancer rates.
So you can feel good about enjoying an occasional handful of nuts, now that you know a little extra zinc in the diet can help decrease in your chances of getting prostate cancer.