In honor of October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I wanted to share how we can eat for disease prevention, specifically cancer prevention.
One of my favorite books is Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s Super Immunity (Highly recommend you buy it: http://www.drfuhrman.com). I honestly read it a couple times a year just to stay on track and motivated. Dr. Fuhrman specializes in preventing and reversing disease through nutritional and natural methods. His dietary guidelines are based on solid research of a plant based diet. Dr. Fuhrman promotes eating plant foods with the most nutrients (highest nutrient density). He has targeted 5 plant foods in particular for their phytochemical effects (phytochemicals – the compounds in plants that protect them and help them fight off disease at a cellular level).
These five important plants for cancer prevention:
G – Greens
O – Onions
M – Mushrooms
S – Seeds
You can see the easy acronym to remember these by: G-BOMBS.
– Examples: kale, bok choy, collard greens, cabbage collards, broccoli (all cruciferous veggies no matter the color)
– Recommendation: eat one large salad and a double serving of cooked greens every day
– Why: Studies say the more green vegetables you eat, the lower your cancer risk. Cruciferous vegetables (see our Veggie of the Month blog on these favorites here) are twice as powerful as other plant foods. They even offer antiviral and antibacterial agents
– Examples: blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, acai berries, goji berries, pomegranates*
– Recommendations: eat 3 serving of fresh fruits daily
– Why: Berries have ellagic acid (which inhibits formation of tumors) and an assortment of anthocyanin’s (red and purple phytochemicals in berries known for anticancer and even heart disease protection).
– Examples: allium family: onions, garlic, leeks, shallot, chive, scallions
– Recommendations: eat one serving daily (raw even better!)
– Why: Alliums family has anticancer, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties due to their organosulfur compounds. These compounds detoxify carcinogens and have prevented blood supply to tumors (preventing spread of cancer).
– Examples: white, cremini, Portobello, maitake, reishi, baby button, chanterelle
– Recommendations: eat one serving daily – try to at least east mushrooms every other day
– Why: Mushrooms phytochemical properties are right up there with greens. Studies have shown their powerful anticancer effects particularly in breast, prostrate, and colon cancer cells. One study showed frequent consumption of mushrooms can decrease incidence of breast cancer by up to 60-70%. Mushrooms enhance our killer T cells (which attack damaged cells and remove them) and have aromatase inhibitors (which prevent estrogen from stimulating breast tissue).
– Examples: black beans, northern beans, kidney beans, navy beans, adzuki beans, chickpeas
– Recommendations: eat ½ cup of beans every day
– Why: You know how much we love beans here at Mama Jess. Dr. Fuhrman re-emphasizes how they are the perfect source of plant carbohydrate, protein and fiber. Bean are plant based protein and do not cause any inflammation on the body like animal based protein.
– Examples: nuts and seeds, flaxseeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds
– Recommendation: eat 1-2oz. nuts/seeds daily
– Why: Seeds and nuts are high in protein and healthy fats. They are known to dramatically extend life (Study of Seventh Day Adventists – Vegan with nuts versus without) and protect against disease. Many include omega 3 fatty acids and natural Antioxidant Vitamin E.
Check off your G for greens (kale), B for beans (Bean Good), M for mushrooms & O for onions (Bean Good – we use real organic onions, not powdered onion here!). Serve with some berries & nuts for dessert and you are all set protecting your body!
eat your veggies,