The other night Britton and I stumbled upon a program on PBS presented by someone named Dr. Fuhrman. I had never heard of him, but his presentation was simple and compelling. With just five foods eaten nearly every day, he said you could prevent nearly every chronic disease, including especially cancer! He said that each of these five foods alone were powerhouses, but together in a single day or week, they had synergistic qualities that made them work even more amazingly to make you the best YOU!
For these foods he used the mnemonic device of GOMBS, like combs with a ‘g’ to help you remember them each time you make or eat a meal (also seen as G-BOMBS).
G- Greens. Raw leafy greens are awesome, low cal foods. At only about 100 calories PER POUND, they are one of those light foods that you can really have “all-you-can-eat”. They are full of healthy omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins and fiber and the all-important folate. Greens also include veggies in the cruciferous family like bok choy, broccoli, cabbage and kale. These work in the body to reduce inflammation, reduce oxidation, remove carcinogens (cancer-causers), and kill cancer cells. Pretty awesome!
Homegrown romaine lettuce, garlic, a RADISH! and strawberries from my garden in the summertime
O-Onions. When I heard this one I cringed because I have never liked onions my whole life. However, I learned that this is the “Allium” or “onion-family” and includes garlic which I adore. In fact I substitute garlic in almost anything that calls for onions, especially things like salsas and guacamole, but also in any sauteed dish. Anyway, eat what you love in this family whether it is yellow, white, red or green onions, leeks, shallots or my fave of garlic. These also benefit the cardiovascular system and immune systems because of their pungent, characteristic organosulfur compounds which like chemical reactions from the cruciferous veggies help to rid the body of cancer cells and carcinogens, increase antioxidants and is considered to be an ”anti-diabetic” which helps to reduce the likelihood of developing diabetes, metabolic syndrome or insulin resistance.
Mushroom topped chicken breast dinner- Yum! A good example of using the Plate Method!
M-Mushrooms. This is another food that I detested as a kid, but have actually now come to enjoy. During the program, Dr. Fuhrman said that eating as little as one small mushroom a day could help prevent various cancers. Mushrooms work in a variety of ways: they are anti-inflammatories, stimulate the immune system, prevent DNA damage, slow cancer cell growth, cause programmed cancer cell death, and inhibit angiogenesis. Mix and match your mushrooms as each one may have a different helpful effect. Here are some of the helpful edible varieties: White, cremini, portobello, oyster, shiitake, maitake, and reishi mushrooms. I enjoy them in omelets, on sandwiches or grilled up as a side dish. Sometimes I will eat a portobello in place of a hamburger when we BBQ!
Taco and bean burrito night!
B- Beans and Berries. Let’s start with Beans: There is a lot going on with beans. They contain soluble fiber which helps moderate cholesterol levels and stabilize blood sugar levels. They are also considered anti-diabetic as well as a weight-loss aid because of its high fiber as well as protein content. Some studies suggest that eating beans, lentils or peas at least twice a week can drop the risk of colon cancer by 50%! Legumes also can help prevent a wide variety of other cancers as well. We love to eat bean burritos filled with lettuce, tomatoes and peppars for a quick-prep dinner or snack on hummus.
Berries: These include blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and my favorite: strawberries! We have a large strawberry patch and just love picking our own fresh berries. These are naturally sweet but remarkably low in sugar. Chock full of antioxidants and flavonoids they are both cardio-protective and anti-cancer as well as helpful in reducing blood pressure, anti-diabetic as well as a cognitive rejuvenator and protector including improving memory. So remember to add them to salads, cereals, or simply eat them as a snack.
S-Seeds and Nuts: Nuts and seeds are full of healthy, helpful fats and a wide variety of micronutrients that are difficult to find in nearly any other foods. Many, many studies have shown the cardiovascular benefits of nuts and they are also beneficial in weight loss and maintenance as well as diabetes prevention. Seeds often have higher protein content than nuts and some trace, but essential nutrients. When eaten in conjunction with other GOMBS, the healthy fats help to digest and absorb the other vitamins in the vegetables.Each nut and seed is unique in their benefits, but all are great in general. For example: flax seeds that we grow and harvest at our house, is super high in Omega-3s along with chia and hemp seeds and sesame seeds have a huge amount of calcium. Pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds are great snacks and high in protein and minerals. Nut choices could include the omega-3 packed walnut or the lower fat almond. Even peanuts fit in this GOMBS diet in either the bean or nut category.
While Kelly and I usually hesitate to jump on the bandwagon of any new fad diet, I would have to say that this GOMBS diet is a winner!