O - Onions
Onions, leeks, garlic, shallots, chives, and scallions not only lend great flavor to meals, they have beneficial effects on the cardiovascular and immune systems, as well as anti-diabetic and anti-cancer effects. These vegetables are known for their characteristic (and eye-irritating) organosulfur compounds, which slow tumor growth and kill cancer cells – eating onions and garlic frequently is associated with reduced risk of digestive cancers. These vegetables also contain high concentrations of anti-inflammatory flavonoid antioxidants that contribute to their anti-cancer properties. They are low in calories, have a low glycemic load and also inhibit fat storage hormones.
M - Mushrooms
In one recent Chinese study, women who ate at least 10 grams of fresh mushrooms each day (which equates to about one button mushroom per day) had a 64% decreased risk of breast cancer! All types of mushrooms have anti-cancer properties; plus, mushrooms are unique in that they contain aromatase inhibitors – compounds that can block the production of estrogen. Aromatase inhibitors are thought to be largely responsible for the preventive effects of mushrooms against breast cancer. Even the most commonly eaten mushrooms (white, cremini, and Portobello) have high anti-aromatase activity. Mushrooms contain powerful angiogenesis inhibitors, meaning they prevent new blood vessel growth, which is needed for tumor growth and fat tissue growth. So, in addition to being anti-cancer foods they prevent fat from being stored and promote weight loss.
B - Berries (and Pomegranate)
Blueberries, strawberries and blackberries are true superfoods, linked to reduced risk of diabetes, cancers and cognitive decline. Berries’ plentiful antioxidant content helps to reduce blood pressure and inflammation, prevent DNA damage that leads to cancer, and stimulate the body’s own antioxidant enzymes. Berries are also an excellent food for the brain. Pomegranate has multiple cardiovascular health benefits and contains anti-cancer compounds. Berries are rich in protective polyphenols, do not raise insulin levels, and also have angiogenesis inhibitors, which protect against cancer and reduce body fat.
S - Seeds
Nuts and seeds are healthy fat sources that increase the absorption of nutrients in vegetables, in addition to supplying their own spectrum of micronutrients including plant sterols (which help to reduce cholesterol), minerals, and antioxidants. Countless studies have demonstrated the cardiovascular benefits of nuts. Several seeds and nuts (flax, hemp, chia, walnuts) are rich in beneficial omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial for heart and brain health. Seeds and nuts act like a fat sponge in the digestive tract, preventing all their fat calories from being absorbed. Some seeds – sesame and flax in particular – are rich in lignans, plant estrogens that protect against breast cancer. In one fascinating study, women were given flaxseeds daily after being diagnosed with breast cancer; reduced growth and increased death of their tumor cells was found after just 4-5 weeks. Imagine the protection against breast cancer we could achieve if all women ate lignan-rich seeds – plus greens and mushrooms every day!
To learn about other nutrient-dense foods, use this chart next time you go food shopping. The higher the score, the more nutrient-dense and healthy the food.
To start eating the G-BOMB way, replace your usual lunches with this delicious, filling salad.