G-BOMBS: Top 6 Cancer-Fighting Foods
[Editor’s Note: Dr. Joel Fuhrman is a researcher, board-certified physician, and New York Times best-selling author who has spent over two decades studying the science of nutrition; in his practice, he takes a food-based approach to obesity and chronic disease. His work shows that by starting on a plant-slant, nutrient-dense diet, you can reverse signs of aging and improve cognitive function, even after years of eating a Standard American Diet. Dr. Fuhrman recommends a diet rich in micronutrients and fiber, highlighted with foods such as colorful plant foods, beans, seeds, and greens, similar to the diets of centenarians from the blue zones regions of the world. This article is adapted from Dr. Fuhrman’s newest book, Fast Food Genocide: How Processed Food is Killing Us and What We Can Do About It, a provocative guide to the solutions that can help us all to live longer, better lives.]
If I’ve eaten all the wrong foods most of my life, is it too late for me to change now? How much is my goose cooked?
Your goose is never fully cooked. Heart attacks and strokes are the leading cause of death in the modern world, and cardiovascular disease kills more individuals than all cancers added together. But, you can make a decision right now to never have a heart attack or stroke and make the necessary changes in your eating habits to almost guarantee this never happens.
Reduce Cancer Risk with Nutritional Excellence
For instance, you can always reduce your risk of developing lung cancer by quitting smoking at any point before cancer begins. Likewise, you can reduce your risk of a variety of cancers with nutritional excellence, even if it is too late to maximally protect yourself against cancer at an advanced age. Even people who have cancer have been shown to live longer eating the healthful, anticancer dietary suggestions discussed in Fast Food Genocide. Many studies have already been referenced on G-BOMBS demonstrating this fact. (Editor’s Note: G–BOMBS are Greens, Beans, Onions, Mushrooms, Berries, and Seeds. Scientific references here.)
“G-BOMBS are the foods with the most scientific evidence to prevent cancer. It stands for Greens, Beans, Onions, Mushrooms, Berries, and Seeds. Eat them almost every day.”—Dr. Joel Fuhrman
Nutritional excellence can do what drugs can’t do; drugs lower risk maybe 10-15 percent, while superior nutrition has the potential to lower risk 100 times that.
In my 25 years of medical practice offering nutritional advice, I have not heard of anyone who has followed my program strictly for years who has ever had a heart attack or died from heart disease. I have cared for thousands of individuals with heart disease, many of them with very advanced heart disease, and I have seen miraculous healing happen, including improvement of ejection fraction and resolution of atrial fibrillation. It has been exciting and rewarding to see people earn back excellent health and celebrate their health recoveries.
I don’t know about you, but it’s not enough for me to lower my risk of experiencing sudden cardiac death by a mere 30-40 percent. I want that risk to be zero, if possible. With the dietary advice in this book, and any other books on these subjects, I present the medical evidence which shows that you can achieve dramatic reduction in weight, cholesterol levels, triglyceride levels, and cardiac risk that simply cannot be accomplished through medication. In other words, nutrition trumps standard pharmacology.
Reductions in Cancer Deaths After Nutritional Interventions
Cancer is a bit different because the years that you eat an unhealthful diet, including fast food and commercial meats, take their toll on the body and can cumulatively damage DNA. After 60 years of very poor eating habits, the change to an excellent diet cannot reduce risk by 99 percent, like it can with heart disease. My guess is that it will reduce risk of cancer by 50-75 percent. I base that estimate on studies that show reductions in cancer deaths after nutritional interventions.
For example, one study followed for 10 years women already diagnosed with breast cancer and found the death rate from breast cancer was 71 percent lower over those 10 years for women who ate higher amounts of lignans (found particularly in flaxseed and chia seeds). But, we are not talking about just flaxseeds here. When we put together a synergistic portfolio of foods, fresh herbs, and spices that have anticancer benefits and avoid unhealthy foods, we can restore immune system functioning and enhance the ability of the body to fight the initiation, development, and spread of cancer. It may not have the extreme benefits we see for heart disease, but the benefits are still remarkable.
Of course, the anticancer benefits are more profound the earlier in life one adopts a healthy diet, and the more advanced the cancer, the less likelihood we will observe such positive effects. Still, one never knows what benefits will accrue and what the body can accomplish when fed right. It is never too late to try to protect your health.
You can slow the aging process now, maintain a healthy weight, lower your blood pressure, prevent or reverse diabetes, protect yourself against a stroke and the so-common mental decline seen with aging, and overall live a better-quality, healthier, and longer life from making improvements in your eating habits.
—Joel Fuhrman, MD
Board-certified family physician, six-time New York Times best-selling author, President of the Nutritional Research Foundation, and faculty at Northern Arizona University, Health Sciences division.