GOMBBS: Greens, Onions, Mushrooms, Berries, Beans, and Seeds

GOMBBS” is an acronym you can use to remember the most nutrient-dense, health-promoting foods on the planet.   These are the foods you should eat every day, and they should make up a significant proportion of your diet – these foods are extremely effective at preventing chronic disease and promoting health and longevity.

G – Greens

Greens Flickr: thebittenword.com

Raw leafy greens contain only about 100 calories per pound, and are packed with nutrients. Leafy greens contain substances that protect blood vessels, and are associated with reduced risk of diabetes.Greens are an excellent tool for weight loss, since they can be consumed in virtually unlimited quantities. Leafy greens are also the most nutrient-dense of all foods, but unfortunately are only consumed in miniscule amounts in a typical American diet. We should follow the example of our closest living relatives – chimpanzees and gorillas – who consume tens of pounds of green leaves every day. The majority of calories in green vegetables, including leafy greens, come from protein, and this plant protein is packaged with beneficial phytochemicals: Green vegetables are rich in folate (the natural form of folic acid), calcium, and contain small amounts of omega-3 fatty acids.  Leafy greens are also rich in antioxidant pigments called carotenoids, specifically lutein and zeaxanthin, which are the carotenoids known to promote healthy vision.2 Also, several leafy greens and other green vegetables (such as bok choy, broccoli, and kale) belong to the cruciferous family of vegetables.

All vegetables contain protective micronutrients and phytochemicals, but cruciferous vegetables have a unique chemical composition; they contain glucosinolates, and when their cell walls are broken by blending, chopping, or chewing, a chemical reaction converts glucosinolates to isothiocyanates (ITCs) - compounds with a variety of potent anti-cancer effects. Because different ITCs can work in different locations in the cell and on different molecules, they can have combined additive effects, working synergistically to remove carcinogens, reduce inflammation, neutralize oxidative stress, inhibit angiogenesis (the process by which tumors acquire a blood supply), and kill cancer cells.3

O – Onions

Onions, along with leeks, garlic, shallots, and scallions, make up the Allium family of vegetables, which have beneficial effects on the cardiovascular and immune systems, as well as anti-diabetic and anti-cancer effects. Allium vegetables are known for their characteristic organosulfur compounds, Similar to the ITCs in cruciferous vegetables, organosulfur compounds are released when onions are chopped, crushed, or chewed. Epidemiological studies have found that increased consumption of Allium vegetables is associated with lower risk of gastric and prostate cancers.    These compounds prevent the development of cancers by detoxifying carcinogens, halting cancer cell growth, and blocking angiogenesis.4 Onions also contain high concentrations of health-promoting flavonoid antioxidants, predominantly quercetin, and red onions also contain at least 25 different anthocyanins.5,6 Quercetin slows tumor development, suppresses growth and proliferation and induces cell death in colon cancer cells.7 Flavonoids also have anti-inflammatory effects that may contribute to cancer prevention.8

 

M - Mushrooms

 

Mushroom. Flickr: Steve Hopson

Consuming mushrooms regularly is associated with decreased risk of breast, stomach, and colorectal cancers.  In one recent Chinese study, women who ate at least 10 grams of fresh mushrooms each day (about one mushroom per day) had a 64% decreased risk of breast cancer. Even more dramatic protection was gained by women who ate 10 grams of mushrooms and drank green tea daily - an 89% decrease in risk for premenopausal women, and 82% for postmenopausal women.9,10 White, cremini, portobello, oyster, shiitake, maitake, and reishi mushrooms all have anti-cancer properties - some are anti-inflammatory, stimulate the immune system, prevent DNA damage, slow cancer cell growth, cause programmed cancer cell death, or inhibit angiogenesis.In addition to these properties, mushrooms are unique in that they contain aromatase inhibitors - compounds that can block the production of estrogen. These compounds are thought to be largely responsible for the preventive effects of mushrooms against breast cancer - in fact, there are aromatase-inhibiting drugs on the market that are used to treat breast cancer. Regular consumption of dietary aromatase inhibitors is an excellent strategy for prevention, and it turns out that even the most commonly eaten mushrooms (white, cremini, and portobello) have high anti-aromatase activity.11

B – Berries

Blueberries, strawberries, and blackberries are true super foods. Naturally sweet and juicy, berries are low in sugar and high in nutrients - they are among the best foods you can eat. Their vibrant colors mean that they are full of antioxidants, including flavonoids and antioxidant vitamins - berries are some of the highest antioxidant foods in existence. Berries’ plentiful antioxidant content confers both cardioprotective and anti-cancer effects, such as reducing blood pressure, reducing inflammation, preventing DNA damage, inhibiting tumor angiogenesis, and stimulating of the body’s own antioxidant enzymes.  Berry consumption has been linked to reduced risk of diabetes, cancers and cognitive decline.12 Berries are an excellent food for the brain – berry consumption improves both motor coordination and memory.13

B - Beans

Beans (and other legumes as well) are a powerhouse of superior nutrition, and the most nutrient-dense carbohydrate source. They act as an anti-diabetes and weight-loss food because they are digested slowly, having a stabilizing effect on blood sugar, which promotes satiety and helps to prevent food cravings. Plus they contain soluble fiber, which lowers cholesterol levels.14 Beans are unique foods because of their very high levels of fiber and resistant starch, carbohydrates that are not broken down by digestive enzymes.  Fiber and resistant starch not only reduce the total number of calories absorbed from beans, but are also fermented by intestinal bacteria into fatty acids that help to prevent colon cancer. Eating beans, peas, or lentils at least twice a week has been found to decrease colon cancer risk by 50%. 15,16 Legume intake also provides significant protection against oral, larynx, pharynx, stomach, and kidney cancers.17

S - Seeds

Seeds. Flickr: Tobias Klupfel

Nuts and seeds contain healthy fats and are rich in a spectrum of micronutrients including phytosterols, minerals, and antioxidants. Countless studies have demonstrated the cardiovascular benefits of nuts, and including nuts in the diet aids in weight maintenance and diabetes prevention.18,19 The nutritional profiles of seeds are similar to nuts when it comes to healthy fats, minerals, and antioxidants, but seeds are also abundant in trace minerals, higher in protein than nuts, and each kind of seed is nutritionally unique. Flax, chia, and hemp seeds are extremely rich sources of omega-3 fats. In addition to the omega-3s, flaxseeds are rich in fiber and lignans. Flaxseed consumption protects against heart disease by a number of different mechanisms, and lignans, which are present in both flaxseeds and sesame seeds, have anti-cancer effects.20 Sunflower seeds are especially rich in protein and minerals.  Pumpkin seeds are rich in iron and calcium and are a good source of zinc. Sesame seeds have the greatest amount of calcium of any food in the world, and provide abundant amounts of vitamin E. Also, black sesame seeds are extremely rich in antioxidants.21 The healthy fats in seeds and nuts also aid in the absorption of nutrients when eaten with vegetables.

 

References:


1. Carter P, Gray LJ, Troughton J, et al. Fruit and vegetable intake and incidence of type 2 diabetes mellitus: systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ. 2010 Aug 18;341:c4229.

Journal of Clinical Investigation (2011, March 24). High levels of dietary nitrate might in part explain the vascular benefits of diets rich in leafy greens. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 30, 2011, from http://www.sciencedaily.com­ /releases/2011/03/110323135631.htm

2. Stringham JM, Bovier ER, Wong JC, Hammond BR Jr. The influence of dietary lutein and zeaxanthin on visual performance. J Food Sci. 2010 Jan-Feb;75(1):R24-9.

3. Higdon JV, Delage B, Williams DE, Dashwood RH. Cruciferous vegetables and human cancer risk: epidemiologic evidence and mechanistic basis. Pharmacol Res. 2007 Mar;55(3):224-36.

Cavell BE, Syed Alwi SS, Donlevy A, et al., Anti-angiogenic effects of dietary isothiocyanates: mechanisms of action and implications for human health. Biochem. Pharmacol., 2011. 81(3): p. 327-36.

4. Powolny AA, Singh SV. Multitargeted prevention and therapy of cancer by diallyl trisulfide and related Allium vegetable-derived organosulfur compounds. Cancer Lett. 2008 Oct 8;269(2):305-14.

5. Pierini R, Gee JM, Belshaw NJ, et al. Flavonoids and intestinal cancers. Br J Nutr. 2008 May;99 E Suppl 1:ES53-9.

6. Slimestad R, Fossen T, Vågen IM. Onions: a source of unique dietary flavonoids. J Agric Food Chem. 2007 Dec 12;55(25):10067-80.

7. Miyamoto S, Yasui Y, Ohigashi H, et al. Dietary flavonoids suppress azoxymethane-induced colonic preneoplastic lesions in male C57BL/KsJ-db/db mice. Chem Biol Interact. 2010 Jan 27;183(2):276-83.

Shan BE, Wang MX, Li RQ. Quercetin inhibit human SW480 colon cancer growth in association with inhibition of cyclin D1 and survivin expression through Wnt/beta-catenin signaling pathway. Cancer Invest. 2009 Jul;27(6):604-12.

Xavier CP, Lima CF, Preto A, et al. Luteolin, quercetin and ursolic acid are potent inhibitors of proliferation and inducers of apoptosis in both KRAS and BRAF mutated human colorectal cancer cells. Cancer Lett. 2009 Aug 28;281(2):162-70.

8. Ravasco P, Aranha MM, Borralho PM, et al. Colorectal cancer: Can nutrients modulate NF-kappaB and apoptosis? Clin Nutr. 2010 Feb;29(1):42-46.

9. Hong SA, Kim K, Nam SJ, et al: A case-control study on the dietary intake of mushrooms and breast cancer risk among Korean women. Int J Cancer 2008, 122:919-923.

Shin A, Kim J, Lim SY, et al: Dietary mushroom intake and the risk of breast cancer based on hormone receptor status. Nutr Cancer 2010, 62:476-483.

Zhang M, Huang J, Xie X, et al: Dietary intakes of mushrooms and green tea combine to reduce the risk of breast cancer in Chinese women. Int J Cancer 2009, 124:1404-1408.

10. Hara M, Hanaoka T, Kobayashi M, et al: Cruciferous vegetables, mushrooms, and gastrointestinal cancer risks in a multicenter, hospital-based case-control study in Japan. Nutr Cancer 2003, 46:138-147.

11. Chen S, Oh SR, Phung S, et al: Anti-aromatase activity of phytochemicals in white button mushrooms (Agaricus bisporus). Cancer Res 2006, 66:12026-12034.

12. Bazzano LA, Li TY, Joshipura KJ, Hu FB. Intake of fruit, vegetables, and fruit juices and risk of diabetes in women. Diabetes Care. 2008 Jul;31(7):1311-7.

Hannum SM. Potential impact of strawberries on human health: a review of the science. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2004;44(1):1-17.

Joseph JA, Shukitt-Hale B, Willis LM. Grape juice, berries, and walnuts affect brain aging and behavior. J Nutr. 2009 Sep;139(9):1813S-7S.

Stoner GD, Wang LS, Casto BC. Laboratory and clinical studies of cancer chemoprevention by antioxidants in berries. Carcinogenesis. 2008 Sep;29(9):1665-74.

Cassidy A, O'Reilly EJ, Kay C, et al: Habitual intake of flavonoid subclasses and incident hypertension in adults. Am J Clin Nutr 2011, 93:338-347.

Roy S, Khanna S, Alessio HM, et al: Anti-angiogenic property of edible berries. Free Radic Res 2002, 36:1023-1031.

13. Bickford PC, Shukitt-Hale B, Joseph J. Effects of aging on cerebellar noradrenergic function and motor learning: nutritional interventions. Mech Ageing Dev. 1999 Nov;111(2-3):141-54.

Krikorian R, Shidler MD, Nash TA, et al. Blueberry supplementation improves memory in older adults. J Agric Food Chem. 2010 Apr 14;58(7):3996-4000.

14. Bazzano LA, Thompson AM, Tees MT, et al. Non-soy legume consumption lowers cholesterol levels: A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis 2011 Feb;21(2):94-103.

Aune D, De Stefani E, Ronco A, et al. Legume intake and the risk of cancer: a multisite case-control study in Uruguay. Cancer Causes Control. 2009 Nov;20(9):1605-15.

15. O'Keefe SJ, Ou J, Aufreiter S, et al. Products of the colonic microbiota mediate the effects of diet on colon cancer risk. J Nutr. 2009 Nov;139(11):2044-8.

16. Singh PN, Fraser GE. Dietary risk factors for colon cancer in a low-risk population. Am J Epidemiol. 1998 Oct 15;148(8):761-74.

17. Aune D, De Stefani E, Ronco A, et al. Legume intake and the risk of cancer: a multisite case-control study in Uruguay. Cancer Causes Control. 2009 Nov;20(9):1605-15.

18. Nash SD, Nash DT. Nuts as part of a healthy cardiovascular diet. Curr Atheroscler Rep. 2008 Dec;10(6):529-35.

Sabaté J, Ang Y. Nuts and health outcomes: new epidemiologic evidence. Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 May;89(5):1643S-1648S.

Mattes RD et al. Impact of peanuts and tree nuts on body weight and healthy weight loss in adults. J Nutr. 2008 Sep;138(9):1741S-1745S.

Natoli S, McCoy P. A review of the evidence: nuts and body weight. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2007;16(4):588-97

19. Kendall CW, Josse AR, Esfahani A, Jenkins DJ. Nuts, metabolic syndrome and diabetes. Br J Nutr. 2010 Aug;104(4):465-73.

20. Bassett CM, Rodriguez-Leyva D, Pierce GN. Experimental and clinical research findings on the cardiovascular benefits of consuming flaxseed. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2009 Oct;34(5):965-74.

Webb AL, McCullough ML. Dietary lignans: potential role in cancer prevention. Nutr Cancer. 2005;51(2):117-31.

Saarinen NM, Wärri A, Airio M, et al. Role of dietary lignans in the reduction of breast cancer risk. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2007 Jul;51(7):857-66.

Coulman KD, Liu Z, Hum WQ, et al. Whole sesame seed is as rich a source of mammalian lignan precursors as whole flaxseed. Nutr Cancer. 2005;52(2):156-65.

21. Shahidi F, Liyana-Pathirana CM, Wall DS. Antioxidant activity of white and black sesame seeds and their hull fractions. Food Chemistry 2006;99(3): 478-483.

 

Eat fiber-rich foods now, not later!

There are a few different classifications of fiber, and their common characteristic is resistance to digestion in the human small intestine.   Eating fiber-rich foods is associated with a number of health benefits:

  • Fiber promotes weight maintenance by slowing gastric emptying; and adding volume to food, promoting satiety
  • Fiber helps to prevent diabetes by slowing entrance of glucose into the bloodstream, curbing glucose (and insulin) spikes after meals
  • Soluble fiber (a type of fiber abundant in oats and beans) has cholesterol-lowering effects.
  • Cardiovascular health – a pooled analysis of 10 prospective studies found that an increase of 10 grams of dietary fiber per day was associated with a 24% decrease in deaths from coronary heart disease.1
  • Digestive health – fiber adds bulk and acts as a stool softener, making bowel movements faster and easier, and preventing constipation and diverticular disease.
  • Fermentation of fiber and resistant starch by bacteria in the large intestine helps to prevent colorectal cancers 2

Fiber vs. fiber-rich foods: Fiber can be isolated and taken as a supplement or added to a processed food, but these are not the recommended ways to get your fiber.  Although fiber itself has beneficial properties, fiber-rich whole foods come packaged with disease-fighting phytochemicals.  There have been inconsistencies in the results of studies on fiber and colorectal cancer, probably because it appears to be high-fiber foods, not fiber alone that reduces risk. 3-8

The American Heart Association recommends consuming 25 grams of fiber each day –a nutritarian diet far exceeds that recommendation, providing about 60-80 grams of fiber each day, since the vast majority of my recommended food pyramid is made up of fiber-rich foods like vegetables, fruits, seeds and beans.  

A study relating dietary fiber intake to lifetime risk of cardiovascular disease was presented at the American Heart Association’s Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Metabolism conference last week. Data from the 2003-2008 U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys were analyzed. The researchers used a mathematical algorithm to predict lifetime risk for cardiovascular disease, based on diet, blood pressure, cholesterol, smoking, and history of diabetes.  All of the participants were free of cardiovascular disease at the start.  

The algorithm placed participants in groups of either high or low lifetime risk of cardiovascular disease.  Then they were arranged into four groups according to the ratio of their intake of dietary fiber to calories - dietary fiber only, no fiber supplements were included.  The lowest fiber intake was 0.1g/1000 calories, and the highest was on par with a nutritarian diet, 49.1g/1000 calories.

Individuals aged 20-39 in the highest quartile of fiber intake were almost twice as likely to be in the low risk category than those in the lowest quartile. Middle aged individuals in the highest quartile were about 50% more likely to be in the low risk category. Interestingly though, a similar association was not seen in 60-79 year olds.  The researchers theorized that many older adults with high fiber intake may have already developed significant risk for heart disease before they added more high-fiber foods to their diet.   They concluded that starting to increase fiber intake at a younger age helps to decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease later in life.9,10

It is important to eat healthfully your entire life to get maximum benefits, however once you have not eaten properly for the first 60 years, then to get the disease-protective benefits to dramatically reduce heart attack, stroke and cancer risk from a plant-based diet (vegan or flexitarian) later in life, it is not good enough to just be good, you have to be great.  In other words, a nutritarian diet with attention to the most nutritionally powerful and protective plant foods is necessary, not just the dietary mediocrity practiced by most vegans and vegetarians.

Eating to Live is a lifetime commitment – just like it takes years for heart disease to develop, it takes years to build up protection against heart disease.  No matter what your age, you can benefit from improving your diet – but the point is, the time to start is right now and the place to start is with a nutritarian diet that pays attention to the disease-fighting nutrients in foods. Once you are past middle age, the way to start is not with some wishy-washy low fat, high fiber diet.  That is not good enough, you have to do better than that and pay attention to the micronutrient-richness of your meals and achieve comprehensive nutritional adequacy, which is the core of my message.  

 


References:

1. Pereira MA, O'Reilly E, Augustsson K, et al: Dietary fiber and risk of coronary heart disease: a pooled analysis of cohort studies. Arch Intern Med 2004, 164:370-376.

2. O'Keefe SJ, Ou J, Aufreiter S, et al: Products of the colonic microbiota mediate the effects of diet on colon cancer risk. J Nutr 2009, 139:2044-2048.

3. Singh PN, Fraser GE: Dietary risk factors for colon cancer in a low-risk population. Am J Epidemiol 1998, 148:761-774.

4. Uchida K, Kono S, Yin G, et al: Dietary fiber, source foods and colorectal cancer risk: the Fukuoka Colorectal Cancer Study. Scand J Gastroenterol 2010, 45:1223-1231.

5. Park Y, Hunter DJ, Spiegelman D, et al: Dietary fiber intake and risk of colorectal cancer: a pooled analysis of prospective cohort studies. JAMA : the journal of the American Medical Association 2005, 294:2849-2857.

6. Michels KB, Fuchs CS, Giovannucci E, et al: Fiber intake and incidence of colorectal cancer among 76,947 women and 47,279 men. Cancer epidemiology, biomarkers & prevention : a publication of the American Association for Cancer Research, cosponsored by the American Society of Preventive Oncology 2005, 14:842-849.

7. Terry P, Giovannucci E, Michels KB, et al: Fruit, vegetables, dietary fiber, and risk of colorectal cancer. J Natl Cancer Inst 2001, 93:525-533.

8. Wakai K, Date C, Fukui M, et al: Dietary fiber and risk of colorectal cancer in the Japan collaborative cohort study. Cancer epidemiology, biomarkers & prevention : a publication of the American Association for Cancer Research, cosponsored by the American Society of Preventive Oncology 2007, 16:668-675.

9. Northwestern University (2011, March 23). Load up on fiber now, avoid heart disease later. . In ScienceDaily; 2011.

10. Ning H, Van Horn L, Shay CM, et al: Dietary Fiber Intake and Long Term Cardiovascular Risk: Findings from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES) 2003-2008. In American Heart Association: Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Metabolism 2011.


 

Eating to Live on the Outside: The Vegetable Garden

Happy Friday! Let’s go on a journey, a digital journey. Fire up the internet, we’re heading to The Vegetable Garden in Rockville, Maryland. And this place is loaded with veggie fare.

It took me awhile and several run-throughs to decide what I’d eat. So, after much deliberation, here’s of list of things I might order. Have a look:

Whole Wheat Steamed Dumplings

  • Wheat flour, green chard, carrots, firm tofu and rice vermicelli; the vermicelli is a little iffy, but the chard is cool.

Spinach Roll

  • Spinach, sesame and sesame dressing; rock on spinach!

Asparagus Seaweed Roll

  • Fresh asparagus, carrots, lettuce, sea salt and sesame dressing; skipping the salt, but everything else is fine.

Vegetable Garden Salad

  • Romaine lettuces, carrot, red cabbage, cucumber, grape tomato, red bell peppers, green bell peppers, roasted pine nuts, mandarin orange, dried cranberries and rice vinegar dressing; I’d get the dressing on the side.

Mugwort Soba Noodle Salad

  • Wheat flour, buckwheat flour, sea salt, mugwort leaves, organic radicchio, organic cabbage, organic Romaine lettuce, organic carrots, organic maple syrup, organic marukan rice vinegar, black-pepper, roasted sesame seed, roasted sliced almond and virgin olive oil; I’ll ditch the salt and ask for the oil on the side.
Asparagus with Oyster Mushroom
  • Yuba, oyster mushroom, asparagus and brown sauce; I’d ask about the brown sauce, the asparagus is awesome.

Eight Treasure Eggplant

  • Dried eggplant, shitake mushrooms, yellow squash, zucchini, red bell pepper, lily bulb, pine nuts, dried cranberries, cashew nuts, firm tofu and spicy sauce; just ask about the sauce, otherwise a ton of veggies!

Bamboo Raft

  • Marinated yuba, celery, carrots, asparagus, shiitake mushrooms, jicama, steamed green cabbage leaves, curry and coconut milk sauce; go easy on the sauce.

Lo Hen Cantaloupe

  • Yuba, cucumber celery, butternut squash, jicama, cantaloupe, black mushrooms, pecans, cashews, dried cranberries, curry and coconut sauce; same deal, watch the sauce.

Pearl Squash

  • Butternut squash, fresh lily bulb, ginger, red bell peppers, beets and light black bean sauce; watch that sauce again.

Jian Pao Vegi-Gourmet

  • Asparagus, firm tofu, lily bulb, sugar snap peas, oyster mushroom, yellow squash, red bell pepper and spicy sauce; yup, again with the sauce.

Bean Nest

  • Red kidney beans, chic peas, baby lima, lentil, adzuki beans, pinto beans, black soy beans and brown sauce; all those beans, I wonder what will happen.

Alright, that is a lot of food to choose from. I mean come on! Now, as for my exact order, I’d either get the Vegetable Garden Salad, Bean Nest or any number of the veggie rolls.

I give The Vegetable Garden the seal of approval, but what about you? Check out their menu and let me know how you handle Eating to Live on the Outside.

Image credit: The Vegetable Garden

Fresh Garlic Better Than Garlic Powder, Duh!

I’m Italian, so I’m required to like garlic, but that garlic powder I grew up on can’t hold a candle to fresh garlic. A new study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry claims that raw, crushed garlic has more heart-protective effects than the dried stuff.

In the study, Dipak K. Das and colleagues point out that raw, crushed garlic generates hydrogen sulfide through a chemical reaction. Although best known as the stuff that gives rotten eggs their distinctive odor, hydrogen sulfide also acts as a chemical messenger in the body, relaxing blood vessels and allowing more blood to pass through. Processed and cooked garlic, however, loses its ability to generate hydrogen sulfide.

The scientists gave freshly crushed garlic and processed garlic to two groups of lab rats, and then studied how well the animals' hearts recovered from simulated heart attacks. "Both crushed and processed garlic reduced damage from lack of oxygen, but the fresh garlic group had a significantly greater effect on restoring good blood flow in the aorta and increased pressure in the left ventricle of the heart," Das said.

Garlic is one of the foods Dr. Fuhrman recommends diabetics eat plenty of, along side green vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans, eggplant, tomatoes, mushrooms and onions. Sometimes I bake garlic cloves in the oven and spread it on wholegrain bread.

Via EurekAlert!

Image credit: Ian-S

Eating to Live on the Outside: Bombay Indian Restaurant

I feel like I say it every Saturday, but I’m wiped out! I have just enough energy to take a “trip” to California, because this week Eating to Live on the Outside is off to San Francisco to grab a bite to eat at Bombay Indian Restaurant. And at first glance it looks okay.

Now, I just finished sifting through the menu. Some stuff you want to avoid, like the lamb and cheese, but there’s plenty of good food too. Here’s a quick list of potential options:

Cucumber Salad

  • Indian style cucumber, tomato and onion; you can never go wrong with tomatoes.

Mixed Salad

  • Green salad, cucumber and tomato; nice and simple.

Bombay Vegetable Masala

  • Mixed vegetables cooked with bell peppers, spinach, onions, cheese, ginger, garlic and spices; lot’s of great vegetables, but I’ll ditch the cheese.

Allu Bengan

  • Eggplant and potatoes cooked with herbs and spices; I’m Italian, naturally I love eggplant.

Mixed Vegetables

  • Vegetables cooked in a light curry; I wonder what veggies are in this.

Mushroom Mattar

  • Green peas, mushrooms and spices with coconut sauce; its hard for me to pass up mushrooms.

Allu Gobi

  • Cauliflower and potatoes in spiced gravy; looks like another good one.

Sag Allu

  • Fresh spinach cooked with potatoes, herbs and spices; put spinach in something and I’ll probably eat it.

Allu Mattar

  • Potatoes and green peas cooked in curry sauce; not too bad.

Bombay Vegetable Coconut Curry

  • Fresh vegetables cooked with coconut curry sauce; I’m cool with this.

Bhindi Masala

  • Okra cooked with chopped onions, tomatoes and spices; I still haven’t tried okra yet!

Chana Palak

  • Fresh cut spinach cooked with garbanzo beans and spices; love that spinach.

Vegetable Biryani

  • Saffron rice with fresh vegetables, nuts and herbs; looks okay.

Bombay serves up a lot of vegetables, and beans—lots of beans—you know what that means! Now, if I REALLY had to pick something the Mixed Salad or the Cucumber Salad are probably the safest bet, but I could be lured into ordering the Bombay Vegetable Masala.

Okay, time for you guys to get off your lazy butts. Flip through Bombay’s menu and tell me what you like. Oh, and if any of you ever go to any of these places, say so in the comments. If not, I’ll thrash you!

Image credit: Bombay Indian Restaurant

Diabetes Starts Way Before Diagnosis

Hardly a revelation, but new a study in the Lancet shows blood glucose sensitivity starts to change several years before the onset of type-2 diabetes. Scientists followed 6,538 adults without diabetes for 10 years, during which 505 people were diagnosed with the disease. Among the newly diabetic, data revealed steep increases in fasting glucose three years prior to their diagnosis. Experts blame years of overeating, obesity and inactivity; via Booster Shots.

Listen up! Diabetes isn’t inevitable. Last month, research linked healthy, vegetable-based diets to lower risk of type-2 diabetes. Dr. Fuhrman recommends regular exercise and eating plenty of leafy greens, beans and nuts for diabetes prevention, and reversal.

In related news, breakfast cereals like cornflakes spike blood sugar and interfere with normal functioning of blood vessels, raising the risk for heart disease.

Image credit: Pink Sherbet Photography

Eating to Live on the Outside: Spread

Okay kiddies. It’s that time again. I’m firing up my imaginary jet plane for another Eating to Live on the Outside. This week, I’m “off” to San Diego, California to grab a bite to eat at Spread.

Spread’s menu is totally doable. I see a lot of veggies. Here’s quick list of foods I might order:

Flowering Arugula & Beet Salad

  • Sylvetta arugula, maple croutons, arugula flowers, marinated Chioggia beets, fuerte avocado, red carrots and blood orange thyme vinaigrette; I like it, but I’d ditch the croutons and get the dressing on the side.

Mixed Lettuces

  • Heirloom baby greens, yellow grape tomatoes, sweet onions, strawberries, French violas, baby celery, steamed baby artichokes and avocado basil dressing; lots of veggies, I dig it.

Banana Curry Oatmeal

  • Caramelized onions, banana, curry and red carrots; I’m probably a banana addict at this point.

Macadamia Rose Pesto grits

  • Roasted vegetables, handmade pesto, rose petals and macadamia; I’m not big on grits, but I’ll give it a try.

Kaffir Lime & Kumquat Glazed Vegetable Medley

  • Purple cauliflower, red carrots, heirloom squash, kaffir lime and kumquat; I love cauliflower and purpler-er the better!

Haricots Verts Almondine

  • Marcona almonds, blended oils, spices, sautéed beans and truffle; not too bad, the oil doesn’t scare me.

Wild Mushroom Ragu

Hibiscus Blossom Mole

  • Grilled vegetables, corn tortillas, hibiscus essence and rose; I’m not sure I could eat a cute little mole, but vegetables are great.

Spread looks good. It works! Okay, if I “really” had to order something, I’d go for either the Mixed Lettuces or the Flowering Arugula & Beet Salad. Both look cool.

Now listen up! You can be a fake traveler too. Just check out Spread’s menu and tell me what you’d order.

Image credit: Spread

Healthy Additions Summer Special!

Having a hard time sticking to your diet? Too busy to prepare healthy food?

I take pride in creating the healthiest and most nutritious products that also taste great. These nutrient-packed soups are hearty, filling, and full of flavor.

Not only are they health promoting, but a great way to jump start a weight loss program.

So if you are looking to slim down for the summer, keep these ready to heat and serve soups in the pantry. Incorporate them as a staple with your daily menu along with other fresh, seasonal fruit and vegetables.

Instead of eating out or picking up fattening, unhealthy commercial food, try this easy to follow, health and weight loss promoting menu plan. You'll be amazed by the results!

  • Breakfast: Green Smoothie or Fresh fruit with 1 oz. of nuts or seeds

Please visit DrFuhrman.com for recipe ideas.

 

Image credit: DrFuhrman.com

I'll Admit It. I'm a Junk-Food Junkie from Way Back!

Editor's Note: This is a guest post from Jennifer McCann of Vegan Lunch Box and This Is Why You’re Thin and does NOT necessarily represent the opinions of DiseaseProof or Dr. Fuhrman.

Most of my life there was not a sugary, fat-filled food that didn't have my name on it. And even though I've had a lot of success on Eat To Live in the last few years, I've also continued to struggle with the emotional urge to keep eating my old favorites. Foods that, intellectually, I know are bad for my health, but that my mind still thinks of as friends.

Sometimes it's been so difficult. I've even felt like giving up on Dr. Fuhrman's plan altogether. So when his new book Eat For Health came out, I felt like his chapters on "Changing How You Think" were written just for me. That's exactly what I needed to do! During the time I spent reading the book and doing the exercises, I realized I could use this kind of daily mental training to work out my mind and reprogram my thinking, just like I use daily exercise to work out my body.

Dr. Fuhrman's book was one form of mental training for me. Other mental work outs include talking openly with my health-conscious friends, working with a wellness coach to set weekly goals, increasing and reinforcing my nutrition knowledge with books and DVDs and visiting inspirational websites.

Speaking of websites, the popular blog This Is Why You’re Fat has been getting a lot of press lately. If you haven't been there yet, people send in their craziest junk-food creations, like bacon-topped doughnuts or deep-fried pepperoni pizza, for us all to groan and laugh over. I think the blog really is funny, but in the past few weeks I’ve noticed that a lot of people talking about the site are saying the same thing:

"It’s so gross, but now I want some."

"Eww! Oh, I bet that tastes good."

"That’s a heart attack waiting to...mmmm, bacon."

Isn’t that interesting? At the same time that we’re appalled, these images are sinking into our little monkey minds and triggering cravings for these kinds of foods. Is this a form of mental training, but in reverse? Are those images, added to all the commercials and advertisements we see every day for unhealthy food, training our minds to keep asking for what we know we shouldn't eat namely salty, fatty, deep-fried, sugary and processed foods?

I started thinking, what if, instead of looking at images of junk food every day. We served ourselves up a daily helping of healthy images instead? Can healthy images inspire us to want what's best for us, make us crave colorful salads instead of fatty burgers or help us get to the gym?

So, I decided to create the antithesis of This Is Why You're Fat by starting a brand new blog called This Is Why You’re Thin!

I’m hoping encourage exercise and the consumption of healthy plant-based foods through fun, intriguing and beautiful images that will inspire us all. I’m looking for photos of fresh fruits and vegetables, beautiful bean soups or healthy salads, people running, climbing, swimming, stretching and smiling kids drinking smoothies and picking strawberries.

Please visit my new blog and find out how to contribute. I want to fill the pages with lots of Fuhrman-friendly, nutrient-dense cuisine!

Image credit: Aaron Landry

Staying Heart Healthy During the Recession

It’s the 800-pound gorilla in the room. The recession, depression or whatever we’re in. People are worried. Things are bad! And during an economic slump people’s health is at risk, particularly their diets. History shows candy consumption goes up and newer reports reveal people eat more fast food and less fruits and veggies when money is tight.

Resist the temptation! Eat your fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and beans. And, listen to these tips by a professor from the University of California for staying heart healthy during the recession, such as exercising more, eating lots of fresh simple foods at home, avoiding secondhand smoke, and find ways or activities to reduce stress; via HealthDay News.

And ignore companies like Krispy Kreme who hock free coffee and doughnuts to mark the Great Depression. Oh, you’re broke? Now get fat too!

Image credit: Felice de Sena Micheli