Dr. Fuhrman's nutrient-packed "Skinny Shake" as seen on The Dr. Oz Show

In preparation for my recent appearance on The Dr. Oz Show (you can watch online here), I was asked to share a recipe for a healthful drink that would support weight loss efforts and promote detoxification – something satisfying and delicious while low in calories; most important to me was that this drink would be packed with disease-fighting nutrients.

I chose a simple blended frozen drink of whole strawberries and pomegranate juice with ice plus a squeeze of lemon for a tangy flavor. Why strawberries and pomegranate juice? I did not make those choices arbitrarily – these are powerful foods with several human studies to substantiate their profound benefits.

Strawberry. Flickr: Bahadorjin

Antioxidant phytochemicals:

  • Anthocyanins (the most abundant antioxidants in berries) provide antioxidant protection on their own, plus they increase the production of cells’ own antioxidant enzymes.1 A 1.5 cup serving of strawberries increased antioxidant capacity in the blood of human subjects, building protection against oxidative damage.2
  • Pomegranate contains a unique antioxidant called punicalagin; it is the most abundant antioxidant in pomegranate, responsible for more than half of the antioxidant activity of pomegranate juice.3 Pomegranate juice has been found to reduce oxidative stress markers in healthy humans.4

Detoxification:

  • Ellagic acid, an antioxidant derived from berries and pomegranate interacts with a protein called Nrf-2 to increase expression of the body’s natural detoxification enzymes.5

Anti-cancer effects:

  • Strawberry and pomegranate extracts slowed cell growth and induced cell death in human cancer cells from several cancer types.6-9
  • Pomegranate and strawberries are both anti-angiogenic – strawberry extracts help to prevent growing tumors from acquiring a blood supply – preventing those tumors from receiving the nutrients that would allow them to grow larger.10-13
  • Pomegranate is one of the few foods (mushrooms are another) that contain natural aromatase inhibitors – this means that they inhibit the production of estrogen, which can reduce breast cancer risk.14
  • Strawberries and pomegranate have anti-inflammatory effects that may protect against cancer and other chronic diseases.5,15,16
  • Patients with precancerous esophageal lesions ate strawberries each day for six months.  The results were amazing – 29 out of the 36 patients in the study experienced a decrease in the histological grade of their lesion – this means that the progression toward cancer began to reverse, and the risk of the lesions becoming cancerous had decreased.17 

 Pomegranate. Flickr: veganheathen

Cardioprotective effects:

  • Higher strawberry intake is associated with reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease.18
  • Human trials have found that daily consumption of strawberries decreases total and LDL cholesterol, and pomegranate phytochemicals reduce LDL oxidation (a contributor to atherosclerotic plaque development).19-22
  • Strawberry and pomegranate phytochemicals have blood pressure-reducing properties.23-25
  • In a study of patients with severe carotid artery blockages, after one ounce of pomegranate juice daily for one year, there was a 30 percent reduction in atherosclerotic plaque. In striking contrast, in the participants who did not take the pomegranate juice atherosclerotic plaque increased by 9 percent.22

Anti-diabetes effects:

  • Strawberry and pomegranate phytochemicals have actions on certain digestive enzymes that can result in reduced glucose levels following a meal.26
  • Ellagic acid, which can be derived from berries or pomegranate, reduced secretion by fat cells of an inflammatory molecule that is thought to contribute to insulin resistance.27
  • Adding strawberries to a meal was shown to reduce the insulin response in overweight adults.15

Looking at these effects all together, it is astounding what these foods can do for our health. The “Skinny Shake” has much more to offer than taste and satisfaction with minimal calories. Berries (and pomegranate) make up the second ‘B’ in G-BOMBS, my list of super foods with good reason!

Dr. Fuhrman’s Skinny Shake

Ingredients:

4 ounces pomegranate juice

1 cup frozen strawberries

1 cup of ice

Squeeze of lemon

Directions: Blend all ingredients in a high-powered blender.

 

References:

1. Shih PH, Yeh CT, Yen GC. Anthocyanins induce the activation of phase II enzymes through the antioxidant response element pathway against oxidative stress-induced apoptosis. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemis ry 2007;55:9427-9435.
2. Cao G, Russell RM, Lischner N, et al. Serum antioxidant capacity is increased by consumption of strawberries, spinach, red wine or vitamin C in elderly women. J Nutr 1998;128:2383-2390.
3. Heber D: Pomegranate Ellagitannins. In Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects 2nd Edition. Edited by Benzie IFF, Wachtel-Galor, S.: CRC Press; 2011
4. Aviram M, Dornfeld L, Rosenblat M, et al. Pomegranate juice consumption reduces oxidative stress, atherogenic modifications to LDL, and platelet aggregation: studies in humans and in atherosclerotic apolipoprotein E-deficient mice. Am J Clin Nutr 2000;71:1062-1076.
5. Panchal SK, Ward L, Brown L. Ellagic acid attenuates high-carbohydrate, high-fat diet-induced metabolic syndrome in rats. Eur J Nutr 2012.
6. Stoner GD, Wang LS, Casto BC. Laboratory and clinical studies of cancer chemoprevention by antioxidants in berries. Carcinogenesis 2008;29:1665-1674.
7. Kim ND, Mehta R, Yu W, et al. Chemopreventive and adjuvant therapeutic potential of pomegranate (Punica granatum) for human breast cancer. Breast Cancer Res Treat 2002;71:203-217.
8. Kohno H, Suzuki R, Yasui Y, et al. Pomegranate seed oil rich in conjugated linolenic acid suppresses chemically induced colon carcinogenesis in rats. Cancer Sci 2004;95:481-486.
9. Kawaii S, Lansky EP. Differentiation-promoting activity of pomegranate (Punica granatum) fruit extracts in HL-60 human promyelocytic leukemia cells. J Med Food 2004;7:13-18.
10. Roy S, Khanna S, Alessio HM, et al. Anti-angiogenic property of edible berries. Free Radic Res 2002;36:1023-1031.
11. Khan N, Afaq F, Kweon MH, et al. Oral consumption of pomegranate fruit extract inhibits growth and progression of primary lung tumors in mice. Cancer Res 2007;67:3475-3482.
12. Toi M, Bando H, Ramachandran C, et al. Preliminary studies on the anti-angiogenic potential of pomegranate fractions in vitro and in vivo. Angiogenesis 2003;6:121-128.
13. Sartippour MR, Seeram NP, Rao JY, et al. Ellagitannin-rich pomegranate extract inhibits angiogenesis in prostate cancer in vitro and in vivo. Int J Oncol 2008;32:475-480.
14. Adams LS, Zhang Y, Seeram NP, et al. Pomegranate ellagitannin-derived compounds exhibit antiproliferative and antiaromatase activity in breast cancer cells in vitro. Cancer Prev Res (Phila) 2010;3:108-113.
15. Edirisinghe I, Banaszewski K, Cappozzo J, et al. Strawberry anthocyanin and its association with postprandial inflammation and insulin. Br J Nutr 2011;106:913-922.
16. Adams LS, Seeram NP, Aggarwal BB, et al. Pomegranate juice, total pomegranate ellagitannins, and punicalagin suppress inflammatory cell signaling in colon cancer cells. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemis ry 2006;54:980-985.
17. American Association for Cancer Research. Strawberries May Slow Precancerous Growth in Esophagus. 2011. http://aacrnews.wordpress.com/2011/04/06/strawberries-may-slow-precancerous-growth-in-esophagus/. Accessed
18. Mink PJ, Scrafford CG, Barraj LM, et al. Flavonoid intake and cardiovascular disease mortality: a prospective study in postmenopausal women. Am J Clin Nutr 2007;85:895-909.
19. Basu A, Lyons TJ. Strawberries, Blueberries, and Cranberries in the Metabolic Syndrome: Clinical Perspectives. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemis ry 2011.
20. Zunino SJ, Parelman MA, Freytag TL, et al. Effects of dietary strawberry powder on blood lipids and inflammatory markers in obese human subjects. Br J Nutr 2011:1-10.
21. Basu A, Wilkinson M, Penugonda K, et al. Freeze-dried strawberry powder improves lipid profile and lipid peroxidation in women with metabolic syndrome: baseline and post intervention effects. Nutr J 2009;8:43.
22. Aviram M, Rosenblat M, Gaitini D, et al. Pomegranate juice consumption for 3 years by patients with carotid artery stenosis reduces common carotid intima-media thickness, blood pressure and LDL oxidation. Clin Nutr 2004;23:423-433.
23. 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.
24. Aviram M, Dornfeld L. Pomegranate juice consumption inhibits serum angiotensin converting enzyme activity and reduces systolic blood pressure. Atherosclerosis 2001;158:195-198.
25. Aviram M, Volkova N, Coleman R, et al. Pomegranate phenolics from the peels, arils, and flowers are antiatherogenic: studies in vivo in atherosclerotic apolipoprotein e-deficient (E 0) mice and in vitro in cultured macrophages and lipoproteins. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemis ry 2008;56:1148-1157.
26. McDougall GJ, Stewart D. The inhibitory effects of berry polyphenols on digestive enzymes. Biofactors 2005;23:189-195.
27. Makino-Wakagi Y, Yoshimura Y, Uzawa Y, et al. Ellagic acid in pomegranate suppresses resistin secretion by a novel regulatory mechanism involving the degradation of intracellular resistin protein in adipocytes. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 2012;417:880-885.

Happy Mother's Day!

This Mother’s Day we salute all the mothers who are raising children to appreciate and embrace eating for health. It’s no easy task in the midst of a culture fixated on junk food that’s readily available everywhere one turns.  And it’s even more difficult if we, as moms, are getting a late start in establishing healthy eating habits ourselves.

However, we must persevere and creatively find ways to feed our children high-nutrient foods even if peers, close friends, and extended relatives are eating for disease. The childhood years are laying the foundation for cancer and other diseases to occur later in life; it’s not the time to throw-in-the-towel and give up.

Dr. Fuhrman wrote in Disease Proof Your Child, “I tell parents that if they follow my advice their child will no longer require frequent visits to the doctor. With most frequently ill children, more medicine is not the answer.”

“More and more evidence emerges each year that the diets we eat in our childhood have far-reaching effects on our adult health and specifically on whether we get cancer. Similarly, there is an abundance of scientific research that supports the need for a dietary lifestyle that protects our children from other serious diseases.” 1

 

Moms, let’s keep keeping on!

Happy Mother’s Day!

The above picture was submitted by one of our Disease Proof readers; this is daughter Clara, age 10, enjoying a green smoothie made with papaya, banana and spinach.

 

Blended Mango Salad
Serves: 2

Ingredients:
2  ripe mangos, peeled and chopped or 2 1/2 cups frozen mango chunks
1 cup chopped spinach
4 cups chopped romaine lettuce
1/4 cup unsweetened soy, hemp or almond milk

Instructions:
Place mangos in a food processor or high-powered blender.
Add the spinach and half the lettuce. Blend until well combined. Add the milk and remaining lettuce. Blend until creamy.

 
 

Waldorf Blended Salad
Serves: 1

Ingredients:
1/2  cup pomegranate Juice
1 apple, peeled and cored
1/4 cup walnuts
4 cups kale and/or Boston lettuce
1/4 cup water or ice cubes 
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Instructions:
Blend all ingredients in high powered blender.

 

 Related post: Moms, we have the most influence 

 

PS  For the fun of it I'm posting two pictures below that were taken on Mother's Day weekend, exactly four years a part.  The image on the left was taken in 2008, and the image on the right was taken this Mother's Day weekend.  Little did I know twenty-five years ago, when I was pregnant with my first child, just how important it would be for me and my family to eat a high-nutrient diet. 

Moms, it's up to us to lead the way and set the example for our children to follow.   We set the pace.  We purchase over 90% of the nation's food supply.  What a privilege and responsibility we have to change the food culture for generations to come. 

Go greens!  Go Moms!   

                                        

1.        Fuhrman, M.D., Joel, 2005, Disease Proof Your Child, pp. xxi,xxii, Martins’ Griffin, NY 

Cooking 101 - The Eat to Live Way

With many now participating in the Six Week Holiday Challenge, it’s the perfect time to learn helpful and healthful cooking skills that are crucial to supporting the nutritarian eating style. Linda Popescu, M.S., R.D. is Dr. Fuhrman's Research Assistant; along with being the “Vitamin Advisor” for DrFuhrman.com and faculty member of the Nutritional Education Institute. Welcome to Disease Proof, Linda. 

 

Linda PopescuThere are a few essential cooking techniques that need to be mastered when you commit to a nutrient dense diet style.   While these may be old news for our seasoned Eat to Live veterans, it might be helpful to review them for those who are new to this way of eating. 

The Six Week Holiday Challenge is a great opportunity to develop and practice new cooking skills. Nutritarian cooking can be simple or gourmet. You don’t have to be a chef and have unlimited time to cook wonderful meals. On the other hand, if you do enjoy spending time in the kitchen you don’t need to stifle your culinary creativity.

Soups, Salads and Smoothies are the backbone of the nutritarian diet. Soups/Stews play a big role because when vegetables are simmered in soup, all the nutrients are retained in the liquid. It is easy to incorporate a variety of green leafy vegetables, mushrooms, onions, beans and other healthy ingredients all in one pot. A big advantage to making soups and stews is that they make great leftovers. Make a pot of soup for dinner and you will also have lunch taken care of for several days.

Many of Dr. Fuhrman’s soup recipes use fresh vegetable juices such as carrot juice for the base. Use freshly juiced carrot juice for maximum flavor or if you are short on time, refrigerated bottled carrot juice can be purchased. No- salt-added or low sodium vegetable broth is also used in some soup recipes. As a general guideline, do not use a vegetable broth that has more than 200 mg of sodium per one cup serving.  To make a “cream” soup, blend raw cashews or cashew butter into the soup to provide a creamy texture and rich flavor. Simply remove a portion of the cooked soup (2-3 cups) and blend with raw cashews (usually around ½ cup) then return the blended soup/cashew mixture to the soup pot. 

When it comes to salads, think big. We are not talking about a saucer full of iceberg lettuce. Get a big salad bowl and eat the whole thing. Experiment with a variety of salad greens: romaine, baby greens, spinach, mache, watercress, arugula, Boston lettuce or shredded cabbage. Add other interesting colorful veggies as well as a variety of beans. This eating style features creamy dressings and dips created with nuts, seeds and avocados. These whole foods supply healthy fats that complement the vegetables. Use a food processor or high powered blender when making nut/seed based dressings and dips. Gourmet fruit flavored or balsamic vinegars are also used in many recipes to add unique and delicious flavors.

smoothieSmoothies blend raw vegetables with fruit to efficiently increase your nutrient absorption. When we chew we don’t do an efficient job of releasing all the nutrients hidden within the plant cell walls. When making smoothies and blended salads, the blender does the job for you. A powerful blender such as a Vita-Mix is a good investment that will last a lifetime. It can blend nuts, seeds, frozen fruit and vegetables into creamy delicious drinks. Smoothies are great for breakfast. They are portable and require minimal time and effort.

 

stir fryAnother basic technique to learn is water sautéing (also called sweating or steam frying) which is used instead of cooking with oil. It is used for stir frys, sauces, and many other vegetable dishes. To water sauté, heat a skillet, wok or pan over high heat until water sputters when dropped on it. Add a small amount of water (2-3 tablespoons) and the items to be cooked such as onions, garlic, peppers or other vegetables. Add more water as necessary and cover occasionally until the vegetables are tender. Do not add too much water or the food will be boiled not sautéed. To develop flavor, let the pan dry enough for the food to lightly brown before you add more water.

During the Six Week Challenge, use the DrFuhrman.com Member Center Recipe Guide to locate new recipes that work for you. It currently contains over 800 recipes with more being added every day. You can search for recipes by category, name or ingredient. Members can rate recipes on a scale of one to five stars and add comments. You can even sort recipes by rating so you can quickly see the recipes that are the most popular. Try the recipes, rate them yourself and share your own favorite Dr. Fuhrman-friendly creations with us.

 

Bon Appétit!

 

 

image credits: flickr - vegetable soup by Simon; smoothie by taupetortois; vegetable stir fry by The Gifted Photographer

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

Kids Eating Plants...

Those photos come from total wellness mentor Gretchen Goel. She heads up something called the Super Plant Eaters Club and as you can see, these kids love their fruits and veggies! But their table manners need work. Thanks Gretchen!