Tag Archives: Dr. Joel Fuhrman Books

SUPER IMMUNITY – Dr. Joel Fuhrman

Below is another great article by Dr. Joel Fuhrman. ¬†His new book, SUPER IMMUNITY, will be released September 20th…I can’t wait! ¬†To order the book, click here¬†(Amazon) or here (Barnes & Noble).



It is estimated that there are more than 100,000 new cases of colon cancer diagnosed each year in the U.S. alone, and colon and rectal cancers are the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths.1¬†¬†The American Institute for Cancer Research¬†estimates¬†that forty-five percent of these new cases could be prevented by following a few simple lifestyle habits: avoiding processed and red meat, exercising regularly, maintaining a healthy weight, and limiting alcohol consumption.2¬† But we can do better ‚Äď imagine the level of protection if we not only avoided carcinogenic foods, but also focused on eating the foods that work on a cellular level to prevent¬† colon cancer.

So which foods offer us the best protection?

Anti-cancer compounds have been identified in many plant foods: for example¬†cruciferous vegetables,¬†mushrooms, and the¬†onion and garlic family¬†are known to contain substances that can prevent cellular processes involved in cancer development. Certainly, a diet high in fruits and vegetables in general is protective3-5, but many observational studies on diet have not investigated specific food groups, only broad categories like ‚Äúfruits,‚ÄĚ ‚Äúvegetables,‚ÄĚ etc.¬† But there is a wide range of anti-cancer activity in the wide range of plant foods ‚Äď for example, kale is more protective than iceberg lettuce.¬† Identifying these protective plant foods helps us to construct an anti-colon cancer diet.

A recent study aimed to find some specific foods and food groups that protect against colon cancer. Twenty-six years after reporting information about their diets, subjects were asked whether they had undergone screening colonoscopy, and if so, whether they had physician-diagnosed polyps. The majority of colorectal cancers originate from polyps, so polyps are considered a precursor to the development of cancer. This study was part of the larger Adventist Health Study, which studies relationships between diet and chronic disease in members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, which emphasizes healthy living in its teachings.

The researchers examined about 25 different foods and food groups. Those that were associated with reduced risk of polyps were cooked green vegetables, dried fruit,legumes (beans, lentils, etc.), and brown rice. All of these displayed dose-dependent effects, meaning that the more of these foods the subjects ate, the more protection they had from colon cancer.6

Green vegetables¬†are rich in folate and isothiocyanates, nutrients with potent anti-cancer properties. Folate is a B vitamin that is involved in turning genes on and off ‚Äď this is important in preventing the early cellular events that lead to cancer.¬† Adequate folate levels are protective against several cancers, including colon cancer. It is important to note, however, that¬†synthetic folic acid¬†from supplements is not protective.7,8¬†¬†Isothiocyanates are a group of nutrients found in¬†cruciferous vegetables¬†that have a wide variety of cancer preventive properties ‚Äď they can detoxify or remove carcinogens from healthy cells, kill cancer cells, have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, and prevent tumors from acquiring a blood supply.9

The protection from beans and other legumes was likely due to their soluble fiber and resistant starch, carbohydrates that are not broken down by digestive enzymes.  Intestinal bacteria ferment these carbohydrates, forming short chain fatty acids such as butyrate.  Butyrate has a number of anti-cancer effects including disrupting cancer cell growth, increasing levels of detoxification enzymes, limiting DNA damage, and preventing tumors from acquiring a blood supply.10-13

High fiber foods, including¬†dried fruit¬†and¬†brown rice¬†(as well as vegetables and beans) help to reduce transit time of gastrointestinal contents through the colon ‚Äď this reduces the potential contact between dietary toxins or carcinogens and the cells that line the colon.¬† Reduced transit time is believed to be an important contribution of fiber to the prevention of colon cancer.¬†14,15¬† Raisins, probably the most popular dried fruit, have been shown to increase short chain fatty acid production and decrease colon transit time.16,17¬†In addition to fiber content, dried fruit likely also contributed antioxidant protection of colon cells from DNA damage, which is an early event in the development of cancer.18

Previous studies found a protective effect of berries, citrus fruits, andyellow-orange vegetables, which was likely due to their high concentration of flavonoid and carotenoid antioxidants, respectively.10,19,20Additional studies on specific food groups have also found a reduced risk of colon polyps with high intake of green leafy vegetables (many of which are cruciferous), onions, and garlic.12,19

All of these foods contain known anti-cancer compounds, and of course there are thousands of anti-cancer compounds in plant foods that scientists have not yet discovered.  Each of these colorful plant foods contains a spectrum of micronutrients and phytochemicals that work in concert to protect the body against carcinogenic influences. Future studies will continue to reveal these phytochemicals and their anti-cancer properties.

My new book Super Immunity, which will be released September 20, 2011, discusses in depth the connections between diet and cancer.

For Dr. Fuhrman’s references from this article click here.

Book image courtesy of Barnes & Noble.

Image of kale courtesy of diseaseproof.com


Filed under Books, Cancer, Education, Vegan, Vegetarian


I am a member of Dr. Fuhrman’s Member Center and as a member I receive daily recipes in the mail. ¬†Dr. Fuhrman practices Nutritional Medicine and is a great resource for any of you wishing to learn more about the connection between nutrition and health. ¬†I refer to his books as resources often.

A few weeks back I received a recipe for Berry “Yogurt” that looked so simple and refreshing (and mostly raw). ¬†Somehow it has taken me weeks to get around to making this treat…a treat that literally took two minutes to make from start to finish.

Blueberries have been outrageously good lately (I can’t seem to get enough!) which motivated me to make this berry pudding with blueberries exclusively. ¬†I decided that I wanted to go for more of a pudding than a yogurt and thus increased the flax meal to 4 Tbs. rather than 2Tbs. ¬†The results were great! ¬†Since my blueberries were sweet on their own, I did not add anything other than the dates. ¬†If you tend to have a big sweet tooth, you may want to keep some stevia on hand in case you want the pudding to be sweeter. ¬†I recommend blending it as written below and tasting it prior to adding any additional sweetener.


2 cups blueberries, washed

¬ĺ cups So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut Milk

4 Tbs. ground flax meal (I used Bob’s Red Mill)

4 Medjool dates, pitted

Place all ingredients in your Vitamix (or blender) and blend for approximately 1 minute.

Chill before serving.

For a printable version of this recipe click here.


Filed under Dessert, Fruit, Gluten Free, Kid Friendly, Pudding / Mousse, Quick, Raw, Recipes, Vegan, Vegetarian