Newly released book,Rethink Food: 100+ Doctors Can’t Be Wrong, featuring over 100 doctors, nutritionists, and elite athletes from around the world, showcases why and how plant-based foods can provide us with the best form of preventative medicine against today’s leading chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancers, diabetes, autoimmune conditions and more, and why nutrition should be at the forefront of everyone’s mind.
We tend to think of breakthroughs in science as new drugs, surgery, or technology. As our knowledge of science advances in relation to the role of diet and disease, it is becoming ever more evident that well balanced, plant-based food choices are some of the most effective disease preventative tools we have. Plant foods contain about a 100,000 different antioxidants or phytonutrients that are disease-preventing nutrients.
One of the most comprehensive studies to date on anti-oxidants in food found that plant foods have 64 times the number of antioxidants than animal based foods including meat, fish, dairy, and eggs. This study which surveyed over 3,000 different types of foods from beverages, to cereals, vegetables, baked goods, fruits, and meats found that when we eat animal-based foods, we are missing out on essential nutrients that are only contained in plant-based foods. Given our daily caloric limit, this means every meal or snack can either promote or hinder disease.
What’s all the confusion about food?
According to Dr. Pamela Wible in Rethink Food,
“Daily, patients come into clinic to ask me what they should be eating. Have we really forgotten what to eat? Today, people study self-help cookbooks and organize meal plans, they track ingredients and count calories. But it should not be such a chore just to figure out what to eat for breakfast. All of these patients seem to be searching for the same thing: What’s the best diet?
I try to make things simple, but I find people are more confused than ever. At the grocery store, I understand why. Currently, everything is gluten-free and twice as expensive. There are gluten-free chips and salsa, gluten-free ice cream, gluten-free cupcakes and cookies. From a patient’s perspective it would be easy to fall for each new diet fad seen in the grocery stores.”
Eating in direct contrast to how our bodies are designed as herbivores is why we are experiencing such an alarming rise in chronic disease from heart disease, cancers, diabetes, autoimmune diseases, osteoporosis, and even weight gain. Animal foods are highly inflammatory and do not contain any of the essential vitamins, antioxidants, phytochemicals and fiber that our body needs. As each of these doctors attest in Rethink Food, all of the chronic diseases we are experiencing today are diet related.
Dr. Wible’s Top Ten Foods for Cancer Prevention:
1. Burdock root has been used to treat cancers for centuries and is the active ingredient in many natural cancer remedies such as Essiac tea. Burdock root tastes like a crisp, sweet carrot and has a plethora of phytochemicals and antioxidants that are mostly stored in the root. Chop fresh burdock root and add to your salads or eat as a snack.
2. Flax seeds have been used medicinally for centuries and recent studies reveal that flax can lower cholesterol and stabilize blood sugar. Flax contains the highest plant source of lignans (a plant estrogen) and alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid. The high lignan content may be beneficial in prevention of breast and prostate cancers. Store flax seeds whole and grind the seeds when needed to prevent rancidity and deterioration of nutritional content. Therapeutic intake is two to four tablespoons ground flax daily which can be sprinkled on salads and oatmeal.
3. Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, kale, and collard greens are loaded with phytochemicals. Indole-3-carbinal (I3C) is one of the most studied and has been found to help the body detoxify and de-activate carcinogens once exposed.
4. Leafy green vegetables such as parsley, lettuces, and beet greens have the highest nutrient density of any food. Flavonoids and polyphenolic acids help inhibit blood clots and coronary artery disease and are helpful in cancer prevention.
5. Blueberries are high in antioxidants which protect humans from oxidative stress and can prevent cancer as well as a myriad of degenerative diseases such as heart disease and cataracts. Blueberries also decrease the ability of bacteria to cling to the mucous membrane of the urinary tract, thus preventing and sometimes treating urinary tract infections.
6. Turmeric root is a bright yellow spice that comes from the root of Curcuma longa. Curcuminoids (primarily curcumin) which give turmeric its color, act as an anti-inflammatory agent as well as an antioxidant. Turmeric can also help prevent cancers through a variety of pathways including killing cancer cells directly and preventing blood flow to cancerous tissue.
7. Cumin seeds contain a cocktail of phytochemicals with antioxidant effects found to be beneficial to human health. One such phytochemical, cuminaldehyde has strong anti-inflammatory and anticancer activity. Sprinkle on salads, cereals, and even desserts to add a rich and earthy flavor to meals.
8. Green tea can help prevent cancer and heart disease. Green tea contains polyphenols that are responsible for the antioxidation and anticarcinogenic effects of the plant. Drink green tea after meals or as midday treat to maximize health benefits.
9. Mushrooms are known for their healing potential in Asian culture. With a plethora of phytochemicals, mushrooms such as shiitake and maitakes have been shown to reverse tumors in humans through multiple pathways. Ensure mushrooms are a part of your next stir fry or salad.
10. Citrus fruits contain a host of phytochemicals with bioprotective effects. For example, citrus peel is one of the most underutilized and accessible sources of phytochemicals in the diet. Two phytochemicals most studied in citrus peel is limonene and perillyl alcohol, both of which have been found to deactivate cancer cells in the human body.
There is a tastefully simple solution for a healthier, smarter, and stronger you! Changing what we eat has the power to change our lives. All we need is the courage to rethink food!
Amy-Lee Goodman is a Wellesley College graduate and co-founded the plant-based food company Zibble Inc that partners with non-profits to frost a better future. She loves to travel and lives in New York.
Shushana Castle worked in the financial sector for 25 years and sits on numerous environmental boards. A self- proclaimed super foodie, she loves hiking and splits her time between Houston and Telluride.
Amy-Lee and Shushana are seasoned co-author team passionate about helping others change their diet, to improve their lives. This duo aims to spread the message about how our food, health, and environment are all interconnected. The authors have appeared on dozens of TV and radio shows interviewing leading doctors and scientists in their respective fields about how our food choices are intimately connected to our health and the environmental crisis.