Super Immunity raspberries

ANDI stands for “Aggregate Nutrient Density Index” and learning how to navigate the food scoring system can transform your approach to eating.

Former Guest Editor, Dr. Joel Fuhrman shared some education on the system with us to help us gauge the “nutrient density” of a wide variety of foods. Once we have that list of incredible foods  in mind, our dietary focus shifts from what we need to avoid and restrict to what we’re going to stock up on and fit into our daily meals. A pretty positive shift, if you ask us!

Dr. Fuhrman created an acronym for food groups that are on his nutrient-dense shortlist: ‘GBOMBS’. GBOMBS stands for greens, beans, onions, mushrooms, berries and seeds. According to Fuhrman these are the foods we should be eating every day. We appreciate this list for its simplicity – and because everything listed is so naturally delicious! Mushrooms and berries daily? We can make that happen. Here is the doctor’s breakdown of each food group and why each is so crucial for optimal health…

G is for Greens…

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. 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), contribute to super immunity and kill cancer cells. Get a recipe

B Is For 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. 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 total the 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%. Legume intake also provides significant protection against oral, larynx, pharynx, stomach, and kidney cancers. Get a recipe

O Is For 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. Onions also contain high concentrations of health-promoting flavonoid antioxidants, predominantly quercetin, and red onions also contain at least 25 different anthocyanins. Quercetin slows tumor development, suppresses growth and proliferation and induces cell death in colon cancer cells. Flavonoids also have anti-inflammatory effects that may contribute to cancer prevention. Get a recipe

M Is For Mushrooms…

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. 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, and 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 a high anti-aromatase activity. Keep in mind that mushrooms should only be eaten cooked: several raw culinary mushrooms contain a potentially carcinogenic substance called agaritine, and cooking mushrooms significantly reduces their agaritine content. Get a recipe

B Is For 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 cardio-protective 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. Berries are an excellent food for the brain – berry consumption improves both motor coordination and memory.

S Is For Seeds…

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. 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. 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. The healthy fats in seeds and nuts also aid in the absorption of nutrients when eaten with vegetables. Get a recipe

Learn more about the health benefits of G-BOMBS in the doctor’s New York Times best-selling book Super Immunity. 

The Chalkboard Mag and its materials are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. 
All material on The Chalkboard Mag is provided for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise or other health-related programs. 

From our friends


  1. I am loving this months guest posts! This is wonderful information. Thanks for sharing Dr. Fuhrman!

    Tammy | 10.16.2013 | Reply
  2. Tammy I completely agree! Dr. Fuhrman was a great choice this month-lots of insightful information and motivation for being well!

    Christine | 10.16.2013 | Reply
  3. Sipping on a dark leafy green juice in my cubicle this morning! Not missing coffee one bit! Thanks for your constant advice Dr. Fuhrman!

    Christina | 10.16.2013 | Reply
  4. Just had my morning green juice! Great article, as usual. Really looking forward to reading Dr. Fuhrman’s book.

    Tasha | 10.16.2013 | Reply
  5. I love this! Already had my greek yogurt with Chia seeds this morning and now having a cup of green tea! G-BOMBS is so easy to remember and I can’t wait to put it to work. Will start at lunch today!

    Lauren | 10.16.2013 | Reply
  6. Wow! As a vegan, my pantry is usually stocked with these items, but I didn’t realize the importance of eating them every day! In the future I will pay more attention. 🙂 Hope I can add Super Immunity to my bookshelf soon.


    Kate | 10.16.2013 | Reply
  7. I just purchased Dr Fuhrman’s Eat to Live cookbook and it is outstanding. Cannot wait to try some of these delicious sounding recipes. Who wouldn’t want to learn about strengthening your immunity system?

    Eileen Hamilton | 10.16.2013 | Reply
  8. Another one for the fridge!! Thanks for this. 🙂

    Katie | 10.16.2013 | Reply
  9. I read about GBOMB’S several months ago and it just clicked so now I make it a point to eat more of these foods when seasonally available (greens, seeds and garlic are staples always!) I love raw foods, juicing, fresh salads and vegetables and have been wanting to read Eat to Live. Maybe Super Immunity first? (If I win it that is 🙂 )

    Jamie | 10.16.2013 | Reply
  10. I would say my husband and I eat most of those categories everyday – except mushrooms. It seems every time I buy mushrooms, they go bad too quickly. I would like to know more about which mushrooms have which properties.

    Rebekah Villeneuve | 10.16.2013 | Reply
  11. Love this! I love making smoothies with as many superfoods as possible – especially kale, berries & chia or flax seeds.

    Lauren | 10.16.2013 | Reply
  12. I already love these foods as healthy essentials, but I didn’t realize how amazingly healthy they really are. The beans, mushrooms and onions can be combined into so many delicious fall dishes, while the berries and seeds are the perfect complement to the greens in my green smoothies! Bring on the G-BOMBS!

    Donna F. | 10.16.2013 | Reply
  13. This is a great list! These foods are so easy to find and loaded with nutrition and other health benefits. I absolutely love berries (all kinds)! I have also recently started adding more beans to my diet so I’m glad to see I’m on the right track.

    Adele | 10.16.2013 | Reply
  14. Lucky for me! These are the foods I have loved to eat since I was a kid! People used to tease me about me eating mushrooms for lunch but now I can show them the benefits of eating them! Great article!

  15. I have recently signed up to Joel’s newsletter, and also as a very recent (1 year) vegan (aged 60) I am so aware of needing to keep healthy. I love my new diet because I can experiment with new tastes, I love vegetables! I would love to own this book. Jill, from Glasgow, Scotland.

    Jill | 10.17.2013 | Reply
  16. Thankfully I love all of these foods. This is invaluable information as I strive to eat well and give my body the best fuel. I’ve been lactose intolerant and hypoglycemic since I was a teenager. What was initially a curse, and a diet difficult to adapt to in suburban NJ in the ’80s, is now a blessing for it continues to focus my attention on eating food that makes me feel great.

    Maria | 10.18.2013 | Reply
  17. Brought this valuable list to the farmer’s market so my family and I can start eating for health! Great information!

    Jillian | 10.18.2013 | Reply
  18. I enjoy all of the G-BOMBS, good to know they are top notch good for me too. I am craving cooked onions and garlic as I type….. yum!

    Carrie | 10.19.2013 | Reply
  19. Great list! Bought some kale to lightly steam with tamari and sesame oil, with quinoa on the side. Yum!

    Nour | 10.20.2013 | Reply
  20. I have G-BO down, but now just need to add in the others! Thank you so much for this fantastic information!

    Skye | 10.20.2013 | Reply
  21. Clear and concise info. The oil breakdown is very helpful!

    Lindsey | 10.21.2013 | Reply
  22. Awesome info! I’ve been on a personal crusade to learn more about anti-inflammatory foods–this had some great info. Love the g-bombs acronym & how easy it is to remember!

    Cathy | 10.26.2013 | Reply
    • We thought the same when we heard the acronym, Cathy. Now we’re all about G-BOMBS all day, every day!

      The Chalkboard | 10.28.2013 | Reply

    The Chalkboard | 11.04.2013 | Reply
  24. I tell many people about G-BOMBS.

    Don Wehnert | 01.14.2018 | Reply
  25. Eating plant based for decades, but now following these principles. I am hoping for improved digestion and energy. I have been eating a little more low fat. Working on lower sodium for heart.

    John | 08.07.2019 | Reply

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