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Exploring G-BOMBS and the Power of Beans

Updated: Jul 3

Melissa Cotton is the creator of this series of posts, published monthly, entitled Exploring G-BOMBS and will be teaching us about how these powerful foods impact our health and wellness.

What single food is most commonly shared among long-lived groups around the world? Beans! Beans are available in a vast array of colors, shapes, and sizes. In fact, there are over 4,000 varieties of beans!

This month, I will be focusing on the B in Dr. Fuhrman’s G-BOMBS (Greens, Beans, Onions, Mushrooms, Berries, and Seeds). These six foods have the most evidence that support their incredible immune-boosting, anticancer, and longevity promoting effects.


Why does Dr Fuhrman want us to eat beans every day?

●       Beans are the most favorable source of carbohydrate. They are high in nutrients and low-glycemic. Beans are the highest in fiber of almost all foods. 1

●       Beans are digested very slowly. When you eat them, they last you for many hours and prevent overeating. 2   

●       Regular bean eaters have lower blood pressure and are not as likely to be overweight. 2

●       Beans contain high amounts of both soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber provides the gelatinous material like in oatmeal. Insoluble fiber gives our bodies roughage and provides bulk to our stool. This makes the passage of our stool more comfortable. 3 

●       The soluble fiber in beans is very high. This soluble fiber does not get absorbed or give us any calories. It binds cholesterol and stays in the stool and pulls cholesterol out in the stool. This fiber slows the absorption of carbohydrate calories which keeps the glycemic load lower and glucose and insulin lower. 3

●       Beans also have a third type of fiber called resistant starch. About one third of the starch in beans is resistant starch. It is called resistant because it acts like fiber and doesn’t get digested and absorbed into the body. 1

●       When people eat beans on a regular basis, it promotes the growth of bacteria that protect us from inflammation, colon cancer, and has anti-diabetic effects. This bacteria breaks down the resistant starch in beans and produces short-chain fatty acids. 3 

●       Butyrate is a short-chain fatty acid that has an anti-inflammatory effect on the inner wall of the colon which helps protect the large intestine against colon cancer. When butyrate rises, it signals to our central nervous system to eat less food and shuts down our appetite. 3

●       Butyrate improves insulin sensitivity. Eating beans has the opposite effect, instead of driving sugar into the bloodstream, it makes us more sensitive to insulin. Anything we eat is not going to push as much sugar into the bloodstream because of the butyrate production from eating beans. For example, if you eat beans and a mango in the same meal, the glucose from the mango would be absorbed more slowly because you had beans in that meal. 3  

●       The effect of eating beans extends beyond the meal in which you ate the beans. It slows the absorption of all the carbohydrates we eat. This gives us a steady supply of energy while keeping insulin very low because glucose is entering our bloodstream at a very slow rate. Scientists call this the “second-meal effect”. 1

●       Polyphenols in beans have anti-cancer benefits. These polyphenols promote apoptosis, which is death of abnormal cells in the colon preventing the formation of polyps that could eventually lead to colon cancer. Red meat and processed meats do the opposite.  These meats promote prostate, breast, and colon cancer. 3


Dr. Greger agrees with Dr. Fuhrman!

●       “Of all plants, beans appear most often as the dietary cornerstone for centenarians, as well as for individuals throughout each of the blue zones.” 4

●       “Legumes are loaded with protein, zinc, and iron, as you would expect from other protein sources like meat, while being naturally low in sodium and saturated fat, and they have zero cholesterol.” 4

●       “Randomized control trials dating back as far as 60 years have proven that cardiovascular risk factors, such as cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and markers of inflammation, can be lowered simply by eating legumes, typically about a cup a day for four to eight weeks.” 4


Nutritarian Tips:

●       Eat less bread, potatoes, and rice. Instead eat more beans in place of those foods because the calories in beans do not generate the same weight-generating potential as an equal amount of calories from other carbohydrate sources. 3



1 Fuhrman, Joel. Eat for Life: The Breakthrough Nutrient-Rich Program for Longevity, Disease Reversal, and Sustained Weight Loss. HarperOne, 2020.

2 Fuhrman, Joel. The End of Dieting: How to Live for Life. HarperOne, 2014.

3 Dr. Fuhrman. Eat to Live Masterclass. Accessed June 19, 2024.

4 Greger, Michael. How Not to Age. Flatiron Books, 2023.


About Melissa Cotton

Melissa is a first grade teacher with a double major in Elementary Education and Early Childhood.  She also has a Master’s Degree in Education Administration.  After reading T. Colin Campbell’s book, The China Study, she stopped eating the Standard American Diet (SAD) and has been eating a nutrient-rich, plant-based diet.  In December 2023, she earned Dr Joel Fuhrman’s Nutritarian Coaching Certificate. Melissa is an active member of the National Health Association (NHA). 


Melissa is the writer/creator of our blog series  Exploring GBOMBS.  Her love for teaching and learning will support others on their journey for optimal health and wellness. 

About Exploring G-BOMBS blog series

Are there specific foods that boost immune function, prevent cancer from developing, and promote longevity? The answer to this question is YES!  Dr Fuhrman uses a simple, yet powerful acronym, G-BOMBS (Greens, Beans, Onions, Mushrooms, Berries, and Seeds) to help us remember these six nutrient-dense foods.  Over the next few months, I will be sharing a series of blog posts, diving deep into the benefits of G-BOMBS.  Do other plant based doctors share Dr Fuhrman’s confidence in the scientific research about these specific foods?  Stay tuned to learn why incorporating these foods into your diet can be a game-changer for your health and longevity.  


Be well


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1 Comment

Jul 06

Thank you for desmitifying facts for community members, what I learnt new ‘Butyrate’!

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