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Super Immunity: The Essential Nutrition Guide for Boosting Your Body's Defenses to Live Longer, Stronger, and Disease Free Paperback – December 31, 2013
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“This book proves that eating high nutrient dense foods is the best path to building a super immune system, leading to a healthy long life with a “sound mind” and the recipes are superb.” (Dr. Rudy Kachmann, Neurosurgeon, Kachmann Mind Body Institute)
“Super Immunity should be the book everyone is talking about. I encourage you to buy it, read it, and apply it so you can join the conversation on true health.” (Wayne S. Dysinger, MD, MPH, Chair, Department of Preventive Medicine, Loma Linda University President, American College of Lifestyle Medicine)
“Super Immunity is a much needed book that contains the key to ending the cycle of sickness that plagues many of our lives. This is enlightened medicine, at last!” (Dr. Alejandro Junger, New York Times bestselling author of CLEAN)
“Super Immunity”is a fantastic read that scientifically explains the origins of Western disease and lays out viable solutions to our unhealthy lifestyles. I will definitely be recommending this book to my patients!” (Garth Davis MD Star of TLC's "Big Medicine", Medical Director of Bariatric Surgery at Memorial City Hospital, Houston, Texas)
“When it comes to diet and health, the scientific evidence shows that one size really fits all. Super Immunity offers everybody the most sensible, most effective dietary approach to become and stay truly healthy.” (James Craner, MD, MPH, FACOEM, FACP Occupational & Environmental Medicine, Reno, NV Assistant Clinical Professor, University of California San Francisco School of Medicine)
“Super Immunity expertly yet succinctly combines the latest nutrition and scientific research, plus a handful of anecdotes from Fuhrman’s patients, into 170 pages of air-tight, irrefutable advice on how to get and stay healthy, even in an increasingly toxic and processed world.” (VegNews Magazine)
From the Back Cover
The Science of Staying Healthy
The evidence is overwhelming: we can supercharge our immune system to protect our bodies against disease—everything from the common cold to cancer. Nutritional science has made phenomenal strides in recent years, and Dr. Fuhrman explains these discoveries while providing you with everything you need to turn this knowledge into action in your kitchen and in your life.
Super Immunity includes:
- A dos and don'ts checklist for colds and flu prevention
- The latest anticancer research
- A proven strategy to reach and maintain your ideal weight forever
- Lists of super foods for super immunity
- A two-week daily menu planner
- Over eighty-five super-delicious recipes
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However, every now and then I am pleasantly surprised with a diet program that, not only holds my personal interest, but also is also solid in its approach to nutrition that truly supports the health and well being of its readers.
Super Immunity: The Essential Nutrition Guide for Boosting Your Body's Defenses to Live Longer, Stronger, and Disease Free is one such book. It is written by Dr. Joel Fuhrman - who specializes in preventing and treating disease with a high-nutrient plant-based diet - and is also the author of Eat For Health.
One of the aspects of Fuhrman's work that I appreciate is his emphasis on improving our health by paying attention to the quality of the foods we eat. Fuhrman's philosophy is centered on consuming those foods that have a high ratio of nutrients in relation to their calories. By focusing on micronutrient rich super foods we can boost our immunity to ward off colds and flus, as well as protect ourselves from conditions such as autoimmune disorders, heart disease and cancer.
In Super Immunity, Fuhrman outlines how certain foods including leafy green vegetables, mushrooms, onions, garlic, pomegranate, berries and seeds can improve our natural defenses. All of his claims are well supported by up-to-date scientific research.
For example, mushrooms contain substances called aromatase inhibitors that significantly reduces the risk of breast cancer. "In one recent study, women who ate at least 10 grams of fresh mushrooms each day (equivalent to just one small mushroom) had a 64 percent decreased risk of breast cancer. Even more dramatic protection was gained by women who ate 10 grams of mushrooms and consumed green tea daily." (Up to 89 percent decrease in risk.)
In addition to emphasizing immune-strengthening and cancer-fighting foods, Fuhrman outlines guidelines to help readers to adapt a Super Immunity diet.
Focus on foods that are high in nutrients and prepare meals at home.
Eat at least one large green salad every day and ideally two.
Include at least an ounce of raw nuts and seeds and one serving of beans in the diet every day.
Preferably avoid animal products but at least limit intake to 10 oz. per week for women and 12 oz. per week for men.
Fruits and vegetables should comprise 90% of your caloric intake.
A two-week meal plan is included along with 85 `super immunity' recipes. The meal plan is vegan but a few of the recipes provide options for dieters who prefer not to completely eliminate animal products.
Fuhrman is not an advocate of a 100% raw diet, so the recipes include a combination of raw and cooked meals. The emphasis is on whole foods, so oils are used very sparingly, with raw nuts and seeds being the main source of fat in the diet.
Fruits and vegetables form the basis of every meal and portion sizes are generous, so you certainly won't go hungry on this plan. However, because of the high fiber and water content of the meals, the diet is naturally low in calories, making it a perfect program for dieters who want to lose weight but also enjoy eating large meals.
Here is an example of a day's eating on the Super Immunity Plan:
Breakfast: Forbidden Rice Pudding (ingredients include black rice, soy or almond milk, dried apple, wild blueberries, cinnamon and vanilla)
Lunch: Spinach Salad with Strawberry Sesame Vinaigrette, Tangy White Beans and Zucchini
Dinner: Raw snow peas, broccoli and carrots, Island Black Bean Dip, Braised Kale and Squash with pumpkin seeds
Dessert: Black Cherry Sorbet
Super Immunity includes recipes for both raw and cooked plant-based meals and will appeal to vegans as well as anyone interested in improving their health through a better diet. For those of us who prefer to eat a raw food diet here is a list of some of the raw food recipes included in this book:
Cinnamon Apple Omega Milk
Detox Green Tea
Waldorf Blended Salad
Marinated Kale Salad
Rainbow Chopped Salad
Triple Treat Cabbage Salad
Golden Onion Morsels
Chunky Blueberry Walnut Sorbet
Coconut Carrot Cream Pie
Golden Delicious Truffles
Overall I found the book to be an enjoyable read and I picked up on a few key concepts that will no doubt improve my overall diet. While many of these were factors that I already was aware of, it is helpful to be reminded of the reasons why these foods are so good for us, because this helps to maintain the motivation to be consistent in making intelligent food choices.
While you will not find radically different information in Super Immunity -- it's the same good Fuhrman diet philosophy -- this book covers critical information about your health that I've personally never seen before in such an easy-to-digest format.
It would be easy to summarize the book by saying "Eat your vegetables!" but Super Immunity goes beyond that.
Yes, there's a ton of research that shows that phytochemicals found in certain vegetables have literally boost our immunity and can fight off cancer. The top foods recommended to add to your diet are:
- Kale, collards, mustard greens
- Arugula, watercress
- Most greens and cabbage
- Broccoli, brussel sprouts
- Carrots, tomatoes
- Onion, garlic
- Berries of all kinds
- Seeds (like sesame, flax, etc.)
The book covers a lot more information, such as:
- The pros and cons of certain vaccines. Why most people would not be advised to take a flu shot every year.
- How diet alone can not only prevent but help reverse cancer
- How exactly nutrition can increase our immunity and help us avoid contagious diseases
- Simple tips I found very useful to further improve our immunity and avoid viral illnesses.
- The controversy on being a complete vegan or not, what the science actually says about it
The recipes are excellent but similar to what's found in other books by Fuhrman.
What I like about Dr. Fuhrman is that he's obsessed about optimal nutrition, but he's also a scientist. Some radical natural hygienist claim that the entire germ theory is a scam and that viruses never cause illnesses, but those claims are not supported by science.
Furhman shows you how you can dramatically increase your immunity so that' you'll never catch a flu, even when a lot of people are sick.
I've lived something close to the recommended lifestyle for over 12 years and although I occasionally got a cold, I've never had a flu in all that time and the more closely I followed the recommendations, the healthier I've become.
It's not an "all or nothing" lifestyle. You can pick and choose what you incorporate in your life. If you've read other books like those by Dr. McDougall or Esselstyn, the Furhman books, including Super Immunity, are great additions.