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According to Dr. Joel Fuhrman our food choices have a direct impact on the ability of our immune system to fight off colds and flus and can help to protect us from autoimmune disorders, heart disease and cancer.
Dr. Fuhrman, who is a board-certified family physician, specializes in disease prevention through optimal nutrition.
In his latest book, Super Immunity, he explains how eating the right nutrient dense foods can boost your immunity and help you look and feel healthier and more vital than ever before.
Super Immunity Diet Basics
Super Immunity gives us a reduced susceptibility to infections, faster recovery from illness, protection against cancer, and a longer, more vibrant life.
Joel Fuhrman says that flu shots and expensive medical treatment is not the answer to immune imbalances, but instead it lies in improving the nutritional quality of our diet.
He outlines how certain plant foods contain significant amounts of substances that can enhance immune function. These include leafy green vegetables, mushrooms, pomegranates, berries and seeds. He supports his statements by referring to a variety of scientific studies confirming the benefits of these foods.
However, his recommendation is not just for us to include these foods in our diet, but to eat them in large enough quantities and simultaneously. It is the types of foods as well as how they are combined together that is critical to achieving long-term success on this super immunity diet.
The diet has five major rules:
- Have one large salad every day (preferably two)
- Eat at least half a cup of beans or legumes each day
- Consume a minimum of three fresh fruits a day
- Eat a minimum of one ounce of raw nuts or seeds every day
- At least one large serving of steamed green vegetables should be consumed each day.
The book includes a list of the thirty top super foods, 85 ‘super-immunity’ recipes and a two-week meal plan.
It is recommended that animal products are limited to 10 oz per week for women and 12 oz per week for men. The meal plan is vegan however, for several of the recipes, options are provided for those who prefer not to completely eliminate animal products from the diet.
Recommended Immunity Boosting Foods
Kale, watercress, collards, spinach, broccoli, cabbage, romaine lettuce, pomegranate, berries, cherries, plums, oranges, mushrooms, tomatoes, peppers, flax seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, hemp seeds, chia seeds, tofu, lentils, walnuts, almonds, avocados, oatmeal, onions, garlic, black rice, green tea.
Sample Super Immunity Meal Plan
Forbidden Rice Pudding
Spinach Salad with Strawberry Sesame Vinaigrette
Snow Peas, broccoli and carrots with Island Black Bean Dip
Black Cherry Sorbet
In Super Immunity, Joel Fuhrman does not include exercise recommendations.
Costs and Expenses
Super Immunity: The Essential Nutrition Guide for Boosting Your Body’s Defenses to Live Longer, Stronger and Disease Free retails at $25.99.
- Encourages the intake of foods with a high nutrient content in relation to calories.
- Program is supported by up-to-date scientific research.
- A plant-based diet can help to prevent and reverse a variety of common diseases.
- Includes a two-week meal plan with recipes.
- Provides options for dieters who prefer not to completely eliminate animal products.
- Meals are high in volume and satisfy hunger, while also low in calories.
- Allows for flexibility by providing dieters with 10% of caloric intake for ‘treats’ including processed foods or animal products.
- Dieters are required to restrict or eliminate many foods including meat, dairy products, alcohol and coffee.
- Recipes do not include nutrition information.
- Will require a fair amount of time for food preparation.
- Very difficult to eat out and stick with the Super Immunity program.
- Meal plan does not include snacks.
- Exercise recommendations are not provided.
A Strong Immune System is Beneficial
In Super Immunity, Dr. Joel Fuhrman offers readers a scientifically supported program to boost the defenses of the body by eating a high nutrient plant-based diet.
This book will appeal to anyone who is interested in preventative nutrition and learning about the unique health benefits of specific foods.
By Mizpah Matus B.Hlth.Sc(Hons)
- Fuhrman, J. (2011). Super Immunity. New York: Harper Collins.
- Chandra, R. K., Kumari, S. (1994). Nutrition and immunity: an overview. The Journal of nutrition, 124(8 Suppl), 1433S-1435S. study link
- Brandsma, E., Houben, T., Fu, J., Shiri-Sverdlov, R., Hofker, M. H. (2015). The immunity–diet–microbiota axis in the development of metabolic syndrome. Current opinion in lipidology, 26(2), 73-81. study link
Last Reviewed: October 11, 2017