Thursday, September 29, 2011

Book Review: Super Immunity by Joel Fuhrman, M.D.

Super Immunity: The Essential Nutrition Guide for Boosting Your Body’s Defenses to Live Longer, Stronger, and Disease Free by Joel Fuhrman, M.D.

ISBN: 978-0062080639
Publisher: Harper One
Date Published: September 20, 2011
Pages: 288
Genre: Non-Fiction; Health
Rating: 5.0 out of 5

Book Summary: Why do some of us get sick with greater frequency than others?
What makes us more susceptible to illness?
Are we doomed to get sick when our coworkers and family members do?
Is there a secret to staying healthy?
Joel Fuhrman, M.D., a leading expert and board-certified medical specialist in prevention and reversing disease, offers a comprehensive guide to superior health.
Based on the latest scientific research, Super Immunity shows us how we can become almost totally resistant to colds, influenza, and other infections.

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 and discoveries in recent years, and when this new research is applied it enables us to seize control of our health like never before. Dr. Fuhrman explains this new science, providing everything you need to know to put this knowledge into action in your kitchen and in your life. What we eat has everything to do with our health, and, unfortunately, too many of us are living with a severely depleted immune function. Our dietary choices are making us sicker, shortening our lives, and costing us billions of dollars in doctor visits, hospital stays, and prescription medications. But Dr. Fuhrman doesn’t believe more medical care is the answer. Rather, he explains the solution is to change the way we eat. The standard American diet is nutrient deficient. We are eating too many highly processed foods, foods with added sweeteners, and animal fats and protein. At the same time, we are not eating enough fruits, beans, seeds, and vegetables, which leaves us lacking in hundreds of the most important immune-building compounds. By changing our diets and combining foods that contain powerful immune-strengthening capabilities, we can prevent most common modern diseases.

Combining the latest data from clinical tests, nutritional research, and results from thousands of patients, Dr. Fuhrman proves that super immunity exists and is well within reach for those who choose it. We all have the ability to live healthier, stronger, and longer than ever before. Isn’t it time you dis-covered super immunity?

My Thoughts: Super Immunity: The Essential Nutrition Guide for Boosting Your Body’s Defenses to Live Longer, Stronger, and Disease Free (Super Immunity hereafter), is a new and eye-opening book offering us the opportunity to live a vibrant and, possibly, completely healthy, extremely long life! In the book, Super immunity is, simply, the body's immune system working to its fullest potential. Dr. Joel Fuhrman claims that if we "fill every cell receptor lock with the right nutrient key and meet the demands of each cell, the body's take on super hero qualities - and you'll hardly ever get sick again." Fuhrman also insists that this change from basic immunity to super immunity can save our lives. And that's just the first page of the introduction to this book.

Fuhrman is sincere and passionate about his claims. He also backs up what he says in the first two-thirds of his book with a wealth of information, scientific, medical and nutritional studies and research on how to boost our immune systems, ward off diseases and illness and lessen our need for medical care, doctors and pharmaceuticals. He explains in-depth how the food most of us eat is weakening our immune systems and making us run-down and ill. We also learn how the proper foods give us, not only the energy and building blocks we need to grow which comes from the calories in food, but also the non-caloric micronutrients such as phytochemicals which strengthen and support normal immune function. Fuhrman explains specifically and with examples how combining the right foods we can build up our immune systems and prevent most common modern diseases. Compelling, although somewhat self-serving, patient testimonials appear throughout the text to boost the authenticity of Fuhrman's information.

Fuhrman includes an extensive and varied amount of information in this book with chapters that explain, in detail, what specific foods are the proper foods for building super immunity and why, with examples, modern medicine is failing us. His information on colds and the flu and why we continue to get ill year after year was enough to send me running to buy spinach, kale and collard greens just to avoid a cold or the flu this year! I really appreciate how Fuhrman not only informs us of medical studies, such as the in-depth study by the Kaiser Health Foundation that determined one-third of medical spending is for services that don't advance our health or the quality of care but may actually make things worse, but also explains them and gives examples where they're fitting. Fuhrman, for instance, tells us how, over time antibiotics not only fail to rid our bodies of illness but actually weaken our immune system!

The idea that by changing our diet there's a strong possibility we may never get another cold or virus let alone cancer is very powerful. But changing our diet especially to the extent encouraged in Super Immunity doesn't sound that easy. Even Fuhrman accepts that it can take time to change and is a process. His explanations about why plant protein is preferable to animal protein, the benefits to seeds nuts and certain fats, good carbohydrates vs. bad carbohydrates and the research done in the field of nutritional science in the last several years is all extremely helpful in understanding the advantages to building up our immune system. Fuhrman assists us further by providing a list of the 6 essential foods for strengthening our immune system and fighting cancer:

1) Greens
2) Onions
3) Mushrooms
4) Berries
5) Beans
6) Seeds

Fuhrman also gives us 5 easy to remember Daily Rules:
1) Eat one large green salad everyday (preferably two);
2) Eat at least a half-cup serving of Beans/Legumes in soup, salad or a dish once daily;
3) Eat at least 3 fresh fruits especially Berries, Pomegranates, Cherries, Plums, Oranges;
4) Eat at least one ounce of raw Nuts and Seeds a day;
5) Eat at least one large (double-size) serving of steamed Green Vegetables Daily

I found Super Immunity extremely interesting and informative. Although at times the sheer amount of new information in the book necessitated a break from reading about micronutrients, phytochemicals and processed vs. organic foods, I think this is a terrific book for anyone interested in strengthening their immune system, promoting a healthier lifestyle and extending their life. The link between food and good health has always interested me (not that it's evident from my diet!) and it's something I've been thinking about quite a bit lately. I'm not sure if I'm going to change my entire diet to reflect the 6 days of daily menus Fuhrman includes in the last third of the book, but I am certainly going to try to incorporate Fuhrman's 5 Daily Rules into my diet to start and see what happens. If I feel better, stronger and healthier after a few weeks, Fuhrman sincerely explains that major changes in diet often cause temporary fatigue, I'll probably make more changes to my diet. I also plan to try some of the many recipes included in the last third of Super Immunity. This book is captivating reading for anyone interested in the connection between illness and the foods we eat and a valuable source for those of you looking to incorporate healthy, life-altering dietary changes into your daily eating plans.

Joel Fuhrman, M.D.'s websiteFacebookTwitter

Thank you to TLC Book Tours and Harper One for a copy of Super Immunity to read and review.


  1. I tend to be a little skeptical about books like this that claim to have all the answers. I know that I try to feed my family less processed food, and more natural foods, even if it means more time in the kitchen, so I am not really all that worried about having my immune system depleted by not eating correctly. Also, a lot of the time, the advice that these books give goes directly against the meal plan my doctor prescribes for my diabetes, so I have to take them with a grain of salt. I did enjoy reading your take on this one though! You gave me some interesting things to think about!

  2. This book sounds great--just what the doctor ordered! I believe that food is medicine (as Hippocrates said) and that we can strengthen our immune systems by making the best possible food choices (and not eating the junk). Wonderful review!

  3. I'm glad you found this book to be so helpful and informative! Thanks for such a thorough review for the tour.

  4. I love salads, berries, vegetables and seeds and rarely get sick. I don't eat enough beans and should probably add more to my diet.

  5. I thought this book had a lot of information, some new to me, and some I had read before. I appreciated the fact that he made every effort to back up his claims with studies and research-backed evidence.

  6. There is just so many reasons to eat like this. Thanks for sharing the basics!!!!!

  7. I read a book like this many years ago (maybe called Super Foods?) and it totally changed the way I looked at food. For awhile. Thanks for reminding me that what we eat is actually medicine for the body!

  8. Thanks for coming over to my blog and drop a comment. You are reading Crime and Punishment? Wow I sure need company for that one, it looks daunting. take care and keep well. :)

  9. This sounds really interesting. I'm always intrigued by the food-health connection. I've had some minor but chronic issues over recent years and have found that certain ways of eating really can improve or worsen symptoms. It sounds like this book is well researched and presented!

  10. I just purchased doctor Furmans immunity
    solution on PBS hope it works for me because
    I have cancer

  11. I just purchased doctor Furmans immunity
    solution on PBS hope it works for me because
    I have cancer