Boosting Your Immunity For Dummies by Dr. Wendy Warner and Dr. Kellyann Petrucci is an excellent book that describes, in detail, how to eat to not only boost your immune system but to enjoy total health. In some respects the title is limiting as this book is really about overall health in which the immune system is just one aspect. While the provided information will surely improve your immune system it will also improve your health in many other areas as well. Even if you already have a strong immune system this book will still be beneficial because it provides a wealth of knowledge on nutrition and helpful supplements.
The most challenging part of the book is chapter 2: Understanding the Parts and Functions of Your Immune System. This chapter can be a little technical if you do not have a background on the subject matter. If the information comes across at complicated do not worry as this information is not required to understand the benefits of the remainder of the book. This section covers some of the minutia for those who really want a scientific understanding of the immune system.
Topics covered include: Allergies which cover such conditions as allergic rhinitis, asthma, eczema; autoimmune disorders, cancer, immunodeficiency disorders, chronic inflammation, improving your immunity with nutrition, superfoods, supplements and herbs, and detoxification. Throughout the book conventional medical treatment and natural medicine treatments are discussed. The authors also emphasize working with your medical providers to obtain the benefits of integrative medicine especially if you choose to take non-conventional approach. In reference to cancer the authors discuss alternative medicines that may benefit the patient such as Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), acupuncture, herbs, and Ayurveda. The influence of immunity on other medical conditions is also discussed such chronic inflammation, heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer's disease, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), skin conditions such as acne, Psoriasis, and Eczema.
Chapters 8 and 9 really get to the important information on how to improve your immunity with nutrition. These chapters cover the essence of what you should eat and what you should NOT eat. Topics covered include: protein, fats, and carbohydrates. Included are a list of healthy vegetables and fruits that should be included in your diet. I really like that the authors have a section called "Unhealthy Grains" and stress that we should not be eating grains. We have been told that grains should be part of our diet but the author's state, "Grains - all of them - trigger the release of insulin, which tells your body to start storing fat. Grains also create autoimmune and intestinal irritation. In fact, they're counterproductive to a healthy diet and boosting immunity. No recommended daily allowance exists for grains, and you don't need grains to sustain a healthy existence." Proof positive that conventional wisdom of what has been rammed down our throats for years is wrong! I applaud the authors for providing factual information. Also included are lists of foods that should be avoided at all costs. The authors stress staying away from additives and sugars. Also discussed are "superfoods" which can heal, protect, and make you look and feel younger. Another myth that is knocked down is that "a calorie is a calorie and they are all the same." This is simply not true and the authors explain why.
The section on supplements and herbs is very beneficial as well. The authors stress that we should try to obtain nutrients from food but sometimes this is challenging and supplementation may be necessary. Information is provided on fish oil, magnesium, probiotics, vitamin C, vitamin D3, zinc, aloe vera, astragalus, cat's-claw, Echinacea, elderberry, ginseng, hyssop, licorice root, nettle, St. John's wort, and others. Website addresses are also provided throughout the book to obtain more information on the topic being discussed and brands that the authors recommend and trust.
One of the biggest assets of the books is specific information in the form of recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and deserts that you can eat. Recipes provide the reader with ideas on what they can eat to boost their immunity and overall health. Too many books leave this information out and only provide lists of individual foods that you can eat but leave out how to put it all together in the form of meals. Without recipes people may have a difficult time putting all of the information together. The authors solve this problem for us.
Overall, Boosting Your Immunity For Dummies is an excellent resource that I highly recommend. The information provided is so important to lead a healthy lifestyle. Aside from some of the technical information in chapter 2 the book is easy to read, well organized, and provides a ton of useful information. On a side note I have a friend in his third year of medical school. Each year I ask him what is the one big thing you have learned during the previous year of medical training. Three years in a row his answer has been, "The importance of eating healthy and exercise." At first I was looking for a profound medical answer but instead he provided an answer that is, on the surface, very simplistic. It is simplistic in theory yet many people do not eat healthy or exercise. This book will provide you with some very relevant information to assist you with any healthy nutritional goals that you may have.
I also recommend the following books:The Smarter Science of Slim: What the Actual Experts Have Proven About Weight Loss, Dieting, & ExerciseThe Primal Blueprint: Reprogram your genes for effortless weight loss, vibrant health, and boundless energy (Primal Blueprint Series)
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