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I offer them with zero guarantee of accuracy or correct interpretation of the information in the book. Plant foods are high in phytochemicals, which may be the most important element in protecting ourselves against disease. Cruciferous vegetables are the most powerful immune-boosting, health promoting foods. Twice as powerful as other plant foods.
Eat 3 servings of fresh fruit a day, 8 servings of vegetables, including 2 servings of cruciferous vegetables. Mushrooms drastically reduce breast cancer risk, and many others. Cooked mushrooms are just as powerful.
Onions and garlic are another great immunity food. Chopping them releases phyonutrients, so chop fine and let sit a bit before cooking. Zinc is potentially beneficial for vegans and vegetarians who do not have adequate levels most will not, except those eating lots of beans and seeds.
Vitamin D is useful. Elderberry and berry flavanoids useful. Resveratrol possibly useful. So the goal is to maximize nutrients while minimizing calories, assuming we meet caloric needs. Instead, the single most important indicator of the healthfulness of a diet seems to be what percentage of the diet is vegetables. Carbohydrate should be low glycemic and provide micronutrients, unlike processed grains and sugars and white potatoes. White refined grains and sugars promote disease, including cancer.
Instead, get carbohydrate from beans, tomatoes, vegetables, seeds. Fat — very important for absorption of nutrients, for example, salad nutrients are much better absorbed with a higher-fat dressing nut based than one without any fat.
Nuts are so much better than oil. Oil, even cold-pressed olive oil is low in nutrients and is really only a calorie source. Interesting to note that he says oil calories are more bioavailable than nut calories and will more easily be used for energy or fat storage than will the oil in nuts, much of which passes through the system without being absorbed.
I wonder if, for athletes or those who have a reason to want more calories, that makes oil better than nuts for some situations. Nuts should be raw, or very lightly toasted. Not roasted, which creates carcinogens and destroys amino acids.
Athletes require more protein than is recommended for the average person, but the increase in total calories automatically increases protein if the percentages are constant. Too much protein, especially animal protein, creates an acidic environment and to neutralize it, minerals must come from bones, leading to osteoporosis. The insulin growth factor hormone IGF-1 is linked at elevated levels to cancer and other disease.
Refined carbohydrates and certain proteins increase IGF-1 levels. Does a combination of plant foods and proteins even if not in the same meal elevate IGF-1 levels? He points out that soy protein is the closest of all plant proteins to a complete protein, and hence has the biggest effect on IGF-1 levels.
Tempeh and tofu are suggested as minimally processed versions, but isolates in general are bad. Get no more than 10 percent of your calories from animal products, refined carbohydrates, or oil. Unsure whether a vegan diet is better than one that has small amounts of animal products. Studies show that people who eat small amounts of fish are just as healthy as vegans, and the longest lived societies Hunzas, Abkhazians, Vilcbamans, and the Okinawas ate very little animal products but were not vegan.
You could smoke cigarettes to lose weight too! Of more concern to older people. Iodine and zinc are other nutrients of concern for vegans. For up to two weeks after moving to a vegan diet, people may experience withdrawal symptoms, especially fatigue. People who are thin need more calories and fat to sustain their weight, and can get it with raw nuts and nut butters and avocados.
We want nutrient rich and high in fat in calories, which these foods offer. To take a multivitamin? Only for the minerals and nutrients mentioned above, not most others. Too little or too much of a nutrient can cause problems or lead to cancer. Salt: the human diet for millions of years had no added salt, only what was present in food naturally, which is about mg per day. Salt is also the strongest factor relating to stomach cancer.
Coffee — a drug, not a food. Benefits reported and media are likely the result of people eating nutrient-devoid diets, so that coffee is their highest source of antioxidants. Coffee affects quality of sleep and masks true hunger signals. Soy — the anti-soy talk has largely been fueled by the internet, not serious research. Many studies show that soy has protective affects against cancer, particularly breast cancer.
Minimally processed is still most important — tofu and tempeh and unsweetened soy milk are fine. Variety is important for maximizing types of phytonutrients you get. Organic produce? Yes, when possible.
You can peel inorganic produce to help limit pesticides. Use Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen lists. Superfoods chapter Cruciferous vegetables are the most powerful immune-boosting, health promoting foods. Exercise, not extra protein, builds muscle.
Review Nutrient density and variety are two keys to meeting nutrient needs. Every day: 1. Large salad 2. Half-cup or more of beans 3. Three fruits 4. One ounce raw nuts and seeds 5. One double-size serving green veggies, raw, steamed, or in soup. Processed, barbecued, commercial meats. Fried food 3. Full-fat dairy and trans fats 4. Sugar and artificial sweeteners 5. White-flour Get no more than 10 percent of your calories from animal products, refined carbohydrates, or oil.
Making the Right Choices Unsure whether a vegan diet is better than one that has small amounts of animal products. Zinc, iodine, B12, and vitamin D are the things to consider supplementing.
Why do some of us get sick more than others? Fuhrman explains how proper nutrition is the key to fending off illness, from common colds to cancer. Fuhrman provides the scientific evidence showing how a superior diet can supercharge the immune system, making you almost totally resistant to colds, influenza and other infections. 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?
My Notes from Super Immunity, by Joel Fuhrman
Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s Super Immunity Diet