Super Immunity: The Essential Nutrition Guide for Boosting Your Body’s Defenses to Live Longer, Stronger, and Disease Free (2011) by physician Joel Fuhrman explains how to use nutrition to prevent disease and increase longevity. In Fuhrman’s view, when people adopt a diet high in micronutrients, they fuel their cells with nutrition needed to allow their immune systems to function at optimal levels. His equation for long-term health is simple: Health = Nutrients/Calories. In other words, a healthy diet involves eating foods that have the highest nutrient count per calorie.
Common cold and flu epidemics currently cost the US economy approximately $40 billion annually. Rates of sickness will only balloon in coming years, unless people shift their current attitudes and behaviors.
The mainstream perspective on health and wellness has become largely defensive. People are not proactive about strengthening their immunity. The modern diet is full of processed foods with additives and other cancer-causing agents. Unsurprisingly, an unhealthy diet is a major factor in the development of illness, as it places stress on the body, which weakens the immune response. As a result, when people get sick, they turn to the best modern medicine has to offer: toxic medications that aren’t efficacious and are sometimes even harmful.
However, eating foods that help to clear toxins and waste from cells will allow the body’s immune system to ward off infections. Exposure to illness, including colds, viruses, and mutated genes that lead to cancer, is not the primary cause of illness. Rather, the quality of the immune system is. When people understand how to fuel their immune systems, they can be exposed to illnesses and either won’t get sick or will have rapid recovery times.
Adopting a “nutritarian” diet, which consists of a broad range of super foods, will prevent illnesses, including cancer and Alzheimer’s disease, and increase longevity.  Super foods contain phytochemicals, which are compounds found in plants that boost the immune system. Phytochemicals are a type of micronutrient, and they are beneficial for basic nutrition support, as well as a secondary layer of protection and immunity.
In recent years, scientists have identified hundreds of phytochemicals and studied approximately 150 of them in depth. Though the field of nutritional medicine is relatively new, the existing science on the healing properties of super foods is quite promising. Research has proven that eating a diverse selection of super foods has an aggregate effect; the more phytochemicals, the greater the functioning of the cells.
It’s wise to rely on macronutrients, such as carbohydrates, fat, and protein, for calories that provide fuel and energy, and on a diverse selection of micronutrients for protective benefits. Processed foods and animal protein should comprise no more than 10 percent of a person’s caloric intake.
The medical community can do more to educate patients about the benefits of improving their diets and consuming phytochemicals, and should use toxic medications as a last resort. Individuals can empower themselves by learning how making wiser nutritional decisions can improve their health. Adopting a nutritarian lifestyle has the potential to vastly improve health, not only individually, but also globally.