“…your one-stop guide to taking care of your immune system so that it can do its best to take care of you.”
In the quest for better health and well-being, we often find ourselves seeking ways to strengthen our immune system, that invisible shield safeguarding us against infections and illnesses. Yet, the true nature of immune resilience is far more intricate and dynamic than merely relying on seasonal supplements.
In her enlightening book ‘Immune Resilience,’ Romilly Hodges delves deep into the fascinating world of our immune system, unraveling the secrets to fortifying it. With a compelling blend of scientific insights and practical advice, Hodges reveals how our diet and lifestyle choices profoundly impact our immune responses.
Romilly Hodges is a highly qualified and accomplished professional in the field of clinical nutrition and functional medicine.
With credentials including an MS, CNS, CDN, and IFMCP, she is both board and state certified in clinical nutrition and functional medicine. Hodges’ expertise lies in immune health, and she has an extensive background in this area.
Hodges served as the Director of Nutrition Programs at a prominent interdisciplinary clinic. She is also an accomplished writer and educator. Her contributions include writing for peer-reviewed journal publications, textbooks, professional training programs, and online articles.
What is the book about?
In ‘Immune Resilience,’ Romilly Hodges explores the latest scientific research on natural interventions to support immune health and provides practical tools to incorporate this knowledge into everyday life.
The book covers a wide range of topics, including:
How nutrients and food compounds influence the immune system
How to boost immune memory naturally
The significance of reducing inflammation to fight germs and diseases
Underlying health conditions that can affect immune resilience
Impact of stress and sleep on immune health
Lifestyle habits that influence overall immune function
What to eat, what to avoid, and when to consider fasting for immune system benefits
Romilly’s approach is backed by easy-to-understand scientific connections, quizzes to assess individual resilience levels, a food guide, immune-boosting recipes, and practical resources.
‘IImmune Resilience’ provides readers with a comprehensive analysis of how to optimise their immune system and lead a healthier lifestyle. It explores the interplay between diet, environment, supplements, exercise, gut health, stress, sleep, and inflammation to promote immunity. Throughout the book, readers will find personalised, step-by-step programs tailored to their unique needs, combining defense-building foods with lifestyle strategies.
Table of contents
- Introduction Why do you need immune resilience?
- Part 1 Germs vs. Your immune system
- Chapter 1 Hidden enemies around us
- Chapter 2 What makes an immune system resilient?
- Chapter 3 Fortifications and civilian army: Your multitalented, dynamic barrier cells and more
- Chapter 4 Special operations forces: Highly trained immune cells with formidable superpowers
- Chapter 5 Strategic allies: Indispensable, beneficial microbes that broaden and fine-tune your defenses
- Part 2 Are you helping or hindering your immune system?
- Chapter 6 Eating for an army: Foods to eat (and not to eat) to fortify your immune system
- Chapter 7 Your workhorses: Vitamins and minerals you can’t do without
- Chapter 8 Hidden in plain sight: The impact of invisible environmental toxins on your immune system
- Chapter 9 Living a good life: The importance of your lifestyle in supporting immune health
- Part 3 Your immune resilience plan
- Chapter 10 The immune resilience diet: Your foundation for immune health
- Chapter 11 Food principles to live by: Navigating day-to-day food choices
- Chapter 12 Immune-boosting supplements: Gems that take immune support to the next level
- Chapter 13 Your lifestyle plan: Practical strategies for exercise, stress, sleep, nature, and clean living
- Chapter 14 Underlying conditions that can derail immune resilience: And what to do about them
- Chapter 15 What to do when you get sick
- Part 4 Recipes
- Author’s note
Key takeaways from ‘Immune Resilience’
1Avoid simple carbs and processed foods, eat ‘the right kinds of plants’ and ‘the right kinds of fats’
The book highlights two food categories that have a significant impact on immune resilience. These are simple carbohydrates and processed foods, especially ultra-processed foods. Simple carbohydrates support the growth of harmful microbes, compromising the immune system. Ultra-processed foods not only increases the risk of mortality but also impairs the immune system, making it less effective in fighting off infections.
In contrast to these food categories, the author cites the consumption of ‘the right kinds of plants’ and ‘the right kinds of fats.’
Regarding plants, numerous research studies have shown that consuming unrefined, colourful, and fibre-rich plant foods can strengthen immune barriers, support beneficial gut microbes, and lower inflammation.
When it comes to fats, the book highlights that fats are essential for immune health, and some types of saturated fats, like those found in certain foods, are beneficial. The balance of fats in the diet and cell membranes is crucial for optimal immune function. Omega-3 and omega-6 fats, though often misinterpreted as ‘bad’ and ‘good,’ respectively, both play essential roles in immune resilience, with the key being a proper ratio between the two.
2Quality of sleep matters more than quantity
One of the most important factors for a healthy immune system is quality sleep. While the recommended sleep duration is between seven and nine hours per night, individual needs can vary.
Despite the fact that quantity matters, quality is what really counts. Hodges explain that ‘in one research study, participants who slept less than seven hours per night but reported that they felt like they were getting adequate sleep did not have the same increased immune vulnerability (in this study, to pneumonia) as those who slept more but who didn’t feel it was enough.’
To improve sleep, set up your bedroom for optimal conditions with a cool temperature and complete darkness. Establish a consistent sleep routine, avoid screens before bedtime, and engage in relaxing activities. Be mindful of your food and drink intake, avoiding large meals and caffeine in the afternoon. Lastly, consider tracking your sleep patterns with wearable devices to ensure you’re getting the restorative sleep your immune system needs to function optimally.
3Spending time outdoors offers majour health benefits
The book sheds light on the profound impact of natural environments on immune resilience. As urbanisation spreads, we are increasingly distanced from nature, leading to a rise in immune-related diseases.
The author gives instances of several research that prove that greater exposure to diverse natural environments can enhance immune tolerance, protect against immune dysfunction, improve immune cell function and reduced inflammation.
The book encourages readers to embrace nature through simple actions like gardening, exploring local parks, camping, picking outdoor hobbies, and integrating nature into daily activities. These steps not only strengthen immune health but also provide a sense of peace and well-being.
Overall rating & strengths and weaknesses, according to readers’ reviews
Packed with evidence-based information, the book serves as a reliable guide for both lay people folks and clinicians looking to improve immune health.
Offers practical strategies to nourish the body and support a well-functioning immune system in the current environment.
Easy to understand. The author’s use of analogies and simple language makes complex immune system processes accessible to all readers.
Some recommendations may be generalised, and readers with specific health conditions or unique situations may require more tailored advice.
Best quotes from ‘Immune Resilience’
“Interestingly, in one research study, participants who slept less than seven hours per night but reported that they felt like they were getting adequate sleep did not have the same increased immune vulnerability (in this study, to pneumonia) as those who slept more but who didn’t feel it was enough.”
“One of my biggest ever aha! moments came when a wise educator in stress resilience explained that having some kind of regular mind-body practice … wasn’t just about relaxing in that moment, although that is a helpful piece of it. But, even more important, it’s about training your mind so that it learns a different response to stress. That way, even when you’re not in the middle of your mind-training practice, your brain is still able to respond to stresses in a more resilient way.”
“Surprisingly, perhaps, your heart isn’t intended to tick as evenly as a metronome. Instead, a healthy heart has minute levels of variation in the time from one heartbeat to the next. These variations are a good thing, indicating that the subconscious part of your nervous system (known as the autonomic nervous system) is able to adjust continuously to its environment. In other words, it demonstrates its resilience.”
‘Immune Resilience’ is a comprehensive and well-researched guide. With a perfect balance of scientific insights and practical advice, the author takes readers on a captivating exploration of the intricate workings of the immune system. From the impact of diet and environment to the significance of sleep and stress management, Hodges offers valuable tools to fortify the body’s natural defenses.
This book is a must-read for individuals seeking to optimise their immune health. Whether you are already healthy and want to maintain your well-being or struggling with health issues and seeking evidence-based solutions, ‘Immune Resilience’ provides valuable insights to make informed lifestyle changes.
Where to buy
You may purchase ‘Immune Resilience’ on Amazon at the best price. It is available in paperback, hardcover, spiral bound, audio and Kindle versions, so you may choose an option that appeals to you the most.
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