Whether you’re a Patriots fan or not, quarterback Tom Brady is an American hero.
How many more Super Bowls will he win? It really doesn’t matter (except to millions of New Englanders, including my cousins), because his greatest achievement is that he is using his fame and power to help Americans become healthier.
Modern medicine is beginning to understand what the ancients have known for centuries: all disease begins in the gut. The discovery of the microbiome has made scientists aware that our gut health is able to dramatically affect every aspect of our well-being, including our mental health and our relationships. Food is medicine, yet modern (read: Western) health practitioners have largely neglected the importance of diet and lifestyle—and as a consequence, we are faced with a growing epidemic of obesity, diabetes, and other serious conditions.
Can Tom Brady help us make a comeback from chronic sickness and disease? We are in the middle of a diet war. Many of us live on fast food, ignoring advice from both conventional or alternative diet experts. Even those of us who are trying to improve our health through diet often cannot decide with certainty which one is best—Mediterranean? Paleo? Vegan? Ketogenic?! My family is constantly experimenting with variations of these diets, and even we don’t have all the answers.
Who will win the diet wars? Well, maybe we are thinking about this the wrong way. Maybe instead of seeing this as a conflict, we can view it as a path to self-discovery. Each of us must discover what is right for our own body.
Tom Brady has won his own Diet War. He and his wife Gisele have found a diet that is right for them—a diet that he has found to reduce inflammation, which we know is a main contributor for every illness, from heart disease, to arthritis, to Alzheimer’s. He is showing us—not only by his words, but by example—that a 40-year-old can play in the Super Bowl. This is a powerful message.
Here’s a sample of what Tom and Gisele regularly eat:
>> 80 percent organic vegetables and non-gluten whole grains (brown rice, quinoa, millet, beans)
>> 20 percent lean meats (grass-fed organic steak, lamb, skinless turkey and chicken, and certain fish)
>> Eggs (organic, cage-free, omega-3 enriched)
>> Fruit (Tom likes blueberry smoothies with bananas, protein power, almond milk, and nuts)
>> Extra virgin olive, coconut, almond, and sesame oils
The couple limits or avoids:
>> White sugar
>> Refined carbohydrates
>> Unhealthy fats (hydrogenated oils)
>> Iodized salt (use Himalayan pink salt)
>> Nightshades (potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants)
>> Genetically modified ingredients
In Tom’s new book, The TB12 Method: How to Achieve a Lifetime of Sustained Peak Performance, he also recommends regular probiotics and supplements.
Brady says, “You know why I love to eat good? ‘Cause it makes me feel better. And if I feel better, then I can work out more. And if I can work out more, I go play soccer with my kids on a Saturday in the backyard, and then play a football game on Sunday.”
Share the news: eat better to feel better.
Brady, Tom. The TB12 Method: How to Achieve a Lifetime of Sustained Peak Performance. Simon & Schuster, 2017.
Wallace, Robert Keith and Samantha Wallace. Gut Crisis: How Diet, Probiotics, and Friendly Bacteria Help You Lose Weight and Heal Your Body and Mind. Dharma Publications, 2017.
Author: Robert & Samantha Wallace
Image: U.S. Department of Agriculture/Flickr
Editor: Callie Rushton
Copy Editor: Catherine Monkman