Everyone is buzzing over the latest private-chef-shares-all-secrets from power couple Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen’s strict diet. No white sugar! A ton of vegetables! The banning of complex carbs!
According to their private chef, 80 percent of what they eat is vegetables. “[I buy] the freshest vegetables. If it’s not organic, I don’t use it. And whole grains: brown rice, quinoa, millet, beans. The other 20 percent is lean meats: grass-fed organic steak, duck every now and then, and chicken. As for fish, I mostly cook wild salmon.”
“Tom and Gisele’s diet actually looks quite healthy,” says celebrity nutritionist Cynthia Pasquella. “I don’t feel it’s rigid or limiting in any way. In fact, their one simple decision to cut out white flour and sugar can cause a huge transformation in overall weight and health. Also, dairy, which they steer clear of, is the number-one food sensitivity I’ve seen in clients and can result in bloating, weight gain, acne and increased inflammation.”
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But one really specific detail that has some people scratching their heads: Tom and Gisele won’t eat nightshades (tomatoes, peppers, mushrooms, eggplants), because, according to their chef, these foods are not anti-inflammatory, and he claims that tomatoes, in particular, actually cause inflammation.
“This is where I call their diet into question, or at least their chef’s reasoning behind it. If you have an autoimmune disease or a food sensitivity to nightshades, then you should definitely avoid them. However, the vast majority of people will have absolutely zero problems tolerating them,” Pasquella says.
“In fact, a study in the Journal of Nutrition in 2011 showed yellow and purple potatoes actually lowered blood markers for inflammation in healthy men. In addition, mushrooms are actually powerful inflammation fighters! They have a large diversity of bioactive compounds that fight inflammation while providing a wide range of other therapeutic effects. To say that they’re not anti-inflammatory simply isn’t true.”
And Tampa, FL, dietitian Alexandra Vermillion adds that nightshades have a whole bunch of other benefits, including the always in-demand duo of vitamins and antioxidants. “You actually may be doing more harm than good by avoiding nightshade vegetables. No scientific evidence supports the theory that they increase inflammation,” she says. “In fact, nightshade plants contain many antioxidants such as vitamin C and lycopene that actually fight inflammation.”