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What You Need to Know About Tom Brady's TB12 Diet

Is the TB12 diet a fad diet or worth the hype?

If you're looking for a new diet that might improve your strength and stamina, it may be tempting to adopt a plan followed by a six-time Super Bowl champion quarterback. Tom Brady's controversial TB12 diet, detailed in his book "The TB12 Method," has attracted a lot of attention from regular folks and athletes alike looking to improve their physical fitness. While Tom Brady is clearly in excellent shape in his forties, his diet may not be the best plan for most people to follow.

What is the TB12 Diet?

The notoriously strict TB12 diet avoids many of the foods that athletes typically shun such as refined sugar, white flour, and processed foods but it takes the restrictions even further. TB12 also eschews iodized salt and restricts nightshade vegetables which can cause inflammation in some people. Nightshade foods include eggplant, mushrooms, tomatoes, white potatoes, and red peppers.

With all these restrictions, what can a person on this diet eat? Brady feasts on most vegetables including carrots and dandelion greens and he also enjoys small portions of lean meats such as grass-fed organic steak, lean chicken, and wild salmon. He also eats whole grain foods, beans, seeds, nuts, and other foods derived from plants. Brady also drinks an amazing 12 to 25 glasses of electrolyte-infused water per day, totaling up to 2.5 gallons.

What Does Science Have to Say About This Diet?

For the average person, the TB12 diet is unduly restrictive and many of its guidelines aren’t supported by science. Doctors say that it is perfectly fine for people to eat nightshades if they aren't sensitive or allergic to them. By removing them from your diet, you're missing out on rich sources of vitamins, protein, and fiber. For example, tomatoes contain lycopene which is shown to actually reduce inflammation and help prevent strokes. Mushrooms contain an abundance of vitamin D and many varieties contain vitamin B, copper, and selenium.

Doctors also say that eliminating iodized salt is not recommended for most people because iodine is necessary for a healthy thyroid. Without sufficient intake of this nutrient, people are at risk of developing goiters and neurocognitive impairments. It’s important to add salt to your diet in moderation though to avoid raising your blood pressure and straining the function of your vital organs.

Although some of the dietary restrictions don't pan out, Brady's elimination of refined carbs, added sugar, and other processed foods are highly recommended for everyone. These foods are linked to inflammation in your body which can result in the progression of heart disease. When these inflammation-causing foods are replaced with veggies and other plant foods, it can help you stay healthier and keep your weight in check.

[Image via Sky Cinema /]

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