Wellness | Celebrity diet advice: time to drop it like a hot potato

FAMILY: Nightshades are part of the plant family of tomatoes, white potatoes, eggplants and capsicums.
FAMILY: Nightshades are part of the plant family of tomatoes, white potatoes, eggplants and capsicums.

Step away from that potato! It's dangerous.

Relax! I'm in a good mood. I won't throw it at you, I promise.

I mean you might not want to eat it. Not if you're seeking eternal youth.

Eh? Who could deny the nutritional power of a delicious Sebago?

Tom Brady, that's who.

He's the American footballer who just won his seventh Superbowl.

He's 43 - geriatric in sporting years - and the oldest quarterback to win the championship.

And potatoes are part of his story how?

It's said that the reason for Tom's implausible sprightliness is - you guessed it - his diet.

And, true to the rules of celebrity nutrition, it's a bit bonkers. He strictly avoids nightshades.

Good for him. I can't abide those insufferable poseurs who wear their sunnies after dark.

But while I applaud Tom Brady for his wise style decision, I can't see the health benefits - unless we're talking accident prevention.

Nightshades are not fashion accessories. They're the plant family of tomatoes, white potatoes, eggplants and capsicums.

But those are the good guys! You've just listed four of my daily five.

According to the Brady bunch - which includes his wife, supermodel Giselle Bundchen - nightshades contain alkaloids, which increase inflammation and harm your health.

Science, however, begs to differ.

In fact, there's evidence that nightshades might actually have anti-inflammatory properties.

There certainly seems to be no credible reason to stop eating them.

And Tom's advice - enshrined in his book The TB12 Method: How to Achieve a Lifetime of Sustained Peak Performance, has horrified dietitians, who spend their lives trying to coax more vegetables into us.

So if not nightshade avoidance, what's Tom's secret?

I'd hazard a guess that it's the cumulative effect of lifestyle factors including but not limited to: a net worth estimated at $200 million, advanced transcendental meditation practice, swigging buckets of water daily and frequent spells at a private resort in the Bahamas for 'deep force' massages and other maintenance from a dedicated celebrity trainer.

Plus a personal chef who ensures that - aside from the nightshade refusal - Tom's diet is impeccable: mainly plant based, 100 per cent organic, no processed foods and very low sugar.

So where does this leave my potatoes?

On the plate. Or, much like most celebrity diet advice, half-baked.

  • Amy Cooper is a journalist who embraces wellness, but has also used kale to garnish a cocktail.