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Episode 464
The Doctor's Farmacy

Eat These 5 Superfoods To Enhance Your Brain And Body

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While the term “superfood” carries a certain hype, some foods do earn that status. Food is medicine. And some foods are more powerful medicines than others! Food is the most powerful tool to create optimal health.

In this episode of my new Masterclass series, I am interviewed by my good friend and podcast host, Dhru Purohit, about the power of using food as medicine. I also share five superfoods I frequently enjoy that you should also incorporate into your eating plan.

This episode is brought to you by Rupa Health and Paleovalley.

Rupa Health is a place for Functional Medicine practitioners to access more than 2,000 specialty lab tests from over 20 labs like DUTCH, Vibrant America, Genova, Great Plains, and more. Check out a free live demo with a Q&A or create an account here.

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I hope you enjoyed this conversation as much as I did. Wishing you health and happiness,
Mark Hyman, MD
Mark Hyman, MD

Guest

 
Mark Hyman, MD

Mark Hyman, MD is the Founder and Director of The UltraWellness Center, the Head of Strategy and Innovation of Cleveland Clinic's Center for Functional Medicine, and a 13-time New York Times Bestselling author.

If you are looking for personalized medical support, we highly recommend contacting Dr. Hyman’s UltraWellness Center in Lenox, Massachusetts today.

 
Dhru Purohit

Dhru Purohit is a podcast host, serial entrepreneur, and investor in the health and wellness industry. His podcast, the Dhru Purohit Podcast, is a top 50 global health podcast with over 30+ million unique downloads. His interviews focus on the inner workings of the brain and the body and feature the brightest minds in wellness, medicine, and mindset.

Show Notes

  1. Chai Pancake Recipe
  2. Try This: A Deep Dive Into The Healing Power Of Polyphenols
  3. Shake Recipes

Transcript Note: Please forgive any typos or errors in the following transcript. It was generated by a third party and has not been subsequently reviewed by our team.

Speaker 1:
Coming up on this episode of The Doctor’s Farmacy.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
The one rule I have is if it’s not food, I don’t eat it. So if it’s full of chemicals, high-fructose corn syrup, additives, I just won’t eat it.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Hey everybody. It’s Dr. Mark Hyman. Welcome to my new series on The Doctor’s Farmacy called Masterclass, where we dive in deep into popular health topics, including inflammation, autoimmune diseases, brain health sleep, and a lot more. And today I’m joined by my good friend, my guest host, and my business partner, and the host of the Dhru Purohit Podcast, Dhru Purohit himself.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And we’re going to be talking about my favorite subject, which is food as medicine, and it has the power to prevent, treat, and even reverse most chronic diseases. And we’re also going to be talking about my favorite super foods. So let’s go Dhru.

Dhru Purohit:
Mark, thanks for having me. Love hosting these with you, they’re super popular. And thank you everyone for the questions and the topics suggestions you’re writing in. Today, as Mark mentioned, we’re talking about the topic of super foods. And Mark, before I ask you the first question, just setting the stage, people are always interested in the types of foods that you’re paying attention to. Even though you have your pegan diet, people want to know, are there special foods that are out there?

Dhru Purohit:
Now, today’s podcast is a little bit about giving the people what they want, but then really giving them what they need, and stay tuned to find out what we mean by that. But let’s jump right in. Mark, what five, some of the five top foods right now at this moment, top super foods that you are paying attention to, and maybe have been consuming for a few years now?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Well, in fairness, Dhru, we’re picking five, but there’s 25,000 phytochemicals in plants that have powerful effects on the body. And it’s important to understand, before I go through these five, that when you eat food, there’s information in it, far beyond calories, beyond protein, fat, fiber, carbohydrate, and that information in food is driving all the biochemistry in your body, and it’s even building the stuff you’re made of.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And there’s literally billions of chemical reactions that happen in your body every second, and they’re all regulated by various inputs. Your thoughts, your feelings, your microbiome, and so forth, but the biggest input every single day that we used to modify our biology for good or bad, our foods, and those foods determine the quality of your biology, the quality of your health, and the quality of your life at the end of the day.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
So we’re going to be talking about how food is medicine, how it’s a biological response modify, or how it’s literally code that upgrades or downgrades your biological software with every single bite. So I’m going to use these five foods as an example of the power of foods to regulate your biology, and the truth about it is that it is more effective than most medication. In fact, it works faster, better, is cheaper, and it has very good side effects.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
So there’s really a new understanding about the role of food as medicine, not as a sort of medicine light, but actually as more powerful than most current therapies for chronic disease. Just take diabetes, for example. There is no drug that can reverse diabetes, but food can, and that’s been demonstrated over and over. So let’s jump into these five foods.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
My first is probably something you’ve never heard about, called cognac, and I don’t mean the drink. I mean cognac root. It’s a special kind of fiber. It’s from a tuber, it’s Japanese tuber that is used in Japanese cuisine. And it’s got zero calories, but it contains incredible fiber that is both prebiotic, which means it feeds the good part of your microbiome, but it also slows the absorption of sugar and fats into your bloodstream.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
So it helps you balance your blood sugar and cholesterol, and it’s something you can buy as a powder and you can mix it in water and drink it, but also, you can take it as noodles. Yes, I said noodles. So you can have your favorite noodle pasta dish, but instead, swap out these noodles and it actually provides an incredible benefit to your body in terms of the fiber and the regulation of your blood sugar and insulin, as well as cholesterol. And the noodles are often called shirataki noodles. This is the Japanese name for them. You can Google them, but they’re really good and yummy, and you can put all kinds of sauce on them and just treat them like pasta. So that’s one of my favorites.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Another one is a food that’s been recently rediscovered, that’s pretty striking, that has among the most phytochemicals of any plant food ever discovered, and it’s buckwheat, and it’s a particular kind of buckwheat from the Himalayas called Himalayan tartary buckwheat. That’s been around for over 3,500 years, but only recently rediscovered by my good friend, colleague, and mentor Dr. Jeffrey Bland.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And I won’t go into the whole story because we’ve talked about it before on the podcast, but this particular plant is grown in very tough conditions up in the Himalayas. There’re poor soils, it’s cold weather, not so much rain. It’s nasty to be a plant up there. And yet, because it’s under such stress, it produces its own defense mechanisms, which are phytochemicals.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
So the plants produce these molecules, not for our benefit, but for their benefit. It’s their immune system, it’s their defense system. And so the harder the plant is stressed, the more these chemicals are produced. So a wild strawberry is way better than an organic strawberry, is better than a commercial strawberry that’s an industrial strawberry, same thing with any food.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
So when you stress a plant like that, it produces all these phytochemicals. And what’s interesting about Himalayan tartary buckwheat is that it contains some of these molecules that are in no other plants. And one of them in particular has a particular power to rejuvenate your immune system. And as we age, there’s something called immunosenescence, which is the aging of our immune system.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And that’s why we see with COVID for example, so many people who are older or chronically ill are getting sicker and dying because their immune systems can’t handle it. So what the Himalayan tartary buckwheat has is phytochemicals that actually kill the zombie cells that are the immunosenescence cells, and really help your immune system rejuvenate.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
They also contain over 130 more phytochemicals that are polyphenols, [inaudible 00:06:18], and rutin. Quercetin for example, is very abundant in Himalayan tartary buckwheat, and it’s been found to regulate allergy immunity, gut health, as well as be beneficial in prevention of COVID.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
So there’s really some interesting compounds in there. Plus it’s got more protein, less starch and sugar, more minerals like magnesium and zinc than almost any other, what we call grain. And the thing about it, it’s not a grain. So if you’re grain-free, you get to have buckwheat, because it’s actually a flower and I guess you can eat flower.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
The next category of foods, which is really a staple in my diet. I eat this every single day because, one, I have a genetic problem that makes it hard for me to make a molecule called glutathione. And two, it’s just such a delicious food, and three, it has all these other benefits. So these are the cruciferous vegetables or brassicas, and they include things like broccoli, cabbage, collards, kohlrabi, kale. I think arugula is part of it, and Brussels sprouts.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
So all those kinds of family of vegetables contain compounds called glucosinolates and sulfloraphanes, and many other compounds as well. But these have turned out to be incredibly powerful to upregulate a molecule in your body called glutathione. And this molecule has so many functions in the body, but particularly it’s powerful in regulating immune system and improving your antioxidant system, and detoxifying.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
In fact, it’s the master antioxidant, master detoxifier, and master regulative immune system. And it’s made by the body, but it often is sluggish and making it when we’re exposed to so many toxins, and some of us like me have a gene that doesn’t make that much of it. So historically, we weren’t exposed to 80,000 different toxic chemicals and all this pollution and crap, and so we really didn’t need to have a robust detox system.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And so for me, it’s really important to have at least two cups a day of these cruciferous vegetables. I like broccolini, I love that one. And you can mix and match, and have all kinds of different ones, but these are really critical. Plus not only do they contain these compounds that are detoxifying, but they’re also anti-cancer.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And in China, they did an incredible study where they looked at the urine samples among Chinese, and they did food questionnaires, and they found that those who had the most of these compounds in their urine, namely, most of the sort of broccoli kind of extracts was there, broccoli metabolites in the urine, they had the lowest rates of cancer.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
So there’s a direct correlation between high intakes of these foods and low rates of cancer.

Dhru Purohit:
And Mark, just before you go into the next one, I was just going to add in that if people don’t love broccolini or broccoli, although it’s an acquired taste, and if you put some nice little bit of butter, sea salt, they can also do broccoli sprouts-

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yes.

Dhru Purohit:
Which have 10 times the amount, if you could just chat about that for a second.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yes. Sure. So yeah, broccoli sprouts are like broccoli on steroids basically. And you can put them on salads, they’re really delicious or little spicy yummy, and they’re really high levels of these phytochemicals like sulforaphane, glucosinolates. And then all these other compounds are also in these vegetables like magnesium, folate, and as well as vitamin k, and iron, and many, many other really beneficial nutrients that we need. So it’s a real staple.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
The next major category of food is mushrooms, and I’m not talking about the white button mushrooms, which actually, are not that nutritious. And particularly, you should not eat them raw because they have a natural carcinogen in them. But I’m talking about mushrooms that have been used for thousands of years in China and Japan, and other countries, and that actually have powerful medicinal properties.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And they contain classic carbohydrates called polysaccharides, and these polysaccharides have dramatic potential to boost immune function, to help cancer, and many, many other things. So for example, my favorites are shiitake, maitake, and lion’s mane. So shiitake is wonderful for immune function. Maitake is also wonderful for immune function, but also cancer prevention. And there’s many, many studies on maitake and cancer.And then the last is the lion’s mane, which looks like a brain and actually, is great for neuroplasticity.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
So you generally can take them as supplements, but you can cook them. I roast them in the oven. I saute them. They’re delicious, little garlic, and they’re really yummy, and they’re great for you. And there’s a whole new mushroom explosion literally happening in our country with the exploration of different kinds of edible mushrooms, therapeutic mushrooms, psychedelic mushrooms. So we’re really entering a mushroom revolution and stay tuned, because there’re billions of dollars flowing into this marketplace.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And the last… And again, there’s 25,000 different molecules and I could have picked 10 other foods, but these are the one that I kind of really like to talk about today. And the other is green tea. Now, green tea has classic compounds called epigallocatechin galletes which are powerful antioxidants, but they also upregulate glutathione. They’re powerful in detoxification. They’re anti-cancer, they’ve been shown to improve immune function for example, around COVID.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
So they’re really powerful, and you can just drink green tea, and there’s matcha, there’s sencha. I like the brown rice one, green tea with brown rice. I think it’s called genmaicha, or something. I probably screwed that up but it’s great. And those are something you can incorporate in your day, just as a cup of green tea or iced tea. I put matcha powder in my smoothie, for example. So there are lot of ways to get it. I think that these are really important super foods that we should be incorporating on our diet on a regular basis.

Dhru Purohit:
Mark, help us zoom out a little bit, and you talked about the power of food as medicine. I don’t think a lot of people understand how many total global deaths are directly linked to us having an ultra-processed diet, and not having the right types of foods in our diet that support our ability to make all these beautiful things happen that you were chatting about earlier.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah. It’s staggering Dhru. In my lifetime, I’ve seen a dramatic change. Now, when I was born, 5% was the obesity rate. Now it’s 40%. It’s staggering, it’s an eight-fold increase, and the reason is we’ve increased our intake of ultra-processed foods. It’s now 60% of our diet. If we are at all 67% of our children, and it’s also lack of protective foods. So it’s too much of the bad stuff and not enough of the protective stuff, like the foods I was just talking about.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
It accounts for over 11,000,000 deaths a year, and I think that’s a gross underestimate because about 75% of global deaths are caused from chronic disease, and most of that is driven by poor diet. And that’s heart disease, diabetes, cancer, kidney disease, high blood pressure, strokes, Alzheimer’s, all the things that people get sick and die of are primarily diet related diseases.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And so, that’s why we see 75% of Americans overweight, 88% are metabolically unhealthy. What does that mean? That means they have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or high blood sugar. Those are all diseases of too much starch and sugar. They’re basically this spectrum of prediabetes.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And so, we’re in a massive crisis, and the beautiful thing is that food can literally transform all of those things. Even with infectious disease, we think, oh, what does it have to do with getting a cold or COVID? But it turns out that 63% of hospitalizations for COVID, could it be attributed to poor diet? That’s a staggering number, when you think almost two-thirds of all the hospitalizations in America for COVID could have been prevented by poor diet.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
That would mean that we probably wouldn’t have to worry about the extreme measures we’ve gone to, lockdown, the shut down, the masking, the vaccinations, all that is because we want to keep the hospitals from being overwhelmed and overrun by COVID patients. So it would literally change the whole structure of our response to COVID overnight.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And I think people don’t understand how important food is to regulate your biology. And the reason is, Dhru, is that when you understand what’s in food, and I think it would be worth breaking it down a little bit. The most important thing to understand is that the quality matters, the source matters, where it was grown matters. The quality of the seed matters. The quality of the soil matters. The way it was grown and transported, and processed, and where you could buy it, all those things influence the quality of the nutrition in the plant or in the animal.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And so, we’ve developed a food system which is really great at creating a lot of starchy, well preserved carbohydrate calories that can sit on a shelf for years and not go bad, but that is not what we want to be eating because within food, when you look at the quality aspect, it says everything about how food can regulate your biology.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
So for example, protein, fat, carbs, I’ll just go through a couple of examples. So protein, you think proteins, protein, protein, is it all the same? Well, no, it’s not. If you’re eating a feedlot cow versus let’s say a legitimately raised grass-fed cow, the effects on your biology are radically different, even if it’s the same grams of protein.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
So for example, the feedlot cow will be full of antibiotics, will be fed a lot of grain, will have a lot of omega-6 fats, may have all kinds of other inflammatory molecules in them because of the diet they’re eating, and the way they’re raised, plus all the antibiotics, and so forth. The regeneratively raised grass-fed cow is eating maybe a wide variety of plants, 50 to a 100 different plants, many medicinal plants with all kinds of phytochemicals. They have higher levels of omega-3, higher levels of vitamins, higher levels of antioxidants, higher levels of what we call phytochemicals.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And you’re like, “Wait a minute, Dr. Hyman. How are there phytochemicals in animals? That doesn’t even make sense. They’re called phyto, which means plants. How can they be plant chemicals in meat?” So the animals eat the plants and we eat the animals. And basically, we are whatever we’re eating ate. So we’re seeing, for example, there’s high levels of some of these beneficial phytochemicals like the catechins in, for example, goat milk has been eating certain shrubs and plants as we do in green tea.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
So that’s profound to discover that, and the quality changes the effects on your biology. And there’s been some studies looking at if you eat, for example, wild meat versus feedlot meat, you eat feedlot meat, same grams of protein, your inflammation goes up. Eat the wild meat, goes down, right? So the quality matters.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Fat’s another example. You could eat the same grams of trans fat, like basically shortening, as you do of omega-3 fats, which comes from fish. And it binds to a part of your cell called PPAR, which is basically a receptor on the nucleus of your cells. And when the trans fat binds that receptor, gram for gram, it turns on inflammation. It slows down your metabolism. It makes you pre-diabetic. When you have the same amount of fat from fish oil, it will actually reduce inflammation. It will speed up your metabolism and it’ll reverse diabetes.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
So same fat in terms of the amount, but the quality matters. Same thing with carbohydrates. If you have Himalayan tartary buckwheat flour, and you make pancakes from that, versus modern dwarf wheat, which is super starchy, has way more glide in proteins than traditional wheat, and is sprayed with glyphosate at harvest, which is a terrible destroyer of your microbiome and the soil microbiome, and also affects the risk for cancer. And it’s then preserved with something called calcium propionate, which is a preservative that causes autism in animal studies and hyperactivity behavioral issues in kids. That’s a very different kind of pancake, even though you’re eating the same amount of carbohydrate.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
So that’s just on the macronutrient level, but on the micronutrient level, there’s also big differences in vitamin mineral content, but the bigger differences are in the phytochemical content. There’s a wonderful book called Eat Wild, which talks about for example, [inaudible 00:17:43] wild blueberry, and a conventional blueberry, or a small purple Peruvian potato versus a giant Idaho starchy potato, or the difference between sort of traditional native American corn versus the modern corn.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Even though they’re all corn or whatever, the phytochemicals are profoundly different and have tremendous differences in their biological effects. So when we’re eating food, we’re not just eating for energy. We’re not just eating for protein, fat or carbohydrate, or fiber. We’re not just eating for vitamin minerals. We’re eating for this class of compounds, which turns out to be probably the most single most important regulator of all your biological functions, and is the major determinant on the quality of your health and aging.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
So if you want to create health, these are not optional. So we talk about essential nutrients and vitamins and minerals as being essential to life, and if you don’t have them you die. Well, you’re not going to get a deficiency disease if you don’t have these phytochemicals like scurvy or rickets, but you will develop chronic disease and you will age faster if you don’t have these protective compounds in your body on a daily basis.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
So it’s so important to understand that the quality of your diet matters at every single level, and the source matters, and all those things along the entire supply chain matter if you’re going to actually think about what you’re eating.

Dhru Purohit:
Mark, that was a great breakdown. Now, you talk about these 25,000 known chemical compounds and foods. And I think one thing to expand on is that we’re not just eating them for us. We’re eating them for something else that’s in our body. Can you just talk about what that is?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah. So the truth is we just may be a vehicle for bacteria. We’re not actually more human than we are bacteria. In fact, there’re more bacteria in you than your own body cells by 10 times. There’s probably a 100 times much bacterial DNA as your own DNA, which is, let’s say you have 20,000 genes, or maybe 2,000,000 or 3,000,000, or 5,000,000 bacterial genes, all producing proteins, all which are information molecules that are being absorbed and regulating your body’s function.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And there may be as many of the metabolites from bacteria in your blood as your own body’s metabolites. It’s just staggering, and we have just begun to sort of understand this. We talk about our metabolome, which is all the biochemical reactions in our body, which is like thousands and tens of thousands, but there’s also the metabolome of the microbiome.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And so, the quality of your microbiome determines the quality of your health, which is all those bugs in your gut, which is essentially the biggest and most important organ in your body. And what determines the quality of your microbiome is what you’re eating. So if you’re feeding it refined oils and processed food, and sugar and starch, you’re going to grow a bunch of nasty weeds in there that are causing inflammation, causing aging, causing diabetes, causing you to gain weight, and a whole host of other things, including autoimmune disease, and maybe even autism and dementia.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
However, if you’re feeding them the good stuff, which they like to eat, the good bugs grow. So you either fertilize the bad bugs or the good bugs, and the good bugs tend to love polyphenols. These are really important, and these compounds are all these colorful things you see in the rainbow of fruits and vegetables. Pomegranate, cranberry, green tea, for example, feed particularly bacteria in the gut that is critical for immune function and for preventing cancer and heart disease.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
So when you increase the phytochemical richness of your diet, you’re increasing the quality of the microbiome and your overall health. So people think of, “Oh, calories,” they think of glycemic index or glycemic load. I like to think of the phytochemical richness of your diet, or what I call the phytochemical index. We should have a phytochemical index, which is how good are the phytochemicals in food?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And the truth is that how we grow food in this country in soils that are depleted, and in ways that are not encouraging the growth of these phytochemicals, because the seed quality we pick. We’re just depleted in these vital chemicals, and more than ever, we see the 800 different species of plants. Now, 60% of our diet comes from three plants, basically corn, wheat, and soy, which are all turned into industrial processed food.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And we should be eating a wide variety of weird foods. I love to eat weird food. Whenever I go to the grocery store and I see some weird vegetable I’ve never eaten before, I pick it up and I eat it. I figure out what to do with it. It’s great.

Dhru Purohit:
So Mark, tell us how food affects the different core systems in the body that relate to functional medicine?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
So just take a step back, Dhru. We in medical school, I’m here visiting my daughter in Utah, and she’s in medical school and I’m looking at her textbooks, and everything is all about the organs. You’ve got your heart system and your GI system, and your respiratory system, and on and on. And they learn that there’s 155,000 different diseases, and it’s just overwhelming.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
The truth is that there are a few basic biological systems in your body that determine everything. So when they’re out of balance, you get sick. When they’re in balance, you’re healthy. And these 155,000 diseases are just downstream consequences of imbalances in these core seven systems, and these seven systems are all networked together. They’re all in together, and they’re influenced by your genetics, by your environment, and triggering factors. Various, we call them antecedent triggers and mediators or predisposing factors, and also their influence. And they can be toxins, allergens, microbes, stress, and so forth, poor diet.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And they’re also influenced by your lifestyle, what you eat, sleep, exercise, relationships, meaning, purpose, all that stuff is influencing these seven systems. And when they’re out of balance, you’re sick. And when they’re in balance, you’re healthy.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
But the biggest thing that determines the function of these systems is food. And the beautiful thing about the way this works is I’m not treating disease in functional medicine, I’m creating health. And so when I need to create health, I go, “Well, what do these systems need to function?” So let’s just go through these systems and I’ll just give you a few tips on each one, of what you can eat to actually regulate these systems.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
The first is your digestive system. We call it assimilation, which your microbiome and the whole way you bring in nutrients in your body. Well, your microbiome is harmed by food, by starch, sugar, processed food, lack of fiber, but also is incredibly dependent on food. So for example, we need prebiotic foods to feed the microbiome. Things like asparagus, plantain, artichoke hearts, and things like Jerusalem artichokes.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
These are a whole class of prebiotic foods that we can eat and include in our diet that help to feed the good bugs. The second are probiotic foods, sauerkraut, kimchi, miso, natto, all those ancient foods that we’ve been eating fermented for a long time, really important.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And the third are polyphenols, which we’ve really all see recently discovered are so critical for the microbiome. These are these colorful plant compounds. Like I was mentioning before, like pomegranate, green tea, cranberry, and all the myriad phytochemicals. And there’s a lot of them out there and the bacteria just love them. So you need to feed the good guys.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
The second part that is very related to your digestive system is your immune system, and that is actually part of your gut because 60% of your immune system’s in your gut. So how do you regulate your immune system? Well, if you eat sugar and processed food, you’re going to suppress your immune system. But if you eat certain foods that are immune regulatory and immune beneficial, you’ll actually improve your immune function.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Particularly things like garlic and ginger, things like turmeric, which is in actually a lot of Indian foods in curry, which has curcumin in it. Also other spices like Rosemary, very anti-inflammatory. So there’s a lot of foods we can eat that are colorful fruits and vegetables that are all anti-inflammatory. Cherry, for example, cherries are very inflammatory. So there’s a lot of natural foods that we can use to boost our immune function, and to reduce inflammation.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
The next is our energy system in our mitochondria. And so for example, these mitochondria can be easily damaged by processed food and sugar, the same old stuff. We now calling it SSP, starch, sugar and processed food. That’s my new acronym, starch, sugar, and processed food. And yet the energy system responds incredibly well to fats, particularly certain kinds of fats like MCT oil, which is in coconut, can help improve the quality of the function of your mitochondria, by providing foods that are high levels, for example, of the co-factors like the B vitamins, like liver is a great detox food, great energy food. So there’s a lot of foods you can eat to help boost your mitochondria.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And then there’s your detoxification system, which is really critically important for mobilizing in both internal and external toxins. And again, if we’re eating all kinds of food with pesticides and chemicals, and sugar, our body has to handle that.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
But if we eat foods, for example, like the broccoli family, like garlic and onions, like lemon peel, these are all helpful in actually [inaudible 00:26:51] detoxification, curcumin, ginger, many other foods. We may want to eat foods that contain, for example, high levels of zinc, like pumpkin seeds, that help [inaudible 00:27:00] certain detox pathways, or selenium, which is important for glutathione, which comes from Brazil nuts, or fish. So we can start to incorporate these foods and I’ve written all over about this. And if you look at my book, The Pegan Diet, it’s all in there, and I explain how all these systems are regulated by food.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And then we have the communication… Sorry, the transport system, which is your blood and lymphatic circulation. And there’s a lot of foods that are really helpful in that, all the bio flavanoids, for example, like quercetin, rutin, hesperetin, which are all in a lot of colorful plant foods and orange peels, and onions, and so forth. So there’s a lot of foods you can eat to help your circulation and lymph system. And then communication systems, how do you bounce your hormones? And for example, flax seeds and whole non-GMO soy, and cruciferous vegetables, all really important in regulating hormonal function.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And then your structural system, which is what you’re made of. So you need the right kinds of proteins. You need the right kinds of amino acids, which are more abundant in animal foods. For example, you want to build muscle, you need muscle. You can get it from eating plant foods, but you have to work really hard. And usually, bodybuilders who are vegan are pounding processed plant-based powders, which isn’t real food.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
So I think there’s real importance to understand that you really need to have all the right ingredients. If you wanted, for example, to build your cell membranes, you need omega-3 fats, which regulate your cell membranes. So these are all sort of examples, and again, I could literally write an entire textbook on this. I could talk for 10 hours on this topic, but I just want to give you a flavor of how when you eat in the right way, you start to… When I go shopping, honestly Dhru, when I go shopping, I go to the grocery store, I’m thinking, “Okay, what am I eating for my gut? What am I eating for my immune system? What am I eating for my chondriac? What am I eating for my detox system? How am I improving my circulation? What am I doing for my hormones? And I literally go through the grocery store and I have… it’s like x-ray vision. I know it’s in the foods because I’ve studied it. And I go, “Oh, I’m going to pick the mushrooms for this, and I’m going to get that.”

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And so, I’m really very deliberate about the foods I pick because I’m always choosing my medicine, and what I call my pharmacy, which is the grocery store.

Dhru Purohit:
Let’s talk about a case study. There was a patient, she publicly stated that she was your patient, and she came on TV with you one time. Her name is Janice, and-

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Oh yeah.

Dhru Purohit:
She stepped into this space of food as medicine, and completely changed her life around. Can you tell us the story of her?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
This was really striking. I know I can help people’s biology and if they follow everything I say, they will get better usually, but it’s hard to change behavior. And we developed a program at Cleveland Clinic called Functioning For Life, which is a shared medical appointment. So Janice came into one of these group appointments and she was big. Her body mass index was 43. Anything over 30 is obese, over 40 is severe obesity.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
She was 66. She had heart failure, kidneys were failing, liver was starting to fail. She was diabetic on insulin for 10 years. She’d had multiple stents in heart disease, and a high blood pressure, and a myriad of other things, and was on a ton of medication that was, “Managing her symptoms.” And now you have to understand that in medicine there’s no therapy that will reverse heart failure, except a heart transplant, and no therapy that will reverse kidney failure except a kidney transplant.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
So just keep that in mind. So she came in within three days of changing her diet to a food as medicine diet, we got rid of all the crap. Within three days, she was off for insulin. In three months, she was off all her medications, and her heart normalized, her ejection fraction, which was the amount of blood can pump out with each beat, dramatically improved and went to normal. Her kidney function improved, her liver failure reversed, her blood pressure normalized. Her blood sugar went from wildly out, like 300, 400, which should be less than a 100 to normal, to ideal actually, and she lost about 43 pounds in the first three months.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And then after a year, she lost 116 pounds, was off all her medication, and she saved $20,000 a year in copay. So she went from basically, on her way to her heart and a kidney transplant, to normal. That’s the power of food. There’s no drug that can do that, and it works so fast. She took 60 years to get to where she did and it was gone in three months. That’s pretty dramatic, and that’s why I love food so much because when you understand how to prescribe food as medicine, then you can make dramatic changes for people.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And it’s very personalized too, Dhru, because what works for one person may not work for another. If I see someone with autoimmune disease, it might be a different diet than I treat someone with Alzheimer’s or diabetes. So it’s really very specific, but once you understand how to use that, it’s like pharmacology. You have thousands of drugs, the same thing, you have thousands of different food options and ways to actually regulate these pathways.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
So it’s really kind of fun. It’s like I have an incredible palette of foods that I can use to actually regulate a person’s biology for the better.

Dhru Purohit:
You mentioned an important point, Mark, that I think is worth highlighting, is that all this category of finding out what’s right for you is a personalized approach.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dhru Purohit:
And when people take somebody else’s word, there’s a lot of experts that are out there, self-proclaimed experts, and actual, genuine experts who get very excited about one particular diet, one particular food. And even in the beginning of this podcast, you said, “Look, these are just examples of broader categories. And then within those, you have to figure out what works for you.”

Dhru Purohit:
You made the statement earlier about, you want people to eat the rainbow. And often, when people talk about the rainbow, they talk about reds and yellows, and other stuff. So peppers often get included, or eggplants get included when they’re talking about purples. And you just mentioned that if a patient has autoimmune and might have leaky gut, you might not put them on those foods, because they have certain compounds in them, could be higher amount of lectins or other things that could be more challenging. Doesn’t mean that they can’t ever eat them, but it may not be a priority for them right now.

Dhru Purohit:
And I just wanted to highlight this because this just goes to make sure that you’re going down the pathway and listen to your own body of figuring out what foods are right for you. But generally, we know there’s a whole classification of whole foods, which is what our diet should be based on. Do you have any comments on that?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Absolutely. I always say, Dhru, don’t let your ideology trample over your biology, which a lot of people do. They think, “Oh, because of moral reasons, I should be vegan, or because it’s good for the planet, or because I think that meat is bad, or I think I should be at carnivore and only eat meat.” People have all these extreme ideas, “Or I should be keto, or I should do intermittent fasting,” and it doesn’t work for everybody.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And that’s the beauty of functional medicine, is its ability to personalize care. And I have a chapter in The Pegan Diet, which talks about how to leverage personalized nutrition for optimal health because as a functional medicine doctor, I look at each person individually and I look at what their issues are, what their concerns are, what their biology is, what their genetics are, what their microbiome is, what the issues they have in terms of their health, the age they are?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And I literally customize it. Literally, when you think about it, when you prescribe a drug, you prescribe how many… what the drug is, how many milligrams? How often to take it? And all that. It’s the same thing with food. And so we’re not quite there for most doctors or practitioners in that prescribing, but I’ve just had the privilege of studying this for 40 years, and really, I’m so thrilled when I talk to people and I see the results and I’m just like, “This is a miracle,” and it breaks my heart because we really are not… we’re not seeing this in traditional care. We just don’t see doctors getting this.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
They go, “Oh yeah. Well, okay, you have to eat better, you have to exercise more. Yeah. It’s going to affect your weight. Yeah. It’ll affect your risk of diabetes if you eat too much crap, and if you eat too much [inaudible 00:34:26] get heart disease.” But it’s very superficial. It’s very limited, and it really sort of speaks to a lack of depth of understanding.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
I’m looking at my daughter’s textbooks for medical school and I’m like, “Oh God.” I feel bad because it’s 2021 and they’re learning medicine from 1950. And I’m like, “It doesn’t make sense anymore, given what we know about the body.”

Dhru Purohit:
That’s why so many of us are turning to podcasts and to YouTube, and turning to books and resources because we’re doing exactly what you teach what I teach, what so many great people out there teach, which is you’ve got to be the CEO of your own health. Nobody’s going to care more about your own health than you.

Dhru Purohit:
You can have people to support you. You can work with incredible doctors that are out there. Sometimes it might be functional medicine. Sometimes it’s just a good open-minded doctor that’s there and willing to look into the research, and willing to help you figure out what foods work for you.

Dhru Purohit:
But you’ve got to be the CEO of your health to decide things and hire and fire the right team to help get the best results possible, which is be in the best health mentally and physically you can.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah. I always say the best and smartest doctor in the room is your own body, listen to it. If you are eating a certain way because you think you should and you feel like crap… For example, I just got a text today from a friend of mine who was told he should have very low protein because he is trying to shut off mTOR in his body to help with aging and rebuilding of his mitochondria.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And he is like a 6’4″, big muscular guy, works out all the time, skis, dances. He’s like, “I feel crappy when I do that.” I’m like, “Yeah, don’t do that if it makes you feel crappy. You are someone who needs more, and so eat more for example,” but we don’t do that. We just get stuck in these ruts of thinking. And I think yeah, we really want to personalize our approach.

Dhru Purohit:
Speaking about personalization, everybody’s always interested in what the doctor’s doing, and it’s not a prescription for everybody else that’s out there, so to speak, but they’re just curious, like what’s a day in your life? And we know that there’s a lot of variation.

Dhru Purohit:
So take a recent day and also talk about the fact that it’s not just about what you put in. It might be also sometimes what you leave out.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah. Well, an average day, I usually start with a giant frappuccino, a cinnabun, pizza for lunch, burger fries for dinner. That’s pretty much it. No, no. Actually, I have one rule. I only eat real food. So if it’s not real food, I don’t eat it. I had… I think it was real food, but it was bad. I was at a wedding and there wasn’t much food at the wedding. It started at 4:30 in the afternoon, went to midnight, and there was a few little finger snacks, and I was starving and it was like midnight. And the wedding cake came by, and I don’t like cake. I never eat cake, but I had cake because I was so hungry, but I usually don’t do that.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
So my usual routine when I’m in a steady state is I like to do at least a 14-hour, sometimes 16-hour overnight fast. So like, let’s eat dinner at 6:00. In the morning, I might eat at 10:00, the next day. That’s a 16-hour fast. It’s not that hard. Or you can do an eight.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
So that’s really eat at dinner at 6:00, you eat at eight o’clock in the morning. That’s like a 14-hour fast, but it’s not that stressful. I usually have… I’ve kind of created my healthy aging, super immune microbiome boosting, mitochondrial detoxification shake. And I don’t expect everybody to do this, but this is my thing. [crosstalk 00:37:53]

Dhru Purohit:
And it came out of also your gut being really messed up. You’ve talked about that in the past podcast episodes.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah.

Dhru Purohit:
So again, we’re just talking about what you do, but this may not be prescription for everybody that’s out there.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Exactly. The basics are protein, fat, fiber, as the basis of my shake in the morning. So I’ll have my Pegan shake powder, which I love, which we created. And it’s essentially protein, fat, and fiber. I add goat weight to it because I’ve been working out and I want to have a little more amino acid that help me build muscle.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
I put in a whole class of polyphenols that are helping my microbiome. I put in pomegranate concentrate, cranberry concentrate, matcha green tea powder. I put in a whole host of adaptogenic mushrooms, a lion’s mane, reishi, chaga, cordyceps, and more, to help me regulate my adrenals and stress response, and overall immune function.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
I add a whole bunch of gut products, including probiotics, and also add in some things called immunoglobulins, which help my immune system in my gut, because I’ve got to keep my gut healthy. And then I added things for my mitochondrial, a little MCT oil, and this incredible product called Mitopure, which is a derivative of pomegranate that produces Urolithin A, which increases my autophagy, and helps build muscle.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And so, that’s sort of more or less my shake with some berries and a little macadamia milk, and that keeps me going. I could go all day, maybe even to dinner with that.

Dhru Purohit:
And on the topic of a shake, there’s a list of shake recipes that we’ve put together that we’ll put in a link to, that is a stripped down version, right? There might be the Dr. Hyman version that’s out there-

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah, yeah.

Dhru Purohit:
For his unique health goals that he put together with the doctors that he’s worked with in his own research. But on that topic of fat, fiber, and protein, and an unsweetened base, that’s the key.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah.

Dhru Purohit:
So when you go out there-

Dr. Mark Hyman:
That’s key. Oh, so much sugar.

Dhru Purohit:
Switching to plant milk, but it’s all filled with sugar and gums and other things.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah.

Dhru Purohit:
We want to make sure if you’re going to use almond milk or Macadamian milk, or cashew milk or something that’s not dairy, although dairy does work for some people, and see Mark Hyman’s masterclass on dairy. We’ll link to that in the show notes too.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dhru Purohit:
If you want some examples of those recipes that are out there, that we’ve also tested wearing our continuous glucose monitors. I don’t know if you know this Mark, but we had a few members of our team test these recipes out to make sure that they didn’t spike your blood sugar. You can find the link to those in the show notes below.

Dhru Purohit:
Okay. So that’s your morning shake recipe, but sometimes do you also make food for breakfast? Just curious.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Sure, sure. Sometimes I will. I’ll have eggs or I might make some fried eggs with avocado, tomato, and olive oil, salt and pepper. Sometimes I’ll make nut butters. I like the German dense rye bread which is super grainy. It’s not from flour, but the lignans and the phytochemicals, and rye are really healthy for you. And I’ll put nut butter on there maybe. I’ll sometimes make cheap yogurt with some nuts and maybe a little fruit, but those are the main things that I’ll eat.

Dhru Purohit:
Great. Let’s pop over to lunch.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And I don’t eat cereal because I’m a cereal killer and I don’t eat cereal. Cereal and juice and muffins, basically Americans have dessert for breakfast. And if you could leave with one thing for breakfast that you want to do is eat protein and fat for breakfast, because that will set you up for the whole day of not craving, not being hungry, keeping your metabolism even, your blood sugar even, giving you energy.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
I cannot believe the breakfast Americans have. We have that breakfast and then we have to have coffee all day long because we’re crashing from the breakfast. It’s just a bad combo.

Dhru Purohit:
Such a bad combo. Okay, let’s move to the rest of the day. Take us through lunch and dinner, and do you always have lunch and dinner? Let’s even start off with that.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah. Sometimes I’ll have the shake and I might have an early dinner and skip lunch. It depends on how much activity I do, depends on how much exercise I’m doing. If I ride my bike 50 miles, I’ll definitely eat a lot more. I kind of like to exercise a lot because I like to eat a lot. So secret there, but for lunch, I’ll often have a salad with proteins.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
For example, the other day I had a salad, I had a couple of boiled eggs, hard boiled eggs in it, a can of salmon. It had green beans, it had pumpkin seeds, olive oil, avocados, olives. So I tend to have what I call a fat salad. It’s my favorite thing to have for lunch. So fat and protein, right? Fat and protein. So lots of greens obviously, a can of wild salmon or sardines, nuts, pumpkin seeds, whatever you want, other kind of nuts, and olives, avocados. Those are all fat. So I incredibly eat fat fruit, olives, avocados, and coconut are all fruit, and they’re fat fruit. They have a lot of fat in them.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And then dinner is usually really pretty simple, it’s protein vegetables. So the other night I had shrimp and was sort of roasted shrimp, and I had some grass-fed steak, and we had Kabocha squash, broccolini, and what else? I had celery root. So I usually have three or four vegetables with a side dish of protein.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
So if you look at my plate, I’ll really make three or four vegetable dishes and have a little piece of protein. That’s pretty much what I eat, and occasionally I’ll have chocolate after, like huge chocolate. And I love ice-cream, but I kind of don’t really eat that except a couple times a year.

Dhru Purohit:
Yeah.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And I found this really good cashew ice-cream in Brooklyn. I can’t remember what it’s called, but it was so good, but that was good. And I had vegan macadamian ice-cream in Maui when I was there, which was my achilles heel. And I only had it a few times, but I literally could just eat the whole pint. It was so good.

Dhru Purohit:
Yeah. Part, of this is also too, and I think you’re getting better and better at explaining this to people who follow you, there’s so many people that think like, “Okay, does Dr. Hyman eat perfect all the time?” And you’re the first person to say-

Dr. Mark Hyman:
No.

Dhru Purohit:
And you’ve written that no, but the base of everything, and by the way, there is no perfect. That should not even really be an aspiration of anything that we’re striving for. There’s a certain level of metabolic flexibility that you have because-

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yes.

Dhru Purohit:
You get great sleep. You work out regularly, right?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah.

Dhru Purohit:
You posted a before and after photo. Patrick, just put that up in the YouTube for people to check out, you work out regularly.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
I was 40 and 60, 40, and 60 years old.

Dhru Purohit:
Yeah. You work out regularly, you get great sleep, and the base of your diet is whole foods. So every so often, if you’re out celebrating or you’re doing something, if you want to have a small glass of tequila, or if you want to have dessert, other stuff, there’s many more reasons to want to enjoy food, which also, somebody may look in that moment and say, “Well, is this the healthiest thing?” Well, you also eat for your mental health. Can you talk about that, Mark?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah. And I just want to say, before I talk about that, I want to say that the one rule I have is if it’s not food, I don’t eat it. So if it’s full of chemicals, high-fructose corn syrup, additives, I just won’t eat it. I would go hungry, right?

Dhru Purohit:
Yeah. Give some examples of that? Just so everybody’s super clear, what is that [crosstalk 00:44:40]?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
If there’s a Snickers bar and it’s the only thing around, I won’t eat it. If there’s Skittles around and it’s the only thing, I won’t eat it. If the only thing to drink is a soda, and I won’t drink it. So those are hard for me. I’m a hard no to anything that’s not actual food, if I can’t trace back what it was.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And again, sugar is food, right? Honey is food, maple syrup is food, doesn’t mean you can’t have it. It’s just the dose and the frequency. Paracelcus said, “The dose makes the poison.” So right now, we’re eating pharmacologic doses of really high glycemic sugary foods, and that’s really where I stay away from. But will I have something occasionally? Of course.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
So there’s a lot of reasons that are far beyond health that we eat, our emotional health, our mental health, how we feel. And the reality is that food is nourishment for sure, but it also is pleasure. It’s a place for us to come together in community, it’s celebratory, and we don’t want to take any of that away. And for me, I love to eat and I love really delicious, yummy food. So I know that it’s okay to eat things that are from a wide variety of different foods that are supporting my health.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
But I also know sometimes it’s okay to eat a little bit off the reservation in terms of a little more dessert or a little more ice-cream, or a little more… whatever it is. But as long as it’s real food, and if you basically have this degree of metabolic flexibility, you’re able to tolerate those things. And I think the other thing to think about is that we have so many choices of really yummy, delicious food. It doesn’t have to be bad for you, right?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
It’s about taste. It’s about pleasure. It’s about savoring the food we have, and nobody wants to eat cardboard and say, “Oh, well, I’m being healthy. So that’s fine.” No, I would never eat food that doesn’t taste good. It’s like the most important thing. It has to taste good, has to feel good, has to make you feel good.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
But within the parameters of real food, there’s a bazillion options of things to make, whether it’s cookies or cakes, or pies or whatever, ice-creams. One of the things, favorite things I do is I say, “I’m making ice-cream for everybody tonight.” I’m going to go in a kitchen and I secretly get a bag of frozen blackberries, a can of coconut milk. And I throw into the Vitamix and I come out with this incredible frozen dessert, which tastes creamy and it’s like ice-cream. And people will eat it and you’re eating ice-cream, but it’s not.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And so, there’re all kinds of ways around it, rather than getting some super high sugar dairy, GMO full, crappy ice-cream.

Dhru Purohit:
All right, Mark. This has all been great information. Let’s do a little bit of a recap on some of those top super food, and maybe a couple action items that people could take-

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah.

Dhru Purohit:
To start incorporating these over 25,000 different compounds that are out there, found in plant foods to improve our health and our lives.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah. So here’s my favorite ways to have the five things we talked about. And again, I could do this for the 25,000 compounds, but let’s look over the five to start with. So what about the Himalayan buckwheat flour? That’s great. So I have a chai pancake recipe, which is made from almond flour, buckwheat flour. You can put avocado oil or coconut, whatever you want, eggs. It’s super high in protein, super low sugar, full of these phytochemicals, and it’s a great way to include this new super food in your diet. Basically pancakes. Now that’s not suffering. Of course, you don’t want to pour maple syrup over them. You can put a little fruit spread or something, maybe a tiny drop of maple syrup, but be careful of that.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
The next is the cruciferous vegetables, and my favorite way to make that is I like… There’s a couple of recipes I’ll give you. One is my lemon, broccoli, garlic recipe, and olive oil. So basically, take just broccoli, cut it in big chunks, steam it lightly, just starts to turn bright green. Don’t let it overcook, and then you make us a little sauce with olive oil, lemon, a crushed garlic, salt, pepper, and then you mix the broccoli in there, and it’s this great yummy sauce.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Or something like broccolini. I stir fry it with a little avocado oil, garlic, and ginger. And I drop a little mirin, which is Japanese rice wine, a little salt and pepper. So crunchy and delicious, don’t overcook it. And then of course, there’s the shirataki noodles and my favorite way to make that is… and I love this sort of, kind of sesame noodles, Chinese sesame noodles, but I make it with tahini, sesame oil, peanut butter, rice wine, vinegar, a little bit of mirin, a little soy sauce, a little chili pepper, throw in the noodles with some cilantro, sized cucumbers, and just, ah, it’s so good. It’s like a kind of pasta peanut pop, peanut sauce pasta almost, it’s so good.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And then green tea. I would often make a matcha latte. So I’ll take matcha and I’ll like oat milk. You could froth it up or you can take Macadamian milk and make a nice matcha latte, love those. And then the mushrooms. My favorite way is I take lion’s mane and I buy it. I roast it in my little toaster oven and put a little garlic on it, salt and pepper, a little olive oil, roast it up.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Or my favorite is shiitaki mushrooms. You kind of cut the ends off and you lay them on a big baking tray, a little olive oil, salt and pepper, and you toast them for about 40 minutes, and they are like crunchy and yummy, and delicious. So those are my little yummy ways to eat the food. So you’re not suffering, you’re not eating cardboard. You’re eating things that taste amazing, and they’re amazingly good for you.

Dhru Purohit:
There’s a beautiful place where people who go and explore, and go look for these foods, and also take the time to slow down a little bit. Maybe it’s only once a week because you live a busy life, or maybe it’s when the kids are visiting on vacation, but you pick up these foods, you make it a communal thing, and you explore and you make it together, and you have this aha moment that what I’m making at home is more nutritious for me and is better tasting than what I can get anywhere outside. That is a very special moment.

Dhru Purohit:
And Mark, I’ve experienced that moment many times when you’ve cooked for me. You’re a great cook by the way.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Thank you.

Dhru Purohit:
And I’ve seen you give that pleasure to other people, that they have this aha moment that, wow, just like some simple broccolini cooked right.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah.

Dhru Purohit:
And just with a little bit of grass-fed butter, a little bit of sea salt, a little bit of some of those things you mentioned. It tastes better than anything else out there that we can find.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Oh, yeah. Totally.

Dhru Purohit:
So thanks for providing that inspiration for us.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Of course.

Dhru Purohit:
All right, Mark. Well, why don’t you conclude us out over here for today’s show? It was a fantastic one.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
So I think just to sort of recap. I think people need to understand there’s two major principles that they should follow when picking what to eat. One, focus on quality, and that’s across the spectrum of where did the seed come from? What was the soil like? You can’t always be perfect. How long was the food stored? Is it fresh? And what are the qualities of the particular plant or food you’re eating? And pick the better one.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
So you’re going to pick wild first, if you can, then regenerative, then organic, then if you have to, conventional, but that would be the last choice. So quality really matters because food is information. Food is medicine, and it really speaks to every single cell and pathway in your body, in real time, every day.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
The second principle is personalization. We need to understand that there’s no one-size-fits-all, that if your beliefs are, you should be X, Y, or Z, but you don’t feel good on it, then don’t do that. Experiment and listen to the smartest doctor in the room, which is your own body. Those are really important.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And then when you go to the grocery store, start to actually look at what you’re buying, and in my book, The Pegan Diet, there’s a whole chart of phytochemicals. And I think we even have a handout or a link, something we could share that we did before, of one of the phytochemicals in different foods. So when you’re going to the grocery store, go through the [inaudible 00:52:13] aisle, and go through other areas, and pick your medicine, and make sure you’re at least thinking about this as you shop, “Oh, I’m going to have artichokes because they have great prebiotic fibers. They also have detoxifying compounds. They have my liver detoxify, and they’re full of foley, and all kinds of other beneficial compounds.” So that’s how I think when I go shopping, and I encourage you to start thinking about your grocery store as your pharmacy.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
So that’s what I want you to take home, and if you want to learn more, read my book, The Pegan Diet. And if you love this podcast and you want to share it with your friends and family, we love you to. If you use food as medicine in your own life, please leave a comment. We love to hear from you. Subscribe wherever you get your podcast, and we’ll see you next time on The Doctor’s Farmacy. (Silence)

If you are looking for personalized medical support, we highly recommend contacting Dr. Hyman’s UltraWellness Center in Lenox, Massachusetts today.

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