Refrigerator Look Book: Dr. Nicholas Perricone
Few individuals are as well versed in superfoods and supplements as Dr. Nicholas Perricone. The expert nutritionist, dermatologist, and best-selling author (The Perricone Prescription hit No. 1 on the Times list) even has a superfood-based skin-care line called SUPER.
So it’s fitting that when we peaked in his fridge we found it super-well stocked.
The doctor revealed a serious penchant for watercress, explained why beef is a superfood, and schooled us on what fruit goes in the fridge. And lest you think his diet is all about egg whites and leafy greens, he let us in on his guilty pleasure…
Wow, that’s a lot of watercress! Is that your favorite leafy green? I’m a huge fan of all of the cruciferous vegetables. Watercress is one of my favorites because it possesses a storehouse of nutrients that have been used as a tonic since ancient times to cleanse the blood and liver of toxins and promote an overall feeling of good health.
What do you plan on doing with all of it? I like to make a fresh salad with it every day. It’s also a great base for soups.
Do keep all your fruit in the fridge? Certain foods emit ethylene, an odorless, colorless gas that accelerates ripening. So it’s recommended to refrigerate the gas-releasing fruits, like apples, cantaloupes, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, oranges, and limes. I’d keep avocados, nectarines, pears, peaches, plums, and tomatoes out.
What’s that up there in the upper right corner? Those are cartons of fresh egg whites that I use to make a high-protein smoothie meal replacement.
I also see some whole eggs. You eat both? Yes, I like them scrambled with a ¼ teaspoon of turmeric, hard boiled, or as omelets. The eggs are organic, from cage-free, free-range chickens, which I recommend. They’re from the farmer’s market.
Do you go to the farmer’s market often? You must because everything looks so market fresh! Yes, I go grocery shopping at least twice a week.
I notice a piece of signature Perricone salmon, and I see yogurt. What’s your take on regular versus Greek? I prefer Greek yogurt. The origin of fermented foods and cultured milk products goes so far back that it’s rumored to predate recorded history. This is perfectly in keeping with my philosophy that the most ancient foods have survived for a reason—they continue to be instrumental to the survival of our species.
What are some of your favorite superfoods that we don’t see in your fridge right now? Well, 100 percent grass-fed beef, which is up to three times leaner than grain-fed beef and can have about 15 fewer calories per ounce than meat from a grain-fed cow. I also love cinnamon. Its actives trick the cell into mounting its own defense against aging! Just 1/4 teaspoon per day is enough. Other favorites are turmeric, walnuts, extra virgin coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, and green tea.
You encourage the use of supplements. But does someone whose diet consists of the kinds of well-rounded, healthful items shown in your fridge still need to be taking them? I recommend a variety of unique nutritional supplements—such as alpha lipoic acid—because it’s difficult to get adequate amounts from the foods we eat. Luckily, nutritional supplements have come a long way from the minimal, “one-a-day” multivitamins. Now we have highly targeted antioxidants, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals that can do everything from sharpening our brain power, repairing cells, and burning fat to increasing muscle tone, restoring memory, and heightening libido.
On that note, it looks like you’ve got a super healthy fridge. Do you have any guilty pleasures? Yes, I really enjoy few pieces of dark chocolate! For optimum health benefits, I choose extra-dark chocolate—at least 70 percent cocoa content. —Sharon Feiereisen