Using food to transform health

Richard Branson speaking at a Virgin Unite gathering
Jack Brockway
A close up of Richard Branson smiling, looking at the camera
Richard Branson's signature
Published on 17 January 2022

I’ve always been interested in ways to improve wellbeing and after recently hearing Dr William Li discuss his brilliant book, Eat to Beat Disease, at a Virgin Unite gathering, I’m feeling inspired by the power that lies in our food choices.

While Eat to Beat Disease is a book about diet, Dr Li rightly highlights the power of the underlying medical science. His work and the efforts of his foundation are behind the creation of 41 FDA-approved drugs, impacting over 50 million people worldwide. 

Jack Brockway
Jack Brockway

But as the global rates of new diseases skyrocket, Dr Li believes the most important question posed to the health community needs to be around how we can all do a better job of preventing disease - before it needs to be cured.

One of the book’s most exciting sections is filled with recommendations for things I already love to eat! The research highlights how foods that many of us already enjoy are integral to supporting our wellbeing.

Dr Li argues that drinking one to three cups of coffee a day lowers the risk of heart failure by 33%. And that by eating one kiwifruit a day you can increase protection of your DNA from oxidative damage by 60%. He also suggests that by sipping five cups per day of green tea you can significantly lower your blood pressure and cholesterol levels. 

The book explores some fascinating ideas that could help change the way we eat. Each of us has an enormous opportunity to take charge of our lives and use food to transform our health. 

Jack Brockway
Jack Brockway

Earlier this year I was thrilled to share the news that the feature documentary my nephew has been working on for the last four years, Eating Our Way to Extinction, had been released. It's an eye-opening film and showcases how diet choices can have a profound impact not just on our health, but on the sustainable future of our planet. 

My passion for more purposeful food choices has also resulted in me becoming a proud investor in UPSIDE, the leading company in the cultivated meat sector. The UPSIDE team project that cultivated meat, when produced at scale, will use 77% less water and 62% less land than conventional meat - and they expect these numbers to get better over time. The environmental consequences of animal-based food production further highlight the power that lies in our food choices.

I have long prioritised an all-round healthy lifestyle. I exercise daily in the form of tennis, kitesurfing, swimming, weights and cycling (sometimes to my detriment!). I go to bed at 9pm when possible, I have an incredible team around me to help manage stress and am blessed with the most incredible friends and family. And diet, according to Dr Li, is the final pillar to help realise full health potential. I’ve excitedly shared this book with my team and my family, and I encourage everyone to do the same.

Katie Doo
Katie Doo

A huge thanks to Dr Li for sharing this book with me, my team, and the world. I’d also like to extend an additional thanks for his care relating to my biking injury – as I shared recently, I’m feeling great again.