Doctor's Note

Be sure to check out my other videos on antioxidants, and don’t miss all my videos on ranking foods.

Also, check out my associated blog posts for more context: Açai to Zucchini: antioxidant food rankingsIs Caffeinated Tea Really Dehydrating?Top 10 Most Popular Videos of the YearHibiscus Tea: The Best Beverage?Flax Seeds for Prostate CancerTreating Breast Pain with Flax SeedsWhich Common Fruit Fights Cancer Better?; and Mushrooms and Immunity.

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  • Michael Greger M.D.

    Please feel free to post any ask-the-doctor type questions here in the comments section and I’d be happy to try to answer them. Be sure to check back for the other videos on antioxidants and don’t miss all the videos on ranking foods. And there are 1,449 subjects covered in the rest of my videos–please feel free to explore them!

  • BPCveg

    That sounds like an excellent antioxidant-rich breakfast smoothie! I really like your videos that introduce new recipes and I can’t wait to try this one!

    And I have two questions about this recipe:

    1- Are you concerned about the effects of soymilk on the nutritional value of your smoothie, as it has already been shown to block the benefits of tea

    2- Was the DHA-rich algae oil deliberately omitted for some reason (it seems only natural to throw some in to this recipe)?

  • adriennefriend

    Excellent video. I do a daily smoothie of packed organic spinach blended with water, a super-ripe organic banana, some organic apple or organic carrot, chia seeds, stevia, ice, and (organic) raspberries, blueberries, peaches, or mango. I LOVE the idea of grinding white (or green) tea into the smoothie! So brilliant! Now I want to add amla powder… but where to get it? And since I am committed to organics, how can I be sure of its safe provenance? Thanks!!

    • arlenesue

      I too want to know where you get amla powder. This is the first time I heard of it.

      • Deana Mohiealdeen

        you get it from any indian store it’s very easy to find and very inexpensive too :D

      • Dinesh Joshi

        I am Dinesh Joshi from Jaipur Rajasthan India.I have 100 Amla trees at my farm.Where we produce pure organic amla and prepare amla fruit n amla powder as prescribed in Indian Ayurvedic literature.

        • Carol Poe

          Can you provide a link for your products for us?

  • soupy

    I looked in 3 Indian grocery stores before finding dried amla, along with frozen amla and candied amla (which is very tasty). Amazing how cheap it was, but the store owner cautioned me not to eat too much. How much amla do you recommend daily?

    • Karen A

      This is something I’d like to know. Is there a level at which efficacy plateaus? Is there a level at which it becomes harmful? 

      I’m thinking a teaspoon or two a day won’t kill me, but it’s always good to know if there’s an upper limit that might be reached by a reasonable person with a reasonable diet (as opposed to someone eating several kgs of the stuff every day for 8 months, for example).

    • barbarabrussels

      Did the store owner say why you shouldn’t eat too much? Is it because of a laxative effect, or is it actually harmful? I have a teaspoon a day, and I feel great.

  • paul3917

    Do all anti-oxidants give the same benefit or do some benefit one organ or prevent one disease, while another does something else good for you? What are the main benefits of anti-oxidants?

  • Thea

    I love this video! I appreciate that you are willing to share your personal life with us. It shows you really believe what you share in the videos and it gives us practical food ideas from which to start.

    Thanks to other posters here who have shared their ideas/smoothie recipes. I’m thinking of putting some amla powder in my oatmeal if I can find the powder.

    I’m not a huge fan of smoothies. My current morning breakfast consists of: steelcut oatmeal with cocoa power, bananas, raisins, vanilla extract, dried mango, ground flax and sometimes a small pinch of cinnamon and/or cloves.

    My directions: Add 3 cups water, 2 bananas, 6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (more or less to your taste, I probably do more like 10 tblspns) and about a tablespoon of vanilla extract to a blender. Also add spices if desired. Mix it all up good. Mix the blended mixture in a GIANT microwave safe bowl with 1.5 cups steelcut oatmeal. Cook in the microwave for 11 minutes (stiring once at 6 minutes and again at the end). Then let it sit over night in the microwave to finish cooking. This is usually enough to last for 5 days.

    When ready to eat, dish out the cooked chocolate oatmeal mixture into a bowl, top with ground flax seed, dried fruit and a lot of almond milk.

    When I warm up the individual serving with the topping in the microwave (1-2 minutes), the flax meal and dried mango get soft. It’s really yummy.

    Now, if I could add some amla powder, I would be doing pretty well! Maybe not as good as Dr. Greger’s smoothy, but still pretty healthy I would think.

    • BPCveg

      Thanks, Thea, for sharing your chocolate oatmeal recipe with us. I for one think the ingredients are as close to ideal as possible! I certainly will give your recipe a try and let you know what I think.

    • BPCveg

      What a recipe! My family loves your chocolate oatmeal breakfast … Is this your own creation?

      • Thea

        BPCveg: You made my day! Thanks for the feedback. I’m *so* glad your family enjoyed the chocolate oatmeal.

        Yes, I made it up. I’m trying to make my vegan diet feel decadent, while still being healthy. I love chocolate… I haven’t historically liked oatmeal at all, but I think it is an important healthy breakfast. I surprised myself when I found that I actually like oatmeal with the chocolate and bananas cooked in — and with the dried fruit on top. Also, I don’t like cooking on the stove. I love the microwave. So, I kept experimenting until I found the right amount of microwave cooking (and a big enough container so it doesn’t ooze over).

        Here’s a couple more ideas for you to keep it interesting. These are ideas for flavor changes. I have either tried these already or am thinking about doing it:

        *a little bit of instant coffee to make a mocha version,
        *some almond extract for “chocolate-almond” flavor,
        *some dates in addition to bananas for added sweetness.
        *And of course, once I get my hands on it, I’m going to try adding the amla powder.
        *Also, while flax seed may have the most lignans, if I remember correctly, I believe that Dr. Greger said that chia seeds have more fiber. So, to mix it up, sometimes I use ground chia instead of flax. (Dr. Greger has a couple of videos on the importance of fiber.)

        I’m always looking for new ideas. Feel free to share if you come up with a yummy twist on the oatmeal.

        • BPCveg

          Wow! I hope that someday you create a blog with all of your recipes! Thanks also for providing some more variations on your oatmeal breakfast.

        • gp65

          Amla is sour. It will spoil the taste of this recipe. You want to consume Amla in a soup or with a salad ( I like kale, bean salsa, guacamole, onion and Amla powder.
          Of course smoothies would be an obvious way but looks like you do not care for smoothies…

    • Terry Kent

      Great recipe Thea. You may want to consider the fact that heating anything over 110 degrees (pasteurization) kills the life force. For example, a carrot top will grow in a dish if cut off and watered, but not if it is pasteurized. All processed products sold in stores are pasteurized, including fruit and veggie juices.  

      All seeds are seeds, that is they have a life force that is the life that grows into the plant. When pasteurized, the life force is killed. When I make oatmeal, I put the seeds on or in after the oarmeal is cooked. When I make smoothies I use seeds at room temp (no cooking). I also grind the flax seeds before putting them into my Vitamix to break them open (otherwise they go right through you without releasing their nutrients). Just some ideas to consider.

      I ordered Alma powder from, the first time I have ordered from them. The price seemed reasonable. 

      When I make my smoothies, I throw in a hand full of spinach, a slice of red cabbage and some kale leaves and other superfoods. You can see my green smoothie recipe at thehealthandnutritioncenterdotcom. 


      • Lew Payne

        There is no scientific evidence that heating foods kills the so-called “life force” (something which has no scientific meaning). If that were the case, then killing animals – and cooking them – would clearly kill the “life force” that provides us with nutrients… yet that is clearly not the case. Another case in point – heating tomatoes would clearly kill their life-force, yet scientific studies show that heating them releases anti-oxidants. As far as the scientific basis for debunking “life-force” claims, see the multitude of studies showing that seeds survive high temperature (and thus disprove your claim), available here…

        Let’s not mix superstition with science!

        • Can you heat a seed and plant in the ground and expect it to grow? No.

          • John S

            A more scientific word to use than “life force” would be enzymes and antioxidants. Cooking kills almost all enzymes and antioxidants. Try to consider someone else’s point of view before throwing away the possibility that they might have something.
            John S
            PDX OR

      • Jeff

        I put flaxseed in my Vitamix made smoothies. I thought it liquified them. I don’t see any in what I drink so I assume the Vitamix pulverized them without me having to grind them.

  • Jeane

    Please tell me where to get the kind of Amla Powder that you get. If I am going to do this I want to get the best that I can and there are always wannabees out there. Thanks.

    • Thea

      Jeane: This video is a series of videos on the subject of alma. If you check out the previous videos, I think you will see that Dr. Greger mentions that he got his powder from a local Indian store near his home. He shows a picture of the bottle, which may or may not be the brand that he got (I don’t know).

      I don’t have an Indian store in my city and as another poster mentioned, my preference would be for organic. I have been doing a search on-line for the powder. I did find a site that sells what looks to be high-quality (I’m familiar with the brand, but I can’t swear to the quality) organic amla powder. But it is rather expensive. I’m not sure if it is acceptable to post to other sites that sell things or not. So, I’ll just say that the site’s name is “Super Organic Foods” and the product is “Organic Amla Powder” .

      That’s as far as I have gotten on the subject. If you or anyone else comes up with a good source, organic or not, please share it with the rest of us.

  • yummy

    I ordered mine from since I have no Indian store in my small town. The amla they sell is organic…they have the dried fruit as well as the powder…I ordered both. I have used this source before several times and have had very good results from my orders. Hope this helps someone.

    • Thea

      yummy: I can’t thank you enough for this information. It looks like this store has a physical pickup location in my city!!

      • yummy

        I received both the dried and powdered amla from the mail order source mentioned in the above post…the dried amla is rock hard…not “squishy” like a raisin, and of course, the powder is…well….powder. These are not as nasty tasting (to me) as I was expecting, although I will have to grind the “dried” amla so it will be usable to mix with other foods or drinks. On the other hand, my husband had other words for “nasty-tasting”.

    • ditto, on the mountainroseherbs. i have bought from them heavily for the past decade, and, indeed, have even bought their amla and all of their green and white teas (fabulous, they are)!

    • charges $12 for a pound of powdered alma but then gouges you another $12.15 to ship it. charges $16.95 for the pound and charges $6 to ship.

      • Occams_Razor

        Haha! So one pays $24.15 from one store and $22.95 from the other. With that small difference (if they haven’t gotten greedier and more expensive by time I check them out), I would go by other factors: customer service, state tax, and such.

    • Clint Sevilla

      I have been looking for a cheaper source. Thank you!!!

  • cs

    Does ingesting tea leaves have the same beneficial effects, and lack of negative effects, as ingesting steeped tea?

    • Karen A

      According to this video, yes: I quote: “whopping loads of nutrition” and “never leave home without it”.

  • Meha

    A version with Brazilian Portuguese subtitles to help spread the word, thank you Dr Greger for your authorization:

    • Michael Greger M.D.

      Thank you for expanding the reach of this information!

  • dwoodrufff

    I have looked at my local Indian Spice store and they had lots of kinds of Amla, but no powdered Amla. Is there a place online to buy it?


    It sounds like the more antioxidants the better.
    Is it possible to ingest too many antioxidants?

    • Vallis

      good Q,

      can one consume too many antioxidants?

    • Alexandra Georgiadis

      Increasing the amount of antioxidant rich food in your diet can be very beneficial and may help prevent cancer. Whether excessive antioxidants can be harmful depends on the individual and the source of antioxidants. For some people with specific mineral absorption issues some antioxidants can further reduce the bioavailability of minerals, which is often resolved by avoiding certain food combinations. If you are getting antioxidants from whole food plant based sources (rather than supplements) than I would suggest you keep trying to boost your antioxidant intake, just like Dr. Greger does!
      Just be cautious of supplements. For example, vitamins A and E are antioxidants, but studies have shown that excessive supplementation of these vitamins can cause toxic effects, and even decrease lifespan. Check out Dr Greger’s video on Antioxidant Vitamin Supplements:
      I hope this helps!

  • jms

    If I understand correctly, amla has been used as an Ayurvedic medicine. Has it been studied as a daily nutritional supplement? Might it be too powerful in this role?

  • jmf

    jms asks the question that concerns me. There have been studies regarding ingesting too much vitamin C – which is abundant in Amla. If I remember correctly the conclusion was related to kidney stones or damage and the studies were done as a result of Linus Pauling’s claims. Perhaps that only related to supplements?? Please give us some more info about alma. I haven’t been able to find any info regarding other antioxidants in alma. Like others, I also have been unable to find it in stores.

    • Michael Greger M.D.

      Amla is indeed one of the richest known sources of vitamin C, but it makes up only 0.3-1% of the fruit. Due to the astringency of Indian gooseberries, it would be difficult to reach the levels that have been found to be potentially harmful when given in supplement form. That’s the wonderful thing about ones nutrients from whole foods!

  • hongkonger18

    I can’t find powdered amla anywhere! At Indian stores I can only find amla marketed as a hair tonic, in very small jars, and the powder is brown, not white as in the video–I have no idea if it is edible.

    Does anyone know a reliable source of amla powder? I live in Hong Kong. Although there are health food stores and Indian stores here I have struck out so far. I would be willing to have it shipped though.


  • chewy

    so is it ok to add 2 Tablespoons of ground flaxseed rather than the 1T you added dr greger,to your smoothie?

  • demielune

    Very interesting video! Thank you!
    I was wondering though, in a recent video about Amla versus diabetes ( ), you show clearly that Amla reduces the fasting blood sugar.
    So, I was wondering if the consumption of Amla for someone with hypoglycemia would be dangerous or “having no effects” (as some whole food / plants sometimes helps with one condition but doesn’t affect the opposite condition) ?

    Thank you again

  • DrDons

    The human body is wired to maintain blood sugar (glucose) levels in the blood by a number of mechanisms. Patients with type 2 diabetes who go on a low fat whole plant diet need to monitor their sugars closely as their medications can lead to low blood sugar. Given home glucose monitoring this is easily done under the direction of a knowledgeable health care provider. Patients with insulin dependent diabetes usually notice a decrease in their need for insulin and can easily make the appropriate adjustments working with their health care professionals. In nondiabetic patients there are some uncommon conditions that will cause “hypoglycemia” but in their absence the diagnosis of “hypoglycemia” can in fact be due to a variety of other conditions such as ketosis. Individual response to whole foods or processed foods can be varied so caution is always in order. This is especially true if you have a condition which may be worsened by a particular processed food. You want to avoid overcoming the bodies ability to maintain acceptable levels of blood sugar (glucose).

  • Vera Springate

    Dr Greger,
    Thanks very much for your huge effort in educating folks like myself.  Your videos are the biggest “inspiration” that I’ve seen anywhere to go vegan.  I’m not far from it, thus, had questions for you.With almond milk – I like it the most of all non-dairy options.  Do you think some (those with no allergies to nuts) can still experience digestive problems with it and other non-dairy milks in general?  It seems to work very well for every purpose other than coffee, but I think I get flatulence/gassiness sometimes.  I’ve been purchasing it and plan on starting to make my own to avoid all additives, in case they might be irritating.With flax – after I start including it in diet (smoothies work the best),do you think there is adjustment period stomach wise?

    • DrDons

        Anyone can have or develop allergies to any plant foods. There are some
      that are more likely to cause problems than others. The “fancy” medical
      tests we do involving blood and skin tests can be helpful but not
      always. The proof is in the experience. The studies show that adults on a
      plant based diet have less allergies in general…  and
      in children see There is an adjustment period to going on a plant based diet
      due to increased fiber and other factors. Going on a vegan diet will
      have an effect on stools see.. intestinal tract
      is a complex ecosystem that needs time to adjust. Each patient is
      different. Congratulations on your progress. Good luck on your journey.

      • Vera Springate


        Is your 3d video a correct link?

        • Michael Greger M.D.

           DrDons, I echo Vera’s thanks. And Vera, good catch–try this link for that last one:

        • DrDons

            Vera, Thanks for picking up the mistake… Dr.Greger correctly added the link I intended to use… thanks Michael!!

  • Tom Kouroukis

    Hi. Just wondering about the brand of amla you buy, and where you get it. Thanks.

  • Itay030701

    thanks for this great video!  
    the only amla i can get my hands on include 15% of Maltodextrin. 
    From what I can find online about Maltodextrin, it makes me wonder if to purchase it at all can you elaborate on Maltodextrin? and should I purchase the powder despite the Maltodextrin?

  • Cory

    Be careful with the amount of green tea that you put into your smoothie.  I grind the tea first to make it blend better although I have noticed that if I put more than a large spoonful in then I will get heart palpitations.  I looked this up online and apparently this is a common side effect with eating too much green tea.  Apparently green tea pills are now in vogue for weight loss and this is one of the complaints.  If you use white tea like the good doctor then perhaps you will avoid this as there is significantly less caffeine.  

  • LumLum2500

    I am SO glad to have discovered this web site!  I love the short to-the-point videos, the great graphics, and the humor.  It turned me into a vegan.  On their quality control statement lists their limits for lead and mercury as 20 mcg per day, cadmium 6, and arsenic 10, and that they are within the safety guidelines of ANSI 173.  Is that good enough, or is it like having a cholesterol within the normal range but having a heart attack?

    •  You should use products that don’t have any lead, mercury, cadmium and arsenic. In Dr. Greger’s video… it appears that 1 in 5 had lead. You should be able to find products that have very little or preferably none. Your body doesn’t need any of those metals and even though your body can rid itself of them it is best to avoid. Congratulations on your transition to an improved diet. I think you will find it is a “healthy” journey although it is possible to be a “sick” or “fat” vegan. Check out Dr. Greger’s video’s on Vitamin B12 this past February to make sure your B12 intake is adequate. Other resources that are helpful and commercial free are Dr. John McDougall’s website and the website for the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine(PCRM). Good luck.

  • my buddy and i bought a few pounds of Amla from different sources a few months ago. Where do you get yours? Are you still drinking Hibiscus? (I love that stuff, ha.)

  • Dr. Greger ~ Are you still drinking that yummy Hibiscus Tea? (I did not see it in your “morning mix”!)

    • A half gallon a day Kenton! I no longer do the teabags, though, but the bulk dried hibiscus flowers themselves. My current recipe is a handful of dried hibiscus flowers in 8 cups of water with a penny sized chunk of fresh ginger root, handful of fresh mint leaves, teaspoon of amla and erythritol to taste (3 tablespoons for me)–all blended up in a high speed blender and then sipped throughout the day. I sure miss my concoction when I’m on the road. Anyone have any suggestions for improving it even further (taste or nutrition-wise)?

      • Jennifer O

        Have you tried the dried hibiscus flowers in your morning smoothie as well? If I were to cut open a zinger teabag and add to my smoothie, would that be recommended over cold brewed tea?

  • Wayne

    I’m curious if there is such thing as too much of a good thing? I try to include in my current smoothie most of the items which Dr. Greger recommends in his videos in such a way that is most convenient to me, but what intake is too much if there is such a thing? I make a large smoothie and consume it throughout the day, the fruit content consists of 3 cups of OJ, 2 Bananas, 2 cups Soy Milk, 2 cups Blueberries, a mixture of Pineapple, Strawberries and Mango as well as a 2 cup mixture of Raspberries and Blackberries. Next I use 2 Tbsp ground Flax, 2 Tbsp Chia seed, 1 Tbsp Amla powder, 1 tsp 4:1 ratio Hibiscus powder, 1/2 tsp Holy Basil and finally a palm full of White Tea leaves. I wonder sometimes if this is overkill for daily consumption and ending up as expensive urine or is put to good use when spread out over the day?

  • Rick

    With this question, I appreciate the anonymity of the web. OK, that is a lot of antioxidants but what does that result in?

  • Neal

    The smoothy had massive amounts of antioxidants. I had some questions:

    1. Is there some amount that is too much?
    2. Are there certain antioxidants that are better or worse than others for certain types of individuals, given differences in health, disposition, imbalances etc.? For example, ECGC from green tea has certain benefits that have been studied and is thought to have some superior benefits-I’ve heard.

  • rob

    Dr. Greger,

    thanks so much for this site. it is a grat resource. you include amla in your smoothie. you also recently recommended fenugreek. I am concerned that both of these spices lower blood sugar by promoting insulin production. is that a good thing? I believe dr. joel fuhrman has said that drugs that promote insulin production may be bad for you in the long run.

    • Toxins

      If your concern is diabetes, Amla can be considered a near equivalent as the leading diabetes drug in controlling blood sugar.

      All of these plants foods are healthful, and there is no health concern to worry about.

  • After receiving multiple drugs, vitamins, and so on a person feels a change to its health. Why is a result of taking antioxidants have no oschuschuny health changes? Tnx

  • Karl Young

    After seeing one of DR. Greger’s videos on gooseberries and triphala (a high oxidant powdered form that contains gooseberries and a couple of other berries) I was curious, though wanted to be cautious re. his warning about the often high levels of lead, mercury, cadmium and arsenic found in gooseberry and triphala powders. I found an online retailer (Z Natural Foods) that sells organic versions and when I asked them if that meant that they were tested for lead, mercury, cadmium, and arsenic they said yes. So based on believing them I’ve been getting triphala from them and using it in my smoothies.

    • Just a clarification, I have not seen heavy metals reported in amla (but yes, in triphala). See my whole series:

    • Skeptic

      Organic Certification in the US requires growing on land that has no KNOWN prior history of persistent toxic exposure. Its unlikely that certified organic food would contain excessive amounts of toxins. US Organic Certification though generally does not require testing food for contaminants. Production methods are prescribed, but there is a very small possibility prior toxic land use could be unknown or not disclosed as required by law.

      I can tell you from first hand experience, being poisoned by imported foods from places like China and India, with their notoriously lax environmental laws, is a very real possibility.

  • Nan S

    This is interesting, but why are antioxidants important for health? Aren’t the ratings for foods’ antioxidant values determing by a peice of laboratory equipment? Is there any proof that these numbers from the lab will translate into better health in some way? I’ve read that our bodies make their own antioxidants and that we need free radicals for healing and fighting bacteria, so would too many antioxidants hinder healing and weaken our immunity?

  • lovestobevegan

    Sticks to Your Ribs Rather than Your Buns Cinnabun

    – 1 cup millet
    – 3 cups water
    – 1 heaping tbsp Ceylon cinnamon
    – 1 heaping tsp ground ginger
    – ¼ tsp ground cloves
    – ¼ tsp nutmeg
    – 2 handfuls raisins
    – 1 tbsp date sugar
    – 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
    – Pinch sea salt

    Place all ingredients in a pot and stir to combine. Bring to a boil. Turn off heat and leave pot on the hot burner, covered, until millet cooked and fluffy, about 40 minutes. Serve topped with flaxseed meal, nuts, and fresh fruit.

    Mix a cup of leftovers with 2 tbsp flaxseed meal, one sliced banana, handful almonds and top with a little boiling water or rice/almond milk.

    Bookmark my new Plant-Based Emporium Facebook page for all my latest recipes.

    ~Complements of lovestobevegan

    • Ooh, I can’t wait to try it! Thanks so much for posting. Keep ’em coming!

  • Glenda A. Llanes

    I will start eating Indian gooseberry, wasn’t aware of its benefits before. Thanks Dr. Greger

  • Karen D’Cunha

    Hi Doc, thanks for your website, I have newly discovered it and am excited to learn so much about nutrition. My question is whether Amla powder is safe to put in my children’s smoothies and home-made popsicles? I would probably put about a teaspoon per litre of mixture. Thank you!

  • Holly

    I work very hard to avoid “nuts, berries, seeds” for the obvious reason of diverticulitis. How do I use the blueberries (or another “seed” fruits) in order to have what sounds like wonderful benefits.

  • Jeff

    My vitamix shake: 3/4 cup water, 1/4 cup pomegranate juice, 1 bannana, apple skin, flaxseeds, sesame seeds, almonds, cinnamon, turmeric, himalayan salt, carrot, kale, frozen blueberries, 2 frozen strawberries, frozen raspberries. Maybe cherries or canteloupe if I have it too. Basically anything healthy goes in!

    • PsychMD

      I’d like to hear Dr. Greger’s opinion on the claim that blending fruits and vegetables into a smoothie “destroys 90% of the nutrients” by whipping in air and thus causing oxidation.

      • I’ve seen no credible studies to support that claim. There are of course a variety of nutrients involved. Processing has some effects. One study on preloading (i.e. eating a food before the regular meal) showed that a whole apple vs blending vs juiced had a different effect. The effect was total calories consumed. It was less with the whole apple and more with the apple juice… blending was in the middle.

      • Toxins

        I have never seen a study on this and I don’t believe it to be true. It is a possibility some oxidation occurs but not at the rate described and most assuredly not a 90% reduction in antioxidant content.

        • PschMD

          That is my feeling as well. The claim comes from Dr. Brian Clement of the Hippocrates Health Institute. He says that blending causes oxidation which leads to fermentation and putrification. He also talks about the “ill combination of fruits and vegetables” leading to more fermentation and putrification. He refers to this as “real science” yet does not quote a single study. To me it sounds like dogmatic nonsense. That is why I was hoping Dr. Greger might have more insight as he always relies on REAL science.

          • Thea

            PschMD: Agreed. While Dr. Greger can not possibly cover every study ever done, I am certain he would have covered a legitimate study on “ill combination of fruits and vegetables” if one existed. :-) Not that I speak for Dr. Greger. I’m just throwing in my 2 cents.

  • maliolani

    One of the confusions faced by us mere mortals is differences in opinions of the experts. Definitely you are talking about an anti-oxidant rich smoothie there. Jeff Novick repeated warns people not to drink their calories, how juice/smoothies have a similar blood sugar response to sugary drinks, but not to eating whole fruit, that blending fruit into a smoothie (I’m not talking about juicing here) destroys much of the fiber. So I quit drinking smoothies. You make me want to start again. I wish there were one clear answer.

  • Elley

    sounds yummy

  • Carl Borja Nelson

    My wife has stage 4 breast cancer and I daily prepare a my own anticancer green smoothie concoction for her which seems to help based on her appearance and test results. Sometimes I save a portion in the fridge to give to her later. Do vital phytonutrients, anti-oxydents, etc. evaporate within a certain amount of time? Would it be better to avoid saving such smoothies and just go with all freshly prepared? Or is any loss minimal within a certain amount of time?

  • Katherine

    Would adding fresh amla berries be as good as adding the powder? I imagine the powder is more concentrated?

  • EatPlants

    This meal does not have enough starch. The body needs starch for energy. If you’re eating this with oatmeal, then OK. This meal does not stand alone.

  • guest

    does anyone know where to get amla powder specially the brand that Dr. Greger is showing here. Is it local or imported from India.

    • Thea

      guest: Mountain Rose Herbs has organic amla. If quality control is your concern, this company has a good reputation.

      • Toxins

        Thanks for the link Thea, the only Amla powder I have had was a generous gift from Dr. Greger and I had no idea where I could find more. I found dried amla online but powdered is definitely the way to go. Thanks!

    • val

      I’ve recently bought Terrasoul brand certified organic amla powder from; 12 ounce bag for $12, just saying if this is also of help to you. I use 1-2 teaspoons each day either in my oats or my dark berry concoction, which I alternate for breakfast. :-)

  • Russell Vegan-Walker

    Dr. Greger, Where can we get the Amla powder you use?. I’ve found many, but don’t necessarily trust the contents. Thanks!

  • alohadawn

    How does Camu Camu powder compare to Amla? The package I have claims an ORAC value of 2049 per 1/4 tsp serving (1 gram).

  • Freya

    OK. So there are lots of antioxidants in Amla. Is there any research that Amla actually results in any improved health outcomes? As we know there could be other chemicals in Amla that could be equally harmful, so without data on health outcomes, how can you recommend? I was recently diagnosed with breast cancer so I want to change my diet to foods and supplements that have evidence to support their effectiveness.

  • Richard

    Where can I buy Amia or (Indian) Gooseberry? Can anyone recommend a trusted online seller? :)

  • Patricia Feely

    Where are the beans? I heard Dr. Gregor say to include beans with every meal!

  • pgyx

    Three questions: 1) Where to get bulk white tea leaves? 2) Can I use whole amla — and if so do I need to soak before blending? 3) Is there a nutritional difference between “traditionally dried” whole amla and dehydrated whole amla? Mountain Rose Herbs includes information that says the dehydrated version has more vitamin C. I already ordered the traditionally dried version so will use that for now!

  • Sean MacLeod

    OH MY GOD!!!! The fact that this isn’t on the front page of ever American newspaper makes me a conspiracy theorist BIG TIME.

  • Fred

    I have MGUS. I’ve gone on a plant based low fat high starch diet and feel great but its always like the sword of Damocles with the possibility of Multiple Myeloma hanging over me. I read some studies out of Australia that showed some promise of preventing or delaying Multiple Myeloma using Tumeric and black pepper combination and started taking that. Any other suggestions?

    • Joseph Gonzales R.D.

      Hi Fred. Thanks for sharing your story I cannot even imagine going through MGUS. Of course, check with your doctors and hopefully a dietitian about my claims because I am not an expert with this one. Maybe we can work backwards? From what I pulled it seemed that inferior bone health may be associated with the disease, especially for patients with osteoporosis. There is no protocol that differs from osteoporosis vs. MGUS. From what I see bone health may be at stake, so my logic is focus on foods and physical activity that strengthens bones. It is not amazing but perhaps a start? See here:

      Race seems to play a role,as well. I’ll let you explore the study if you’d like.

      Lastly, you asked about turmeric, I found a study that may be valuable: Is curcumin for monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance without risk?–letter. From what the review states it could be dangerous to use freely and needs to be administered under medical supervision.

      I did not expect to find the last study. I hope you take the proper precautions and talk to your doctor about turmeric, while boosting up on foods that support bone health.

      My warm wishes go out to you, Let me know how else I can help.

  • Evan

    Wow, love the nutritional guidance! May I ask where you get your Amla powder?

  • -dp-

    Does the inclusion of fruit in smoothies separate the fructose from the fiber and create potential problems for people prone to hypoglycemia?

    • Joseph Gonzales R.D.

      Hi, dp. Thanks so much for reposting. For people prone to hypoglycemia smoothies and more fruit may be a good choice. There doesn’t seem to be anything wrong with smoothies. Dr. Greger addresses this in his Q&A are green smoothies good for you? And I follow-up to a similar question, here. If trying to limit foods high in the glycemic index here is a great list of foods with their glycemic index scores. Here are three videos on hypoglycemia.

  • On Youtube I came across the following clip “Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn on Juicing and Smoothies”. In it he says he “hates smoothies”, and that they (smoothies) injure the liver and endothelial cells by separating the fiber from the sugars. A smoothie containing among other things Kale, chard, spinach, banana, various berries, amla, macha, fruit etc… is my normal start to the day. Your web site and Dr. Greger are my primary source of nutritional info and I would like to hear your/his opinion. Keep up the great web site and message! Thanks!

  • NewbieNutrition

    What exactly is the recipe for this smoothie? I want to try it!

  • Dermot Dunphy

    Dr Caldwell Esselstyn
    advocates no oils or no smoothies as their is too much fructose in them. He recommends
    you eat rather than grind up your fruit as it can cause fatty liver and have a
    bad affect on your arteries. Regards, Dermot

    Any comment

    • Thea

      Dermot: FYI: NutritionFacts has a series of videos on smoothies coming out very soon:

      Dr. Greger addresses the issues you bring up. I highly recommend taking a look at them. I have HUGE respect for Dr. Esselstyn, but he may not be 100% right the issue of smoothies.

      Oils on the other hand, there doesn’t appear to be any disagreement there.

  • ann charpentier

    Hello Dr. Gregor. As this video was made some time ago, are there any new items that you put in your daily breakfast smoothy?
    Thank you,

    • Thea

      ann: FYI: Dr. Greger has a book coming out this December. I believe the book is supposed to include examples of meals that Dr. Greger himself eats. So, you question may be answered in a few months if it doesn’t get answered sooner here.

  • David Mickleborough

    why white tea leaves?

  • thedriver

    Hi Michael, I just came accross your breakfast smoothie by accident; mostly being interested in the antioxidant side of the equation. But your videos and articles have me hooked. Great work – thank you for sharing your passion with us.

    I’m concerned with the smoothie / juicing movement though. Whilst I see juicing as a whole other kettle of fish that needs to be ignored, I feel the need to get our nutrients in liquid form seems to stem from convenience. And whilst I love the taste of smoothies and the convenience, I’m also concerned we lose the benefits of chewing which I see as being critically important. I’d like to know what your take is on this and any evidence that smoothies are not impeding our digestive processes?

    I can only find evidence against it, these are just some such articles.

    Mastication and creation of a bolus is the first part of our digestive process and it seems that avoiding it means down-regulating many of the subsequent digestive processes:
    – Saliva and gastrointestinal functions of taste, mastication, swallowing and digestion

    There is obviously no point consuming anti-oxidants if you can’t absorb them. It seems that mastication is the first step to promoting the bioavailability of at least some antioxidants:
    – The Role of Dietary Fiber in the Bioaccessibility and Bioavailability of Fruit and Vegetable Antioxidants

    It also seems that chewing promotes the absorption of glucose and regulates some hormone functions associated with the digestive process:
    – Increasing the number of masticatory cycles is associated with reduced appetite and altered postprandial plasma concentrations of gut hormones, insulin and glucose
    – Improvement in chewing activity reduces energy intake in one meal and modulates plasma gut hormone concentrations in obese and lean young Chinese men
    – Mastication of almonds: effects of lipid bioaccessibility, appetite, and hormone response

    I really would love to hear your side of this and any evidence for the use of smoothies. Or do I just need to spend a minute savouring each mouthful; perhaps prolonging the gustation period and miming mastication?

    Tee Carter

    • Thea

      thedriver: What good timing. Dr. Greger recently finished a whole series on the topic of smoothies. I’m thinking that at least some of your questions would be answered in this series. The following link contains the first video in the series. Then all you have to do is click, “next video” to see the next one.

      Hope that helps.

      • thedriver

        Thanks Thea

  • Don Fallon

    Some of the antioxidants when taken in excess in diet may cause more harm than good. See Whats you advice about this?

  • MaryAnn Egan

    Dr. Greger,
    What other ingredients are in your soymilk? Can you share what brand you use or do you make your own? If you make it, do you have a recipe?

  • Dena

    In the video about using soy milk with tea, I learned that soy milk neutralizes the benefits of the phytonutrients in the tea. I wondered why the white tea leaves were used in the soy smoothie and how that would be beneficial. The smoothie looks delicious and I just ordered alma powder because of this video. Thank you!

  • Vege-tater

    I went looking for amla powder at my Indian grocery, and all they had
    were hair tonics, though I was assured it’s exactly the same pure fruit,
    I passed and opted for a mix of 3 herbs including amla, called triphala. Seems to be
    quite a bit of medical literature on it and it’s even listed on Sloan
    Kettering’s site. Interesting stuff!


    Great Video. I have 2 questions:
    Can amla be cooked with other foods? like soup or curry? Will its nutritive value decline?

  • karolina rodriguez

    Please tell us what brand of AMLA POWDER to buy AND make a video about the product itself and how to use, buy and where best to purchase it from? TOO MUCH OUT THERE ONLINE and don’t know what’s right or real. Thank you!

    • valnaples

      karolina, a VERY good brand of organic amla powder is TERRASOUL and I order mine from Amazon…I think it’s around $12 for a one pound bag…and I always use AmazonSmile so that my donation goes to Hope this helps you!

  • pervez zahidi

    sir,my father suffring from cancer ( in neck ),doctor adviced him redition for tretment,but they give us date in december.
    but i want to know about diet at present. that we can give at present .
    pls advice us about grains,vegetable,froutes

    • Thea

      pervez zahidi: I’m not an expert, but I have some thoughts for you. You might consider looking up Dr. Greger’s Daily Dozen. I think the Daily Dozen is a good starting place for a diet. From there, you might tweak the diet to especially include foods shown to fight cancer. There are a lot of videos on NutritionFacts which go over such foods. Here is the topic/summary page for cancer:
      Good luck!

  • emp

    I realize I’ve been eating amla wrong all these years. The right quantity would be eating in amounts similar to any other fruit. Much like those not used to a plant-based diet are not used to the taste, there is a further need to get used to the wide variety of sour, astringent, and bitter tastes of the healthier plants. Before I ate perhaps 2-3 amlalaki fruits a week; now I blend about 4-6 a day. Classical ayurvedic texts don’t mention any precautions; they do say that excess sour is harmful but amalaki is an exception. Contemporary authors often mention that it is heavy; anyone that has eaten the frozen fruit will notice that it is extremely fibrous. Even at the current quantity, I notice my hunger is significantly reduced for the rest of the day. As for daily antioxidant units, along with the ayurvedic herbs I take, some of which are covered in the study, I estimate mine to be somewhere in the tens of thousands.

  • Clint Sevilla

    Why is there a discrepancy in antioxidant content of blueberries between this video and “How to Reach the Antioxidant RDA”?