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A Better Breakfast

The antioxidant power of American breakfast fare is compared to a smoothie that contains berries, white tea leaves, and Indian gooseberry (amla) powder.

January 19, 2012 |
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Acknowledgements

Images thanks to Stangoldsmith, Fir0002, H. Zell, Potesara, Miguel Andrade, Evan-Amos, NIH, Rumun999, and WJ Houtman via Wikimedia Commons, and Renee Comet for the National Cancer Institute.

Transcript

According to this study, by far the most comprehensive of its kind in history, there are only three whole foods on the planet that have more antioxidant power than cloves. One of them is amla: dried Indian gooseberries. Now, not only is it more powerful, but also more palatable. You could add a whole teaspoon of amla to a smoothie and you probably wouldn't even taste it. Try doing that with a teaspoon of powdered cloves. One sip and you'd be on the floor!

Let's look at the antioxidant content of some typical American breakfast foods: bacon [7] and eggs [+8], for example. A bowl of corn flakes [25] with milk [+9]. Egg McMuffin [16]. Pancakes [16]with maple syrup [+9]. Bagel [24] with cream cheese [+2].

Compare those to the smoothie I had this morning. A cup of unsweetened soy milk [16], a half a cup of frozen blueberries [+535]. Whoa! Already, I've got to shrink the scale way down. The pulp of a nice ripe Mexican mango [+124]. Note the mango alone has more antioxidants than the other breakfasts. A tablespoon of ground flax seeds, and my previous secret ingredient, a palmful of bulk white tea leaves [+101]-- just thrown them in there and blend them in.

Now that used to be my smoothie, but now: a teaspoon of that gooseberry powder [+782], and we're off the charts again. That's about four cents' worth of amla -- four pennies -- and look what it does to my smoothie. Fifteen hundred units of antioxidant power, and I haven't even fully woken up yet! Way more than the five other meals combined. In fact, more than the average person gets in an entire week.

I could drink my smoothie and eat nothing but donuts for the rest of the week and most people still wouldn't catch up. Notice, though, that even though I packed the blender with amazing stuff: blueberries, tea leaves, ... fully half the antioxidant power came from that single teaspoon -- that four cents' worth of powdered gooseberries.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is transcript contributed by Bruce A. Hamilton.

To help out on the site please email volunteer@nutritionfacts.org

Dr. Michael Greger

Doctor's Note

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!

Also, check out my associated blog posts for more context: Acai to Zuccini: Antioxidant Food Rankings, Is Caffeinated Tea Really Dehydrating?Top 10 Most Popular Videos of the YearHibiscus Tea: The Best Beverage?Flaxseeds for Prostate CancerTreating Breast Pain with Flax SeedsWhich Common Fruit Fights Cancer Better?, and Mushrooms and Immunity

  • http://nutritionfacts.org/members/mgreger/ 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!

  • http://nutritionfacts.org/members/bpcveg/ BPC

    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 http://nutritionfacts.org/video/soymilk-suppression

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

  • http://nutritionfacts.org/members/adriennefriend/ 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!!

    • http://nutritionfacts.org/members/arlenesue/ arlenesue

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

  • http://nutritionfacts.org/members/soupy/ 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.

  • http://nutritionfacts.org/members/paul3917/ 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?

  • http://nutritionfacts.org/members/thea/ 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.

    • http://nutritionfacts.org/members/bpcveg/ BPC

      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.

    • http://nutritionfacts.org/members/bpcveg/ BPC

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

      • http://nutritionfacts.org/members/thea/ 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.

        • http://nutritionfacts.org/members/bpcveg/ BPC

          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.

    • 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 Superorganicfoods.com, 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. 

      Terry

      • 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…

        http://www.beyondveg.com/billings-t/sprouts/life-force-enzyme-theory.shtml

        Let’s not mix superstition with science!

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1294863558 John Furr

          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.

  • http://nutritionfacts.org/members/jeane/ 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.

    • http://nutritionfacts.org/members/thea/ 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.

  • http://nutritionfacts.org/members/yummy/ yummy

    I ordered mine from mountainroseherbs.com 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.

    • http://nutritionfacts.org/members/thea/ Thea

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

      • http://nutritionfacts.org/members/yummy/ 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”.

    • http://www.facebook.com/kenton.mullins Kenton R. Mullins

      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)!

    • http://twitter.com/jimarnold jim arnold

      mountainroseherbs.com charges $12 for a pound of powdered alma but then gouges you another $12.15 to ship it. superorganicfoods.com 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.

  • http://nutritionfacts.org/members/cs/ 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: http://nutritionfacts.org/video/is-matcha-good-for-you/ I quote: “whopping loads of nutrition” and “never leave home without it”.

  • http://nutritionfacts.org/members/meha/ Meha

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

    http://youtu.be/Y9eV854s-Jg

    • http://nutritionfacts.org/members/mgreger/ Michael Greger M.D.

      Thank you for expanding the reach of this information!

  • http://nutritionfacts.org/members/dwoodrufff/ 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?

  • http://nutritionfacts.org/members/htwwo/ HTWWO

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

    • http://nutritionfacts.org/members/vallis/ Vallis

      good Q,

      can one consume too many antioxidants?

    • http://nutritionfacts.org/members/alexandra-georgiadis/ 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: http://nutritionfacts.org/videos/antioxidant-vitamin-supplements/
      I hope this helps!

  • http://nutritionfacts.org/members/jms/ 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?

  • http://nutritionfacts.org/members/jmf/ 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.

    • http://nutritionfacts.org/members/mgreger/ 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!

  • http://nutritionfacts.org/members/hongkonger18/ 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.

    Thanks!

  • http://nutritionfacts.org/members/chewy/ chewy

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

  • http://nutritionfacts.org/members/demielune/ demielune

    Hello,
    Very interesting video! Thank you!
    I was wondering though, in a recent video about Amla versus diabetes ( http://nutritionfacts.org/videos/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
    Démie

  • http://nutritionfacts.org/members/drdons/ 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…
      http://nutritionfacts.org/video/preventing-allergies-in-adulthood/  and
      in children see
      http://nutritionfacts.org/video/preventing-childhood-allergies/. 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..
      http://nutritionfacts.org/video/food-mass-transit/The 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

        Thanks.

        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: http://nutritionfacts.org/video/food-mass-transit/

        • 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

    Hello,
    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?

  • 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 banyanbotanicals.com 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?

    • http://www.DonForresterMD.com/ Don Forrester MD

       You should use products that don’t have any lead, mercury, cadmium and arsenic. In Dr. Greger’s video… http://nutritionfacts.org/video/some-ayurvedic-medicine-worse-than-lead-paint-exposure/ 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.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kenton.mullins Kenton R. Mullins

    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.)

  • http://www.facebook.com/kenton.mullins Kenton R. Mullins

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

    • http://nutritionfacts.org/ Michael Greger M.D.

      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.
      http://nutritionfacts.org/video/amla-versus-diabetes/

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

  • http://twitter.com/TwinBookmarks TwinBookmarks

    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 http://twinbookmarks.com

  • 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.

    • http://nutritionfacts.org/ Michael Greger M.D.

      Just a clarification, I have not seen heavy metals reported in amla (but yes, in triphala). See my whole series: http://nutritionfacts.org/video/some-ayurvedic-medicine-worse-than-lead-paint-exposure/

    • 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 http://nutritionfacts.org/video/the-safer-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. https://www.facebook.com/PlantBasedEmporium?ref=stream&hc_location=timeline

    ~Complements of lovestobevegan

    • http://nutritionfacts.org/ Michael Greger M.D.

      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.

      • http://www.DonForresterMD.com/ Don Forrester MD

        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.