Ginger: Truly Among the Great Medicines of the World

August 29th, 2013

ginger root sliced 263x164 Ginger: Truly Among the Great Medicines of the WorldFor centuries, people around the world have used used ginger for medicinal purposes. So did Confucius. He said he never ate a meal without it. Henry VIII recommended ginger to keep the plague away. English taverns in the nineteenth century used ginger in their beer. The Romans and Greeks used the herb in place of dramamine for long voyages at sea. Indians used it in Ayuverdic concotions. This incredible ‘hand’, or root of the Zingiber officinale, is an incredible food with numerous and wonderful healing qualities that have been experienced for at least the last 4400 years, if not longer.

Ginger originates from Southeast Asia, but grows well in multiple climates. It now grows all over Europe, the US, China, Japan, Vietnam, Indonesia, and elsewhere.

Full of antioxidants, iron, phosphorous, potassium, riboflavin, and more, ginger can kill salmonella as well as other undesirable viruses (including the common cold), and clots blood better than onion or garlic while reducing blood coagulation by inhibiting the cell synthesis of thromboxane. The spice can lower ‘bad’ cholesterol, can be used as a drug-free pain killer, helps with stomach ailments, and reduces nausea. It improves digestion by increasing salivary and stomach secretions.

Japanese biochemists have also proven that ginger is one of many cancer-fighting foods, reducing cell mutation which can lead to cancer. Another study coming to similar conclusions showed that ginger extract triggered apoptosis of G cells HCT 116 and HT 29 – cancer causing cellular lines.

Check out this article for a more in-depth and complete list of the health benefits of ginger.

Ginger can be used in cooking, taken as a supplement, or even consumed in teas or ginger candies. In India, children are given ginger to guard against whopping cough. Just a ¼ teaspoon of ginger per serving of cooked foods can deliver a great zing to vegetables or broths for soup and deliver all the powerful medicine that ginger offers to cure multiple ailments. You can grate the root into a pulp and use it fresh or find an organic extract to use in a pinch. Ginger never fails to deliver great taste and overall immune support and physical well-being.

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About and Dr Michael Greger M.D.


The typical nutrition facts packaging label shows consumers a miniscule fraction of the estimated 100,000+ biological active constituents of food. How do you tell if it may actually help promote health and protect against disease?

It is estimated that North Americans spend in excess of $50 billion annually on diet products and self-help books and videos.  However, given that Western society continues to see increased obesity and other “diseases of affluence” such as Type II diabetes, coronary heart disease and certain forms of cancer, much of that money is being wasted.  We believe that a significant part of the problem is that individuals who want to make the correct nutritional choices for themselves and their families are faced with a deluge of confusing and conflicting nutritional advice.  The goal of this website is to present you with the results of the latest in nutrition and health research, presented in a way that is easy to understand.



NUTRITIONFACTS.ORG is brought to you by the Jesse & Julie Rasch Foundation in partnership with Michael Greger M.D. Dr. Greger scours the world of nutrition-related research, as published in scientific journals, and brings that information to you in short, easy to understand video segments.  We also provide links to the original journal articles whenever possible so that you can source the information directly, if you so desire.

Michael Greger M.D.

Dr. Greger is a physician, author, and internationally recognized speaker on nutrition, food safety, and public health issues.  A founding member of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, Dr. Greger is licensed as a general practitioner specializing in clinical nutrition. Currently he serves as the Director of Public Health and Animal Agriculture at the Humane Society of the United States. Dr. Greger is a graduate of the Cornell University School of Agriculture and the Tufts University School of Medicine. Click here for his current speaking schedule and here to send a speaking invitation.

The Jesse & Julie Rasch Foundation

The Foundation was established in Toronto, Canada in the year 2000 by Jesse Rasch. Among the objectives of the Foundation is the funding of research into the role of health and nutrition in the prevention and treatment of disease and to ensure that the research results are appropriately disseminated to the medical profession.  The Foundation is also striving to educate the public on the enormous role that health and nutrition play in disease prevention.

The Best Foods: test your nutrition knowledge

The Best Foods: test your nutrition knowledge

November 6, 2011 by Michael Greger M.D. in News with 11 Comments

Today I’m highlighting twenty questions from twenty “best of” videos ranking different classes of foods. Ultimately, the “best” apple, bean, vegetable, etc. is whichever one you actually eat (in the same way that the “best” exercise is the exercise you actually do), but if you’re in a position to choose, then why not shoot for the best of the best?

The first 20 people to email me all 20 correct answers will win my latest nutrition DVD. Watch the videos for the answers and email me—and good luck!

1. The best apple:
a. Braeburn
b. Cortland
c. Empire
d. Fuji
e. Gala
f. Golden delicious
g. Golden nugget
h. Granny Smith
i. Honeycrisp
j. Idared
k. Red delicious

2. The best bean:
a. Black
b. Chickpea
c. Green split pea
d. Kidney
e. Lentil
f. Pinto
g. Yellow split pea

3. Best anticancer vegetable:
a. Acorn squash
b. Asparagus
c. Beets
d. Bok choi
e. Boston lettuce
f. Broccoli
g. Brussels sprouts
h. Carrot
i. Cauliflower
j. Celery
k. Cucumber
l. Curly cabbage
m. Eggplant
n. Endive
o. Fennel
p. Fiddlehead ferns
q. Garlic
r. Green bean
s. Green cabbage
t. Green onion
u. Jalapeno
v. Kale
w. Leek
x. Orange bell pepper
y. Potato
z. Radicchio
aa. Radish
bb. Red cabbage
cc. Romaine lettuce
dd. Rutabaga
ee. Spinach
ff. Tomato
gg. Yellow onion

4. The best cooking method:
a. Baking
b. Boiling
c. Frying
d. Griddling
e. Microwaving
f. Pressure cooking

5. The best mushroom (based on antioxidant content):
a. Button
b. Chanterelles
c. Morels
d. Oyster
e. Porcini
f. Shiitake

6. The best mushroom for breast cancer prevention:
a. Button
b. Chanterelle
c. Crimini
d. Enoki
e. Italian brown
f. Oyster
g. Portobello
h. Shiitake
i. Stuffing
j. Woodear

7. The best rice:
a. Black rice
b. Brown rice
c. Red rice
d. White rice

8. The best nut:
a. Almond
b. Brazil nut
c. Cashew
d. Macadamia
e. Pecan
f. Peanut
g. Pine Nut
h. Pistachio
i. Walnut

9. The best airplane beverage:
a. Apple juice from concentrate
b. Cranberry juice cocktail
c. Hot coffee
d. Hot tea
e. Orange juice from concentrate
f. Tomato juice from concentrate
g. Water

10. The best onion:
a. Red
b. White
c. Yellow

11. The best lentil:
a. Red
b. Green
c. French green

12. The healthiest sweetener:
a. Agave nectar
b. Blackstrap molasses
c. Brown rice syrup
d. Corn syrup
e. Dark brown sugar
f. Date sugar
g. Honey
h. Light brown sugar
i. Maple syrup
j. Raw cane sugar
k. Sugar
l. Turbinado sugar

13. The best low-calorie sweetener:
a. Acesulfame-K
b. Aspartame
c. Cyclamate
d. Erythritol
e. Saccharin
f. Stevia
g. Sucralose
h. Xylitol

14. Healthiest chocolate fix:
a. Baking chocolate
b. Chocolate syrup
c. Cocoa powder
d. Dark chocolate
e. Milk chocolate
f. Semi-sweet chocolate

15. The best tea:
a. Black
b. Green
c. White
d. Depends on whether you add lemon

16. Which is the healthiest soy food?
a. Edamame
b. Soy milk
c. Tempeh
d. Tofu

17. The best microscopic green:
a. Blue-green algae
b. Chlorella
c. Spirulina
d. None of the above

18. The better seed:
a. Chia
b. Flax

19. Most antioxidants per serving:
a. A half cup of acai berries
b. A half cup of blueberries
c. A half cup of cranberries
d. A half cup of goji berries
e. A handful of pecans
f. A pomegranate
g. A tablespoon of cocoa powder
h. A teaspoon of cinnamon
i. An apple
j. An artichoke
k. One black plum
l. One pear

20. Best antioxidant bargain:
a. Acai
b. Apples
c. Artichokes
d. Cinnamon
e. Cloves
f. Cranberries
g. Goji Berries
h. Pecans
i. Purple Cabbage

Email me your answers at along with your mailing address to win!

-Michael Greger, M.D.

Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death

Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death

Death in America is largely a foodborne illness. Focusing on studies published just over the last year in peer-reviewed scientific medical journals, Dr. Greger offers practical advice on how best to feed ourselves and our families to prevent, treat, and even reverse many of the top 15 killers in the United States.

July 26, 2012 |

Scallops are a nutritious type of seafood.

Scallops are a nutritious type of seafood.

Scallops are a type of shellfish that provide you with a number of nutritional benefits. There are two main types, bay scallops and the larger sea scallops. A 3-ounce serving of scallops contains only 80 calories from 14 grams of protein, 20 percent of the daily recommended value for phosphorus and vitamin B-12, 10 percent of the daily value for magnesium and smaller amounts of other essential vitamins and minerals. Scallops also are a source of dietary cholesterol.

Cholesterol Importance

Your body uses a small amount of cholesterol for making healthy cells. It makes all of the cholesterol it needs, so consuming foods that contain a lot of saturated fat, trans fat or dietary cholesterol can cause your blood cholesterol levels to become too high. This increases your risk for heart disease, stroke and heart attack. Other factors besides diet can affect your cholesterol levels. Being overweight or inactive, smoking, or having a family history of high cholesterol can predispose you to having high cholesterol. You are also more at risk if you have diabetes, heart disease, a history of strokes or heart attacks, or clogged arteries. If your cholesterol is too high, your doctor may prescribe cholesterol-lowering medications.

Cholesterol in Scallops

The American Heart Association recommends you limit your dietary cholesterol consumption to 300 milligrams or less per day for healthy individuals and 200 milligrams or less per day if you have high cholesterol or heart disease. Scallops contain 30 milligrams of cholesterol in a 3-ounce serving, which is 10 percent of the recommended intake.

Scallops Effect on Cholesterol

Fat, particularly saturated fat, has a greater effect on your blood cholesterol levels than dietary cholesterol. Scallops contain less than 1 gram of fat per serving, part of which is healthy omega-3 fat that can help lower cholesterol. Cholesterol is part of a group of compounds called sterols. Scallops contain some cholesterol, but also contain other types of sterols which may help reduce your body’s absorption of cholesterol. Because of the low levels of fat and cholesterol in scallops and the beneficial effects of the omega-3s and non-cholesterol sterols, the effect on your blood cholesterol levels of eating scallops in moderation is minimal.


Other types of seafood, such as shrimp, can contain higher levels of cholesterol, making scallops a healthier option. You can bake, saute, boil, steam or broil scallops. Consider adding them to pasta dishes or salads or using them in recipes in place of seafood that is higher in cholesterol. Bay scallops are sweeter than sea scallops, but sea scallops are better suited for pan-searing. Since scallops are low in both cholesterol and mercury, you can consume up to 12 ounces per week as part of a healthy diet.

Arguments Against Low-Carb Diets

Other Common Sense Arguments Against Low-Carb Diets

  • How many slim and healthy people do you know really have been following a low-carb diet for more than a year? Probably none. You may know someone who has tried the diet for a while and lost some weight but this anecdote should not be sufficient to try the diet. Was this person eating junk before? Most people initially lose weight on a low-carb diet because they restrict the level of calories, not because of the larger quantity of fat, cholesterol and animal proteins. Also, most people stop the low-carb diet after a while because they just can’t keep up the carbohydrate restriction
  • How many long lived societies follow a low-carb diets? The book Blue Zones by Dan Buettnercontains detailed information on the longest-lived populations and the diet they have in common is one that is very rich in plants and low in animal products and processed foods. The Eskimos and Inuits on their whale blubber diet are not on the list (not even close)
  • How many people have reversed cancer, diabetes, autoimmune conditions, or heart disease by adopting a low-carb diet? How many physicians had success with such an approach? The answer is zero. Now, look at the success of people like Drs. Fuhrman, McDougall, Klaper and others. They all have tons of examples and success stories. The proof is in the pudding.
  • How many successful athletes follow a low-carb diet? The answer is none. Check for athletes in all fields: cycling, running, swimming, cross-country skiing, triathlons, rowing, mountain climbing, etc. You will not find a single one. It is impossible to be a high-performing athlete and be successful while following a low-carb diet. The fuel is simply not right and the machine (human body) simply breaks down. Don’t assume that it’s simply because none of them have tried. The low-carb diets have been around for more than 100 years and several athletes have tried them at some point in the past. It just does not work. You can test yourself or you can learn from other people’s experience.
  • The low carb gurus like to say that we will still have the body of our ancestors in the Paleolithic area which were hunter gatherers and that consequently our diet should be centered around meats with some non-starchy vegetables and a little bit of fruits. Interestingly, these low carbers have failed to look at the science that shows that our ancestors were mostly gatherers as opposed to hunters (see the video below from Nathaniel Dominy). These low carb gurus will not tell you that gladiators were actually vegan (video below). These low carb gurus will not tell you that Pharaohs (Egyptian kings and queens) ate a diet rich in meat without refined sugar and had heart disease, which explains the mummy paradox because these pharaohs were not eating simple plant foods like their poor subjects (see the mummy paradox article below). The same article will demonstrate that even that the Ice Man from 5200 years was a vegan too! The low carb primal Paleo concept is based on flawed science; even their arguments about our ancestors are wrong!

Bottom line on Saturated Fat and Dietary Cholesterol

Saturated Fats

Humans are large primates and their diets should be a diet of large herbivorous primates that is rich in plant foods. The human body was designed to operate in an environment where the food consumption is low in saturated fat (most plant foods have little to no saturated fats). This explains why our body can synthesize and make saturated fat. Consequently, saturated fat is not an essential nutrient. There is no need for saturated fat in the human diet. You don’t have to believe me, just check the nutritional guidelines from the National Institutes of Health (link here, select the Dietary Reference Intakes Table for macronutrients and search for “saturated”) . Saturated fat is dangerous and its consumption should be minimized or avoided completely from your diet. Do not believe the low-carb snake-oil salesmen and fake gurus. Their advice is irresponsible and dangerous.

Here is a quote from the USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010 (Released 1/31/11) Chapter 3, page 24, “Saturated Fats”

Saturated fatty acids – The body uses some saturated fatty acids for physiological and structural functions, but it makes more than enough to meet those needs. People therefore have no dietary requirement for saturated fatty acids.

Dietary Cholesterol

Just like saturated fat is not an essential nutrient, cholesterol is synthesized by the human body and is not required in our diet. Actually, the body has a limited ability to release extra cholesterol so consumption of cholesterol through food intake does result in excessive levels of cholesterol in the blood. How many people do you know were hospitalized because of cholesterol deficiency? The answer is probably none. Cholesterol deficiency does not exist. There is no medical name for such condition. Dietary cholesterol is dangerous and its consumption should be minimized or avoided completely. Do not believe the low-carb snake-oil salesmen and fake gurus. Their advice is irresponsible and dangerous. Yes, your body can eliminate some cholesterol but it can’t eliminate all of the excess.

Here is a quote from the USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010 (Released 1/31/11) Chapter 3, page 26, “Cholesterol”

Cholesterol – The body uses cholesterol for physiological and structural functions, but it makes more than enough for these purposes. Therefore, people do not need to eat sources of dietary cholesterol. Cholesterol is found only in animal foods.

Bottom line on Saturated Fat and Dietary Cholesterol

The bottom line is that saturated fat and dietary cholesterol are not needed in your diet. There are ABSOLUTELY NOT NEEDED. In fact, their consumption is associated with chronic diseases. Have you ever heard of someone admitted to the hospital because of saturated fat deficiency or cholesterol deficiency? The answer is no. There is not even a name for such a condition because it does not exist.

Do not believe stories from “low-carb gurus” that there is a conspiracy out there from health authorities to lie to you and keep you in the dark. Just because your brain consists of saturated fat does not mean you should eat saturated fat. If you follow that line of logic, why not eat animal brain in order to help out your brain? Your body also has blood and bones, are you going to chew some bones like your dog or drink blood like a vampire? No, you won’t because you are smart and are using your head to make a decision. Please use your head, logic and common sense and ignore the quacks like Mercola, Mark Sisson, Atkins, South Beach, etc. who promote dangerous diets.

National Health Authorities Warn

All Respectable and Reputable National Health Authorities Warn the Public Against Low Carb Diets (references are here)

A large number of respectable health authorities have come out over the years and warned the public against the dangers of low carb diets. These authorities include:

  • American Medical Association
  • American Dietetic Association
  • American Cancer Society
  • American Heart Association
  • Cleveland Clinic
  • John Hopkins
  • American Kidney Fund
  • American College of Sports Medicine
  • National Institute of Health

And this it just in the United States. Around the world, health agencies have issued similar warnings and criticized low-carb diets by calling them health hazards. Why would all these health authorities warn the public against low carb diets if there was no danger? All are these scientists crazy or working together to conspire against the “low carb” movement? No, these authorities have done their homework and they came out against low carb diets because the dangers are real, understood and documented. Please be an informed responsible adult and read what these institutions have to say and their reasons before following the advice of gurus, health coaches or gym trainers that promote low carb diets (very common in the cross-fit world).

Ask yourself the following the following questions about the person giving you the low carb advice:

  • Is this person in great health (low body fat, low cholesterol, low blood pressure, low blood glucose, nice skin tone, great energy)? Don’t get fooled by a Photoshopped picture.
  • Is this person following the advice she recommends? How long has this person been following this advice? How old is this person? I don’t mean any disrespect but a 25-year old athlete can look good under any kind of weird diet, so their dietary advice is no indication that it is healthy or not.
  • Does this person really understand nutrition, the essential nutrients needed for health? Where is this person getting his nutritional knowledge? From other low carb gurus?
  • What sort of credible experience has this person had helping people reverse chronic conditions using this low carb advice? Can you meet or talk with these people? Are they in good health (see first bullet)? Are they really slim? Are they still following that nutritional advice? If there was an improvement in people’s conditions, what were these people doing before? If a 400 lbs person lost 100 lbs and is now stuck at 300 lbs, this does not mean the low carb diet works. A low carb diet can yield a relative improvement for someone who eats a lot of junk food but it will not be an improvement for someone healthy eating a whole food plant-based diet (that already excludes processed food made with flour, sugars and oils).
  • If someone improved his/her health following a low-carb diet, what was this person eating before? Most people move from a Standard American Diet (SAD) to a low-carb diet. Unfortunately, the SAD diet is the worst diet out there and any change is a move up in the right direction. However, a small improvement in diet does not mean the new diet is healthy. If someone decreased his cigarette consumption from 3 packs a day to 2 packs a day, we would certainly acknowledge the improvement but would certainly not call the new lifestyle healthy.

Don’t settle for second-class nutritional advice. You deserve better.

Low Carbohydrate Diets Are Unhealthy and Dangerous



Low carbohydrate diets come under different names and flavors, but they essentially promote the same things: juggling the ratio of macronutrients by restricting carbohydrates and increasing the intake of fats and proteins. The whole concept revolves around the avoidance of carbohydrates, especially refined and processed foods made with white flour, sugar, high fructose corn syrups, etc. In addition, the diet suggests increasing the intake of saturated fat and animal proteins from coconut oil, butter, grass-fed beef and other animal-based products. Most of these low-carb diets throw the baby with the bath water by restricting  fruit intake as well as starchy vegetables and legumes. All carbohydrates are often lumped together and considered bad, without making a distinction between unhealthy refined carbohydrates (cookies, white pasta, white rice, bread, etc.) and healthy whole unrefined carbohydrate-rich plant foods (oatmeal, corn, beans, fruits, etc). The most common versions of low-carb diets are listed below:

  • Atkins (Robert Atkins)
  • Dukan (Pierre Dukan)
  • Evolution diet (Arthur De Vany)
  • Mercola (Joseph Mercola)
  • Paleo (also referred to as the Paleolithic Diet, the Paleodiet, the Caveman Diet, the Stone Age Diet, the CrossFit Diet and the Hunter-Gatherer Diet by Loren Cordain and/or Robb Wolf)
  • Slow Carb Diet (essentially CrossFit/Paleo with beans allowed, by Tim Ferris’ 4-Hour Body)
  • Primal (Mark Sisson)
  • South Beach (Arthur Agatston)
  • TNT (Jeff Volek)
  • Western A Price (Sally Fallon and Mary Enig)
  • Zone (Barry Sears)
  • And multiple others like Anthony Colpo, Dr. Dan Eades, Denise Minger, Jimmy Moore, etc.