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Overcoming a Major Illness W/ Josh Perry, Professional BMX Athlete

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“Fear is just a thought, but thoughts can be changed.”
— Josh Perry

Greetings, SuperFriends!

Today we are joined by Josh Perry, whom you may know from the world of extreme sports. Josh is an extreme athlete, specifically a BMX biker.

But that's just the beginning of his story. You see, Josh has survived multiple brain tumors. He went through an unbelievable journey to get healthy and get well, including massive surgery and cutting-edge new treatment technology. He survived through it all and now he's living with this condition. Josh has so much to share. We talked about fear, we talked about life purpose and mission and we also talked about the journey that followed this horrifying experience for him and the beauty that came out of it.

Josh today is an expert in the nutrition field as well as a BMX athlete. He has written and been featured in more publications than I care to list but, to name a few, they are Men's Health, GQ, US News, LiveStrong, People Magazine, ESPN and many more. He has also launched the blog where he shares his thoughts and ideas with the world.

Personally, I feel like this is an absolutely incredible interview. I tried to go as deep as I could and really get into some of the emotions, the fears and also the tools that Josh went through and developed, so I could really give you guys some practical takeaways that will help you overcome fear in your own lives and face the big scary what-ifs.

I really enjoyed the episode and I'm quite sure you will as well!

HealthIQ is a new type of life insurance company that uses science and data to give lower rates to health conscious people like runners, weightlifters, and vegetarians. To see if you qualify today, visit

HealthIQ is a new type of life insurance company that uses science and data to give lower rates to health-conscious people like runners, weightlifters, and vegetarians. To see if you qualify today, visit

This episode is brought to you by Organifi. Save 20% on their highly-recommended green juice products with coupon code “superhuman.”


In this episode, we discuss:

  • Who is Josh Perry? What does he do? [4:50]
  • How did Josh get to discover his illness? [6:10]
  • The health challenge(s) that have changed Josh's life [9:00]
  • How did Josh handle brain surgery and the fear that precedes it [12:10]
  • What happens in the moment when Josh looks fear in the eye? [14:00]
  • Josh's recovery and return to the ramps [15:40]
  • Meeting his old surgeon [16:50]
  • The return of the illness [17:30]
  • Josh's second round of treatment [18:00]
  • The hopefully good development of his illness [19:00]
  • How Josh's lives with his illness [20:30]
  • How did Josh's experience change his life for the better? [23:20]
  • Gratitude, nutrition, and health changes Josh made in his life as a result of his sickness [25:00]
  • Josh's journey to become a certified nutritionist [27:00]
  • What does Josh's diet look like today? [29:00]
  • Simple health advice for everyone [31:20]
  • Things Josh does in order to perform at the highest level [31:50]
  • Specific, actionable “homework” to start doing this week [33:30]
  • Where can you find more about Josh Perry? [35:40]

Resources Mentioned in This Episode:

Favorite Quotes from Josh Perry:

“To me, there is no good or bad. It is all perspective and what you take from it.”
“As an athlete, you are willing to risk failure more times in a day than more people are willing to in a lifetime.”
“When facing moments of fear, look at the desired outcome.”
“I asked myself: ‘How do I make this (his illness) impactful, instead of detrimental?'”
“Nothing that you want is going to happen overnight.”
“Take care of your mind and body, and have the clarity of what you want your life to look like.”
“Track what you're doing, log it!”
“I want people to understand that their life is in their hand.”


Introduction: Welcome to the Becoming SuperHuman Podcast. Where we interview extraordinary people to bring you the skills and strategies to overcome the impossible. And now here's your host, Jonathan Levi.

Jonathan Levi: This episode is brought to you by Health IQ. An insurance company that helps health-conscious people. Like runners, cyclists, weightlifters, and even vegetarians get lower rates on health insurance. You know, if you listen to this podcast, you probably are healthier than your average person. So why should you pay the same amount as everyone else?

For health insurance, 56% of Health IQ customers can save between four and 33% on their life. Insurance and Health IQ can do this because they use science and data to secure lower rates on life insurance for health-conscious people. It's an amazing service. And in fact, They are actually the fastest-growing life insurance company with over $5 billion in coverage. So to check them out and to see if you qualify, go ahead and get your free quote today at health, or just mentioned the promo code superhuman. When you talk to a Health IQ agent.

This episode is brought to you by Organifi. You guys, one of the only things that every nutritional expert that we've had on the show seems to actually agree on is that we all need to eat more vegetables, eat more greens, eat organic, cut out all the processed junk.

Well, who has the time, right? Who has the time to go out, do the shopping, make the salads, make the juices, make the smoothies? And that's what I love so much about Organify their product is an all-organic green juice. It has all of the nutrients that you need. It tastes absolutely amazing. And it's made by wonderful people who I consider to be personal friends and as listeners.

Of this show, you guys can actually save 20% on your first order. And all you have to do is go to That's and use the coupon code superhuman at checkout.

 Greeting, SuperFriends and welcome to this week's episode, which is brought to you by me, because there are no reviews, unfortunately for me to read this week.

Okay. So I'm gonna let you guys slide on this one, but if you haven't left her view, please do. Cause it's certainly uplifts our entire team, which has recently grown. And there are a lot of people working very hard on this podcast to make it happen besides me. And they really love the review. So please take a moment if you would.

To leave us a review on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, wherever reviews are left onto today's episode. You guys, today, we are joined by Dr. Michael Greger. He is a New York Times bestselling author, a physician, an internationally recognized professional speaker and well. He's a really interesting dude, as you will find out, he has appeared on The Colbert Report, The Dr. Oz Show  and was an expert witness for Oprah Winfrey at the infamous meat defamation trial. Another interesting fun fact that I learned as I researched Dr. Gregor, is that he donates. All the speaking fees and proceeds from his books and DVDs, which I just think is really amazing and worth, worth noting.

You've probably heard of some of his books, including how not to die and carbo phobia, the scary truth behind America's low carb craze. You can probably tell just from that title there, that here I disagreed about a few things. We also agreed about a lot of things. Which ones, well, listen to find out, we talk about fruit.

We talk about nutrition. We talk about legumes, which is an interesting topic. We talk about animal protein and we get pretty nitty gritty on how nutrition works and why there are so many different opinions about it. One side note, I will say. Dr. McGregor works on a treadmill desk, not a standing desk, but a treadmill desk.

And I do apologize if you can hear it in the background, we tried to do our best to minimize it, but we talk about it in the episode. And so it kind of all works out without any further ado guys. My new super friend, Dr. Michael Greger.

Dr. Michael Greger. Welcome to the show, my friend, how are you doing today?

Michael Greger: I'm doing good. Thank you. How about yourself? 

Jonathan Levi: I'm doing really, really well. And I think part of it is I've had really spectacular nutrition today. I've been really, really good. And so I'm really excited to talk to you about nutrition.

Michael Greger: That's my favorite subject.

Jonathan Levi: I figured it might be considering I found you on nutrition, was you're. You're a pretty transparent guy with regards to your interests. So Dr. Greger, tell me a little bit about your path, your journey, how you came to become one of the leading experts in nutrition, and maybe also share with us, you know, how your approach is a little bit different. That's a lot to unpack in one question I realize, but we'll start with your journey.

Michael Greger: Well, you know, it's, uh, really all started when I was a kid. And I think the spark for many kids to want to become a doctor when they grow up as watching a grandparent gets sick or even die. But for me, it was watching my grandma get better.

I just, as a kid, when the doctor sent my grandma home in a wheelchair to die, she was. Diagnosed with end-stage heart disease, Yardi somebody by past surgeries, basically run out of plumbing at some point, confined to wheelchair crushing chest pain. Her life was over at age 65. Oh, wow. But then she heard excellent.

60 minutes. You heard about this guy, Nathan Pritikin. One of our early lifestyle medicine pioneers. What happened next is actually detailed Pritikin's biography. It talks about Francis Greger. My grandmother, they wheeled her in and she walked out within a few weeks. She was walking 10 miles a day. Thanks to a healthy diet though.

She was given her medical death sense at age 65. She went on to live another 31 years till age 96, to continue to enjoy her six grandkids, including me. That's why I went into medicine. That's why I practiced the type of medicine. I do lifestyle medicine. That's why I started in nutrition facts. That org, that's why I wrote how not to die.

That's why I do what I do. I just want to do for everyone's family. What Pritikin did for my family.

Jonathan Levi: What was ailing grandma?

Michael Greger: Oh, heart disease. End-stage heart disease.

Jonathan Levi: Wow. And what was the course of treatment? That's a pretty incredible story.

Michael Greger: Oh, it's a plant-based diet and lifestyle program, which was a, you know, which, um, Frickin really a pioneer, but it wasn't until, uh, July 23rd, 1990, that, uh, when Dr.

Dean Ornish published his landmark lifestyle, heart trial in the Lancet, one of our most prestigious medical journals, where it was proven that you could indeed reverse heart disease, open up arteries without drugs, without surgery, there's a plant-based diet and lifestyle program. And this randomized controlled trial with something called quantitative angiography.

So there was a black and white. Effectively the cure to our number one killer after that day and summer 1990, no one else should the die from heart disease. Yet hundreds of thousands of people continue to die from this preventable arrestable reversible condition.

Jonathan Levi: Wow. And when you say by the way, I have to note, it's impressive that I realized you are on a treadmill desk while we're having this conversation.

Michael Greger: Of course. 

Jonathan Levi: I can hear it just a little bit. Maybe our audience will be able to hear it.

Michael Greger: I'm trying to step softly.

Jonathan Levi: That's totally fine. I think it's an interesting point that probably many people in the audience, pretty much everyone in the audience knows about standing desks because I use one and I talk about many people probably do not realize you can have a treadmill desk.

Michael Greger: Oh, my God. And yeah, and you don't have to buy some FA I mean, you go to a thrift store and you can always find, you know, tons of old exercise equipment, and she gets some old treadmill you're slipping into some cheap plastic shelving, and you put your laptop on top and poof treadmill desk.

Jonathan Levi: There you are now, do you have an external keyboard so that you can prevent the elbow?

Of course. Yeah. Got to have that. Yeah,

Michael Greger: No I have a little Bluetooth, uh, Keyboard and, you know, I have, uh, the monitor set up, but yeah. And you know, I started out with the standing desk. I mean, realize, you know, looking at all this data, showing prolonged sitting isn't good for us. So I did the standing desks.

I'm like, well, look, if I'm standing, am I supposed to be walking? Right?

Jonathan Levi: Yeah, absolutely. How many miles would you say you walk in a day?

Michael Greger: I average 17 miles a day.

Jonathan Levi: Oh, wow. Wow. So you're actually not at the desk that much I would imagine. Yeah,

Michael Greger: no, no, no. I mean, I, I mean, I try to take breaks every few hours, but yeah.

I mean, and it's really slow. I'm going like 200 miles an hour. It's just, um, you know, I just, I work all day, so it just kinda adds up.

Jonathan Levi: Brilliant. So I want to switch back. You said plant-based diet. How plant-based are we talking? Are we talking vegetarian, pescatarian, vegan, paleo.

Michael Greger: Oh, well, uh, you know, the, the best available balance of evidence suggests that the healthiest diet is one that minimize the intake of meat, eggs, dairy, and processed junk, and maximize the intake of fruits, vegetables, legumes, which are being sloppy, chickpeas and lentils, whole grains, nuts and seeds, mushrooms, herbs, and spices, basically real food that grows out of the ground.

These are our healthiest choices. So the more we can center our diet around those foods, the better.

Jonathan Levi: Absolutely. That's actually one of the advertisements for the show. I start out saying, you know, the one thing that every nutrition expert agrees is that we all need to eat more vegetables and it's true.

We've heard everything. We've heard, don't eat any animal products. We've heard, only eat starches, but everyone agrees, eat more stuff that comes out of the ground.

Michael Greger: Right. There's this really remarkable consensus right? In the nutritional industry, going back decades. So, I mean, there's a lot of manufacturer controversy within nutrition, but the science is pretty clear. Has been pretty clear. I think the public needs and deserves to know that there's this overwhelming global consensus regarding really the core elements of healthy living. It was this great, um, project charter to call the true health initiative started by David Katz, a head of the Yale prevention center, where he just, because of all these commercial interests, trying to muddy the waters, the, you know, he just pulled together hundreds of the top nutrition sciences in the world.

Like, you know, the head, the chair of, you know, nutrition or Harvard. And you just put them on all to agree to a consensus statement as to what is the healthiest diet, just cut through it. All. Everyone can agree on this. So going can go check that out. And I believe, ah, now to health, I would guess.

Jonathan Levi: Now I want to jump back again, because you said two things that somewhat surprised me, not a huge amount, and I'm gonna I'll list them both and we can attack them one by one. One is lots of fruit, and I know a lot of folks in the nutrition community are now talking about minimizing sugar and about how fruit these days is so much sweeter than it was 5,000 years ago.

So that's one factor. And then I was also surprised. About the legumes, because a lot of folks are also talking about the gut irritation around those two things.

Michael Greger: Wow. Well, so look, the first, so, you know, the global burden of disease study was the largest study of human risk factors in history funded by the bill.

Melinda Gates foundation founded the number one dietary respecter for death. In the world, actually on the planet earth, like the worst thing about our diet killing more people than anything else, you know, what is, is it soda? Is it processed meat? No inadequate fruit consumption. That was determined to be the number one killer in that we're just not eating enough fruit.

That's killing more people than anything else in our diet, too much sodium, too sensory event, inadequate fruit consumption that's because fruit can be effective in helping. To, uh, you know, prevent a variety of disease, not just, you know, so everything from heart disease and, uh, you know, hypertension, diabetes, all of the, kind of the leading killers on the higher fruit consumption associated with lower rates of morbidity mortality.

I mean, so it's just, I mean, even the people let are absolutely like anti sugar thinks sugar is like the root of all evil, like Ludwig. It doesn't say stop eating fruit. I mean, he doesn't, I mean, he says, Oh no, no, no. We're talking about added sugars. You're talking about industrialized service and, you know, table sugar or high fructose corn syrup.

No one is seriously saying cut back on fruit and anyone who is just hasn't read the literature and just doesn't know the signs. So

Jonathan Levi: sort that out for me. Cause I've read a little bit about this and obviously, you know, the sugar that comes with fruit is both different it's fructose and it comes with a hefty dose of fiber.

Is that why we don't have to worry so much about that kind of sugar? Yeah,

Michael Greger: no, it's not just the fiber, but the polyphenol. So yeah, you do a study. Um, so I have a, I have a series of videos where I just, uh, you know, talk about all this experimental evidence he's put to the test, not just talking about observational studies, like association studies that, you know, fruit eaters tend to be protected.

No, we've got these interventional studies where you can prove the effects, you know, you randomize people into different groups. And so, uh, I think the video, so one is called how much fruit is too much. And the other one is. If fructose is bad. What about fruit? I think that's, that's the one. If people are interested in actually seeing it with their own eyes and they have links to can download the PDFs and actually read the studies in great detail.

So basically you do these, um, uh, these kinda called Lucas to challenge test where you take people, you put, uh, give people. A cup of sugar with a tablespoon, is it? I think it's, if I remember correctly, it's a tablespoon of sugar in a cup of water, you mix it up and you have people drink it. Of course. So that is a hugely unphysiologic like we, you know, through our millions of years of evolution, just drinking straight sugar water, that just almost doesn't happen.

Right. I mean, there's like, honey, but it's hard to get at honey without getting stung. I mean, yeah. There's, you know, just not my, okay. So what happens. Is we get this huge exaggerated spike in our blood sugar. This is normal people, not people with diabetes, just regular people. You drank that much sugar. You get the big spike in your blood sugar.

And then our body releases so much insulin to try to tamp down that spike that we actually overshoot and you get this. And so our blood sugars come crashing down and actually beat. We become temporarily hypoglycemic. Our blood sugar has actually dropped below. Where we were before we drank the sugar water.

So below fasting levels, because we had this over-exaggerate insulin response to all this sugar. And then once our blood sugars are actually below fasting our body freaks out, thinking, Oh my God, we're in a famine or something and shoots all this fat into the blood and get this big spike and triglycerides, all sorts of bad things happen.

That's why sugar is associated with all sorts of bad things. Like, you know, a fatty liver and blood pressure and all sorts of bad things. Okay. So then let's repeat that experiment. But this time, in fact, let me get these. I should probably get these, uh, these actually the, the, exactly my blood sugar. Right.

So let's do that experiment again, but this time, um, let's add some pureed berries, so same amount of sugar. So you add sugar plus some, basically like a Berry smoothie thing. Just some pureed berries. Okay. So basically you just added more sugar. So the sugar you had before the table sugar, plus the sugar that's in the berries.

Right. And so you say, well, wow, you'd have an even higher sugar spike. No, not only do you have a lower sugar spike, even adding more sugar, but in fruit form, but you don't get, it just goes up and down like it normally should you don't get that a exaggerated insulin reaction. You don't get that hypoglycemic.

We actually don't get the fat in your blood. You just, what happens when you're supposed to have, and you say, well, wait a second. What is going on? How can you add more sugar and have less of a sugar response? So they think originally they thought it was fiber where the fiber maybe just kind of gels in your stomach.

And so it just slows the rate of what sugar goes through in your intestine. But now you can do this experiment with like Concord, grape juice, like purple grape juice, which has no fiber at all. And you still don't get the same kind of spike. You get just giving the amount of sugar in that same grape juice.

And so they found out this, these polyphenols, these special, these phytonutrients, these antioxidant phytonutrients that actually block the absorption of sugar at the intestinal lining. You can do this in Petri dish, take it, test the lining cells and actually these polyphenols block in fruit and block the absorption of sugar.

So it slows down the absorption of sugar throughout your small intestine. So a combination of the fiber plus the phytonutrients. Uh, you know, allows us to absorb sugar the way our bodies were designed over millions of years to absorb sugar in fruit form. Like all the great apes.

Jonathan Levi: Wow. This is really, really interesting.

So the whole. I mean, generally, I think people who try to be on either a ketogenic diet or a low carb reduced carb diet, try to shy away from the sweet fruits and eat berries instead of bananas tomatoes. Instead of mangoes, you're saying, don't worry about it. Eat as much fruit as you want.

Michael Greger: Oh, well look, I'm all in favor of berries over bananas.

I mean, and not saying bananas are bad for you, but foods aren't good or bad as much as they are better or worse. And so, I mean, food is a zero sum game. You know, by putting something in our mouth, we are by definition, not putting something else in our mouth. And so are bananas good for you? Bad for you?

Well, compared to berries, no. I mean, it did, bear is better, but berries on your oatmeal Milda bananas on your own, but I mean, you know, bananas are better than most of them that, uh, you know, right. You believe that better than Twinkies, , but look, Twinkies are better than Lord than just, yeah.

I mean, Twinkies are better than eating a tub of frosting.

Jonathan Levi: Yeah, I guess that's true. Wow, Lord. I'm not sure. Right. Because at least the Lord isn't going to give you this huge insulins.

Michael Greger: but what it'll do is it'll, uh, raise your LDL and set you up for the number one killer of men and women, heart disease. Oh, okay.

And so let me just back up to correct. So those experiments were done with three tablespoons of table sugar, where you get that big exaggerated spike, and then they added an additional tablespoon worth of sugar and Berry form. Um, so the four tablespoons. Equivalent actually had less of a spike than three tablespoons of straight sugar because you were giving it in a fruit form.

And the reason they gave three tablespoons of sugar is because they wanted to replicate a can of soda's worth of sugar.

Jonathan Levi:  Right. So we talked about the plant-based side of it. What's your take on animal protein, dairy. And all those other controversial topics.

Michael Greger: Oh, well, I mean, frankly, I mean, it's just not very controversial again.

Are they good for you? Bad for you? Well, it depends what you're eating instead. Right. So are eggs good for you compared to the breakfast sausage next? You would absolutely compare to oatmeal, not even close. Is cheese good for you compared to bologna? Yes. Compared to peanut butter? No, like, I mean, it's just, it all depends on, you know, what you're kind of trying to replace it with, but in general, You know, we should, uh, you know, center our diets as much as possible around the healthiest of foods.

And those are the whole plant foods minimize our intake of processed, junk and animal foods.

Jonathan Levi: I like that. I liked the approach of, you know, And it's a new approach to me. I have to say, after interviewing pretty much half of your profession, if not more, it's a new approach to me to say, look like food is not inherently good or bad, but every single time you put something in your mouth, it's a choice and you are, you know, it's an opportunity cost really that my MBA brain thinks of it as an opportunity cost.

You could have had all of these nutrients and all these minerals, right. But in this moment, you're just getting French fries

Michael Greger: right. It's a lost opportunity. Something healthier, always every single bite is that way. And so that's why, you know, I have this kind of daily doesn't, you know, where we're talking about all the things that I try to fit into my daily diet.

These are the healthiest of healthy foods. And for people that are interested it's you can get as a free app. On Apple and  on Android. It's called Dr. Greger's daily does, and it just talks about, look, we should eat berries every day. The healthiest fruits greens, every day, the healthiest vegetables.

I thought like a tablespoon of ground flax seeds today in court, teaspoon of turmeric the best beverages, the best sweeteners, whether how much exercise to get all that, basically just to inspire people, to center their diet as much as possible around the healthiest of healthy foods

Jonathan Levi:  I love that. I really do love that.

What are some of the other. Types of nutrition, hacks, body hacks, health hacks that you implement. We've talked now about nutrition, which obviously is your wheelhouse. And we've talked about the treadmill desk. So I have a feeling that you have some other really good stuff.

Michael Greger: Oh, well, I mean, so, so if you look to that, the global burden of disease study, that just looks at risk factors for death and disease, every country around the world, the number one killer of Americans is the American diet.

So number one cause of death and the number one cause of disability is what we now bumping tobacco smoking to number two cigarettes now only kill about a half million Americans every year. Whereas diet, our diet kills hundreds of thousands more. But that doesn't mean, you know, smoking doesn't kill half a million people every year.

So, uh, what we put in our mouth is most important cigarettes and food. And then beyond that, you know, so something like physical inactivity usually falls around five or six in terms of, uh, importance in terms of, uh, reducing mortality. But, you know, it's critically important sleep's board, you know, on down the list, but nothing comes close to food.

Nothing comes close to diet. In terms of, uh, you know, the effect you have on our health. But the good news is, you know, we have tremendous power over our health, destiny and longevity. The vast majority of premature death and disability is preventable with a plant-based diet and other healthy lifestyle behaviors.

Jonathan Levi: What would you say is the dream team of foods for you? Because, you know, I feel like it's always something, right. And we love as a society. We love to get obsessed with something. And then eventually we realized like, Oh, if you eat too much kale, you're going to get too many heavy metals. And actually SAE is not really that healthy and goji berries while there's this environmental challenge.

So I'd love to ask what's your dream team of foods? You know, we talked about selecting. You always have a healthier choice. So what are the top five or 10 healthiest choices of things that you can put in your mouth in your opinion?

Michael Greger: Well, I mean, if you're only going to add three things to your diet, like if you were like, look, you know, it's a new year, uh, you know, I'm not going to go crazy here, but if there's three things they had to die, it would be, uh, berries, healthiest fruits, dark green, leafy vegetables, particularly cruciferous vegetables, like kale and collards.

Um, the healthiest types of vegetables. And then third would be legumes being split peas, chickpeas, lentils. Those are those probably the three healthiest, most nutrient dense foods. And then if there were three things you'd want to first remove from your diet, if you're going to cut things out from your dad, number one.

So it would be hydrogenated oils, trans fats. Also processed meat, you know, bacon, ham, hot dog, sausage lunch from weed, et cetera. Now considered a class, one carcinogen, meaning that we know there cause cancer in people. And then three probably soda liquid candy. That would probably be the three things I've removed first.

Jonathan Levi: Brilliant. Brilliant. No real surprises there. I mean, I remember when a lot of people, me being a paleo advocate, which I don't think we're that far in our opinions. I mean, the whole thing of paleo is eat what your ancestors ate and they didn't eat processed crap. But, um, a lot of people sent me that study when it came out and like, well, processed meat is a class one carcinogen, and I'm like, yup.

Totally, you know, but steak is not a processed meat and fresh fish that was caught that morning is not processed meat and so on and so forth. Right.

Michael Greger: Those stinky is a class two, right? So it's a probable human carcinogen though. Part of it may be, you know, heterocyclic amines, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon, some of the cooking that goes into it, but presumably that would have been a problem.

And a long time ago as well. I mean, one thing where we may differ, I mean, I love focusing on the Venn diagram of where we all gram and they more have emphasis has to be on look, science is really clear, you know, there's really a, you know, a consensus on healthy eating. But I mean, if you wanted to kind of go through some things that, uh, we may disagree on, I think that, I mean, the legumes thing.

You said something about the legumes, but just kind of maybe stop a little bit. So we talked about fruit, but, uh, you know, legumes and beans, chickpeas and lentils, maybe one of the most important dietary and predictors of survival, older people around the world. We're talking about an 8% reduction risk of premature death for every one ounce increase in daily intake.

These are observational studies, but you can do interventional studies where we randomized people. To, uh, you know, eat a, you know, an extra half cup or a cup of legumes and you can see, uh, you know, beneficial effects. So I agree with the American Institute of cancer research, suggesting three servings of ideally legumes a day.

So beans at every meal, as far as I'm concerned, I'm having kind of the best of both worlds. In terms of like, if you look at, uh, federal government's my plate, you know, where they're like, you know, half your plate is fruits and vegetables. And then, you know, we gotta split it. There's the so-called protein group.

Whereas legumes actually gets special treatment. They're considered both protein and vegetable groups. So the loaded with protein, iron zinc, what you'd expect from other protein sources like me, but also the nutrients concentrate in the vegetable kingdom, full like fiber potassium. So, yeah. Really best of both worlds with beans all the while.

Of course, natural, low saturated, fat, and sodium and free of cholesterol.

Jonathan Levi: It's really funny that you say all this, because I have a friend who is a vegetarian vegan actually. And he always tells me, I always joke that he eats, uh, homeless every single day, you know, chickpeas  and I tell them, I'm like, you gotta eat something else.

He's like why this is a super food. And I'm like, I'm not sure that it is, but I can tell he listens to the show. And I can tell that he's laughing right now in his car. That's right,

Michael Greger: Right. Yeah. He was right all along.

Jonathan Levi: Awesome. So I know we're coming up on time here, Dr. Greger. I wanted to ask how can people reach out to you and learn more about what you're doing?

Michael Greger: Yeah, no. So they can check out my website, NutritionFacts.Org. It is a free nonprofit science-based public service providing kind of daily updates and the latest nutrition research via kind of bite-sized videos, more than 2000 videos at this point, nearly every aspect of how these new videos and articles every day, and the latest in evidence-based nutrition, what a concept of nutrition facts that.

Jonathan Levi: Brilliant. Brilliant. I want to thank you so much for sharing your time and wisdom and energy with us. I would love to ask what for you, would you say is the biggest takeaways from this episode that you hope people absorb?

Michael Greger: Uh, well, look, basically if there's one thing you need to know, it's that there's only one diet ever.

Been proven to reverse heart disease in the majority of patients, that's a plant-based diet. So like if that's all plant based diet, I could do reverse the number one killer of men and women. Shouldn't that be the default until proven otherwise. And the fact that it can also be effective, preventing, arresting, or reversing other leading killers, like type two diabetes and high blood pressure would seem to make the case for plant-based eating simply overwhelming.

Jonathan Levi: Brilliant Dr. Michael Greger. I want to thank you very much again for your time. It's been an absolute pleasure chatting and I hope you have a lovely walk the rest of your day.

Michael Greger: Thank you so much. Happy new year. Keep up the good work. . Bye-bye.

Jonathan Levi: All right. That is all that we have for you guys today. I want to give a very special thank you to this episode. Sponsor Health IQ, the health insurance company that helps health conscious people save on their life insurance using. Science and data to assess the fact that health conscious people have lower risk and therefore should get lower rates. Remember guys, to see if you qualify, go ahead and get your free quote today at health, or mention the promo code SuperHuman when you talk to a health IQ agent.

I also want to remind you guys that if you are inspired by this episode, if you've been inspired by the idea of learning faster and remembering more and accelerating your capacity to learn, then I strongly encourage you guys to join me for a completely free one hour training seminar, where we will go into speed reading and memory techniques that will allow you to do all of the above to check that out. Simply visit  thanks for tuning in. We'll see you next week.

Closing: Thanks for tuning in to the Becoming SuperHuman Podcast.  For more great skills and strategies, or for links to any of the resources mentioned in this episode, visit We'll see you next time.



  1. Luiz
    at — Reply

    Thanks, I learned a lot of interesting things in past episodes.

  2. Shivaditya Purohit
    at — Reply

    loved th heart and the depth of the conversation. The way that Dr. Metivier shared from his enormous experience and insights was just amazing. Thank you Jonathan for doing this podcast!! 🙂

  3. Rob
    at — Reply

    Great interview with Dr. Greg Wells! He mentioned a doctor from Colorado around the 42:30 point of the podcast, discussing turmeric and black pepper. I couldn’t make out the doctor’s name. Can you provide me with his full name and maybe his website or contact info. Interested in his products.



  4. Muhammed Sani Ibrahim
    at — Reply

    I am new here, and learning really fast.
    Thank you.

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The Basics of Total Personal Transformation W/ Stephan Spencer