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Monica Aggarwal, MD, is an adjunct Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine in the University of Florida Division of Cardiovascular Medicine. She received her medical degree from Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine and subsequently went on to complete a residency in internal medicine at Tufts-New England Medical Center. She then completed a cardiology fellowship at the University of Maryland and later continued her training at the University of Arizona where she participated in an integrative medicine fellowship.
Dr. Aggarwal’s own path to understanding the impact of nutrition in illness started soon after the birth of her third child, when she developed an advanced form of rheumatoid arthritis. She was placed on medications that gave her severe side effects. It was only through learning about the microbiome (gut), its impact on the immune system and the role of nutrition in affecting the gut, was she able to truly heal. Determined to change the face of medicine, Monica left private practice and returned to academics in order to pursue research on the role of diet and to create an integrative cardiology practice focused on nutrition and lifestyle.
Dr. Aggarwal served as the Director of Integrative Cardiology and Prevention at the University of Florida for 4 ½ years. There, she focused on promoting food as the foundation of healing and for its medicinal value. In her clinic, she emphasizes plant-based nutrition and often performs multiple mind-body techniques with her patients, including yoga and meditation. At University of Florida, she was also the Director of Medical Education for Cardiology, where she directed education for medical residents and cardiology fellows, with a focus on prevention, nutrition, and lifestyle. In the hospital, she has multiple initiatives including developing a 100% plant-based menu for cardiac and vascular patients.
Dr. Aggarwal gives talks around the community and the country. She was named a “Next Generation Innovator” by Cardiology Today. She is often featured in Veg News, Naked Magazine and has been featured in forksoverknives.com. She conducts research on nutrition education in medical institutions and on how a plant-based diet impacts cardiovascular disease. She has published in major medical journals such as Journal of American College of Cardiology and American Journal of Medicine.
Board certified in cardiology, echocardiography, nuclear cardiology and advanced lipidology, she is a fellow of the American College of Cardiology (ACC), where she is a member of the nutrition council working on nutrition policies for the nation. Dr. Aggarwal specializes in preventative management of heart disease with lifestyle techniques in conjunction with medications. She is the author of the book “Body on Fire: How Inflammation Triggers Chronic Illness and the Tools We Have to Fight It,” which outlines prescriptions to help guide people to better health.
She has instituted a new plant-based menu at the University of Florida/Shands Hospital which is receiving national attention along with new discharge education that empowers patients to heal their bodies with their lifestyles. She was recently named Florida’s Cardiovascular Researcher of the year which provided her with a grant to conduct the important research needed on nutrition.
She currently sees patients in Orlando, Florida and via telehealth as part of Wholistic Cardiology and conducts research at the University of Florida.