Amla has eight times more vitamin C than an orange, twice the antioxidant power of acai berry, and around 17 times that of a pomegranate. The humble Indian gooseberry, commonly known as amla, truly deserves its superfood status.
The translucent green fruit, which derives its name from the Sanskrit word ‘Amlaki’ meaning “nectar of life”, can protect us against countless ailments, be it the common cold, cancer, or infertility. Ayurveda doctors claim that amla can help balance the three doshas (Kapha/vista/pitta) in the body and eliminate the underlying cause of many diseases.
If you are not already convinced, read this long list of amla’s health benefits and you would know why you should indulge in this sour treat daily.
Reasons to eat Amla
1. It helps fight the common cold
The vitamin C in amla is absorbed more easily by the body compared to store-bought supplements. Mix two teaspoons of amla powder with two teaspoons of honey and have it three to four times a day for instant relief when you have a cold or a cough or consume once daily for permanent protection.
2. It improves eyesight
Studies have shown that the carotene in amla improves vision. Daily consumption has also been linked to improvement in overall eye health as amla can reduce cataract problems, intraocular tension (the pressure you feel) as well as prevent reddening, itching, and watering of eyes.
3. It burns fat
This is the least talked-about yet most exciting benefit of amla. A protein present in amla helps prevent cravings. Regular consumers say drinking a glass of amla juice before a meal fills them up and make them eat less. Nutritionists say amla boosts metabolism too, making one shed weight faster. Amla has high fiber content and acids like tannic which help relieve constipation and make you look less bloated.
Read more about weight loss How To Weight loss Fast: 20 Weight loss Tips
4. It builds immunity
Amla’s antibacterial and astringent properties boost one’s immune system. A significant number of health problems including cancer are caused by oxidative damage –when body cells use oxygen, they leave harmful by-products called free radicals behind. Considering amla is a potent antioxidant agent, it can prevent and repair the damage.
5. Amla beautifies hair
Amla, like curry leaves, is a proven tonic for hair. It slows down graying, prevents dandruff, strengthens hair follicles, and increases blood circulation to the scalp thereby improving hair growth. Amla also acts as a natural conditioner giving you soft shimmering locks. You could apply amla oil or mix amla powder into henna for a hair pack.
6. It improves skin
Amla is the best anti-aging fruit. Drinking amla juice with honey every morning can give you blemish-free, healthy and glowing skin.
7. It helps manage chronic conditions
Amla is loaded with chromium which aids in reducing bad cholesterol and also helps stimulate insulin production, thereby reducing the blood glucose level of diabetics. Drinking amla juice early every morning or when one’s blood pressure is raised helps keep the blood pressure level under control, too.
8. It relieves pain
Be it arthritis-related joint aches or painful mouth ulcers, amla can provide relief owing to its anti-inflammatory properties. For ulcers, you simply need to dilute amla juice in half a cup of water and gargle with it.
Health Benefits of Amla
The antioxidants and vitamins found in amla berries offer several health benefits. High concentrations of vitamin C in amla help the body recover from illness. Amla berries also include several flavonols, chemicals that have been linked to benefits like improved memory.
Here are some other health benefits:
The soluble fiber in amla berries dissolves quickly in the body, which helps to slow the rate your body absorbs sugar. This can help reduce blood sugar spikes. Amla berries also have a positive effect on blood glucose and lipid counts in people with type 2 diabetes.
The fiber in amla berries helps the body regulate bowel movements and may help to relieve symptoms from conditions like irritable bowel syndrome. High levels of vitamin C in Amla berries help your body absorb other nutrients, so they may be helpful if you take iron and other mineral supplements.
Amla berries are rich in vitamin A, which is key to improving eye health. Vitamin A not only improves vision, but it also may lower the risk of age-related macular degeneration. Amla’s vitamin C content aids in eye health by fighting bacteria, which can help to protect your eyes from conjunctivitis (pink eye) and other infections.
One 100g serving of amla berries (about a half cup) provides 300mg of vitamin C—more than twice the daily recommended value for adults. You’ll also find notable amounts of polyphenols, alkaloids, and flavonoids. Amla has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
Memory and Brain Health
The phytonutrients and antioxidants in amla can benefit memory by fighting against free radicals that can attack and damage brain cells. Amla’s high concentration of Vitamin C helps your body produce norepinephrine, a neurotransmitter believed to improve brain function in people with dementia.
Amla Nutrition per Serving
A half-cup serving of amla berries contains:
Protein: Less than 1 gram
Fat: Less than 1 gram
Carbohydrates: 8 grams
Fiber: 3 grams
Sugar: 0 grams
Amla berries are rich in antioxidants, which reduce the risk of chronic health conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
Amla berries are also an excellent source of:
Because fresh berries are high in fiber and low in sugar, they are an ideal ingredient in nutritious snack and meal recipes.
How to use Amla
Drinking the juice of fresh amla is the best way to reap the benefits of this fruit. This is easily available from December through April. However, if you can’t handle the sour shot, try these tasty options:
Dried Amla Benefits
Deseed and chop amla into small pieces. Mix with a little salt and leave to dry in sunlight for a few days. Once it is completely dehydrated, store it in a dry jar for an ideal on-the-go snack.
Download our app for an easy way to get more information