Amla: The Ayurvedic Superfood You Should Take
Amla derives its name from the Sanskrit word ‘Amlaki’ meaning “nectar of life”, and it can protect us against countless ailments. Amla is a rich source of Vitamin C, a potent antioxidant, which enhances food absorption, balances stomach acid, fortifies liver, nourishes the brain and supports heart health. So much so that ancient wisdom from Ayurveda claims that amla can help balance all three doshas (Vata/ Pitta/ Kapha) in the body and eliminate the underlying cause of many diseases. Read on to know about the benefits of eating amla!
Did You Know?
– Amla’s alcoholic extract is also used as an anti-viral
– The seeds of amla are given in the treatment of asthma and bronchitis
– Amla leaves are often used as fodder for the livestock
– Amla is also an ingredient of Triphala, a common ayurvedic medicine
The Indian gooseberry, known locally as Amla is a tree distinguished for its nutrient-rich fruits. It has been a common ingredient in the ancient Indian medicinal practice of Ayurveda. It’s a great source of Vitamin C and also consists of iron and calcium. Due to its versatility, it has become a favourite among the health-conscious.
Benefits of Eating Amla
You may already know that Amla is great for boosting your immunity but it also has other wonderful benefits for your hair, skin and overall health. Other benefits of eating amla include acting as a body coolant, flushing out toxins, increasing vitality and improving the muscle tone. It also strengthens the lungs, regulates the elimination of free radicals, enhances fertility, improves skin quality and promotes healthier hair. It is also a rich source of vitamin B complex, vitamin C and many minerals like calcium, phosphorus and iron.
Let’s look deeper into understanding the benefits of eating amla.
Improves Hair Quality
Amla strengthens the roots of the hair, maintains colour and improves lustre and hence is a major ingredient in many hair tonics. Consumption of fresh gooseberry or its application on hair roots enriches hair growth and hair pigmentation. This property is due to the high carotene content of amla as well as its iron content and general antioxidant capacity. It also reduces hair loss by not allowing free radicals to damage hair follicles or impact the hormones that can cause premature hair loss. Additionally, amla oil is an effective treatment against hair lice.
Increases Diuretic Activity
Amla is slightly diuretic. A fruit that is diuretic in nature improves the frequency and volume of urination. That is the reason why consumption of Amla has a detoxifying effect on the body as unwanted toxins and excess levels of water, salt and uric acid gets eliminated in form of urine. Thus, amla helps in keeping your kidneys healthy preventing urinary and uterine infections.
The ability to increase the absorption of protein, Indian gooseberries or amla is a great way to boost your metabolic rate. The greater the metabolic rate, higher will be your energy level. With higher energy level you can be more focused and healthier.
Relieves Diarrhoea and Dysentry
Amla is a powerful remedy for diarrhoea and dysentery because of its strong cooling and laxative properties. It also provides immense relief in the gastric syndrome and hyperchlorhydria (burning sensation in the abdomen).
Alma is full of antioxidants that are effective in reducing cell damage. It reduces the harmful effects of free radicals and hence combats the aging process. Amla contains tannins. Tannins, when combined with polyphenols, make the fruit a free radical scavenger. This means that it reduces the damage caused by free radicals to the cells and thus improves immunity.
Remedy For Diabetes and Cholesterol
Amla contains chromium which acts as a remedy for diabetic patients. It stimulates the isolated group of cells that secrete the hormone insulin, thereby reducing blood sugar in diabetic patients. Chromium also reduces the LDL cholesterol content in the body, thereby promoting heart health.
Amla is high in fiber which is essential for healthy bowel movements. It is also necessary for the secretion of gastric and digestive juices. Thus, amla is great for the entire digestive process.
Prevents the formation of ulcers and gallbladder stones
Extra cholesterol is the primary cause of gallbladder stones. Consuming amla regularly reduces the chances of cholesterol build-up. The vitamin C present in amla converts the cholesterol into bile in the liver. Thus, reducing the risk of gallbladder stones. Antibacterial properties of amla help in preventing ulcers.
How to include amla in your diet?
It is best to have an amla juice first thing in the morning. Have a small portion (20-30 ml) diluted in a glass of water. You can also mix lemon juice and honey to enhance the palatability. Drinking the juice of fresh amla is the best way to reap the benefits of this fruit.
Amla is easily available from December through April. However, if you can’t handle the sour shot, try these tasty options: 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 in a dry jar for an ideal on-the-go snack.
Also, you can make a spicy amla achaar or a sweet murabba by soaking amla in sugary water. For those who are fighting high cholesterol levels and hair issues, amla juice combined with aloe vera juice does wonders.
Thus, amla is a potent nature’s elixir, which can help you protect against numerous health disorders. Try it, you will be amazed. If you have been using amla or amla juice for some time, share your experiences in the comment section below.
100g of gooseberries provides 44 Calories, Carbs – 10g (Dietary Fibre – 4.3g), Protein – 0.9g, Fat – 0.6g, Sodium – 1mg
And a percentage daily value of Vitamin A – 6%, Vitamin C – 46%, Iron – 2%, Calcium – 2% (based on a 2000 Calorie diet).