Indian gooseberry, commonly known as Amla or Amlaki fruit is the richest food in vitamin C across all the fruits available in this whole wide world! Seems like an exaggeration? It’s not! You would be taken by surprise to know that 100 grams of amla contain about 600-700 mg of Vitamin C, which is 13 times more than that in oranges and lemons (53.2 mg)!
Vitamin C is just the tip of the iceberg, Amla is bursting with an enormous concentration of antioxidants, polyphenols, minerals like phosphorus, iron, beta carotene and B complex, amino acids, and dietary fiber.
Talking about antioxidants, as per a research, Indian Gooseberry or Amla boasts the highest antioxidant power among all the berries! It goes way beyond the other berries like blackberry, blueberry, acai berry, goji berry, etc.
Let me tell you another exciting fact, consuming Amla can make you experience 5 different tastes at once – sweet, sour, pungent, bitter, and astringent. So, now you have got another reason to try out this wonder berry!
The humble Indian gooseberry is undoubtedly a powerhouse of nutrients and has been used widely in Ayurveda treatments for over a hundred years. Amla is associated with boosting immunity, enhancing liver function, removing toxins from your body, balancing the stomach acid, and even nourishing the brain!
Health Benefits of Indian Gooseberry or Amla
This miraculous fruit is beneficial in a myriad of ways, which will surely make you fall for it. Come let us explore them all!
#1 Boosts Immunity
Your immunity tends to lower in changing seasons like autumn and spring. Mainly during autumn as the environment starts getting a bit cooler and your body takes time to adjust to it.
Amla comes to your rescue during this time! It is a natural immune booster due to its high content of Vitamin C. Amla is also added to ayurvedic medicines to increase the count of white blood cells (WBC) that mainly help your body fight infections.
So, if you’re prone to catching infections, try giving this super berry a chance, and trust me it will work wonders! I also used to fall sick very often, and since the time I incorporated amla in my diet, things have become so much better. I am able to get through the changing seasons without experiencing any signs of being sick.
#2 Improves Eyesight
Eyesight improvement is yet another life-enhancing benefit of eating Amla. It contains Carotene that can be attributed to the improvement of vision.
Apart from Vitamin C, amla is also known to provide up to 14% of your daily requirement of Vitamin A, which in turn helps prevent cataracts and age-related eye degeneration.
Beauty is nothing, without eyes to see! So, take care of your eyes. This fruit can help you with it by improving your overall eye health.
#3 Helps Fight Cold and Flu
Do you often feel under the weather and experience those dreadful cold and flu symptoms? Try mixing 1 teaspoon of amla powder with 1 teaspoon of honey and have it 2-3 times a day for excellent results.
Amla is known to stimulate the defense mechanisms in the body. Due to the antibacterial properties, it helps with bacterial and viral infections, which are usually responsible for causing cold and flu.
#4 Helps You Lose Weight
Trying to shed those extra pounds? Amla could become a good friend in your weight loss journey. Eating raw Indian gooseberry or drinking a glass of amla juice an hour before meals can suppress your appetite and make you consume fewer calories.
Also, due to the ability to increase protein absorption, Indian gooseberries are a great way to boost your metabolic rate. Your metabolic rate is how fast you burn calories, so consuming them would lead to faster weight loss, high energy levels, and an increase in lean muscle mass.
If you’re trying to lose weight and looking for easy ways to do so, try giving Apple Cider Vinegar a shot too! To know more, read Apple Cider Vinegar for weight loss – Does it really work?
#5 Promotes Digestion
Amla is known to be a perfect antidote for stomach problems and acidity. It is high in digestive fiber which is essential for healthy bowel movements and secretion of gastric and digestive juices.
Amla is also a vital ingredient of Triphala- an age-old ayurvedic herbal remedy for gastrointestinal problems including acidity, constipation, etc.
So, now you know what to do for keeping your tummy happy, just take 1 teaspoon of amla powder with lukewarm water at night to relieve constipation and in cases of acidity, one teaspoon of dry amla powder with honey, soon after your meals. It is as simple as that!
#6 Helps Relieve Pain and Ulcers
Amla has amazing anti-inflammatory properties and is known to help with arthritis joint pains. It also helps with painful mouth ulcers owing to its antibacterial properties.
Amla reduces the acidity level in the body which in turn, helps in healing the existing ulcers and prevents the formation of new ones.
Such a simple ingredient can help you get rid of those painful ulcers, such a relief, right?
Just dilute amla juice in half a cup of water, gargle, and you’re set.
#7 Helps fight Cholesterol and Diabetes
Lowers Cholesterol Levels
High cholesterol is the leading cause of heart diseases. By reducing the build-up of bad cholesterol, amla lowers the risk of heart diseases. It also reduces the clogging of arteries by boosting HDL aka the “good” cholesterol.
Fights Against Diabetes
Let us understand the science behind blood sugar levels, Insulin is a hormone that helps our bodies control the level of sugar or glucose in the blood. Whenever you eat, the blood sugar level spikes and insulin is produced. Though our cells may or may not be sensitive to insulin, this is termed as insulin sensitivity. High insulin sensitivity allows the cells to use glucose more effectively thereby, reducing blood sugar. On the other hand, low insulin sensitivity might lead to high blood sugar levels and in turn, cause type-2 diabetes.
Amla is rich in chromium and helps the body respond better to insulin thereby, increasing insulin sensitivity. It is low sugar, high fiber fruit, and is ideal for diabetic patients.
#8 Helps Detoxify Your Body
Amla is a great diuretic agent meaning that it improves the frequency and volume of urination. This, in turn, helps your body release unwanted toxins, salts, uric acid, etc.
Amla is also known to help prevent Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs).
Consumption of 1-2 teaspoons of amla powder or juice, mixed in water can have a detoxifying effect on your body. Take it with warm water and on an empty stomach for incredible results.
#9 Excellent Source of Antioxidants
So far we knew that blueberries, acai berries, pomegranate, and green tea are packed with antioxidants. You would be taken aback to know that the antioxidant value of Amla drastically edges the other known antioxidant-rich foods!
Let me give you some values, the antioxidant content of foods is usually measured by an Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) score. This score for some antioxidant-rich foods is as follows:
Antioxidants in 100 grams of Blueberries – 4,669
Antioxidants in 100 grams of Acai berries – 15,405
Antioxidants in 100 grams of Amla (Indian Gooseberry) – 261,500
Amazing, Isn’t it? Owing to such great antioxidant power, Amla is known to be a free radical scavenger. Every day, the cells in our body battle against the free radicals – unstable oxygen molecules that are a usual byproduct of metabolism.
Due to the lack of an antioxidant-rich diet, these free radicals can build up in your body, causing oxidative stress, damaging of protein, DNA, cell membranes, and also chronic diseases like diabetes, heart diseases, etc.
#10 Helps With Low Haemoglobin Levels and Anemia
Anemia is a condition in which the Red blood cells (RBCs) or the hemoglobin levels decrease and the ability of blood to carry oxygen lowers. This could make you feel very tired and weak all the time.
And you guessed it right, Amla comes as a saviour here too!
Consumption of Amla can increase the hemoglobin levels of your body. A combination of Amla and jaggery is known to be a great hemoglobin booster and increases RBCs and oxygen supply to every cell. It is superb for your iron levels too!
#11 Has Beauty Benefits
Makes Your Skin Glow
Amla is a natural blood purifier and also rich in Vitamin A, which is responsible for promoting new collagen production and exfoliating dead skin cells.
It also reverses the signs of ageing and helps the skin retain its elasticity, making you keep looking younger with a brighter, even-toned, and glowing skin.
Drink amla juice every day on an empty stomach to have clean and blemish-free skin or you can also make a face mask out of it. Just take some amount of amla powder, mix it with aloe vera or rose water, and apply it. Leave it till it dries, and then wash it off.
So, bring this super berry home and get glowing!
Just as an advice, always do a patch test anywhere on your body before applying it on your face. This can help you assess your skin’s sensitivity and identify any adverse effects.
Makes Your Hair Healthy
You must have noticed that Amla is an ingredient in hennas and most of the ayurvedic hair products. It has been attributed to combat hair loss and prevents premature greying of the hair.
Owing to the rich iron and Vitamin B complex contents, Amla makes the hair strong and also acts as a natural conditioner for getting those healthy looking shiny hair that you usually see in the television commercials.
In case you have dandruff issues, Amla can help you with that too!
Just mix amla juice with coconut oil to make your own tonic, or you can also purchase the readily available amla oils.
For getting those lustrous locks, add two tablespoons amla powder in a glass of boiled water. Strain it, and massage it on your head and then, wash it with a mild shampoo after 30 minutes. You can also make a paste out of amla powder and water, and massage it through the length of your hair, as a conditioner.
Aren’t you amazed knowing the benefits of eating Amla every day? I was totally taken aback when I got to know them. Have listed so many of them here and there are still a lot more! Ranging from being vital for brain health, inducing sound sleep, preventing the formation of gall bladder stones, cooling down the body, helping deal with hangovers, the list just goes on. Amla is a one-stop solution for almost all your health needs!
How to Use Amla?
You can reap the benefits of this superfood in a variety of ways, let’s explore these:
Fruit, as it is!
Amla is sour in taste, eating it as nature intended would be best but it might not be pleasant to everyone’s taste buds.
To balance the sour taste, you can sprinkle some salt on it, it would be much appealing to your palate this way. Consuming 2-3 pieces of amla before meals would aid in better digestion.
If Amla is not in season, dehydrated powdered amla is an excellent substitute. You can mix it in hot water along with honey, making an elixir, great for high blood pressure, diabetes, immunity, indigestion, skin, hair, and the list goes on! Have it before meals or first thing in the morning to reap maximum benefits.
Amla is readily available in a juice form but make sure to pick one that is not loaded with sugar and preservatives.
It is best to have amla juice first thing in the morning. Have a small portion (15-20 ml) diluted in a glass of water. You can choose to mix a bit of lemon juice and honey to enhance palatability.
If you are struggling with high cholesterol levels and hair issues, amla juice in combination with aloe vera juice is known to do wonders!
How about getting something super healthy to snack on? You can prepare amla candies by deseeding and chopping amla into small pieces. Then, mix them with a little salt and put them in that corner of your home where you get good sunlight. Once the amla pieces get completely dehydrated, store them in a jar and snack-on!
You can also mix honey with them instead of salt, for satisfying your sweet tooth.
You can also preserve amla as pickles and have it with your meals to get a sweet and sour punch. You can soak amla in sugar syrup as well, to make a murabba out of it.
Apart from these ways, you can also try to incorporate these wonder berries in your meals, which can be either in the form of a superfood smoothie blended with other nutritious fruits, or small cut pieces in your stir-fry vegetables or soups.
This way, you would be able to change the entire nutritional value of your meals with just one super ingredient!
How much Amla should You Eat Every day?
Even though there is a multitude of amazing benefits of eating amla every day, moderation always serves.
It is recommended to eat 1-2 fresh Amla fruit per day. If you are taking it in a juiced or powdered form then, 15-20 ml of Amla juice or 4-5 grams of amla powder should help you in reaping all its miraculous benefits.
However, if you are using amla for any medicinal purposes, do consult your health practitioner.
We have heard our grandparents say that “bitter is better”, this absolutely holds true for a superfood like Amla. Amla or Indian gooseberry is known as the king of antioxidants and Vitamin C.
The benefits of eating Amla every day are huge, right from strengthening immunity to improving eyesight, fighting diabetes and high cholesterol levels, detoxifying the body, promoting glowing skin and healthy hair, this fruit has a lot to offer!
So, if you’re thinking of including healthy options in your diet, do try amla as it can combat almost all of your everyday woes!