Another Indian superfood – Indian Gooseberry or commonly known as Amla or Amalki, one can argue that it is a powerhouse of nutrients. Rich in Vitamin C, iron and calcium Amla has a host of benefits which makes it a health treasure. Somewhat sweet, bitter and pungent, amla surely is a treat that can be enjoyed in quite many forms.
Did you know that amla has 8 times more vitamin C than and oranges and 17 times the anti-oxidant power of pomegranate? Well, amla surely deserves its superfood status.
Deriving its name from the Sanskrit word ‘Amalki’ meaning the ‘nectar of life’, it is believed in Ayurveda that Amla can help your body balance the three doshas of Kapha, Vista and Pitta which are the underlying causes of many diseases.
Here are some of the benefits of amla that would make you add this bitter fruit to your diet every day.
1.Amla Boosts Immunity
The Vitamin C content of amla helps in fighting both viral and bacterial infections efficiently and thus boosting your immunity against common cold and flu. Quick 4-ingredient amla juice can help you get the immunity boost that you need for this seasonal transition. Blend amla, coriander (dhaniya), mint (pudina) and ginger with water and drink this amla juice to get rid of cold and flu easily. All of these ingredients are rich in Vitamin C and boost white blood cells in your body thud promoting immunity.
2. Prevents Chest Congestion
Because of its anti-inflammatory benefits, amla powder mixed with one teaspoon of honey if consumed 3-4 times in a day can provide relief from cold and cough. It also soothes the respiratory tracts and removes phlegm/sputum from the chest thus clearing the congestion. This is one of the reasons that it is used for treating bronchitis, cough and other respiratory illnesses.
3. Remedy for Constipation
Amla, because it is a source of high contents of Amla, it is one of the effective remedies for constipation. Its alkaline nature promotes an alkaline environment in your digestive tract which helps in easy digestion, especially in India where food is rich in spices. Amla powder, if taken regularly, helps in fighting hyperacidity and stomach ulcers. You can take one tablespoon of amla powder in the morning with lukewarm water on an empty stomach to cure digestive issues.
4. Helps in Achieving Your Weight Management Goals
Another amazing benefit of adding amla to your diet is that helps in weight loss. Yes, you read it right. A protein present in amla helps in curbing your cravings. A glass of amla juice mixed with a pinch of salt and pepper before meals keep you full for longer durations and curbs your appetite. Since it is rich in fibre, it aids digestion and boosts metabolism, thus helping you lose a couple of grams easily.
5. Detoxifies & Purifies Blood
Amla is known to be a great source of Vitamin C and helps in making your blood vessels thicker and stronger. Acting as a detoxifying agent, it removes toxins from the body as well. If you take one-fourth teaspoon of amla powder mixed with honey or jaggery every day, it purifies your blood and also increases the haemoglobin levels.
6. Improves Eyesight
Rich in carotene, which is known to improve the eye-sight, the regular inclusion of amla in your lifestyle can help you fight cataract, reduces the pain and pressure you feel behind your eyes (intraocular tension) and also lowers redness and itching.
7. Amla Improves Skin
With its anti-ageing quality, amla helps in improving your skin by reducing wrinkle lines and fighting acne. You can take amla juice with a hint of honey every day to improve your skin. To reduce pigmentation, you can create your very own amla face pack with amla powder, honey and yoghurt. Apply the pack on your face on a weekly or bi-weekly basis to get rid of pigmentation.
8. Get Healthy Hair
Apart from its beautifying properties, amla does wonders for your hair health as well. Applying amla powder or amla oil mixed with henna or yoghurt slows down the greying of hair, strengthens hair follicles and improves blood circulation thus improving hair growth. It is definitely a tonic for hair as applying amla powder mixed with shikakai powder, acting as a natural conditioner, will give you shimmering locks!
9. Regulates blood, sugar and relieves pain
Amla is rich in chromium as well which aids in making insulin more responsive towards sugar, thus regulating your blood sugar and fighting a chronic condition like diabetes. Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, amla helps in reducing joint pain and a mouthful of ulcers. Diluting amla juice with water and gargling twice every day can help you get rid of mouth ulcers.
10. Helps in Managing Chronic Conditions
In today’s world, many suffer from chronic ailments like high cholesterol, more prone to heart risks and cancers. The good thing is that the medicinal benefits of amla can help in fighting and managing all of these conditions.
As per studies, cancer is caused by an oxidative reaction, i.e. excessive usage of oxygen that leaves radicals behind causing the growth of tissues. Since it is a very high source of antioxidants, it fights these free radicals reducing cell damage and the risk of cancer and inflammation. Amla also regulates the built-up bad cholesterol thus reducing the risk of any heart diseases.
HOW TO CONSUME AMLA
To reap the maximum benefits of this magic gooseberry, amla should be consumed in a powdered form. But if you want to stay away from the bitter shot of amla juice, you can eat amla in a dried sweet or salted candy form. All you have to do is dissect and chop amla into smaller pieces, mix it with a little salt and leave it in sunlight for a few days it is completely dehydrated. Amla is also easily available in a spicy pickle or sweet murabba form.
How have you included amla in your diet? Share in the comments below.