Every time we fall sick and show symptoms of severe cold and cough, we are told to have amla, or what many refer to as Indian gooseberry. Amla benefits the body in many ways. It contains vitamin C that helps fight cold and cough, bolster immunity, slow down aging, and improve hair and skin health. But is that all? How else does it benefit health? Let us find out in this article.
What is Amla and its Nutrition Profile?
Predominantly found in India, the Middle East, and few other Southeast Asian nations, amla is green in colour and has a sour taste. It is known mainly for its antioxidant properties and can be used in the form of powder, oil, juice, tablets, dried amla, tea, spice, or simply as a whole. No wonder then that they are extensively used in Ayurvedic medicines to treat a variety of ailments.
Amla or the Indian gooseberry is a nutrient-rich fruit. It contains high levels of vitamin A, vitamin C, folic acid and minerals like potassium, phosphorus, iron, magnesium and carotene among other things. It also comprises more than 80% of water, apart from carbohydrates, fibre and protein. It is also low in calories. Now that we have understood the nutrition profile of the fruit, let’s look at some of amla's benefits in great detail below.
Benefits of Amla
Amla's benefits include controlling blood sugar levels, improving skin and hair health, reducing the risk of respiratory ailments, slowing down aging, enhancing digestion, and heart health.
Skin and hair care
Amla is rich in polyphenols, flavonoids, and important micronutrients like Vitamin A and C that improve skin and hair health. The powdered form of this fruit is used in many hair oils and shampoos that aid in hair growth. It is known to strengthen the hair in its roots and reduce hair fall. It also prevents greying of the hair. As far as skin is concerned, drinking amla juice can reduce signs of aging such as fine lines, wrinkles, and pigmentation, among other things.
Acts as an immunity booster
This fruit acts as a natural immunity booster all thanks to the antioxidants, polyphenols, flavonoids, vitamins and minerals that it contains. It is also known for its powerful anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that keep harmful pathogens at bay. It helps to increase the white blood cells in the body, which are antibodies or the body's natural immune system cells that help fight infections and diseases.
Manages blood sugar levels
Amla is said to contain chromium that positively impacts the pancreas - the organ that produces insulin, further helping in regulating blood sugar levels. It tends to control and manage diabetes, metabolise carbohydrates, and improve the body’s response to insulin, thereby keeping the blood sugar levels in check.
Amla is rich in fibre and so like most fibre-rich fruits, it adds bulk to the stool, regulates bowel movements and alleviates constipation. It also helps in stimulating the secretion of digestive enzymes that aid in proper and effective digestion, resulting in better and more optimal nutrient absorption. This way it improves digestion and keeps all gastrointestinal problems at bay.
Prevents and treats cough and cold
Given it is a rich source of Vitamin C, amla helps prevent and treat all respiratory ailments, including cold and cough. In fact it is one of the oldest remedies to treat the symptoms at home and prevent them from worsening. It can help clear the congestion and phlegm along with other kinds of respiratory infections.
Amla's benefits also include its ability to improve heart health. Amla contains many antioxidants such as tannins and polyphenols, which may help lower blood pressure and protect us from different heart ailments such as atherosclerosis and coronary artery diseases, thanks to its hypolipidemic effect. Given it’s rich in iron, it encourages the formation of new red blood cells, which further regulates the circulation of oxygen throughout the body, including cells and tissues.
Apart from this, amla acts as a diuretic, thanks to its high water content. It helps the body eliminate unwanted toxins, excess levels of salts, and uric acid. Consequently, it helps maintain the health of kidneys and rids the body of urinary tract infections. It also boosts liver health. The phytochemicals like gallic acid, quercetin, ellagic acid, corilagin, and the like help in fighting free radicals and preventing the occurrences of chronic diseases.
Include amla in your daily diet in the form of juice, tea, pickle, or as a whole to enjoy its health benefits. You can also try out Wellbeing Nutrition’s Apple Cider Vinegar Plus (ACV+) with amla, turmeric, cinnamon, and black pepper. The added goodness of each of these ingredients improves the efficacy of our very own ACV with 2x ‘Mother’, enriching its already rich nutrient profile. ACV+ is rich in vitamin C, antioxidants, and enzymes. Its tangy-earthy flavour of the added ingredients offsets the otherwise bitter taste of the ACV! Dilute it in water and have it regularly to enjoy the health benefits of both amla and ACV.