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Amla – Benefits, Nutrition, Uses and Recipes

It 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 fruit can help balance the three doshas (Kapha/vista/pitta) in the body and eliminate the underlying cause of many diseases.

Amla (Indian Gooseberry) Nutritional Value

For adults, a recommended amount of daily amla consumption is 75-90 mg per day.

Nutritional value (100 g)

Energy 58 kilo caloriesFiber 3.4%Proteins 0.5%Fat 0.1%Carbohydrates 13.7 gCalcium 50 %Iron 1.2 mgCarotene 9 microgramThiamine 0.03mgRiboflavin 0.01mgNicene 0.2mgVitamin 600mg

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.

8 Promising Benefits of Amla (Indian Gooseberry)

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. Amla 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. The Indian Gooseberry is also rich in Vitamin A that lowers the risk of age-related macular degeneration

3. It burns fat

This is the least talked-about yet most exciting benefit of amla. A protein present in amla helps prevent cravings. Amla also has a very low carbohydrate and fat content.

A single serving i.e. (150 g) of amla contains 66 calories, 1 gram protein, less than 1 g of fat and 15 g carbohydrates. Regular consumers say drinking a glass of amla juice before a meal fills them up and makes them eat less.

Nutritionists say amla boosts metabolism too, making one shed weight faster. Amla has high fibre content and acids like tannic which help relieve constipation and make you look less bloated.

4. Amla 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 behind harmful by-products called free radicals. Considering amla is a potent antioxidant agent, it can prevent this oxidation and help in protecting the cell.

5. Amla beautifies hair

Amla, like curry leaves, is a proven tonic for hair. It has plenty of essential fatty acids which penetrate deep into the follicles and slow down greying, prevents dandruff, and strengthens hair follicles.

This tangy fruit has high iron and carotene content, thus boosting 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. Amla improves skin

Amla is the best anti-ageing fruit. The Vitamin C and antioxidants present in amla reduces fine lines, wrinkles and offers radiant skin. Drinking amla juice with honey every morning can give you blemish-free, healthy and glowing skin.

7. Amla 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.

Amla is used as an analgesic to treat wounds and research says that its extracts are useful in easing postoperative and neuropathic pain. For ulcers, you simply need to dilute amla juice in half a cup of water and gargle with it.

How to Use Amla (Indian Gooseberry)

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:

Dried:

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.

Pickled:

Make a spicy amla achaar or a sweet murabba by soaking amla in sugary water.

Amla Healthy Recipes

1. Amla chutney

Ingredients:

Amla 4Corainder leaves 2 tspGreen chilly 2A small piece of ginger piecePinch of jeeraPinch of hingRai (mustard) seeds ¼ tspSalt to tasteOil, 1 tsp

Method

Soak gooseberry in hot water for five minutes and peel skin. Remove seed.Add coriander leaves, green chilly, ginger, jeera, salt. Put in mixer and make a paste without water.Heat oil, add hing-rai. Temper the paste with this, and mix.

Nutritional content (100g serving)

Carbohydrates 75.40%Protein 0.40%Fat 0

2. Amla Sabji

Ingredients:

Amla ¼ kgOnion, finely-chopped 1Ginger-garlic paste 1 tspGreen chilli paste 2 tspRai seeds (mustard) ½ tspA few curry leaves (kadipatta)Haldi (turmeric powder) ¼ tspRed chilli powder 1 tspMethi (fenugreek) powder 3 tspDhania (coriander) powder 1 tspJeera (cumin) powder ¼ tspA pinch of hingSalt to tasteOil as per requirement

Method

Pressure cook amla with a cup of water in a pressure cooker for two whistles. Open the cooker after pressure subsides, remove amla seeds.Heat oil in a frying pan. Add hing, rai and kadipatta and let it splutter.Add ginger-garlic paste, green chilli paste, onion, and fry for a few minutes.Add the dry masalas and stir on a medium flame.Add amla, salt and stir well. When contents are dry, switch off stove.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q. How many amla should be eaten in a day?

You can have 1-2 amla per day in the form of juice or even raw. However, it is always recommended to consult a doctor before you start eating it. Amla shouldn’t be consumed if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or have been diagnosed with low blood sugar levels. 

Q. What are the benefits of eating amla?

Adding amla to your daily diet is a great way to get maximum benefits. Amla helps to improve immunity, aids in weight management, prevent viral infections, is a natural blood purifier, relieves pain, etc. 

Q. Does amla have any side effects?

There are certain aspects that you should consider before including amla in your daily routine. It can increase the risk of bleeding disorder in people if you are already diagnosed with it. It can also lower your blood sugar level. So, people with diabetes should consume this upon consulting their doctor. 

Q. What is the best time to eat amla? 

Obtain the maximum benefits of amla by having it early in the morning on an empty stomach. 

Q. Is amla good for weight loss?

A. Amla accelerates metabolism and helps you to burn calories. To start off your day, drink a glass of amla juice in the morning as a natural detoxifier. 

Q. Who should not consume amla?

A. Pregnant and breastfeeding women or people with diabetes should avoid having amla. 

Q. Does amla reduce blood pressure?

A. Yes, the antioxidants and high potassium content in Amla helps in reducing blood pressure. Consuming it with one teaspoon of raw honey is exceptional for blood pressure management. 

Q. How is amla good for hair?

A. The high iron and carotene content boosts hair growth and strengthens hair.  

Q. Is amla good for fatty liver?

A. The antioxidant properties of Amla make it fit for people who have fatty liver and a weak digestive system. 

Q. Can we drink amla juice every day?

A. Drinking Amla juice every day tends to build your immune system and improve skin & hair texture. It also aids in weight loss. 

Q. When is the best time to drink amla juice?

A. You can have Amla juice in the morning, after waking up. 

Q. Is Amla juice good for skin?

A. The Vitamin C, Vitamin A and antioxidants present in amla purify the blood and makes your skin look radiant. It also has numerous anti-ageing properties.

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