Amla, the Indian gooseberry, is a very nutritious fruit. The name has been derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Amlaki’ which means ‘nectar of life’. It is used in the Ayurveda and Unani medicine systems and can treat various types of illnesses. In modern medicine also, it has been found that Amla has medicinal properties. Its flavor is quite uncommon with a mixture of sweet, sour, bitter and pungent flavors. It is rich in vitamin C, calcium and iron. Other than numerous health benefits, it also offers various beauty benefits.
You can eat it raw, make juice out of it or eat it in powdered form. Eating amla can be a bitter experience. However, you can make jam or delicious pickle with amla. You can also sprinkle some amla powder on fruits like apple, banana, etc. You will be surprised to know that amla contains 8 times more vitamin C than an orange. It is also an excellent source of antioxidants. Here are some important health benefits of eating amla:
1. Reduces Risk of Cancer
Amla contains antioxidants that help to fight the free radicals in the body. This reduces the risk of cancer by lowering the chances of cell damage. It can lower the risk of various types of cancers, including lung cancer, liver cancer, breast cancer, cervix cancer, etc.
- Cancer is often caused due to the damage to DNA that suppresses the anticancer genes. It also occurs due to mutations that are caused by DNA damage. If you eat amla, it will increase the activity of the enzyme O6-methylguanine-DNA Methyltransferase that will help to get rid of the mutations in the immune cells and prevent cancer.
- The Cyclin-dependent Kinases (CDSs) and Cyclins help in the growth and division of cells. Cancer causes these to increase. Gallic acid present in amla helps to lower the CDKs and Cyclins levels and prevents the spreading of stomach and liver cancer cells.
- Kaempferol found in amla prevents the spread of breast cancer.
Radiation is one of the common treatments for cancer that has lots of side effects. Amla is radioprotective and can protect the body against damage from radiation.
2. Skin Benefits
Amla powder can give you glowing skin. You can either consume it or apply the paste as a face mask to get glowing and healthy skin.
- Amla can slow down the aging process and make your skin look younger.
- It protects the skin from oxidative stress that is caused by free radicals thus giving you blemish-free, glowing and healthy skin.
- It can also protect the skin from UV damage.
- It has lots of vitamins that fight various skin problems; for example, vitamin C in amla can treat pimples and acne.
- The anti-oxidant present in it helps the skin to breathe properly and gives the skin a natural glow.
- The astringent and anti-bacterial properties of amla help to reduce the dead skin cells and promote the growth of new cells.
If you drink amla juice with honey every day, then, you can get healthy and younger-looking skin. All your skin problems will fade away by including amla in your regular diet.
3. Prevents Constipation and Aids in Digestion
Amla contains lots of fiber and helps in digestion. It can prevent constipation as fiber in amla helps in bulking the stool and resulting in regular bowel movement. It provides a lot of other benefits related to digestion.
- The dried amla powder is a home remedy for treating stomach ulcers and hyperacidity.
- Tannic acid present in amla can give you relief from constipation.
- It can reduce diarrhea by reducing the buildup of fluid inside the intestines and bulk up the loose stool.
- It stimulates the secretion of digestive and gastric juices so that foods are digested properly.
- It can protect from various gastrointestinal disorders, including colorectal cancer.
If you often suffer from the digestion-related problem, you should eat amla regularly. It can give you relief from the uncomfortable symptoms of digestion problems.
4. Good for Diabetic Patients
Chromium present in amla makes our body more responsive to insulin. It also helps to regulate the blood glucose levels of diabetic patients.
- Amla increases metabolism and so you get more energy.
- It stimulates insulin-secreting cells that are very effective in lowering the sugar levels in our body.
- It also helps to break down sugar efficiently and minimizes the risk of producing a high amount of insulin.
If you are suffering from type 2 diabetes, you can consume amla on a regular basis to keep your blood pressure in check.
5. Good for the Hair
Amla can make your hair beautiful. It can prevent dandruff and hair loss as well. You can consume amla powder or apply it on your scalp.
- Amla acts as a hair tonic and strengthens the follicles, increases blood circulations and thereby improves hair growth.
- It contains antioxidants that help to slow down the graying of hair.
- It also acts as a natural conditioner that gives soft and shiny locks.
- It can strengthen the roots of the hair and improve its luster.
- The iron and antioxidant content in amla help to prevent free radical that causes damage to the hair follicles.
- The anti-inflammatory properties of amla help to reduce scalp problems.
- It can reduce the chance of lice growth hair.
Amla oil is widely used for hair treatment. You can either apply amla oil on your scalp or eat amla every day to get beautiful strong hair.
6. Fights Common Cold
Amla is rich in vitamin C. If you eat 2 teaspoons of amla powder mixed with honey for a couple of times a day, then you will get instant relief from cold and cough. It can reduce fever as well and will give the same result as an aspirin. Amla can increase mucus in the airways. Coughs become irritated due to the receptors present in the airways. By increasing mucus, Amla helps to prevent this irritation.
7. Improves Eyesight
Amla contains carotene that improves vision. If you consume amla daily, it can improve your overall eye health. It can cure a number of eye problems including cataract problem, reddening, and watering of eyes, intraocular tension, etc. It is rich in vitamin A and improves conditions such as nearsightedness and macular degeneration.
8. Burns Fat
Amla contains protein that prevents cravings. So, if you drink a glass of amla juice, you will feel full for a long time. You can drink it before meals so that you eat less food.
- Amla helps to boost metabolism that helps to lose weight faster.
- The proteins and vitamins in amla help to get rid of the extra body weight.
By including amla in your regular diet, you will be able to lose weight very quickly. So, apart from doing regular exercise, you should start consuming amla regularly.
9. Manages Chronic Conditions
Chromium present in amla helps to reduce the level of bad cholesterol and stimulates insulin production as well. This reduces the blood glucose level of diabetics. If you drink amla juice in the morning, it can keep your blood pressure in control.
- Vitamin C in Amla makes the blood vessels thicker and stronger.
- It lowers the risk of heart disease by regulating the build-up of bad cholesterol.
- It reduces the fat levels in blood and prevents the narrowing of arteries due to the buildup of plaque.
- It protects the heart from an ischemic injury that is caused when the oxygen returns to the tissue after a long period of absence of oxygen.
- Quercetin and gallic acid present in amla reduces the toxicity of the heart and protects it from any kind of damage.
- High levels of triglycerides (TG) in the blood can increase the risk of heart disease. Amla helps to reduce the level of TG and so reduce the chance of heart problems.
- It prevents hardening of arteries and so reduces the chance of strokes.
- Amla extract can increase the HDL cholesterol level which produces antiatherogenic abilities and prevents coronary artery diseases.
- It strengthens the heart muscles, so the heart can pump blood more efficiently.
- Amla contains iron that helps to create new red blood cells and so increases the circulation.
- Anti-oxidants in amla keep the arteries blockages clear and prevent heart problems.
With so many benefits, you should include amla in your regular diet even if you are not suffering from any heart problems. It will keep your heart healthy for a long time.
10. Boosts Immune System
Amla consists of vitamins, alkaloids, polyphenols, flavonoids, etc. which help to boost the immune system.
- Amla has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that help to protect us from many diseases.
- It increases the white blood cells in the body which eliminate any foreign toxins, keeping the body healthy.
- As amla is a potent antioxidant agent, it can repair oxidative damage.
- The anti-bacterial properties of amla don’t allow harmful bacteria to spread inside the body.
Amla can fight infections easily. So, if you are ill, then by eating amla you will be relief from your illness quickly.
Amla can improve your appetite and is helpful when you have a cold, fever or other diseases. When you are ill, you don’t feel like eating anything and this makes you weak. If you eat amla, you can get back your appetite to eat healthy food and recover quickly from diseases. Amla is a natural source of vitamins and minerals and it must be consumed every day if possible.