This fruit has an abundance of antioxidant that helps the body protect itself against harmful free radicals. It also shows your eyes, skin, and immune system some love with lots of vitamin A and many other vitamins and minerals. Here Meenakshi Nagdeve, OrganicFacts.net, reflects on Indian gooseberry or alma and its many health benefits:
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“The health benefits of, also known as Amla, can be partially attributed to its high vitamin C content. The Indian gooseberry helps in boosting the , slowing down aging, treating throat infections, reducing blood sugar levels, and improving heart health.
Amla acts as a diuretic agent and is therefore thought to enhance food absorption, balance stomach acids, fortify the liver, and nourish the brain and mental functioning. It also strengthens the lungs, enhances fertility, helps the urinary system, improves skin quality, and promotes healthier hair. This fruit increases vitality, aids in vision care, and improves muscle tone.
What is Indian Gooseberry (Alma)
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Indian gooseberry or amla (Emblica officinalis or Phyllanthus emblica) is an extremely sour, nutritious fruit of a tree which grows in India, the Middle East, and a few other Southeast Asian countries. It is known as Amla in India and Amalaki in Sanskrit. Due to its powerful antioxidant properties, it is often used as in Ayurvedic medicines to boost skin and hair health, and also overall immunity of the body. It belongs to the Euphorbiaceae family. This fruit ripens in the autumn in wet forests and hilly areas of the Indian subcontinent; the tree is considered sacred in India.
The fruit is light green in color and can be quite tart and fibrous to eat. In India, it is eaten with salt and chilly It is a vital ingredient of Triphala and chyawanprash, both of which are traditional herbal Indian formulations to boost health. Amla is also available in various other forms, such as a powder, , , , and . Amla and are also consumed by many for its powerful nutritional benefits.or made into a pickle or sugared candy.
Indian Gooseberry Nutrition
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The Indian gooseberry or amla is abundant in vitamin C and vitamin A. It also contains high levels of folic acid and minerals like calcium, potassium, phosphorus, iron, carotene, and magnesium. Indian gooseberries are low in calories, with 100 grams of the fruit containing only 44 calories, according to the USDA National Nutrient Database. Fresh Indian gooseberries contain more than 80 percent water, in addition to protein, minerals, carbohydrates, and fiber. Their beneficial properties are mainly due to the potency of the antioxidants.
Indian Gooseberry (Alma) Benefits
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Let’s take a look at the major benefits of Indian gooseberry (amla) in detail:
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Indian gooseberries are a natural immune booster as they contain a powerful cocktail of vitamins C and A, polyphenols, alkaloids, and flavonoids such as quercetin and kaempferol. According to a study published in the International Journal of Pharmaceutics, amla has potent antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Amla juice, in Ayurveda, is often used to increase the white blood cells in the body, which are the main line of defense for the immune system. White blood cells attack and eliminate foreign toxins and substances into the bloodstream throughout the body.
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Gooseberry contains chromium, which has a therapeutic value for diabetics. It stimulates the isolated group of cells that secrete insulin, thus reducing blood sugar in diabetic patients. When blood sugar is reduced, glucose is used by the cells as functional energy. Thus, the metabolism is stronger and you have more energy, without the plunges and spikes in blood sugar that are dangerous for diabetics. Chromium also enhances the effect of beta-blockers, which are used for heart health, by reducing the levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol in the body. A 2011 research study on the effect of the amla fruit on blood glucose and lipid profile of type 2 diabetics stated that it has anti-hyperglycemic and lipid-lowering properties.
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Drinking gooseberry juice – which is rich in vitamin A – with a bit of honey, is good for improving eyesight. It helps improve nearsightedness and cataracts while reducing intra-ocular tension. This is mainly due to its impressive carotene content, which has long been known for its powerful effect on vision-related conditions, including those that stem from the free radical damage. Vitamin A and carotene improves vision, while also lowering the risk of macular degeneration and night blindness.
Boosts Liver Health
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Drinking amla juice, as per Ayurveda, boosts vitality and vigor, and the underlying reason for it is probably linked to its ability to re-energize the liver. Liver health is not paid much attention to, even though it affects a large part of the population. A 2013 study on the Hepatoprotective properties of the Indian gooseberry published in the journal Food & Function journal says the fruit is effective in preventing the toxic effects of excessive medication and toxic metals. The presence of phytochemicals such as quercetin, gallic acid, corilagin, and ellagic acid in amla helps in free radical scavenging and in turn, detoxifying the body.”
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