The Indian Gooseberry is one of the most important foods in Ayurvedic medicine and is a storehouse of good health. Indian gooseberry is a tree that grows in India, the Middle East, and some south-east Asian countries. Indian gooseberry is most commonly used for high cholesterol, abnormal levels of cholesterol or blood fats (dyslipidemia), and persistent heartburn. It is also used for diarrhea, nausea, and cancer. That’s why it is also called a superfood. Indian gooseberry is also known as Amla in Hindi. It belongs to a different family of Euphorbiaceae. Their scientific name is Phyllanthus Emblica. Indian gooseberry features round to transversely spherical shape with light green color.
Nutrition in Indian Gooseberry:
The Indian gooseberry or Amla is abundant in vitamin C and vitamin A. It has almost twice the antioxidant power of acai berry and about 17 times that of the pomegranate. 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. For the same reason; they are excessively acidic and bitter (astringent) in taste.
Benefits of Indian Gooseberry (Amla):
Indian Gooseberry (Amla) is called as a superfood which is a storehouse of minerals and vitamins. In Ayurveda, Indian Gooseberry is commonly used and it is also advisable to consumed one Gooseberry every day. Here are some benefits of using Indian Gooseberry (Amla) in different forms:
- Boosts Immunity:– Indian Gooseberry (Amla) is abundant in vitamin C and also loaded with vitamin A, polyphenols, alkaloids, and flavonoids – quercetin and kaempferol. A study shows that Amla has potent antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. The study also shows that Amla increases the number of white blood cells. White blood cells attack and eliminate foreign toxins and substances into the bloodstream which improves the body’s defense mechanism. Eating gooseberry daily shields the body against harmful bacteria and inflammation.
- Controls Diabetes: – Indian Gooseberry contains chromium, a mineral that helps in regulating carbohydrate metabolism and beta cells for the secretion of insulin is widely found in Amla which reducing blood sugar in diabetic patients. Regular intake of this citrus fruit not only repairs pancreatic tissues but also prevents the damage of insulin-producing cells. Eating raw Amla daily in the morning enables the body to more receptive to insulin. A 2011 research study published in the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition  on the effect of amla fruit on blood glucose and lipid profile of type 2 diabetics stated that it has anti-hyperglycemic and lipid-lowering properties.
- Aids in Digestion: – Amla is very high in fiber. Fiber adds bulk to the stool and helps move food through the bowels and keeps bowel movements regular. This reduces the chances of constipation. Amla also stimulates the secretion of gastric and digestive juices, so food is digested efficiently and nutrients are absorbed in an optimal way. Amla triggers the taste receptors which ultimately makes the digestive enzymes active which helps in digestion.
- Improves Cardiovascular health: – Amla powder strengthens the heart muscles, so the blood circulation is more effective throughout the body. Amla has several nutrients which help in preventing blockage within the heart. It is also effective in reducing bad cholesterol and controls hypertension. It helps in increasing the good cholesterol in the body and also helps in the maintenance of cholesterol levels. This may reduce the chances of stroke and heart attack. Amla also promotes the creation of new red blood cells.
- Improve Liver Function: – Amla juice possesses a good amount of phytochemicals like quercetin, gallic acid, corilagin and ellagic acids that aid body in detoxification and in fighting free radicals. This juice improves liver function, boosts vitality and provides energy.
- Improve Memory: – Amla also increases concentration and boosts memory if you consume it regularly. It improves the nerve health by making a smoother passage for flow of blood, facilitating oxygen transportation, protecting the nerve cells from radical damage hence preventing diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s.
- Helps in weight-loss: – Yes, Amla also helps in weight loss. If you want to lose weight, Amla juice can do wonders to your body. It reduces the fat accumulation within the body by providing a boost to metabolical activities within the body.
- Acts as a Diuretic: – Amla has 84% of water content which has slightly diuretic in nature. This means that it increases the frequency and volume of urination. Urination helps our body eliminate unwanted toxins and excess levels of water, salt, and uric acid. Therefore, a diuretic substance is often beneficial for keeping your kidneys healthy and for preventing urinary and uterine infections.
- Hair Care: – Applying Amla oil to the roots of your hair improves hair growth and color. It works as a hair tonic which strengthens the roots, maintains color, and improves luster. It reduces the chances of hair loss and baldness. The antioxidant-rich Amla enriches the pigmentation of hair, preventing the premature greying. Amla is also effective in reducing irritation or any other problem arising in the scalp due to the presence of anti-bacterial properties.
- Skin benefits: – Vitamin C and antioxidants help scavenge free radicals; free radicals are associated with signs of aging like wrinkles and age spots. Consumption of Amla increases the glow of the skin and reduces the toxins present within the body hence reducing irritation within the skin. It also helps in pimples and acne. The presence of high levels of Vitamin C in Amla helps in preventing as well as reducing skin pigmentation.
- Improve Eyesight: – Amla is rich in vitamin A which is good for eyesight. If you drink Amla and carrot juice daily, it improves your eyesight. Vitamin A and carotene improves vision, while also lowering the risk of macular degeneration and night blindness.
- Improves Appetite: – Consuming gooseberry powder with butter and honey before a meal can improve appetite. In other benefits, Amla is also used as a remedy for fever, liver disorder, indigestion, anemia, urinary problems, respiratory problems, and cerebral, gastric, and cardiovascular illnesses. Gooseberry lowers cholesterol levels, increases red blood cell production, and strengthens teeth and nails.
There are a lot more benefits of Indian Gooseberry (Amla). Once you add in your daily meal then only you will come to know the benefits. The best part of Indian Gooseberry (Amla) is that you can take it in any form like you can eat fresh Amla, you can eat dried Amla, you can make it powder and take it, you can drink Amla juice and you can use as a hair oil also. This is the reason it called as a ‘Super Food’.