Amla: the powerhouse of immunity

Category: Vitamins & Minerals

Amla, also known as the Indian gooseberry is considered a sacred tree in India. Childhood memories with Amla are very fond. In an Indian household, amla is used in various forms like chutney, murabba, pickles, etc. In Hindu mythology, Lord Brahma’s tears fell on the earth while he was meditating. His tear led to the growth of the Amla tree, the first tree on earth. In folk tales, amla is described as sarvadosha hara, the cure for all diseases. Research has shown immense benefits of the incorporation of amla into the diet.

Amla is rich in Vitamin C which is equivalent to four oranges or five glasses of lemon juice. Let’s understand how amla boosts our immunity:

  1. Antioxidant
    Amla contains loads of phytochemicals like tannins, quercetin, and citric acid. Our body while dealing with pathogens, viruses, and bacteria generates oxidants like hydrogen peroxide and antioxidants. An imbalance between the two leads to oxidative stress. Amla is a strong antioxidant that eats up the free radicals formed by oxidants. This helps in supporting the immune system and reduces the damage to cells. The phytochemical removes the toxins and provides a hepatoprotective effect.
  2. Helps relieve cold and cough
    The high content of Vitamin C builds resistance against respiratory tract ailments like cough and cold. Two teaspoons of amla juice with an equal amount of honey when consumed daily protects the body from the invasion of bacteria that are responsible for cold and cough. Excellent source of folic acid, calcium, phosphorus, iron, and magnesium that helps in increasing the white blood cells that boosts immunity
  3. Excellent anti-inflammatory agent
    Studies have shown that amla is effective in arthritis, osteoporosis, and joint pain. Amla has an effect at the cellular level by reducing the inflammatory agents like cytokine that are present in chronic diseases like rheumatoid arthritis. Amla consumption has shown a reduction in pain and swelling among arthritis patients.
  4. Anticancer activity
    Numerous studies have shown antitumor properties of amla. It has the property to sensitize highly aggressive resistant and metastatic cells. Inhibits cell growth, mutation, cell migration, and invasion. The effective results have been seen in colon and lung cancer. The extract of amla can stimulate programmed cell death without affecting healthy body cells.
  5. Aids digestion
    Amla stimulates gastric juices responsible for accelerating digestion, absorption, and assimilation of food, thus preventing acidity. The high amount of fiber regulates bowel movement and relieves digestive ailments.

How to incorporate amla in your diet

  1. Salads
    Instead of lemon juice use amla juice for salad dressing. In this way, you can incorporate the amla without changing much in the taste and also enjoy the benefit.
  2. Chutney
    Grated amla with some seasoning and jaggery can provide tanginess to your food.
  3. Boiled amla
    Cut pieces of amla can be boiled in salted water and stored. This can be added to any of your vegetables, gravies, and dals.
  4. Amla rice
    Like lemon rice, grated amla can be incorporated into the cooked rice to give a tangy taste without losing the nutrients.
  5. Good Nutrition’s Boost & Strengthen
    Good Nutrition’s Boost & Strengthen immunity fizz is loaded with goodness of amla and other nutrients like zinc etc.
    An amla a day in fresh or dried or any form can provide immense health benefits.

Good Nutrition

Clinical Nutritionist and Certified Diabetes Educator

Nidhi Makharia Agarwal is a qualified nutritionist and dietitian, as well as a certified Diabetes educator, with 12+ years of experience in the field of nutrition. She has worked in various nutraceutical companies and also as a nutrition writer and practicing nutritionist. Nidhi started her training as an intern with the Tata Memorial Cancer Hospital and the Wadia Children Hospital in Mumbai. She has worked with a leading Indian nutraceutical company for 8 years. Currently, Nidhi has her own venture; The Aahar Clinic for healthy living, which she founded in 2018. She has also lent her expertise as a nutrition counsellor to a diabetes project co-initiated by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation and Indian Dietetic Association. Additionally, she works with food and nutrition start-ups as a nutrition consultant. Nidhi holds a Master’s degree in clinical nutrition and dietetics. She is also a certified diabetes educator. Nidhi is based in Mumbai.