Wellness: The gooseberry is a superfood that helps with everything from bad breath to preventing tumours
The Indian superfood is coming back in season. It is a powerful ingredient when it comes to boosting one’s immune system and to get clear skin and strong hair. Also called amla, this tangy fruit is generally during the winter season but nowadays it is available in the form of juice or powder. It is a powerhouse of goodness, packed with multi-nutrients like proteins, carbohydrates, fiber, minerals like calcium, iron, potassium and vitamins like vitamin C and E, some of its phytochemicals such as gallic acid, ellagic acid, pyrogallol, corilagin, geraniin etc possess antineoplastic properties. This means acting to prevent, inhibit or halt the development of a neoplasm (a tumor). Let’s learn more about the health benefits of amla with respect to health, hair and skin.
Vitamin C and antioxidants play an important role in boosting immunity. It also helps in cooling the body.
It is a good source of iron and in India, mostly women suffer from iron deficiency (anemia). Antioxidants, vitamin E and carotene from amla also helps to fight free radicals that are responsible for early ageing and they reduce the oxidative stress from body.
Amla aids digestion and is rich in fibre, that’s why it works wonders to control constipation. It also helps in reducing high levels of stomach acids and this gives a soothing effect to your tummy and controls inflammation. It is also an excellent coolant which can help you in the summer.
It helps build up resistance against respiratory track ailments like a cough, cold, sore throat, etc keeping the vitamin C in mind.
Its taste helps in overcoming nausea or a vomiting sensation, plus it also acts as a great appetizer because you tend to salivate more after having amla which in turn improves the taste buds and digestive enzymes in body.
If you have bleeding gums, foul breath or yellowish teeth issues then amla will really be helpful. Use one to two tbsps of amla juice for rinsing, swishing and gargling to help overcome these issues.
It helps in speeding up metabolism and aids weight loss.
Phyto-nutrients, vitamins and minerals present in amla help in increasing scalp circulation and stimulate healthy growth.
Vitamin C of amla produces collagen protein that helps in stimulating hair growth, both length and volume-wise. Collagens replace all the dead cells of hair follicles with new hair cells. Plus it cures dryness and accumulation of dandruff.
One amla contains almost 81.2 percent of moisture content, which is helpful for those with dry hair. If you have oily hair, amla powder will soak in all the excess oil present on your scalp.
Amla and its anti-microbial properties, will not just banish hair odour but it will also remove the germs sticking to your hair.
The skin is protected by amla because antioxidants quench the damaging effects of free radicals. Amla helps in boosting collagen production which in turn helps to keep your skin smooth and young as well as blemish-free.
It’s a natural blood purifier and also fights toxins. So if you are drinking a cup of amla juice, you are boosting vitamins and minerals in the body that purify your blood. It has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties that keeps your skin clear.
The vitamin C in amla helps in reducing dark spots and brightens the skin, plus it also helps in toning and tightening the skin.
(The writer is the Chief Nutrition Officer, Luke Coutinho Holistic Healing Systems. She is a clinical nutritionist with a focus on healthy lifestyle choices.)