Have you ever heard of amla juice? If you’re interested in getting healthy through eating right, you might want to tune in for this one. There are lots of conditions that amla juice benefits. Science backs it up too – simply drinking this powerful superfood juice can help improve your health issues.
Even if you’re relatively healthy already, amla juice may help prevent illness in the future. Juicing might seem like just the latest trendy craze, but ancient cultures have used whole fruits and vegetables and their juices to treat medical issues for centuries. Juicing in general and drinking amla juice specifically might just be the ticket to help you reach your health and wellness goals. Stay with me as we figure out what’s the hype about amla.
What Exactly is Amla Juice?
Amla, also known as Indian gooseberry, goes by the scientific name “phyllanthus emblica”. It is, in fact, a type of berry. There are many varieties of gooseberry grown throughout the world, but we’re going to focus on the nutritional powerhouse Indian gooseberry today.
Amla is a fruit with interesting significance in many cultures. The relatively small tree that produces Indian gooseberries is considered sacred in the Hindu religion because it is thought that Vishnu (an important deity in the Hindu faith) inhabits the plant.
The largest producer of amla fruit is the Maharashtra state. The fruit has many culinary uses in Indian cuisine. It also has applications in several other products, including soaps, shampoos, ink, and as a mordant for fabric dyes.
Ayurveda – a traditional Indian medical practice – uses amla widely. The berries are used to encourage longevity, enhance the action of the digestive system, cure constipation, to treat fever, to cleanse the blood and enhance overall health.
As is commonly the case when plant remedies are involved, there isn’t a great deal of research to support or disprove claims made about amla juice. Since amla juice is used as a medicine primarily in the Eastern world, Western medicine hasn’t quite caught on yet.
This doesn’t mean that amla juice isn’t an effective treatment, or at the very least, an innocuous addition to a healthy diet. It simply means that the claims haven’t been substantiated by robust clinical trials.
What we do know is that amla berries contain one of the highest concentrations of antioxidants of any fruit or veggie. They also contain many other important vitamins and minerals. Rather than focusing on health claims made, we’ll focus on the berry’s nutritional content and the nutrients’ roles in the body.
1. Vitamin C
Indian gooseberries contain a significant amount of vitamin C. An adequate amount of vitamin C in your diet does more than prevent scurvy. This very important nutrient is necessary in almost all processes in your body. Since vitamin C is a water-soluble nutrient, we cannot store any excess. Therefore, taking in a steady supply is very important.
Vitamin C is used by the body in the development of many different tissue types, including ligaments and tendons. It’s also involved in wound healing, skin, muscles, connective tissues, cartilage, and teeth. Consuming adequate levels of vitamin C helps to keep free-radicals at bay. Free radicals are thought to be at least partially responsible for many degenerative diseases and even cancer. This is due to vitamin C’s antioxidant powers.
2. Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Science has told us a lot about good fats in recent years – a stark contrast to the low-fat trends of years past. These important fats cannot be created in our body. We must consume them. The most widely-known source of omega-3 fatty acids is fish or fish oil, but they can be found in some plants, amla being one example.
Studies have shown that omega-3 fatty acids in the diet promote brain health and development. The intake of omega-3s has also been attributed to improved psychiatric health. These fatty acids have shown to help treat people with depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and ADHD.
Omega-3s are also effective in lowering bad cholesterol and increasing good cholesterol, lowering blood pressure, preventing and improving heart disease, to name but a few examples.
3. Vitamin A
Best known for its contribution to the health of our eyes, vitamin A is a fat soluble vitamin found in many fruits and vegetables. Vitamin A plays a vital role in our immune systems, reproductive systems, and many other important organ systems.
Correlations have been made between adequate vitamin A intake and a reduction in cases of some types of cancer, though more evidence is needed to support these claims. Vitamin A has been proven to help patients with a certain type of leukemia, a cancer of the blood and bone marrow.
Vitamin A has also been proven useful in the treatment of certain eye conditions, such as dry eye and retinitis pigmentosa (which causes decreased night vision and vision loss over a period of time). For the same reason your mom told you to eat your carrots, amla juice will improve your eye health.
Folate is a B vitamin that plays a very important role in the production of genetic material in our bodies. It is also crucial in the reproduction of cells. Without folate, our cells would be unable to divide and therefore multiply.
This particular B vitamin is very important for pregnant women for the reasons above. An adequate intake of folic acid for expectant mothers has shown to decrease the chances of birth defects in the baby. Pregnant women are encouraged to take folic acid (a folate supplement).
Research shows that taking in adequate amounts of folate through diet can reduce the risk of cancer. The most effective way to do that is through fruits and veggies. However, high levels of folate are thought to be harmful in patients who already suffer from cancer, particularly colorectal cancer.
5. Other B Vitamins
This group of vitamins has come to light as the key to unlock the energy within our bodies. They play a big role in how our bodies metabolize (use up) the energy that we take in through food, working together to help the body complete many vital processes.
B vitamins are also important to your circulatory system. Without enough B vitamins, your red blood cells can become ineffective or your body may not create them as well. The B vitamins present in amla juice may help your body produce and maintain healthy red blood cells, allowing oxygen to circulate.
Vitamins B-5, B-6, and B-12 play important roles in the nervous system. They help support overall brain by providing nutrients necessary in the relaying of messages to other parts of the body through the nerves. B-12 supports the health and function of specific nervous tissues, like myelin.
Aside from the advertising push from the dairy industry reminding us that milk is good for our bones, calcium contributes a crucial part of many important reactions in our bodies. It does help bones and teeth form and stay healthy and strong. There’s a lot more to calcium than all that, though.
Calcium is also important to our muscles. It is a crucial component for muscle contraction. While this doesn’t seem like a big deal, it becomes obvious that this is a vital function when you realize that your heart is a muscle, too!
Your nervous system also uses calcium to send messages to the muscles. For people who choose not to imbibe in animal products, eating fruit and vegetable products that are rich in this vital nutrient, like amla juice, is very important.
Magnesium is another powerhouse nutrient which can be found in amla juice. Magnesium is involved in the health of many body systems, such as the nervous system, skeletal system, and cardiovascular system. Most people’s diets do not contain enough magnesium. For this reason, you should keep an eye on your intake levels.
Increased magnesium in the diet has been shown to lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Whether the mineral can help to treat the disease is yet unknown, but it has shown promise in reversing prediabetes.
Magnesium is also an important element in bone health. Women who increased their magnesium intake were less likely to develop osteoporosis (porous bones). Studies have shown that adequate magnesium consumption can also improve heart health.
When you think of potassium, you probably think of bananas or muscle cramps. Though both are apt, many other foods contain potassium and it’s capable for far more than just preventing muscle cramps. Magnesium is necessary for each and every beat of your heart.
Potassium plays a key role in the nervous system, muscle contraction, and the proper functioning of your kidneys.
Since potassium is a powerful substance, it’s not advisable to take potassium supplements without your doctor’s recommendation. The best way to get plenty of potassium is through a diet rich in fruits and vegetables or their juices. Amla juice is one way to take in some of your daily potassium requirement.
Amla Juice Benefits For Diabetics
Amla juice has been shown to potentially help diabetes patients regulate their blood sugar. While Western medicine hasn’t exactly caught on and fully studied the effects of amla juice on diabetes, it has been used in Ayurvedic medicine to treat diabetes with reported success.
Studies have shown that amla’s antioxidant effects may play a role in cases of diabetes. The fruit may also reduce or prevent high blood sugar levels and reduce the effects of diabetic neuropathy. Diabetic neuropathy is the result of nerve damage, particularly in the feet and legs, caused by high blood sugar.
Indian gooseberry has also been shown to hinder the development of cataracts in diabetic patients. Though these study results in human subjects are preliminary, they are quite promising. It’s important to keep in mind that alma should be consumed in moderation by diabetics due to the sugar content.
It Can Help Lower Blood Pressure
Amla has been proven potentially effective in lowering blood pressure and improving the conditions of arteries in human test subjects. Amla extract even improved cardiovascular function in people at high risk for heart complications such as smokers and diabetics.
In people with hypertension (high blood pressure), lowering normal blood pressure levels may help to prevent cardiovascular damage that can lead to heart attack or stroke, both of which have a high rate of morbidity. It may be that alma juice benefits cardiovascular patients.
Cancer Fighting Properties of Amla Juice
I mentioned above that amla juice has high levels of antioxidant compounds. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals – chemicals that are highly reactive and can cause damage to cells. This cell damage can lead to cancer. Studies have shown that high levels of antioxidants can prevent free radicals from causing damage.
As one of the plants with the highest concentration of antioxidants of all fruits and veggies, it follows that amla juice is an ideal food to help stop free radicals from creating havoc within your body.
Preliminary study results show that amla may have other cancer fighting properties too. Initial findings have warranted more in-depth research on whether or not amla might be used in modern medicine as a cancer treatment or preventative.
A study published in 2012 showed that a combination of amla and fenugreek extracts had similar effects to commonly prescribed medicines for high cholesterol. The combination lowered bad cholesterol and triglycerides and raised good cholesterol levels.
Amla Juice Warnings
Everything I’ve found about amla juice has shown me that it has the potential to be a powerful positive addition to your diet. It may reduce the risks of several different health conditions and even treat some issues.
It’s important to talk to your doctor about adding amla juice to your diet to ensure that it doesn’t interact with any of other medications or health conditions (especially in the case of diabetics).
Where Can You Get Amla Juice?
Fresh amla berries aren’t widely available in the United States, but amla juice can be found on available for sale online. You can also find amla in powdered form or tablet form if you prefer to try a different form of amla berries.
Final Thoughts on Amla Juice Benefits
The studies have shown that amla is a powerful superfood capable of helping with many conditions. Between its nutritional content and the intense level of antioxidants and other phytonutrients present in amla juice, it just might be worth a try.
Amla juice benefits sufferers of many common, serious health issues. If you have any questions about amla juice or its benefits, don’t hesitate to ask us here at Health Ambition. We will do our best to provide you with quality resources and answers to all your health-related queries.