Weight loss is a constant struggle for most of us. Even those who aren’t overweight work hard at keeping their weight in check. Managing a strict diet which cuts out all the tastiest treats can be hard. But what if you could lose those pounds, and lose it in a wholesome way, by just having a swig of tart Indian gooseberry or amla juice?
What’s In A Gooseberry?
The amla, amalaki, or Indian gooseberry is loaded with goodness. While one claim to fame is its high vitamin C content (almost 20 times that of orange juice), it also has 160 times the quantity of ascorbic acid and thrice the protein, in similar quantities of apple. High on phytochemicals including flavonoids, amino acids, polyphenolic compounds, gallic acid, and tannins, and with minerals like copper, zinc, and chromium in its ash, the humble Indian gooseberry has lots going for it. These combined have given it the reputation as an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anticarcinogenic food Amla can be taken as it is in its raw form, preserved in brine, dried, powdered, pickled, or in an Ayurvedic formulation combined with other natural ingredients.
Working Its Magic
Amla is an especially healthy means to shedding extra weight because it offers a safe, holistic route to weight loss. The high vitamin C content helps stave off colds and coughs that could come from a dip in resilience as the body detoxifies, while the high fiber prevents constipation that may come with a restricted diet during weight loss. Its anti-inflammatory properties make it invaluable as your body goes through the transition to its new, fitter form.
Boost your metabolism: Often, those dealing with weight issues have low metabolism. Because amla juice is packed with minerals and vitamins that support protein synthesis, consuming it on an ongoing basis helps your body boost protein synthesis. As protein formation is enhanced, metabolism speeds up too. This means your body can burn fats quicker, helping you with weight loss goals.
Give Your Body A Natural “Detox”
For those trying to lose weight, a detox diet or quick detox program is often the first step. Unfortunately, this has just a temporary effect and once the body builds up toxins again, you need to start from scratch. With amla, however, regular consumption is an easier, less taxing form of ongoing detox. It helps the liver flush out toxins such as the all-too-common preservatives in chemical-laden processed food today.
Eliminate Waste Better
The berry also has laxative properties due to its high fiber content, especially in its dried form. In India, they are preserved in sugar syrup or soaked in turmeric and water for easy consumption. Just a couple can help with constipation. It also acts as a natural diuretic, without overstimulating the body’s urinary system (unlike diuretic pills that force the water to be expelled from the body).
Get An Energy Boost
Amla is a great energy upper. After your morning shot of the juice, you are likely to feel more energized and upbeat. By doing away with sluggishness, amla will make it easier for anyone trying to lose weight to get active. Equal quantities of amla seed and Withaniasomnifera root along with a little honey and ghee are a natural way to get that energy boost, especially during winter. Alternatively, one tablespoonful of amla juice with honey also has an invigorating effect when taken in the morning.
Cut The Cholesterol
We said wholesome weight loss, didn’t we! Amla is also found to protect the heart and lower cholesterol. The high vitamin C content of 3000 mg in one fruit helps keep the blood vessels dilated and lowers blood pressure. One study showed that having 3 gm of powdered amla was more effective in test subjects with Type-2 diabetes than a prescription medication. It helped lower the levels of “bad cholesterol” or LDL and increased levels of the “good cholesterol” or HDL. Amla was also found to inhibit the work of free radicals responsible for lipid peroxidation (oxidative degradation of lipids), a precursor to cardiovascular disease.
Regulate Blood Sugar Levels
An ayurvedic blend containing equal quantities of amla, bitter gourd, and jamun powder is recommended for battling diabetes. This combination helps stimulate pancreas, causing insulin production so sugar levels can be regulated. The same property of cutting the excess glucose in the blood can also help those who are obese or have a risk of developing diabetes. An infusion of the seeds is also useful in treating diabetes.
Ayurveda And The Amla
Several Ayurvedic formulations for weight loss contain amla, considered a powerful rejuvenating herbal remedy. Regular consumption is suggested for strengthening the body’s digestive system. Because it is gentler than alternatives like ginger, it is ideal for use even by people of the “pitta” constitution. These individuals would otherwise risk having stomach acid problems with ginger, which is less gentle and acts quicker, thus heating the body. By balancing stomach acids, amla helps improve digestion, which in turn aids weight loss. It also helps support liver functions by purging toxins, thereby purifying the blood and nutrient fluid.
Drink Up: Amla Juice Is The Way To Go
While amla can be eaten fresh, it is best consumed as a juice to maximize the concentration of nutrients in a quick and easy-to-consume form. To extract the juice of an amla, simply chop up the tiny fruit into small bits. Add three times the quantity of water and blend into a smooth pulp. Strain and drink up. If you want to maximize the benefits, try consuming the juice as your first drink of the day in the morning. If you need to enhance the flavor, add a little salt, cardamom powder, or honey.