Did you know Amla, also known as Indian Gooseberry, is the only fruit that is mentioned in all of Ayurveda? This is because of the immense benefits that small fruit contains. Although Amla benefits are popular for treating hair damage, skin, respiratory problems, and others, recent studies have shown its benefits in diabetes control. In this blog, learn everything about the benefits of Amla for diabetes control.
Decoding Amla Benefits for Diabetes
Scientifically known as Emblica Officinalis, Amla has been a popular fruit in Ayurveda for decades. Although all parts of the plant are used, the fruit is known to be most beneficial due to the presence of active compounds in them.
Initially, Amla was used to treat digestion problems, cough and asthma; improve hair growth, and promote longevity. However, recent studies have shown significance in blood sugar levels when it is included in a diabetic diet. The humble fruit is mostly yellow-green in colour and has a globular shape. It is not only used for medicines, but to make dishes, pickles, chutneys, and more.
Benefits of Amla for Type 2 Diabetics
Now, that you know the basics about Amla, let’s delve deeper into its benefits that help in diabetes control:
- Rich in antioxidants
Amla is the king of antioxidants in the whole food group. Amla contains 60 times the antioxidant power of pomegranate, 50 times of raw blueberries, and twice the power of turmeric. The presence of Vitamin C accounts for 45-70% of its antioxidant activity.
- Prevents cancer
Studies have shown signs of cancer prevention with the intake of Amla, especially lung, cervix, and breast cancer. The extracts can enhance the activity of O6-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase, an enzyme essential to remove harmful mutations in immune cells.
- Increases HDL & reduces LDL and total cholesterol
HDL-C is known as good cholesterol, whereas LDL is bad cholesterol. The richness of Vitamin-C and fibre in Amla is known to increase HDL-C and reduce the formation of LDL and total cholesterol levels.
- Reduces Triglyceride Levels
As mentioned above, Amla benefits for diabetes include the increase in the production of HDL-C, thus reducing the triglyceride levels in the bloodstream. Having high levels of triglyceride can cause insulin resistance, and obesity, and increase the risks of heart disease.
- Has antibacterial effects
Amla contains Triphala, an extract that inhibits the bacteria Salmonella Typhi, also known to have antibacterial properties. This is one of the reasons why Amla is present in most of the creams used for bacterial infections.
- Protects the kidneys
Amla is rich in many of the B vitamins, especially Vitamin B6, which is known to reduce the risk of the formation of kidney stones. Moreover, it can also lower COX-2 and iNOS levels in the body, which are mainly known to cause kidney dysfunction.
- Improves immunity
One of the Amla benefits for diabetes is that it has the ability to improve the immune system. This is because the fruit increases the activity of natural killer cells, which are powerful cells that can attack tumours.
- Encourages balance in the body
Amla benefits include the increase of adaptogenic properties in the body, thus improving the balance in the body. It balances all the aspects of the body, including glucose tolerance, sexual behaviour, cognitive function, and behavioural wellness.
- Prevents hardening of arteries
Since it reduces the production of LDL in the bloodstream, consumption of Amla is known to prevent the hardening of arteries and improve the blood flow in the body.
How to Use Amla for Diabetes Control?
Apart from all the Amla benefits for diabetes mentioned above, an important benefit provided by Amla consumption is that it can control the spike in blood sugar levels. The presence of chromium in the fruit helps in regulating carbohydrate metabolism and increases insulin sensitivity in the body, thus helping in diabetes management. For managing sugar levels, you should invest in a glucometer.
The best way to use Amla for diabetes control is by consuming one Amla once a day. In a case where you find the taste to be too sour, you can opt to intake a glass of water right after consuming it. Another way to consume Amla is in the form of Amla powder. This can be mixed with lime juice or plain water. Alternatively, it can be used as a sprinkler on fruits and vegetables to get a tart flavour.
You can also take Amla in the form of juice; however, remove the seed before and then blend the fruit. Another point to be noted is not to remove the fibre, else, it will lose most of its nutrients.
Whenever adding any food to a diabetic diet, one must always check how it affects your sugar levels. This is why it is always important to keep a handy glucometer. Moreover, consulting your diabetes educator or dietitian is a must.
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