Amla (Awala) - The Indian Gooseberry Superfood for a Healthy Pregnancy!
By Dr. Nutan Pakhare
Pregnancy is a crucial phase of a woman’s life. It is important for the mother to take care of herself and her unborn child. Proper nutrition during pregnancy is essential for the growth and development of the foetus. A healthy diet should include all the necessary nutrients like proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals. One such nutrient-rich fruit that can provide numerous benefits in pregnancy is Amla/Awala (Indian gooseberry).
Amla is a popular fruit in India that is used in Ayurvedic medicine for its numerous health benefits. It is rich in Vitamin C, iron, calcium, and other essential minerals that can provide a variety of health benefits during pregnancy.
Benefits of Amla in Pregnancy
1. Morning Sickness
Pregnant women often suffer from morning sickness, which can cause nausea and vomiting. Awala/Amla can help reduce the severity of morning sickness as it contains compounds that can soothe the stomach lining and regulate digestion. The high fibre content in Awala/Amla also helps to prevent constipation, which is a common problem during pregnancy.
2. Blood Purification
Awala/Amla is a natural blood purifier that can help to remove toxins from the body. During pregnancy, the body undergoes many changes, and it is important to keep the blood clean and healthy. The antioxidants present in Awala/Amla help to eliminate harmful free radicals from the body, which can cause damage to the cells and tissues.
3. Regulating Blood Pressure and Blood Sugar Levels
Awala/Amla can help regulate blood pressure and blood sugar levels, which is crucial during pregnancy. High blood pressure and gestational diabetes are common problems during pregnancy that can lead to complications for the mother and the foetus. Awala/Amla contains polyphenols and other compounds that can help to control blood sugar levels and blood pressure.
4. Reducing the Risk of Inflammations and Oedema
Inflammations and oedema are common problems during pregnancy that can cause discomfort and pain. Awala/Amla contains anti-inflammatory compounds that can help to reduce the risk of inflammations and oedema. The high-water content in Awala/Amla also helps to prevent dehydration, which can lead to oedema.
5. Healthy Development of Bones and Teeth
Awala/Amla is rich in calcium, which is essential for the healthy development of bones and teeth in the foetus and the pregnant woman. Calcium is crucial for the formation of the baby’s bones and teeth and can also prevent the loss of calcium from the mother’s bones.
Anaemia is a common problem during pregnancy that can lead to fatigue and weakness. Awala/Amla can help to increase the haemoglobin levels in the blood, which is crucial for preventing anaemia. Ayurvedic medicinal preparations like dadimarisht and sarivarisht, which include Awala/Amla, can also help to improve the blood count and purify the blood.
In addition to its internal health benefits, Amla also has benefits for the skin. Its high levels of vitamin C and antioxidants help to improve skin texture and reduce blemishes, wrinkles, and fine lines. During pregnancy, as the skin stretches to accommodate the growing foetus, many women experience stretch marks. Awala/Amla can help prevent and minimize the appearance of stretch marks due to its collagen-stimulating properties.
Regular consumption of Awala/Amla can also improve skin elasticity and promote overall skin health. So, not only does Awala/Amla have numerous health benefits during pregnancy, it can also help expecting mothers maintain healthy and glowing skin
Amla/Awala as per Ayurveda perspective
In Ayurveda, Awala or Amla is considered as a “Rasayana,” meaning it has rejuvenating properties that promote longevity and overall health. Amla is considered to contain five of the six tastes, or “rasa,” which include sour, sweet, bitter, astringent, and pungent. This unique combination of tastes provides amla with a variety of health benefits.
According to Ayurveda, amla balances all three doshas – Vata, Pitta, and Kapha, making it a tridoshic herb. It is an excellent source of Vitamin C, which strengthens the immune system and helps the body fight off infections. The sour taste of amla stimulates digestion and increases the absorption of essential nutrients.
Furthermore, amla’s astringent taste helps to tighten and tone the skin, making it a popular ingredient in many skin care products. Its high antioxidant content helps to reduce the effects of oxidative stress on the skin, protecting it from damage caused by free radicals.
Amla is also known to be beneficial in reducing the appearance of stretch marks. Its vitamin C content helps to boost collagen production, which is essential for healthy skin. Collagen is a protein that gives skin its elasticity and helps to prevent the formation of stretch marks. Amla’s ability to improve blood circulation also contributes to its effectiveness in reducing stretch marks.
In addition to its skin and stretch mark benefits, amla is also known for its hair health benefits. It is an excellent natural conditioner that nourishes the scalp and strengthens hair follicles, promoting healthy hair growth. Its antioxidant properties help to prevent hair damage caused by free radicals, and its high Vitamin C content boosts collagen production, which strengthens hair and prevents breakage.
In conclusion, the health benefits of amla in pregnancy are countless. Its properties, such as reducing morning sickness, regulating digestion, purifying the blood, and supporting healthy bone and teeth development, make it an ideal addition to a pregnancy diet. Furthermore, its Ayurvedic perspective and skin and stretch mark benefits make it a valuable ingredient in many health and beauty products. Pregnant women should always consult with their doctor or a qualified Ayurvedic practitioner before incorporating any new food or herb into their diet.