I don’t think there has ever been a better or more relevant time to invest in your immune system. Luckily, for those seeking natural avenues, the plant-based world is rife with options!

Take the amla berry — also known as Indian Gooseberry — an ancient and revered food turned traditional medicine. This little, sour, yellow berry packs a punch of antioxidants, nutrients, and, most importantly, vitamin C. Given this beaming portfolio, amla berry has quickly risen the ranks as an excellent plant-based food to help support your immune system. Let’s take a deeper dive into Amla Berry!

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What is Amla Berry?

Mahmudul-Hassan Indian folklore claims that this berry came “from the first tree to appear on earth” and was “manifested out of the tears of the Brahma while he was meditating.”

Simply put, amla berry is an essential component of many ancient medicines and has been called “sarvadosha hara, remover of all diseases.”

This ancient food grows and is harvested from a small tree whose “yellow-green flowers” blossom and birth golf ball-sized edible fruit. In their natural form, amla berries are “sour, bitter, and astringent,” which is why consumption of amla berry is generally in the “powdered, dried fruit, or fruit extract” form.

These extracts — as well as the whole fruit itself — have been used in a variety of ancient medicinal practices including Ayurvedic medicine, “Siddha, Unani, Tibetan, Sri Lankan, and Chinese medicine,” but are now available in the western world in supplement form.

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Nutritional Profile of Amla Berry

Amal berry is packed with lots of good nutrients! To begin, one cup of amla berries contains one gram of protein, less than one gram of fat, 15 grams of carbs, and a healthy 7 grams of fiber. It’s also a source for vitamin B5 (9 percent of your daily value), vitamin B6 (7 percent of your daily value), copper (12 percent of your daily value), manganese (9 percent of your daily value), and potassium (6 percent of your daily value). Yet, the most impressive nutrient powerfully packed into the amla berry is vitamin C. One cup of amla berries contains about 46 percent of your daily value of vitamin C!

Amla Berry and Your Immune System

Due to the fact that amla berry is rich in vitamin C, it’s a great immune system booster! In fact, one amla berry “contains approximately 600–800% of the Daily Value (DV)” of vitamin C. This natural antioxidant helps to “decrease cellular damage and inflammation,” while also “promoting the proliferation of phagocytes, which are specialized immune cells that help swallow harmful invaders.” On top of that, the vitamin C contained in amla berries may also help your “body develop protective antibodies against perceived threats.” A study published by the National Institutes of Health found that the “fruit extract of Emblica officinalis (amla) has been shown to have anti-oxidative and immunomodulatory properties,” further giving proof of its immune-boosting and protective qualities.

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Health Benefits of Amla Berry

Along with being a boon to your immune system, amla berry has been scientifically linked to a variety of other health benefits. While research is still somewhat in its infancy and always ongoing, what studies are available layout a striking argument for the benefits of this food!

Better Heart Health

Amla berry is well-known as a heart-healthy food supplement! In fact, amla berry helps boost a variety of factors that determine a healthy or unhealthy heart such as blood pressure, inflammation, and blood flat levels. On top of these factors, amla berry is a potent antioxidant, which protects against oxidative injury to the heart, helps regulate endothelial function, — much like some heart medications — and has anti-platelet effects, — helps prevent the formation of blood clots.

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Lowers Blood Sugar Levels

In general, healthy blood sugar levels are a good sign of a healthy body. Amla berry has been found to have a positive effect on blood sugar levels. In particular, a study of 32 people who ingested “[one to three] grams of Indian gooseberry powder daily for 21 days significantly decreased fasting and post-meal blood sugar levels.” This is one of the factors that can lead to a healthy heart and the prevention of type 2 diabetes.

Anti-Aging Properties

One of the current raging health trends is serums that help rid our skin of signs of aging and, if you look closely at the ingredients, most of these serums include a vitamin C extract. This is where amla berry shines when it comes to fighting aging!

As mentioned, this berry has a huge amount of vitamin C that helps “prevent cellular damage, which may help slow your body’s natural aging process.” For the skin, amla berry may help “prevent the breakdown of collagen” keeping it firm and soft. Yet, amla berry may also be beneficial for your hair — helps “promote hair growth” — and vision — may “protect against age-related macular degeneration (AMD).”

May Help With Liver Damage

Amla berry may help protect against damage caused to the liver by “a high-fat diet or N-nitrosodiethylamine, a substance that’s toxic to the liver.” Both of these conditions are generally aggravated by inflammation. The high levels of antioxidants in amla berry make it a championing agent for fighting inflammation.

Vegan-Friendly Amla Berry Supplements

Alright, so maybe you’re sold on the Amla Berry at this point. What’s the best way to integrate this ancient food into your diet? First and foremost, it’s always a good idea and recommended to have a conversation with your doctor, nutritionist, or other healthcare professional before beginning any new diet regimen or supplementation.

If your doc gives you the thumbs up, the best way to easily and affordably integrate Amla Berry is through supplementation.

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Here are a few vegan-friendly Amla Berry supplements to give you a jumping-off point!

1. Bareorganics Amla Powder

This Bareorganics Amla Powder provides a powerful immunity boost! Along with the powerful antioxidants and vitamin C content, this amla berry powder is also rich in naturally occurring iron, which is essential for a properly functioning body. Plus, with BareOrganics you’ll get the simplest and most natural ingredients that are free of preservatives, fillers, and artificial ingredients. Instead, BareOrganics uses clean processes including freeze-drying, low temperatures, and cold-milling. An 8-ounce tub costs $18.99.

2. Terrasoul Superfoods Organic Amla Berry Powder

Terrasoul is a trustworthy brand that has high standards and great products! This Terrasoul Superfoods Organic Amla Berry Powder hits all the marks when it comes to a clean and guilt-free product: USDA Certified Organic, non-GMO verified, raw, gluten-free, and vegan. On top of that, this amla powder uses only the highest-quality of ingredients and retains its naturally high concentration of vitamin C and antioxidants, which aid in energy storage, digestive health, and vitality. This Terrasoul product is also great for flushing toxins and rejuvenating your system. A 12-ounce bag costs $12.49.

3. NutriGold Amla Gold Amalaki Indian Gooseberry Capsules

These NutriGold Amla Gold Amalaki Indian Gooseberry Capsules will do the job nicely! NutriGold is proud to offer a product that uses 100 percent natural, certified organic amla fruit extract that is third-party lab tested! On top of that, this supplement is free of allergens and is non-GMO verified. Get your daily dose of powerful immune-boosting vitamin C in these veggie-friendly capsules! A 90-count bottle costs $27.99.

4. Jiva Botanicals Amla Powder Capsules

These Jiva Botanicals Amla Powder Capsules contain all the goods including that powerful dose of vitamin C, along with vitamin E, vitamin B complex, polyphenols, fiber, iron, phosphorous, carotene, and even a bit of calcium! This product is low in sugar and sources its amla berry straight from the all-natural amla fruit. Low in sugar, this supplement promises an organic product to improve health, boost well-being, rejuvenate, aid digestion, and improve vitality. A 60-capsule bottle costs $17.89.

5. Micro Ingredients Organic Amla Powder

If you’re looking for a way to infuse your favorite recipes and beverages with amla berry, then this Micro Ingredients Organic Amla Powder may be the perfect alternative to capsules. Micro Ingredients is a trusted brand offering a clean and vegan-friendly product. This powder is free of GMOs, irradiation, additives, preservatives, artificial colors, flavors, and is also gluten-free. Plus, their processing retains all the organic powerful components of amla berry including vitamin C, antioxidants, and other nutrients. A 16-ounce bag costs $18.95.

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If your interest has been peaked and you’re seeking more information about naturally bolstering your immune system with plant-based foods, give these helpful articles a read!

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