13 Benefits Of Eating Amla (Indian Gooseberry) During Pregnancy

Benefits Of Eating Amla During Pregnancy

Image: Shutterstock

Pregnancy means cravings, and cravings know no bounds. During the first semester, our cravings mostly lean towards sour foods. Among the cravings for sour things, there is amla (Indian gooseberry).

Amla is a super fruit that looks similar to lemon. It is bright green in color and has a sweet and sour taste. This berry is loaded with vitamin C and is rich in antioxidants too. It is also packed with iron, calcium, and phosphorous. In fact, amla is so good that it has been an essential ingredient in Ayurvedic medicines since ancient times.

MomJunction tells you whether or not you can eat this super-food during pregnancy, and more.

Is It Safe To Eat Amla In Pregnancy?

Yes, it is safe to eat amla during pregnancy as it is rich in micronutrients. Moreover, it is an excellent blood purifier, power food, and has no side effects (1). So, let’s delve a little deeper into the benefits of amla.

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Health Benefits Of Amla (Gooseberry) During Pregnancy

Amla can be taken in both raw and powdered form. It has a range of benefits for both the mother and the baby. Here are a few of them:

1. Relieves constipation:

Gastrointestinal disorders such as constipation and hemorrhoids are quite common during pregnancy. Amla offers the required fiber to regulate bowel movements and treat other gastrointestinal problems (2).

2. Normalizes blood pressure:

Vitamin C is abundant in amla, which dilates blood vessels, and normalizes blood pressure. Taking a glass of fresh amla juice every day can prevent acidity and heartburn during pregnancy (3).

3. Reduces morning sickness:

Morning sickness is one of the early pregnancy symptoms that troubles many to-be mothers. Amla has energy-boosting and rejuvenating properties that help overcome weakness when you are pregnant. It also reduces the feeling of tiredness and stress thus re-energizing your body (4) (5).

[ Read: Nausea And Vomiting During Pregnancy ]

4. Purifies blood:

Amla has detoxifying properties that purify the blood (5). It removes the harmful effects of mercury and lead, and supports the constant supply of blood and oxygen to the developing fetus (6).

5. Prevents anemia:

Amla is an excellent source of vitamin C and iron. Vitamin C aids iron absorption by the blood to maintain normal hemoglobin levels (7).

6. Improves digestion:

Amla stimulates gastric juices and, thereby, helps in food digestion and absorption. Regular consumption of amla can, thus, reduce digestive issues such as gas formation and indigestion (8).

7. Enhances immunity:

Antioxidants boost the immune system and vitamin C helps combat infections such as common cold and urinary tract infection, which are common during pregnancy. An added benefit is that it promotes lactation post delivery thus giving your infant immunity-boosted breastmilk (9).

8. Calcium source:

Calcium content in this fruit contributes to the fetal teeth and bone development. During pregnancy, the calcium requirement doubles as the baby’s calcium needs are extracted from the mother’s bones. Therefore, regular consumption of amla offers sufficient calcium (10).

9. Treats edema:

The anti-inflammatory nature of amla aids in reducing the swelling of hands and feet that is common during pregnancy (11).

[ Read: Ways To Cure Postpartum Edema ]

10. Body detox:

Amla has high water content. It increases your urine frequency and flushes away the toxins and radicals from the body (12).

11. Eliminates gestational diabetes:

Amla with its anti-diabetic nature can lower the chances of gestational diabetes (13).

13. Maintains lipid profile:

Amla supports a perfect lipid profile, which is a highly favorable condition during pregnancy (14).

While amla is packed with benefits, there could be a few things you must watch out for.

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Are There Any Side Effects Of Amla During Pregnancy?

Amla has immense benefits for pregnant women but over consumption can cause constipation, diarrhea, indigestion, and dehydration. Therefore, you should eat it in limited quantities.

Also, you should avoid it in conditions mentioned below:

  • In case you have a cold or cough as amla has a cooling effect on the body
  • If you are suffering from diarrhea as amla has moderate laxative properties
  • Watch out for the quantity of amla you eat so that you can get only the benefits of the magic food!

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How Much Amla Can You Eat During Pregnancy?

You can eat one fresh amla every day. In case you’re having amla powder, then you can take one teaspoon or four grams every day (15). One amla is enough to give you a substantial amount of vitamin C.

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How Much Vitamin C Is Present In One Amla?

One amla will help you meet the recommended daily allowance of 85mg vitamin C during pregnancy because 100gm of amla contains about 500mg to 1800mg of vitamin C. One serving of amla contains ten times more vitamin C than that present in one orange (16).

[ Read: Vitamin C During Pregnancy ]

In the next section we would tell you how you could include amla in your diet.

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How To Eat Indian Gooseberry (Amla) During Pregnancy?

You can incorporate amla as a part of your diet in the following ways.

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1. Amla murabba:

Amla murabba

Image: iStock

Amla cooked in sugar syrup, and flavored with cardamom could be a great alternative to sweet pickles.

You will need:

  • 1kg amla
  • 1 ½kg sugar
  • 2tsp chemical lime
  • 6 cups water
  • 1tbsp lemon juice
  • 1tsp cardamom seeds, crushed

How to:

  • Wash amlas thoroughly and perforate them using a fork.
  • Dissolve lime in water and soak prickled amla overnight.
  • In the morning, remove and wash them, and soak them in lime water.
  • Drain the lime water and wash them thoroughly. Squeeze so as to eliminate the lime remains.
  • Now boil water and drop the amlas into the boiling water.
  • Cook them until they turn transparent and tender.
  • Drain the water and keep the amlas aside.
  • Now prepare a syrup using six cups of water, sugar, and lemon juice. Keep mixing until you see one-thread consistency.
  • Add cooked amlas into the sugar syrup, bring it to a boil and simmer for four to five minutes.
  • Allow it to cool and store in an airtight container.
  • You may add cardamom powder or any other flavoring to it.

Preparation time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Benefits of amla murabba in pregnancy:

  • Taking amla murabba is called “the elixir of life” because it:
  • Promotes good health
  • Improves appetite
  • Aids digestion
  • Gives strength to both the mother and the fetus
  • Supplies enough vitamin C to the mother and the fetus

Do not consume the ones available in the market as they contain chemical preservatives.

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2. Amla candy:

Amla candy

Image: Shutterstock

Made by boiling amla, you can store it for many days to enjoy the loads of goodness it provides.

You will need:

  • 250gm amla
  • 150gm sugar
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp dried ginger powder
  • 2 tbsp sugar powder
  • A pinch of edible food color

How to:

  • Wash the amlas and pat dry them using a clean paper napkin.
  • Boil enough water, and then add amla.
  • Boil for two more minutes and drain the water.
  • Cut amla into slices.
  • Add cumin powder and ginger powder to the sliced amla.
  • Add sugar, close the container and leave it aside.
  • On the following day, you will notice the slices floating in sugar water.
  • On the third day, they will begin to settle down.
  • Filter the mixture, and you can use the collected syrup as gooseberry sherbet.
  • Keep the slices in sunlight for about two days.
  • Prepare a mix of sugar powder and food color, and sprinkle it on the dried amla slices.
  • Store them in an airtight container, and you can enjoy the candies whenever you feel like.

Preparation time: 5 days

[ Read: Foods To Avoid During Pregnancy ]

Benefits of amla candy during pregnancy:

Amla candy and amla murabba are similar. The candy is a mixture of amla and sugar whereas Amla murabba is made of amla dipped in sugar syrup. It is safe for pregnant women as it helps promote and restore health.

  • Boosts immunity levels
  • Provides naturally glowing and healthy skin
  • Perfect cure for cold and cough

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3. Amla juice:

Amla juice

Image: Shutterstock

Made of fresh amla along with seasoning agents, it can be a very healthy addition to your diet.

You will need:

  • 3 amla, cut into small pieces
  • 1 ½ cup water
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • A pinch of crushed pepper
  • A pinch of salt

How to:

  • Blend chopped amla along with water.
  • Filter the mixture to discard the pulp.
  • Add honey, pepper powder, and a pinch of salt. Mix well.
  • Amla juice is now ready to have. You can also mix it with buttermilk for an added taste.

Preparation time: Five minutes

Benefits of amla juice during pregnancy:

  • It has a high cooling effect, and when mixed with honey, it offers body warming properties.
  • Eliminates phlegm and toxins from the body.
  • Relieves burning sensation.

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4. Amla supari:

Amla supari

Image: Shutterstock

A delicious finger licking recipe that serves as a mouth freshener.

You will need:

  • ½kg amla
  • 2 to 3 tbsp carom seeds
  • 2 to 3tbsp fennel seeds
  • 2tbsp black salt
  • 2tbsp rock salt

How to:

  • Bring four to five cups of water to boil and add amla. Cook for more 10 to 15 minutes on a low to medium flame.
  • Leave it for another ten minutes and drain the water. Let amla cool down completely.
  • Deseed and chop them into small pieces.
  • Dry roast carom seeds and fennel seeds together on a low flame. Cool the mixture and blend to form a powder.
  • Add the above powder, black salt, and rock salt to the amla pieces and mix thoroughly.
  • Leave this is sunlight for about four to five days.
  • Once they become dry, transfer to an airtight container and store it.

Preparation time: 4 days

Benefits of amla supari during pregnancy:

  • Prevents nausea and vomiting
  • Beats indigestion by releasing gastric juices
  • Eases abdominal pain
  • Relieves cold and flu infections

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[ Read: Mustard During Pregnancy ]

5. Amla powder:

Amla powder

Image: Shutterstock

This is 100% pure byproduct of amla that offers amazing benefits for health, skin and hair.

How to:

  • Wash amla thoroughly and pat them dry.
  • Cut them into small pieces, or you can also grate them for easy grinding.
  • Spread the pieces on a glass or steel plate, and dry them under sunlight.
  • It might take a few days for them to dry based on the climatic conditions. You can cover the plate with a muslin cloth so as to protect from dust.
  • Once the pieces are completely dry, blend them in a mixer for a fine powder.

Preparation time: Depends on how quickly amla dries up

Benefits of amla powder during pregnancy:

  • Amla powder offers similar benefits as fresh amla.
  • Has culinary uses
  • Good for hair, aids hair growth and prevents premature greying
  • Slows down aging process

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6. Pickled amla:

Pickled amla

Image: Shutterstock

If nothing satiates your appetite other than a pickle, then this could be the best one to choose as it is filled with immense benefits.

You will need:

  • 150gm amla
  • 4tbsp oil
  • 2tsp mustard
  • 1 large lemon
  • 3 to 4tsp red chili powder
  • 1 or more tsp salt
  • ¼tsp turmeric
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • A pinch of methi seeds

How to:

  • Wash amla thoroughly and pat dry with a clean cloth. Make some random incisions using a knife.
  • Take mustard and methi seeds, blend them into a fine powder.
  • Fry amla taking some oil until they turn light golden.
  • Add garlic and turn off the flame. Leave it for some time.
  • Add all other ingredients expect the lemon juice.
  • Once the mixture cools, add lemon juice.
  • Mix all of it thoroughly and check for the salt.
  • Transfer to a glass container and let it rest for two to three days.
  • Mix again using a dry spoon, and if needed, add some more lemon juice and salt.
  • You can eat it with rice or paratha.

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Benefits of amla pickle during pregnancy:

This fermented version of amla is beneficial in many ways.

  • Reduces ulcers, protects liver from any damage and therefore offers immunity against diseases
  • Boost body’s response to injuries.

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Though there are not many side effects of consuming amla in any form, make sure you seek the advice of your health practitioner. If she gives a green signal, then consume amla every day in recommended quantities.

[ Read: Barley During Pregnancy ]

Know of any other healthy recipes with amla? Share them with us in the comments section below.

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Rebecca Malachi

"I believe words have power. They are a powerful tool for a creative soul. Being a 'word addict', I express my thoughts and contribute articles on health, wellness and beauty. Apart from writing, I love listening to gospel music and enjoy observing nature in silence."
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