From Dadi’s nuskhe to a well-studied wonder food, amla is a winter staple you just can’t do without.
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What’s on My Plate? Amla or Indian gooseberry. Your grandmother’s nuskha for almost everything, the versatile amla holds a beloved spot in most Indian kitchens. And it’s time to find out, what makes this fruit so special.

Superpower: From skin and haircare to high immunity to good gut health—it seems amla can fix every part of your body. And science knows why. A 2013 review article in the International Journal of Ayurveda and Pharmacy on the nutritional benefits of amla suggests that the fruit contains very high levels of vitamin C, which is can fight aging and cancer while building your body’s defenses against infections and giving you the boon of blemish-free skin. Additionally, a study in the British Journal of Nutrition claims that amla can prevent inflammation in the body and inhibit blood clots.

Where to Buy: Come winter, fresh amla is available pretty much everywhere—from local grocery vendors to departmental stores to online services. If you find yourself craving for good ol’ amla’s health benefits during the off-season, you can pick up dehydrated amla chewies, amla powder, and even amla powder at health stores.

Eat This: If you manage the intense tanginess of the fruit, then there is no better way to enjoy its health benefits than to eat it raw. Alternatively, you can also prepare an amla pickle of sorts by cooking the whole fruit with mustard oil and spices. You can also add amla to salads; pulao; vegetable juices and smoothies; raita; and soups. Run of the mill recipes don’t excite you anymore? Then try promoting this food from a side dish to the main stair by preparing amla fry subzi.

Discover More Superfoods
Rich in nutritional value, superfoods are the easiest way to boost the health quotient of your daily meals. To discover more superfood ingredients, check out the rest of our superfood series:
Ashwagandha: Can’t get sleep? Check out the sleep-inducing and other health-promoting properties of the Ayurveda-approved Ashwagandha.

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Basil or Tulsi: Apart from simply adding flavor to meals, basil brings with it several medicinal properties. Check out the number of health conditions for which basil can come to your rescue.

Black Carrots: You’ve seen the red ones and you’ve seen the orange ones, but ever witnessed black carrots? Check out how they look and their many health benefits.

Brahmi: Are you afraid of the increasing rates of Alzheimer’s disease? Include this superfood in your diet to boost your brain health. Read about the other health benefits of Brahmi.

Camu Camu: One of the richest sources of Vitamin C, this superfood comes all the way from the Amazon rainforest! Read about its health benefits.

Chia Seeds: This Mexican native is now being used in many Indian kitchens. Check out the various health benefits of chia seeds.

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Chilli: Do you love to eat spicy food? Well, good news! Check out how those spicy chilies boost your health.

Dandelion: Not only do they brighten up your garden, but dandelions also boost your health. Confused about how you can include this flower in your diet? We have answers for you right here.

Hog Plum: Looking for a remedy to cure ulcers? Tired of getting diarrhea every time you eat out? Hog plum can come to your rescue! Check out the amazing health benefits of this not so popular superfood.

Jamun: Apart from tinting your tongue purple, jamun has several medicinal properties. Here’s why you must include jamun in your diet.

Kale: Coming across a lot of kale in salads, pizza toppings, and even chips? Check out why kale has suddenly topped the charts for being a healthy option.

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Karela: Reading this will prevent you from screwing up your face every time someone mentions karela.  

Kokum: Along with being a refreshing summer drink, kokum also helps you shed extra kilos. Find out more about the sour and fruity kokum.

Makhana or Lotus Seeds: It is rapidly becoming the choice of snack for weight watchers. Check out the nutrient profile of this incredible superfood.

Moringa or Drumstick: Looking to boost your iron and calcium levels? Don’t restrict yourself to just meat and milk. Know more about moringa and how this superfood can be made a part of your diet.

Mushrooms: These fungi are loaded with nutrients. Click here to know why you should be consuming them more often.

Muskmelon: The juicy and aromatic muskmelon has several health-boosting properties. Find out more about this nutritious fruit.

Ragi: This grain has made its way into the plates of many. From ragi dosa and idli to ragi porridge, it is being promoted in the diets of old and young. Find out why health experts are recommending this superfood.

Sabja: Slurped a tall glass of falooda? If it had sabja seeds, you have no reason to feel guilty. Click here to know why!

Sacha Inchi: These nut-like seeds are rich in omega-3. Check out the other health benefits they have in store for you!

Sweet Potato: A rich source of Vitamin A and fiber, sweet potato is a great alternative to the white potato. Take a look at all the reasons why you need to include it in your diet.

Tofu: Often known as the vegan cousin of paneer, tofu is derived from soybean and comes loaded with protein and minerals. Read more about the health benefits of tofu.

Turmeric: Think twice before you say no to “haldi wala doodh”. Find out why your grandma trusts turmeric for every infection.

Zucchini: Did you know that you can use your favorite zucchini not only in pasta and pizza but also in a cake? Wondering how it’s possible? Click here to know more.

Image courtesy: Shutterstock 

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