During pregnancy, whatever we taste, smell, touch, see or hear should aid in developing a healthy baby with a sound mind. Ayurveda enhances this thought and advocates for following an Ayurvedic lifestyle like including Amla during pregnancy. It is said that amla during pregnancy will benefit both mother and child.
According to Ayurveda, the Indian gooseberry or Amla during pregnancy has an inevitable role throughout this period of a woman. Its benefits are also passed down to us from our older generations. It is the main ingredient of many of the Ayurvedic medicines like chyawanaprash, arista, choornas, etc.
Although not very appealing in its flavor, we all would have tasted this “wonder fruit” because it is very commonly available in India. One of the best things about this winter fruit is that we are able to use its benefits throughout the year.
This is possible because its nutritional value does not get destroyed even if it is stored in powdered form. Amla is an excellent blood purifier and is wise to take it throughout your pregnancy as it helps to stay detoxified.
Another great thing about Amla is it does not have any side effects. So it is safe to eat Amla during pregnancy. Other names of Amla include ‘Usiri Kaya’ in Telugu, ‘Nellikai’ in Tamil, ‘Nelli’ in Malayalam, ‘Avala’ in Marathi, ‘Amlaki / Amala’ in Bengali, and ‘Anla’ in Oriya.
Amla is an excellent source of Vitamin C, with ample fiber and potassium. It is highly noted for its rejuvenating properties. Not only is it packed with vitamins and minerals, but it is also rich in antioxidants and dietary fiber.
Amla is known for its excellent rejuvenating property. This will help in regenerating energy in the cells, thus reducing tiredness. Drinking amla juice or eating Amla has been proven to reduce morning sickness and is good for the health of teeth. Its sweet and sour taste helps to diminish the nauseating feeling throughout the early trimester of pregnancy.
Amla is high in fiber and we can also say it is a moderate laxative. This helps to regularize bowel movements and prevent constipation, which is a common problem during pregnancy. Read more about constipation during pregnancy here.
Amla is found to stimulate the production of gastric juices, therefore, improving digestion and permitting the absorption of more nutrients. Eating Amla regularly during pregnancy helps fight indigestion and gas formation.
The antibacterial property of Amla and its high vitamin C content helps to fight infections like common cold and urinary tract infections, which usually show up during the pregnancy.
Vitamin C than found in abundance in this berry makes the blood vessels dilate thus helps in sustaining normal blood pressure.
Amla is a rich source of vitamin C and iron. With the help of vitamin C, iron gets absorbed easily by the blood and, therefore, hemoglobin level is well maintained. So, daily eating Amla will help to fight anemia.
Intake of Amla during pregnancy helps in increasing the frequency and quantity of urination because of its high water content. This berry also has antioxidant properties which help to eliminate the free radicals. This helps in flushing out the toxins from the body.
Amla has anti-inflammatory properties. Thus, regular consumption of Amla during pregnancy helps to reduce the swelling of hands and feet during pregnancy. Read more about edema here.
Gestational diabetes is a condition found during pregnancy when pregnancy hormones interfere with the action of insulin in the mother’s body. This results in the development of diabetes in a mother who doesn’t have a previous history of diabetics.
The anti-diabetic quality of gooseberry will help in reducing the chances of getting gestational diabetes. Read more on gestational diabetes here.
The calcium c content of this fruit is quite noticeable. Calcium is essential for the development of your baby’s teeth and bones. Regular consumption of gooseberries leads to a sufficient intake of calcium.
Yes, drinking amla juice is considered safe during the course of pregnancy. However, the packaged Amla juice available in the market is either sweetened or has added preservatives; both are not preferred when you are pregnant.
You can crush its pulp and prepare amla juice at home itself. Mix it with the same amount of water and consume. Five to ten ml of amla juice per day is enough for a pregnant woman. If you still want to buy amla juice from the market, make sure you buy from a reputed brand and that the package has been stored properly.
Do not buy locally made juice packs and check the expiry/best before dates, seal, and manufacturing. Remember, packaged foods contain less nutrition than fresh foods, and Amla is no exception.
Although eating Amla during pregnancy has multiple benefits, excess intake without your doctor’s advice can bring about:
Some women crave amla for its raw, tangy flavor. Others, on the other hand, may dislike its sour flavor and prefer to consume it in other forms. Here are some ideas for including amla in your diet.
It is true that ginger helps to cure indigestion problems and gas formation. But ginger has a warming effect, whereas gooseberry has a cooling effect on your body. During pregnancy, it is important to avoid foods that induce heat in the body.
You can read more on heat-inducing foods during pregnancy here. Hence, it is recommended to eat gooseberries for the gastric issues that arise during pregnancy.
Boiling the Indian gooseberries before eating is not advisable because all the vital nutrients will get lost through this process. If you prefer not to eat raw amla fruit, then opt for steaming. But we suggest eating raw gooseberries or drinking Amla juice, which is highly beneficial.
If you don’t like it, mix one to two teaspoons of amla powder in some water and drink it. Amla powder retains all the goodness of fresh Amla. You can powder-dry Amla in your house itself and store it in an airtight container. This will guarantee its quality.
Amla has no side effects. But refrain from eating Amla during pregnancy if you are suffering from diarrhea for some reason or if you already have a cold or a cough.
This is because Amla is a moderate laxative; eating it when you have loose motions is not a good idea. Similarly, Amla has a cooling effect on your body, which is not good when your body is already being affected by a cold or a cough.
Even though there is no scientific evidence to support this, mornings are the best time to consume Amla while pregnant. However, there is no harm in consuming Amla at any other time of day as well.
Two fresh Amla during pregnancy per day won’t do any harm. If you are taking Amla in powder form, 4gms – that is equal to one teaspoon – daily is enough. Likewise, 5-10 ml of pure amla juice is also fine to take during pregnancy. However, your doctor will be the right person to direct you here.
It is best to limit salt intake and avoid heavily salted foods during pregnancy. Increased intake of sodium can potentially trigger stomach problems, disrupt the fluid-electrolyte balance, and increase the risk of hypertension.