People with diabetes need to be cautious about their diet, as certain foods can spike their blood sugar levels. However, amid this dietary caution, certain foods stand out as allies in effective diabetes management. Among them is amla, also known as Indian gooseberry, a superfood renowned for its numerous benefits, from enhancing insulin sensitivity to its powerful antioxidant effects. We spoke to Dr Ganesh Chaudhary, Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery (BAMS), PHC, Darbhanga, Bihar, who explained the benefits of amla in managing diabetes and how to consume it.
Amla’s Potential Impact on Diabetes
Amla is well known for its rich vitamin C content and powerful antioxidant properties. According to the International Journal of Current Microbiology and Applied Sciences, amla can function as a hypolipidemic agent, lowering the risk of cardiovascular problems in diabetics, because it contains polyphenols and a variety of phytochemicals.
Dr Chaudhary listed the benefits of amla on diabetics as follows:
Improved Insulin Sensitivity
Amla has been shown to enhance insulin sensitivity, allowing cells to respond more effectively to insulin. This can aid in better glucose absorption, potentially contributing to stabilised blood sugar levels.
“The antioxidants present in amla, including vitamin C and polyphenols, may help reduce oxidative stress in the body. High levels of oxidative stress are often observed in individuals with diabetes, and managing this stress can be crucial for overall health,” said Dr Chaudhary.
Regulation of Blood Sugar Levels
According to the 2017 study, amla is beneficial therapeutically for diabetics. The isolated set of cells that generate the hormone insulin is stimulated by amla. As a result, it lowers a diabetic’s blood sugar.
Adding Amla Into Your Diet: Dos and Don’ts
Dr Chaudhary listed the dos and don’t of adding amla to your diet as follows:
Fresh Amla Consumption
Consider including fresh amla in your diet. Whether eaten raw, juiced or added to salads, fresh amla provides a potent dose of nutrients and antioxidants. The natural form ensures maximum benefits.
Another way to add amla to your diet is by drinking its juice. You can dilute it with water to reduce its intensity and consume it on an empty stomach in the morning for optimal absorption.
For those who find it challenging to include amla in their daily diet, amla supplements are available. However, make sure you consult with your healthcare provider before adding any new supplements to your routine.
“While amla is generally safe, moderation is key. Excessive consumption may lead to digestive discomfort or interact with certain medications,” highlighted Dr Chaudhary. Consult your healthcare provider to determine an appropriate intake for your individual needs.
Avoid Sugary Amla Preparations
Be cautious with amla preparations that include added sugars. These can counteract the potential benefits of amla and negatively impact blood sugar levels.
Consultation with Healthcare Provider
Before making significant changes to your diet or incorporating new supplements, consult with your healthcare provider, especially if you are on diabetes medication. Amla consumption should complement, not replace, prescribed treatments.
Ways Of Adding Amla Into Your Diet
- Amla Smoothies: You can blend fresh amla with low-sugar fruits, such as berries or green apples to create a delicious and nutritious smoothie.
- Amla Salad Dressing: You can also prepare a tangy salad dressing using amla juice, olive oil, and a touch of honey or a sugar substitute.
- Amla Infused Water: Infuse water with amla slices for a refreshing beverage. This simple and hydrating option can be a part of your daily routine, aiding in hydration and potential blood sugar management.