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Gordo

Amla - its about time it got its own thread ;)

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I'm starting to think amla is one of the top superfoods for someone practicing optimal health/nutrition.  It's a tree fruit (Indian gooseberry), dried and powdered from whole food form (not closely related to gooseberry that grows in Europe and the US which is a shrub).   Check out the study findings mentioned in this new Dr. G video: 

https://youtu.be/hNj6V7kIqGY
Costs less than 5 cents a day and has more antioxidants than any known food on the planet.  There are studies showing it lowers LDL cholesterol better than prescription statin drugs (with no impact or possibly even improvement in HDL), lowers blood sugar better than the leading prescription diabetes drugs, and also improves cardiovascular function and lowers blood pressure. Peer reviewed journal articles are referenced in the video. Samples from India have an excellent track record of being contaminant free as well (no toxic metals, etc).

 

I would not be surprised to find out it is also a BAT activator although I could not find anything along those lines in a search.

 

-Gordo

Edited by Gordo

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I have also been trying to find more and more ways to eat Amla. Besides smoothies, it's hard to find things to mix it into. I'd be interested to hear how other people are eating their Amla.

 

I've been buying frozen Amla berries and thawing a few each day to eat.

 

I'm also considering getting my own large capsule filler and making my own Amla pills.

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Excellent tip gordo, I'm always eager to find new additions to my arsenal of phytochemical weaponry. Amla has been ordered. We'll have to open a thread with an updated list of unexpensive superfoods...

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What is amla supposed to taste like? I have some organic amla powder that is ridiculously bitter, definitely doesn't taste like a "berry." Don't find it nearly palatable enough to want to consume, even if it were healthier than aronia, pomegranate, wild blueberry,  etc (although I very much doubt it is).

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What is amla supposed to taste like? I have some organic amla powder that is ridiculously bitter, definitely doesn't taste like a "berry." Don't find it nearly palatable enough to want to consume, even if it were healthier than aronia, pomegranate, wild blueberry, etc (although I very much doubt it is).

It tastes like dirty cardboard with a little bit of dandelion mixed in. Don’t be such wimps, scoop your 1/2 tsp, take a deep breath and hold, throw it to the back of your mouth, and chug a cup of water. ;)

I don’t recommend mixing it into anything, even water.

Edited by Gordo

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Funny, I knew nothing about amla, but a little bit over a year ago, I bought it (on Amazon), as part of Dean's Witches Brew recipe for coffee. I've been using it ever since, daily. It imparts a sour taste to the coffee. I have no idea if I get any benefits through this process, basically, I put the powder together with a few other powders (such as cocao) into the freshly ground coffee and then let it drip through the paper filter and drink the resulting brew. I believe Dean showed that many polyphenols are thus passed through, without some nasties, such as heavy metals. I don't know to what degree that diminishes the benefits of amla compared to consuming the powder. Is there a strong argument for eating the powder vs just brewing it? I mean, I don't need more fiber, or more minerals, or vitamin C or whatnot, so what else am I getting by eating it that I don't get from brewing - just curious, because I though the polyphenols are the point of the benefits, and those pass through in brewing. Any ideas?

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I recommend getting some whole frozen Indian Gooseberries (Amla) and trying them yourself. They do naturally have a sour/bitter taste. They are quite large and have large pits.

 

I thaw a berry or two and eat them. They make me pucker. The powder doesn't taste the same, but it has the bitterness/sourness and hints of the flavor. Gordo's description of dirty cardboard is pretty accurate actually.

 

I've been looking for some good Indian recipes that use Amla to see what they are like. So far, all I have found is a chutney that adds a lot of sugar. I'm also not sure what happens to the nutritional value of Alma when it is cooked down like that. Someone asked Dr. Greger during a live Q&A if there were any studies of cooked Alma and he said he wasn't aware of any.

 

Maybe I should just try to eat a raw spoonful of powder. I've never tried brewing it. I mix in a teaspoon into smoothies and vegan icecream. You can't really taste it. I've tried mixing in a tablespoon and you can definitely taste it at that level.

 

I've also gotten some Alma candy from my local Indian grocery store. I'm sure those are not as good for you, but they do taste pretty good!

 

I'm looking forward to Greger's next video about it.

 

I'm also thinking I should make a bunch of Alma pills for my loved ones, although that is a bit weird. I don't think I would take pills someone else made for me, even if it was from someone I trusted. Not sure why anyone I love would feel differently if I made some for them.

Edited by Thomas G

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Funny, I knew nothing about amla, but a little bit over a year ago, I bought it (on Amazon), as part of Dean's Witches Brew recipe for coffee. I've been using it ever since, daily. It imparts a sour taste to the coffee. I have no idea if I get any benefits through this process, basically, I put the powder together with a few other powders (such as cocao) into the freshly ground coffee and then let it drip through the paper filter and drink the resulting brew. I believe Dean showed that many polyphenols are thus passed through, without some nasties, such as heavy metals. I don't know to what degree that diminishes the benefits of amla compared to consuming the powder. Is there a strong argument for eating the powder vs just brewing it? I mean, I don't need more fiber, or more minerals, or vitamin C or whatnot, so what else am I getting by eating it that I don't get from brewing - just curious, because I though the polyphenols are the point of the benefits, and those pass through in brewing. Any ideas?

 

I reckon that depends on the specific molecules. For example, the coffee diterpenes kawesthol and cafehol are blocked by paper filter, as discussed in another thread. That may not be the case for the phenolic compounds ot other phytochemicals in amla, or that may be the case if some terpenes yield the beneficial properties. There is no certainty about that.

Edited by mccoy

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I had to cancel my order since I became aware that the amla powder came from Canada, at treble the cost because of shipping but, even worse, that's goign to be stopped at the Italian custom and subject to further taxation after mandatory fillup of bureaucratic papers.

 

Here in Italy I only found amla powder for hairs, I wonder if that's the same edible powder and if it can be ingested.

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Follow up video (note numerous studies showing cardiovascular benefits):

https://youtu.be/_QfhK6R14C4

Also note the study showing synergies with cold exposure - you get less arterial constriction and lower blood pressure when doing cold exposure if you are taking amla ;)

Edited by Gordo

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The segment on the Elens-Wattiaux mating chamber for drosophila is priceless! I ordered a pound of organic amla powder and plan on adding it to my regime.

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Hi Gordo!

 

When I see something like this:

 

http://gordosoft.com/health/amla1.png

 

I simply ignore it.

 

We all have our superstitions.

 

BTW, I've eaten goosberries. Despite their bitterness, they're tasty.

 

But I don't believe that they're the best thing since chicken soup (or Dr. Gregor).

 

:)

 

-- Saul

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While I fully understand Saul's concerns about too easy an enthusiasm for a particualr food, I believe it's good to have faith in some specific superfoods, some powerful weapons which will help us in our war against illness and ageing. Faith is power since it fuels our effort and belief and may even by itself reinforce our immunitary and protective systems (the placebo effect plus real benefits of the food).

 

I really believe (by scientifically based reasonings) that turmeric, acorns, flaxseed, contain phytochemicals which are like ballistic weapons targeting cancer cells. I even visualize them doing so. I'm also convinced that this visualization, naive as it may be, is going to interfere with the real world in a beneficial manner.

 

Saul, that's the science of Yoga! According to such metaphysical teachings, we can change the physical reality by the power of our mind. Superfoods are nature's powerful weapons against sickness. Let's run and arm ourselves.

 

Then, Amla sure contains plentiful beneficial properties, but the fuel of our mindpower and belief can really give a potent boost to such properties. Ditto for native gooseberries.

 

I'm still not little annoyed that I can't get edible amla powder here. Waiting to further the search.

Edited by mccoy

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Enjoy your gooseberry powder. If it makes you feel good about yourself, it's a plus (assuming that it

doesn't have any negative physical effects, which I doubt).

If there is a CR X, it will probably be in the US, as have the earlier ones. Is there a possibility that you

might attend? (In the past, we did have some attendees from Belgium and the UK.)

 

-- Saul

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If there is a CR X, it will probably be in the US, as have the earlier ones. Is there a possibility that you

might attend? (In the past, we did have some attendees from Belgium and the UK.)

 

-- Saul

 

I wish it, I'd be delighted to meet you guys in the flesh, but unfortunately it will be hard now, although I hope to be able to resume travelling some time in the future.

Edited by mccoy

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BTW, I've eaten goosberries. Despite their bitterness, they're tasty.

 

Its good to be skeptical.  BTW, Gooseberries are Ribes uva-crispa, in the Grossulariaceae family. No one here is talking about gooseberries.

 

Indian gooseberries are Phyllanthus emblica, in the Euphorbiaceae family. Gooseberries and Indian gooseberries are not at all closely related.  The Indian gooseberry is a tree, regular (US & European) gooseberries are shrubs.

Edited by Gordo

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ha anybody looked into triphala, which is an ayurvedic mix of harad/baheda/amla in the ratio of 1/2/4?

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While I fully understand Saul's concerns about too easy an enthusiasm for a particualr food, I believe it's good to have faith in some specific superfoods, some powerful weapons which will help us in our war against illness and ageing. Faith is power since it fuels our effort and belief and may even by itself reinforce our immunitary and protective systems (the placebo effect plus real benefits of the food).

 

I really believe (by scientifically based reasonings) that turmeric, acorns, flaxseed, contain phytochemicals which are like ballistic weapons targeting cancer cells. I even visualize them doing so. I'm also convinced that this visualization, naive as it may be, is going to interfere with the real world in a beneficial manner.

 

I've often considered if a specific compound would be worthwhile to add on top of my current diet and lifestyle. Imagine a study where you have two groups of people, one group is typical Americans while the other group practices CR (or obesity-avoidance), exercises, ensures good sleep, doesn't abuse alcohol and other drugs, eats a mostly whole-foods plant-based diet with a variety of more general herbs, spices, greens, etc. Provide each group amla (or whatever other ingredient) and see what happens over a period of time.

 

Do you honestly think amla/other would have a meaningful impact considering everything else? There's plenty of research indicating that obesity-avoidance, exercise, and a plant-based diet pretty much maximizes health outcomes already, and that adding something to this doesn't really do much unless it has pharmacological potency and activity. I'd really like to believe in superfoods, but they're only super if they're added alone to an otherwise crappy diet and lifestyle, and even then with limited benefit for many people. I'd love to see evidence to the contrary.

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ha anybody looked into triphala, which is an ayurvedic mix of harad/baheda/amla in the ratio of 1/2/4?

 

Never heard of it but thanks Kenton, the more we know the more power we have.

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ha anybody looked into triphala, which is an ayurvedic mix of harad/baheda/amla in the ratio of 1/2/4?

 

I would love to try triphala, but I have been unsure how to avoid the lead, arsenic and mercury added to it. Looks like it is possible to find, but I'm not sure how to do it. Maybe that will change someday, in which case I will certainly start eating it. Do you have any tips or a source that you know to be good?

 

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