Eating Amla While Pregnant – Is it Safe, Advantages & more

Eating Amla During Pregnancy – Benefits, How to Eat & More

Medically Reviewed By
Gayatri Dawda (Nutritionist)
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During pregnancy, every action of the mother-to-be has a direct or indirect impact on the baby. A woman’s eating habits greatly impact the health and development of the baby in her womb, and therefore, a well-balanced diet that is rich in nutrients is very important. Before making any food item a part of the pregnant woman’s diet plan, it is necessary to have a detailed understanding of the benefits and the harmful effects (if any) it will have on both, the mother and the baby.

Is It Safe to Eat Amla While Pregnant?

Yes, it is safe to consume amla (Indian gooseberry) during pregnancy. Amla is a fruit which looks like a lemon, has a sweet-and-sour flavour when ripe, and is bright green in colour. The fruit is very high in nutrients, especially Vitamin C, which makes it a very good antioxidant. Amla is a key ingredient in most Ayurvedic medicines and is also a recommended food for pregnant women. Its high vitamin and fibre content make it a great choice for pregnant women.

Benefits of Eating Amla During Pregnancy

Amla is commonly available throughout India and can be preserved in the form of powder. Eating amla during pregnancy presents a wide range of benefits for the mother and the child. Discussed below are some of the benefits of consuming amla:

  1. Enhances immunity: Amla is a great antioxidant and gives a boost to the immune system. Its high Vitamin C content helps in fighting infections like the common flu and urinary tract infections which are common during pregnancy. A bonus benefit is that it even aids lactation after delivery, thus ensuring that your baby gets immunity-boosting breast milk.
  2. Helps in preventing constipation: Due to its high fibre content, amla helps in regularising bowel movements and preventing constipation during pregnancy.
  3. Enhances digestion: Amla helps in reducing problems like indigestion and acidity formation as it stimulates gastric juices in the stomach and helps in the digestion of food.
  4. Helps in maintaining blood pressure: The abundance of Vitamin C in amla helps blood vessels dilate, which, in turn, helps in maintaining and sustaining normal blood pressure.
  5. Provides relief from fatigue and stress: The sweet-and-sour taste of amla helps in controlling the feeling of nausea which is common in the first trimester of pregnancy. Drinking amla juice or eating it raw helps reduce morning sickness and energises the body.
  6. Helps in controlling oedema: Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, amla helps in reducing swelling in the hands and feet (known as oedema) which might happen during pregnancy.
  7. Body detox: Amla is a great antioxidant and its high water content increases the frequency of urination. This helps in flushing out radicals and toxins from the body.
  8. Reduces the risk of developing gestational diabetes: Even women with no diabetic history can experience a condition called gestational diabetes during pregnancy. This happens when pregnancy hormones interfere with insulin levels in the body. Amla has anti-diabetic qualities which help in restricting the chances of gestational diabetes in the mother-to-be.
  9. Boosts the baby’s memory power: Consuming amla juice helps in enhancing the baby’s memory power.
  10. Promotes oral health: The Vitamin C content of the fruit promotes oral health during pregnancy, by helping prevent conditions like bad breath or bleeding gums. It also helps prevent tooth decay thanks to its calcium content.

How Much Amla Can You Eat During Pregnancy?

During pregnancy, it is safe to eat one or two pieces of fresh amla per day. In case you are consuming amla in powder form, one teaspoon of the powder is ideal.

What Are the Side Effects of Consuming Amla During Pregnancy?

Amla is a fruit that presents pregnant women with a lot of benefits. However, if you overeat the same during pregnancy, it can lead to indigestion, constipation, diarrhoea, and also leave you dehydrated with an upset stomach. It is, therefore, advised to consume amla in limited quantities only.

Can You Drink Gooseberry Juice When Pregnant?

It is safe to drink gooseberry or amla juice during pregnancy. However, you should avoid packaged amla drinks as they may be sweetened or contain added preservatives and this is not recommended for pregnant women.

You can extract amla pulp at home and mix it in water to drink. About 5 ml to 10 ml of amla juice per day is an ideal quantity to consume.

Is Cooked Amla Safe for Pregnant Women?

It is best to eat raw amla in order to be able to make full use of its nutrients. Cooking amla usually depletes it of its nutritional value and hence, is not recommended. In case you cannot eat raw amla, it is best to consume fresh amla juice or mix amla powder in water and drink it.

When to Avoid Amla During Pregnancy

While amla has no side effects if consumed within limits, it is best to avoid the fruit if you are suffering from a cold or cough. Amla has a cooling effect on the body and this might aggravate your cold if you have one. Avoid amla if you are suffering from loose motions, as its laxative effects may worsen your condition.

Ways to Incorporate Gooseberry (Amla) in Your Diet

Some women might find amla tasty enough to be consumed raw while some might not like the tangy taste and may prefer to consume indirectly. Here are some tips to incorporate amla in your diet.

1. Pickled Amla: You can have pickled amla as your mid-morning snack as its tangy flavour will keep your cravings at bay and stop you from overeating. You can also have pickled amla along with your food.

2. Amla Salad: Mixing a few chopped pieces of amla in your usual salad will also help disguise its strong taste.

3. Fresh Juice: Extract the pulp from the fruit, mix it with water and drink it in the form of juice. You can also grind amla in a juicer and garnish it with mint leaves for a refreshing drink.

4. Dessert: You can also consume amla with honey after your meal and turn it into a nutritious and healthy dessert.

5. Amla as an ingredient: In case you don’t like to consume raw amla, you can also add it as an ingredient in your dishes like sambar, vegetable curry, korma, etc.

Is It Good to Drink Packaged Amla Juice During Pregnancy?

It is best to avoid packaged amla juice as it might contain sweeteners and preservatives. If you cannot consume fresh juice and have to opt for a packaged one, then choose one from a trusted brand.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can I consume dried amla during pregnancy?

You can consume amla pachak or amla supari during pregnancy which is a dried form of amla. This has almost all the benefits of fresh amla. You can make dry amla at home easily.

2. Can I eat salted amla when pregnant?

It is best to limit salt intake during pregnancy and avoid heavily salted foods, as they can adversely affect the fluid-electrolyte balance and cause stomach issues.

Amla is a superfood with several benefits for pregnant women. Just keep the prescribed precautions in mind, and you can enjoy eating this fruit when you are expecting.

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