Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Amla and its power

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I blogged earlier a couple of videos from, and I realized the surely the book How Not to Die must include info about amla, so I did a quick search and found:


The most antioxidant-packed uncommon spice is amla,82 which is powdered dried Indian gooseberry fruit. As a Western-trained physician, I had never heard of amla despite its common use in Ayurvedic herbal preparations. I was surprised to find four hundred articles on this lesser-known spice int he medical literature, and even more surprised to find papers with titles like “Amla, a Wonder Berry in the Treatment and Prevention of Cancer.” Amla is arguably the impost important plant in Ayurvedic medicine, used traditionally as everything from a neutralizer of snake venom to a hair tonic.83 I eat it because it’s apparently the single most antioxidant-packed green-light food on the planet.84

Using an argon laser, researchers can measure and track carotenoid antioxidant levels in real time. The most important finding from this body os work is that antioxidant lives can plummet within two hours of an oxidatively stressful event. When you’re stuck in traffic breathing diesel fumes, deprived of sleep, or suffering from a cold, for example, your body starts using up some of its antioxidant stores. What may take only two hours to lose can take up to three days to build back up.85

Even ordinary body processes, such as turning food into energy, can produce free radicals. This is okay so long as the food you eat comes pre-packaged with antioxidants. But if it doesn’t—if you chug straight sugar water, for example [e.g., soda pop – LG]—the level of free radicals and oxidized fat in your bloodstream rises over the next few hours, while vitamin E levels drop as your body’s antioxidant stores are expended.86 If you were to eat the same amount of sugar in the form of an orange, though, you wouldn’t get a spike in oxidation.87 Researchers concluded: “This argues strongly for the need to include high antioxidant foods in each and every meal in order to prevent this redox [free-radical versus antioxidant] imbalance.”88

The standard American diet (SAD) isn’t exactly antioxidant-packed. Here is the antioxidant content (in modified FrAP assay daumol antioxidant units) of some typical American breakfast foods: bacon (7) and eggs (8), a bowl of corn flakes (25) with milk (10), an Egg McMuffin (11), pancakes (21) with maple syrup (9), and a bagel (20) with cream cheese (4). A typical breakfast may average about 25 antioxidant units.

Compare those to the smoothie I had for breakfast this morning. I started with a cup fo water (0), a half cup of frozen blueberries (323), and the pulp of a ripe mango (108). I added a tablespoon of ground flaxseeds (8), along with a half cup of fresh mind leaves (33) and a palmful of bulk white tea leaves (103). While the typical SAD breakfast may give you only about 25 antioxidant units, my breakfast smoothie offered more than 500. And when I add the final ingredient, a single teaspoon of amla, I get an additional 753 antioxidant units. That’s about 4 cents’ worth of amla, and it just doubled the antioxidant content of my entire smoothie. Before I’ve even fully awakened, I’ve already consumed more than 1,000 antioxidant units. That’s more than the average person may get in an entire week. I could drink my smoothie and eat nothing but doughnuts for the rest of the week, and most people still wouldn’t catch up. Notice that even though I packed the blender with amazing foods like blueberries and white tea leaves, fully half the antioxidant power cam from that single, four-cent teaspoon of powdered gooseberries.

The numbers in the text identify footnotes that specify the studies on whose findings the statements are based.

Earlier in the chapter Dr. Greger notes “The most antioxidant packed herb is dried Norwegian bearberry leaf. (Good luck finding that!) The most antioxidant-packed common herb is peppermint.u3”

He notes that oregano and marjoram are excellent and that the most antioxidant-packed common spice is the clove. Amla, as noted above is the most antioxidant-packed uncommon spice.

I ordered a bag from Amazon, and this morning my breakfast included a teaspoon of amla.

Written by LeisureGuy

23 November 2019 at 10:51 am

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