What’s With this New Superfood Called Amalaki Powder?

Before hearing hipster foodies ask for “Amla” in their smoothies, here’s your chance to be the first to know about the superfood, Amalaki, and why you should start taking it ahead of the cool-curve (especially during cold and flu season).

What Is Amalaki?

Sold as a powder, Amalaki (ah-mel-ah-key), is another word for the Indian Gooseberry or Amla fruit, which looks like grapes and grow on a tree in Southeast Asia. Commonly used in Ayurveda — a holistic medical practice focused on physical and emotional balance dating back to 800 BCE — Amalaki is a superfood that packs heaps of nutrients in a small dose. That’s why it’s called a superfood; it’s often hard to find and always very nutritious.

amla indian gooseberry fruit
Amla, or Indian gooseberry. Anand Purohit/Getty Images

“Amalaki has been used for centuries to heal and support the immune system,” says Dr. Saman Faramarzi, naturopathic doctor and founder of SAFA Life & Wellness in Los Angeles. When Amalaki comes up in conversations with clients, it’s often praised for its sheer nutrient content, giving users 30-percent of daily Vitamin C intake in one teaspoon.

bare organics amalaki powder
Bare Organics.

There’s also iron, fiber, and no sugar; that is, none when you source a raw USDA Organic Amalaki. Faramarzi recommends Bare Organics, whose Amalaki Powder is also gluten-free, vegan, and non-GMO. “It has to be USDA Organic,” Faramarzi says, “If it’s full of pesticides, it can do more damage to your body than if you weren’t eating Amalaki in the first place.”

A little boost of Vitamin C is just the beginning when it comes to the actual benefits of taking Amalaki, especially for men in their 20s and up. We’re talking better skin, weight management, antioxidant promotion, and digestive health improvements.

Do You Drink? Take Amalaki.

“When guys are going out and drinking, that is affecting your gut lining and killing off good bacteria. Amalaki helps support the inner lining of your gut. If I could tell a patient to take only two supplements, it would be Amalaki and a good probiotic,” Faramarzi says.

In everyday life, that little gut and immunity boost means clearing your outer skin as well, having more energy, getting sick less, healing wounds faster, and possibly shedding a few pounds.

“When a man is always on the go, working and stressing a lot, not able to eat the most perfect diet, he’s not getting all the nutrients he needs,” Faramarzi says.

green smoothie
Consider adding Amalaki powder to your smoothie.

Here’s a quick way to test whether you should consider adding Amalaki:

  • You wake up tired and exhausted.
  • You’re getting sick all the time (i.e. an office-mate sneezes and you’re sick the next day).
  • It takes a long time to heal wounds.
  • When you get sick, it lasts longer than seven days.

“When my patients come to me sick, I don’t think of antibiotics. I think of getting their immune system stronger,” Faramarzi says. “The flu is getting harder to beat and it’s going on for longer periods because our immune systems are not functioning well. The first thing that goes when your body is stressed is vitamins. Stress eats away at all your nutrients because your body is working harder.”

The Best Way to Take Amalaki

Ok, you’re convinced. But how do you eat Amalaki?

Add a recommended scoop to apple juice, warm water for tea, or yogurt. It’s a bit sour and tart, like cherries, so smoothies and sweetened juice are the easiest ways to sip it. Since Amalaki is hyper acidic, consuming too much could cause gastrointestinal discomfort or upset your stomach, and if that happens with the recommended dose, try a lower amount and go from there.

The best news is that even being a superfood, Amalaki, unlike açai, doesn’t cost an exorbitant about. Bare Organics’ charges $20 for a 57-serving jar. Company representatives say it’s already a top seller, meaning it won’t be long until those hipsters hear about it, grow stronger, and take over the world.

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