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Amalaki > Wheatgrass + Spirulina
You’ve probably heard of the antioxidant power of wheatgrass and spirulina, right? But did you know that amalaki beats them both many times over in terms of vitamin C and E, both known antioxidants?
A 2009 study compared vitamin C and E content of amalaki (aka Emblica officinalis or Phyllanthus emblica), wheat grass, and spirulina in an attempt to understand the benefits of a time-tested Ayurvedic herb compared to its Western counterparts.1
Vitamin C Content
- Amalaki raw herb 5.38 mg/gram
- Wheatgrass .22 mg/gram
- Spirulina .101 mg/gram
Antioxidant Activity (Based on Vitamin E and Phenolic Compounds)
- Amalaki 7.78 mmol/liter
- Spirulina 1.33 mmol/liter
- Wheatgrass .278 mmol/liter
How Vitamin C + E Work Together
Vitamin C and E have a unique relationship (just beginning to be understood), which suggests they need to be taken together. Nuts and seeds are loaded with fat-soluble vitamins (like vitamin E), which require vitamin C to protect them from damage and oxidation.1
What makes amalaki so unique is that itoffers a rich supply of both vitamin C and vitamin E.
Water-soluble vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that protects more fragile, fat-soluble vitamin E. When you have damaging oxidative stress or lipid (fat) peroxidation, vitamin E levels become exhausted. The good news is that vitamin C can regenerate it!
Without vitamin C, vitamin E becomes depleted, unprotected, and terminally damaged, leaving the body without two of its most powerful antioxidants. One study linked vitamin C and vitamin E deficiency to a host of health concerns, including weight gain, blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol imbalances.2
Named the wonder berry, amalaki or amla fruit, aka Indian Gooseberry, is harvested October-April and is considered a fall-winter berry. It has 10-20x more vitamin C than an orange, and during a season when vitamin C is harder to come by.3-5
How Vitamin C Balances Winter Woes + Vata6
In the study mentioned above, vitamin C acts as an antioxidant to protect fat-soluble vitamins (like vitamin E and other delicate fats) from being oxidized or going rancid. In the study, not only did vitamin C protect fats, it regenerated depleted vitamin E.2,6 According to Ayurveda, fats balance vata.
Unfortunately, good fats—critical to balancing vata and the nervous system—are easily damaged. Because of the importance of these fats, it is no mistake that sources of vitamin C (like lemons and amalaki) are used to help balance vata—their sour vitamin C content protects good fats that maintain vata balance in winter. Winter fruits like lemons and winter berries like amalaki are nature’s solution to balancing vata all winter long.
In addition to being a winter source of vitamin C; offering antioxidant protection for fat-soluble vitamins; and providing support for weight balancing, blood sugar, blood pressure, and healthy cholesterol, amalaki is absolutely loaded with additional health and immune boosting benefits key for optimal winter health.2,6
To balance your vata this winter, think amalaki.
See also How Vitamin C Protects Vitamin E