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Garcinia Cambogia 101: Separating Fact from Fiction

Garcinia Cambogia 101: Separating Fact from Fiction

Garcinia Cambogia is a tropical fruit commonly known for its potential weight loss and health benefits. Native to Southeast Asia, India, and some parts of Africa. The rind (peel) of Garcinia Cambogia is particularly popular as it contains a compound called hydroxycitric acid (HCA), which is believed to have various potential health benefits such as, boosting serotonin levels in the brain, along with potential weight loss benefits.

If you have heard about this fruit before but never knew what it was, or you're simply looking for weight loss hacks and have been reading Garcinia Cambogia over and over again, here’s your guide to all things Garcinia Cambogia and the incredible and more lesser known garcinia cambogia benefits. 

What Is Garcinia Cambogia?

It is a small, greenish-yellow fruit that resembles a small pumpkin, it's also known as the Malabar tamarind and has been used in traditional Asian cooking for centuries. The fruit itself is relatively low in calories, plus there are several other lesser-known garcinia cambogia benefits for your health both physical and mental making it a healthy addition to your diet.

Active Constituents and Nutritional Facts of Garcinia Cambogia

The active constituent in Garcinia Cambogia is hydroxycitric acid (HCA) found in the fruit's rind. HCA is believed to be the key ingredient responsible for many of Garcinia’s claimed health benefits, particularly its potential to aid in weight management. 

Let’s take a look at some of the nutritional facts:

Garcinia Cambogia is relatively low in calories and contains small amounts of essential nutrients.

  • Calories: It is typically low in calories, with approximately 30-40 calories per 100 grams of fruit.
  • Hydroxycitric Acid (HCA): This is the most important compound found in Garcinia Cambogia. It is usually present in the fruit's rind and is the focus of its potential health benefits.
  • Vitamins and Minerals: While Garcinia Cambogia is not a significant source of vitamins and minerals, it does contain some, including small amounts of calcium, phosphorus, thiamine, and riboflavin.
  • Carbohydrates: The fruit is primarily composed of carbohydrates, with approximately 23 grams of carbohydrates per 100 grams.
  • Fibre: The fruit contains a small amount of dietary fibre, providing about 1.5 grams per 100 grams of fruit, which may contribute to a feeling of fullness when consumed.
  • Water Content: The fruit has a high water content, which can help with hydration and satiety.
  • Antioxidants: Garcinia Cambogia may also contain antioxidants, although their levels can vary depending on the fruit's maturity and growing conditions.

Garcinia cambogia has been associated with several potential benefits, although the scientific evidence supporting some of these claims is limited and sometimes mixed. Here are some of the reported Garcinia cambogia benefits:

1. May Aid Weight Loss and Block Fat Formation

Aids Weight Loss

The most well-known of Garcinia cambogia benefit is its potential weight loss aiding properties. Garcinia extract, particularly its active compound hydroxycitric acid (HCA), has been touted as a weight loss aid. Some studies suggest that HCA may help inhibit the enzyme citrate lyase which is involved in fat synthesis, potentially reducing fat storage and promoting weight loss. However, the weight loss results can vary from individual to individual.

2. May Boost Serotonin Levels

Boost Serotonin Levels

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter in the brain that plays a crucial role in regulating mood and emotions. Serotonin also plays a role in appetite regulation. Low serotonin levels are associated with increased appetite, particularly for carbohydrates and sugary foods. This is why people sometimes turn to comfort foods (or emotional eating) when they are feeling stressed or emotionally distressed.

HCA in Garcinia Cambogia, is thought to influence serotonin levels indirectly. By inhibiting the enzyme citrate lyase, which is involved in the conversion of carbohydrates into fat. By limiting this process, HCA may increase the availability of carbohydrates for energy production. This can result in an increase in serotonin levels (carbohydrates are used in serotonin synthesis).

3. Anti-Diabetes Effects

Reduce Diabetes

Some early studies have shown that Garcinia cambogia may help improve glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity, which could benefit people with type 2 diabetes. Glucose metabolism refers to how the body processes and regulates blood sugar (glucose). In individuals with type 2 diabetes or insulin resistance, this process is often impaired, leading to elevated blood sugar levels. While insulin sensitivity is a measure of how effectively the body's cells respond to insulin, the hormone responsible for regulating blood sugar levels. In people with type 2 diabetes, insulin sensitivity is typically reduced, making it harder for their cells to take up and use glucose effectively.

Some studies suggest that HCA may enhance the uptake of glucose by cells and improve their response to insulin. This could lead to better blood sugar control in individuals with type 2 diabetes.

The evidence isn’t advanced enough yet to make definitive recommendations, and more research is needed to confirm these potential benefits and determine the appropriate dosage and safety profile for individuals with diabetes.

If you have type 2 diabetes or are concerned about your blood sugar levels, it's crucial to consult with a healthcare professional for guidance on managing your condition. Garcinia should not be used as the only or primary treatment for diabetes. 

4. Athletic Performance

Athletic Performance

Some athletes and fitness enthusiasts have used Garcinia cambogia supplements as it can help in lowering the insulin levels, post-exercise. Along with Garcinia Cambogia benefits of inhibiting fat formation making it useful for athletes as they increase satiety, making it easier to eat less, and remain satisfied with lower calorie intake. So Garcinia can be beneficial for athletes who are looking to improve performance and potentially with weight loss.

While Garcinia cambogia may offer some potential benefits, it should not be viewed as a standalone solution for weight loss or other health issues. A balanced diet, regular exercise, and lifestyle modifications are typically more effective strategies for achieving and maintaining a healthy weight and overall well-being.

5 Interesting Facts about Garcinia cambogia:

1. Garcinia cambogia is grown in Indonesia, India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, and parts of Africa and is commonly known as red mango, Malabar tamarind, pot tamarind, brindal berry, gambooge, and kokum butter oil tree.

2. Garcinia Cambogia has a long history of culinary and medicinal use especially in Southeast Asia. Traditionally, it has been used in various dishes such as curries and chutneys for its sour flavour and as a natural remedy for digestive issues.

3. Garcinia cambogia is available in various forms such as capsules, tablets, powders, and liquids for consumption, especially as a supplement, Panchamrit Apple Cider Vinegar tablets also contain Garcinia Cambogia in an effervescent form along with other Ayurvedic ingredients such as fennel to boost your metabolism and support weight loss.

4. Due to the high fat content of the Cambogia seeds (they have a 30 percent fat content), they are sometimes used as a substitute for ghee.

5. Garcinia Cambogia also has antioxidant and antifungal properties.

How to take Garcinia Cambogia 

Garcinia can be consumed in many forms. The fruit can be had in chutneys, condiments and gravies to incorporate in your daily diet or you can consume it in the form of supplements such as tablets, capsules. Panchamrit’s Apple cider vinegar tablets combine all the ACV benefits with those of Garcinia Cambogia and fennel seeds. ACV can help lower blood sugar level in the body. It also suppresses appetite and improves body metabolism. Thus, apple cider vinegar is considered to be an effective tool for weight loss. Combining apple cider vinegar with Garcinia can improve weight loss results.

You can learn more about Apple Cider Vinegar benefits here.

Follow the Recommended Dosage: Always adhere to the recommended dosage instructions provided on the product label or as directed by your healthcare professional. Dosages can vary depending on the brand and concentration of active ingredients.

Timing: It is commonly suggested to take garcinia cambogia supplements 30 minutes to an hour before meals. This timing is believed to help with appetite suppression. Our Apple cider Vinegar effervescents are recommended to be taken on an empty stomach in the mornings. 

Who should avoid Garcinia Cambogia?

  • People taking medication for diabetes (insulin and metformin)
  • Individuals who have liver and/or kidney conditions
  • Pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers

If you want to try this supplement but are currently in other forms of medication, ask your doctor first for approval. Common side effects include headache, dizziness, dry mouth, and nausea.

Now that you know some interesting facts and benefits of Garcinia Cambogia, you can consider including it in your diet. But remember it is best and recommended that you consult your healthcare provider before starting any supplementations especially if you have any other underlying conditions or take certain medications.  Also if you are looking to use ACV and Garcinia to support weight loss remember it is not an all-in-one hack, it needs to be combined with a proper workout routine and a healthy, balanced diet and the effects of Garcinia for weight loss is different for different individuals. 

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