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Nelli – On the cusp of becoming the world’s next top superfood



by Emme Haddon

FACT NOT HYPE: A nelli a day keeps sickness at bay! The humble little nelli fruit is the second richest natural source of Vitamin C on the planet and is an antioxidant powerhouse.

The Indian gooseberry tree, Phyllanthus emblica or Emblica officinalis, is considered the most important medicinal plant in Ayurveda, Unani and Siddha, traditional systems of medicine. Whilst all parts of the tree are used medicinally, it is the fruit, known as amla in India and nelli in Sri Lanka, that is considered the most important. In one of the oldest ayurvedic treatise’s dating back to 2 A.D, nelli was regarded as the most potent and rejuvenating fruits supporting anti-aging and longevity. With an astounding 600 – 700mg of Vitamin C per tiny fruit – 160 times that of an apple – nelli is the second richest natural source of Vitamin C on the planet, and with an Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) value of 261,500 it is an antioxidant powerhouse. When combined with 2 other fruits, aralu and bulu, in the ancient formula of “Triphala”, its ORAC value is an astounding 706,250 making it the 3rd highest antioxidant on the planet. It’s time that the old adage, an apple a day keeps the doctor away, is replaced with a nelli a day keep sickness at bay. When we hear the word superfood, images of blueberries, acai and turmeric, generally come to mind – nutrient-rich foods considered particularly beneficial for health that regularly feature in top-10 lists of superfoods. Blueberries contain around 9mg of Vitamin C per 100g so you would need to eat around 600g to get your Vitamin C RDI (recommended daily intake). In contrast, one little nelli fruit provides an incredible 1000% of your Vitamin C RDI. On the ORAC scale, nelli scores 56 times higher than blueberries and more than double that of the much-flouted acai berry. Interestingly, the antioxidant activity of nelli is reported to be between 4 and 10-fold higher than Curcuma longa, commonly known as turmeric, one of the world’s top-selling superfoods. If any food deserves to be elevated to “superfood” status, it’s nelli! Phyllanthus emblica, a small to medium-sized deciduous tree native to tropical South East Asia, frequently described as being a reservoir of nutraceuticals with efficacy against multiple diseases, is a known indigenous medicine in 17 countries. Eating nelli is excellent for the functioning of the circulatory, digestive and exocrine systems. There is hardly any disease for which nelli has not been used either singly or in combination with other ayurvedic herbs – the list is endless. Nelli has been the subject of countless scientific studies which have identified the presence of pharmacologically important active compounds, bioactive metabolites, such as alkaloids, phenols, flavonoids, terpenoids, glycosides and saponins. It shows enormous potential for a wide-array of applications:


*Powerful adaptogenic

*Potent immune booster

*Potent antioxidant & free radical scavenger

*Gastro-intestinal issues including heartburn, diarrhea &constipation



*Prevention and treatment of hyperlipidemia

*Anti-aging cell rejuvenator

*Repairs & promotes healthy hair, skin, eyes & nails


*Memory enhancer


Phyllanthus emblica

grows naturally, in a wide range of soils, in both dry and humid conditions of the dry and intermediate zones. Although it can tolerate moderate salinity, it is best cultivated in a pH range of 6-8 with reasonably fertile, well-drained, loamy soil. It is a versatile multipurpose tree with every part having some value – it provides fruits, medicines, dye and tannins, wood, fuel and green manure.

In India, where nelli is well-established as a rich crop, orchards are intercropped with moringa, guava, and coconut, as well as pulses, vegetable and other medicinal crops. Although nelli is highly nutritious, due to its extremely sour and astringent taste, it is used more in cooked and preserved foods, drinks and Ayurvedic medicines. Whilst there are some small-scale orchards, in Sri Lanka nelli has not been commercially exploited and is generally cultivated as an isolated tree in home gardens. In order to meet its Ayurvedic medicinal demand for nelli, Sri Lanka is estimated to import over 50,000 kg of dried nelli each year.

Nelli is also popular in traditional juices, pickles, candies, shampoos, conditioners and hair oils. There is immense potential for nelli, globally, as a dietary supplement in the form of tablets, capsules and powders, liquid extract and pulp in the nutraceutical, food and beverage, personal care and cosmetics markets.

The global herbal medicine and supplements market is booming and is projected to reach USD 411.2 billion by the year 2026. Rising awareness of nelli as an antioxidant-rich nutraceutical with proven health benefits relating to reduced risk of heart disease, high blood cholesterol levels, blood glucose levels, weight loss, anti-ageing, cell damage, inflammation and immune-strengthening, is anticipated to drive the product demand.

In 2018, the nelli powder extract sector led the global market with a value of USD 22.61 billion and is projected to reach USD 37.2 billion by 2026 whilst the food & beverage segment accounted for USD 12.40 billion of revenue. Currently, Asia Pacific holds the largest market share of about 29.91% with India exporting to Japan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Malaysia, Korea and more recently Germany, Netherlands and the US.

Europe is expected to expand at the fastest CAGR of 5.35% by 2025. Big Herba are always on the lookout for the next superfood. According to the Harvard Institute, elevating a food to the superfood state generally translates into super sales: in the United Kingdom alone, the value of this market exceeds a billion dollars. Consumers are willing to pay more for foods and supplements that they perceive to be healthy with science backing up health claims. Until recently nelli was relatively unheard of outside of Asia.

In Sri Lanka, many consumers appear happy to splurge huge amounts on trendy, imported laboratory-created health and nutritional supplements such as Vitamin C “gummies” whilst the astounding benefits of nelli as a functional superfood, not just an Ayurvedic medicine, appear to be forgotten or unknown by many.

The world, however, is waking up to vast array of health benefits nelli has to offer. It’s only a matter of time before nelli makes it on to the world’s top-10 superfood lists. Science is confirming what has been known in Ayurveda for millennia. There is a real opportunity waiting to happen but is Sri Lanka ready?

Emme Haddon has lived in the West Indies, France, Malaysia, Hong Kong and the UK. She has run various businesses and has set up a successful on-line clothing operation. For the past 7 years she has lived in Sri Lanka where she has been able to pursue her passion for natural medicines. She has a great interest in Sri Lanka’s plants and herbal medicines.

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Life style

Live healthily and say yes to avocado



What Is an Avocado? An avocado is a bright green fruit with a large pit and dark leathery skin. They’re also known as alligator pears or butter fruit. Avocados are a favorite of the produce section. They’re the go-to ingredient for guacamole dips.

Avocado or more popularly called ‘Butter Fruit’ in India is a rich creamy flavoured fruit that has loads of health benefits associated with it. This super fruit is available in different varieties and all of it has one thing in common i.e its creamy taste. This is considered a super fruit because it improves digestion, prevents cancer, helps in weight loss and good for your heart.

Apart from this, this super fruit also aids in good skin health and helps improve your vision. The lutein content found in this fruit protects your skin from ageing. Thus, this super fruit comes packed with antioxidants, fibres, vitamins and minerals including a high source of potassium.

Worldwide, this fruit is known as ‘Alligator Pears’ and this fruit is treated as a luxury in most countries of the world. This is because it contains low levels of cholesterol that can do good for your heart as well as aids in weight loss. Moreover, this article will focus on the health benefits that this super fruit offers including some of its nutritional facts that can make this a luxury fruit.

Facts about Avocado (Butter Fruit):

Apart from the fact that this fruit offers loads of health benefits, there are certain interesting facts that you need to know about this fruit. Here are some must-know facts about butter fruit.

This sacred fruit has the ability to maintain sperm quality and this is because it houses healthy fats, vitamin B6 and vitamin E. Moreover, its content of vitamin B6 and selenium is said to prevent sperm damage.

This super fruit is low in cholesterol that can prevent you from the risks of developing heart diseases.Avocados contain four grams of protein that makes this fruit the highest of protein content.

Avocado trees bear fruit and survive only when there is another avocado tree next to them. This means that these avocado trees do not self-pollinate and do require another of its kind close to them in order to grow.

Health Benefits of Avocado for Health and Skin:

There have been numerous studies in the past that have listed out some of the health benefits of butter fruit and why this fruit is considered a super fruit. Thus, here are some health benefits of avocado that you should know.

Rich in Potassium:

Potassium is much-needed for the human body but most people do not get it enough and this is because of the sort of food we get today. This nutrient helps your body’s cells in numerous ways. Just 100 grams of butter is more than enough for your body to reap all of its benefits. It said to have a much higher source of potassium than bananas meaning this fruit is said to have a high source of potassium that is usually found in bananas. Potassium levels maintain a healthy blood pressure level.

Good For Your Heart:

Beta-sitosterol is the major compound found in avocados and this helps in maintaining good cholesterol levels. In some studies that involved lab rats, avocados that were given for 5 weeks continuously witnessed 27% lower triglyceride’s plasma levels in HDL cholesterol which is a good thing. Based on this finding, it is said that consuming at least 100 grams of avocado can protect you from many heart diseases.

Good For Digestion:

Avocados aids in good digestion as this super fruit is said to be good for your intestine. This is because this fruit contains soluble and insoluble fibres that maintain and keep your intestines functioning with ease. These fibres are necessary for digestion as they ensure that you have bulk stools and normal bowel movements through the intestinal tract.

Good For Skin and Hair:

This super fruit comes packed with nutrients that can help you maintain a healthy skin texture. So if your skin is dry, then you need to drink some avocado juice and this helps your skin develop a glowing texture. This will also nourish your hair and treat dry hair.

You can also prepare an avocado face mask and this will benefit your skin in a much faster manner. You can also use avocado oil that is available in the market for treating psoriasis. The two major components found in avocados are beta-carotene and lycopene and these components help improve your skin tone and prevent premature ageing.

Improves Your Vision:

Avocados help keep your eyes healthy as they contain carotenoids that help protect your eyes from developing cataracts, age-related eye issues and macular degeneration. This fruit is rich in antioxidants and this helps to neutralise the effects caused by free radicals. Moreover, in order to develop your vision, you need to consume some avocado juice every day. Just 100 grams of avocado can do the trick.

Natural Painkiller for Arthritis:

This super fruit comes packed with loads of antioxidants that can relieve you from joint pain and muscle pain. How difficult would it be to drink a glass of avocado juice? So, here is what you need to do. Simply drink a glass of avocado juice every day and you can ease out the joint pain that you are suffering from.

Prevents Bad Breath:

Consuming avocados can prevent you from having a breath that is caused due to indigestion or an upset stomach. So how does this super fruit do this? Well, this is because of the antibacterial and antioxidant properties in the fruit that manage to kill bad bacteria in your mouth. Also, butter fruit can prevent oral cancer too.

Prevents You From Cancer:

Avocado is said to prevent you from cancer due to its carotenoid and monosaturated fat content. Glutathione is the major antioxidant that protects your cells from cancer and other free radicals that can cause cancer. Medically speaking, this sacred fruit can prevent you from prostate cancer, oral cancer and skin cancer. So all you need to do is to make it a point to just consume a glass of avocado juice and this will do you good.

Reduces Cholesterol:

One of the most striking diseases that most people around the world are facing is heart diseases. Some of the reasons for people developing heart diseases are cholesterol, inflammation and blood pressure. Moreover, avocado prevents heart diseases by:

Reducing cholesterol levels

Reducing blood triglycerides by 20%

Reduces LDL cholesterol by 22%

Increases HDL or good cholesterol by 11%

Aids in Anti-Ageing:

Avocado contains zeaxanthin and lutein decreases signs of premature ageing by protecting your skin from UV radiation. Applying avocado oil or consuming it can benefit your skin and prevent it from ageing. Its high source of antioxidant properties such as lutein and zeaxanthin play an important role in maintaining skin from the sun’s rays and aids in better and younger skin.

Good For Your Bones:

The lutein and zeaxanthin content present in avocado reduces your chances for cartilage defects. Zinc, copper and phosphorous, calcium and selenium reduce your chances of developing osteoporosis. Instead, these minerals help in improving bone density. So all you need to do is just sip a glass of avocado juice and this will help keep your bones strong.

Aids In Weight Loss:

Avocado is called a super fruit because this can also aid in weight loss and this is because avocado curbs your appetite. One glass of avocado juice can curb your appetite and this will stop you from munching now and then. Constant munching and crunching of food can lead to weight gain and as a result, this sacred fruit can curb that. Adding this healthy fruit to your everyday diet can help you consume fewer calories and this will make you feel full.


Now that you know that avocado or butter fruit is a healthy fruit that can a lot more good to your health than you can ever think of, here are some frequently asked questions that will shed some insight into the negatives of consuming this fruit in excess.

What happens if I consume too much butter fruit?

You need to understand that what is good for your health may turn out to be a nightmare for you if it is consumed in excess. So the excessive consumption of avocado causes:



Sensitivity to light; and



It is advised that you consume at least 100 grams of avocado every day and this will do good.

What are the benefits of avocado oil?

If the avocado has loads of benefits, then avocado oil is said to be even more beneficial, especially for your skin. Here are some of the benefits of avocado oil.

It moisturises and nourishes your skin.

Fights inflammation in the skin, especially psoriasis and eczema.

It is the best natural treatment for acne.

Prevents premature ageing.

Keeps your scalp healthy.

Can avocado oil be used for cooking?

Avocado oil can be used for cooking purposes like frying cooking etc. It is considered healthy as this will reduce your risks of developing heart diseases. This will add to your healthy lifestyle and will benefit your health in multiple ways.

Avocado is a seasonal fruit similar to mango and this is considered a super fruit that can benefit your health in multiple ways. You need to keep in mind that excessive consumption of butter fruit can cause other medical complications such as migraines, nausea and problems with eyesight. In order to get the best out of avocados, all you need to do is to consume at least 100 grams of it daily. Live healthily and say yes to avocado. –The Health

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Modern and contemporary styles in keeping with today’s trends



Chairman Primal Wijaynayake with other members

Managing Director of Widac Commercial Interiors, Chandi Alles is a pioneer in the field of Design. She started her career in New Zealand and returned to Sri Lanka at which point Widac ventured into offering its clients a total interior solution from design to fit out.

Steering Widac’s Projects Division, the Company has participated in many exhibitions and have won prestigious awards locally and internationally.She has an experience of 30 + years in the industry, and has been involved in working with clients that span over all segments of businesses in the commercial sector. Her passion for designs has helped to transform spaces to functional and practical working environments.

To mark 50th anniversary of partnership with Steelcase,Widac organised a CSR project to distribute wheel chairs prostatic legs and dry rations to the needy.

(Q) Your multi-faceted design firm not only deals with design but handles manufacturing of unique detailed products as well. Could you elaborate your unique design philology and how it reflects the key works done by your firm?

(A) Our designs are based mainly on modern and contemporary styles in keeping with today’s trends reflecting the business of the client. As such we work with processed timber and engineered surfaces which can be transformed to bring out unique creativity.

(Q) What made you opt for designer as a career. How has your work evolved over time?

(A) I enjoyed creative work from a very young age and when I went to New Zealand had the opportunity of working with an experienced designer. Her inspiration and my interest in “Design” created a career path for me. I have enjoyed 35 years of work to the fullest, and I gain satisfaction when I saw my creativity transformed into reality.

(Q) Luxury does not mean fancy construction materials or flamboyant installation but spaciousness, diverse usability and availability of options.Your opinion?

(A) Agree to your statement. Luxury can be achieved with less expensive materials. Use of colour , lighting and texture are key elements for the final product.

(Q) What in your opinion what are some of the loopholes that the designers get trapped in while designing luxury projects?

(A) Limitation of materials available at present in the market

(Q) A project close to your heart why?

(A) All projects are close to my heart as each and everyone is given a lot of time from start to finish. Being in love with my work is always the key to achieving better results

(Q)Your most challenging design project? Share the challenges and how you overcame them?

(A) Practicality is fundamental in my design. The biggest challenge I have had is to achieve precision in the final product. Design is a way of living,enjoying lifestyle to the fullest is my forte.

(Q)What is your dream project?

(A) Convert a complex that looks rather rundown to the best making it an icon for others to admire

(Q) How do you combine beauty and function? What do you see for the future of design?

(A) Beauty can be achieved with the correct use of materials, colour and light Nevertheless day to day maintenance needs to be considered as well to let the “beauty” last!

(Q) What are you working on at the moment?

(A) A VIP Lounge and Staff Cafeteria in a Commercial Building

(Q)What is your favourite project date and why?

(A) Etisalat – A well known name in the Telecommunication Industry. Dates back to a decade. It’s considered favourite for reasons below

a. Total design and build was by WIDAC

b. The first in the country to depict the same “Concept” of the Flagship Store and other forty outlets

island wide

c. The 40 outlets that it is spread out in the country were completed in one year.

d. Gave us real satisfaction to see our work showcased in main cities and little towns through out Sri Lanka

(Q)What fuels you to do what you do every day?

(A) I need constant excitement and challenges in my work to keep me motivated. I take pleasure in working on turnkey projects which are fast-paced; also anything stereotypical and conventional brings boredom.

I am highly passionate about what I do. There were times when I was not very enthusiastic about some things, but I worked on it by discovering small ways to keep the level of excitement high. Despite the challenges, the show must go on!

(Q) What is your definition of success?

(A) Success is subjective. According to me, it means having a name, fame, recognition, and appreciation for the work done. To have made it in the industry without anyone to endorse me has been my mark of success. I also believe that being able to grow and adapt to the trends and to evolve, yet staying afloat despite hitches, is a success. Although the monetary aspect plays an important role, hard work and honesty are something to be treasured.

(Q) What advice would you give to professional women?

Working women need to be respected as they are the embodiment of the art of balancing work, home, their lives, everything.

(A) I believe that time management is essential to being an organized person, so delegating and outsourcing must be made use of wherever possible.

More importantly, love and trust yourself, also be motivated by setting aside some time for self-care and enjoyment with friends. Learn to laugh and to let go, as there are some situations that are beyond your control and you cannot please everyone. Furthermore, never ever compromise on your self-respect and dignity, because you are worth a lot more than you think.

WIDAC chaiman Primal Wijaynayake with managing director Chandi Alles and director operations Prashan Wijenayake

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Life style

Dreams night to tour from the US to Canada



‘Sihina Rathri’ (Dreams Night), a charity musical concert will tour United States and Canada from July 15 to August 5.the Organised by the Asian Friendly Art Foundation which is based in USA , this musical concert will also tour Sweden, Italy, UK, Canada and Sri Lanka and a series of musical concerts will be held . Popular actor Uddika Premaratne, singer Gayan Gunawardena, Adithya Weliwatte and Nuwandika Senarathe will all be featured at the Dreams Night concert in America and Canada.

The USA based Sri Lankan tele drama producer Kumari Panditharathne who initiated the Asian Friendship Art Foundation, and the president of Sri Lankan branch, well-known announcer Mahesh Nissanka, lyrics writer Ravi Siriwardena will entertain the audience with thier magical performances.

Already more than ten shows of Dream Night had been performed in different parts of Sri Lanka and the proceeds of the show will be donated for the development of hospitals, schools, temples and other religious institutions, said the co-ordinator of Sri Lankan branch Dinesh Gamage said.

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