Berries of all variety are a great healthy snack and some, like the blueberry, are well known as a superfood, thanks to the antioxidants and vitamins you can get from them.
More recently, the superfood hype has turned to berries like the Goji and the Açai, which are full of nutrients and minerals to aid different parts of our immune and digestive systems – some are even reported to aid with weight loss!
Following in their footsteps, the latest superfood to hit the shelves in supermarkets is the Andean super fruit – the goldenberry.
What is it?
Goldenberries is the name given in the UK to the dried fruit variety of Physalis Peruviana. Physalis are that decorative small orange fruit in a brown papery husk, which you often get on top of desserts to make them look more exotic.
Throughout the world, they’re also known as the Inca berry, Pichuberry, cape gooseberry, and Aztec berry.
They’re marketed as the ancient super fruit of the Incas and Aztecs, because it originally hails from mountains in that region, and because the berries are reputed to have had healing properties for those tribes.
The benefits of the goldenberry
With the help of science today and modern lab tests, we now know that the goldenberry does indeed have lots of great benefits which can aid our health, beyond those offered by more traditional fruits.
They’re sweet tasting but low calorie, and are full of vitamins and minerals including:
- Vitamin A – which helps keep skin healthy and boosts the immune system
- Vitamin B1 – which helps the metabolism and fuels the breakdown of fats and protein
- Vitamin B3 – which has been shown to reduce heart disease and lower bad cholesterol
- Vitamin C – which works to protect cells in the body and aid in the production of important collagen
- Melatonin – which is a natural sleeping hormone found in plants and animals to aid with seasonal sleep regulation
- Iron – which helps to combat fatigue and boost energy levels
Recent studies have also shown goldenberries to contain lots of antioxidants – including flavonoids – which combat free radicals, fight cancer causing cells, and boost cardiovascular health.
And they’ve also been found to have anti-inflammatory properties too, reducing signs of redness and swelling in the body.
How to eat goldenberries
Besides all of the above benefits, goldenberries also contain more protein than other berries, more potassium than bananas (which helps maintain a healthy blood pressure), and more fibre than prunes (good for the digestive system).
Because they are lower in sugar than other berries and fruit, they’re ideal for snacking on!
You can get them as dried goldenberries and add them to cereal or yoghurt, or just create your own fruit and nut snack mix.
Goldenberries are also available as a juice, and as well as fresh Physalis, you can often find them forming the basis of a jam too.
Although the fruit does have lots of natural health benefits, it’s important to remember that they should be consumed as part of well-balanced diet. They won’t work miracles on their own!