Golden berries are rich in nutrients, making them a healthy snack option
Golden berries are tart, sweet, orange-colored berries that come from the Peruvian and Ecuadorian Andes in South America. About the size of a marble, they resemble a cherry tomato and have a tangy flavor similar to pineapple or mango.
However, the golden berry is not a true berry. It is related to the tomatillo, which is a type of ground tomato. Similar to tomatillos, they are encased in a papery husk known as a calyx, which should be removed before eating.
Golden berries are also known as the Inca berry, Peruvian groundcherry, poha berry, husk cherry, and cape gooseberry.
What nutrients are in golden berries?
Golden berries are rich in nutrients and bioactive compounds, making them a healthy snack option:
- Low in calories
- High in vitamins A, C, and D
- Rich in antioxidants (polyphenols and carotenoids)
Nutrition facts of ½ cup of raw golden berries are as follows:
- Calories: 53 grams
- Protein: 2 grams
- Fat: 1 gram
- Carbohydrates: 11 grams
- Fiber: 5 grams
- Sugar: 6 grams
- Cholesterol: 0 milligrams
- Sodium: 0 milligrams
What are the health benefits of golden berries?
High in antioxidants
The most important benefit of golden berries is that they are high in antioxidants. Antioxidants are plant compounds that protect against and repair the damage caused by free radicals, defending the body against infections and chronic disease. Research has shown that polyphenols can help stop the spread of various types of cancer. Carotenoids also support vision health, heart health, and reproductive health, protecting and maintaining the function of organs such as the liver, prostate, colon, and lungs.
Studies have found that consumption of raw golden berries may help fight prostate cancer, as the berries are rich in antioxidants and can help purify blood, lower cholesterol levels, and improve digestion.
Withanolides, a natural steroid that helps reduce inflammation, is another benefit of golden berries. Inflammation of the arteries and blood vessels is very dangerous for the cardiovascular system. Golden berries improve heart health by lowering inflammation and preventing the development of atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease.
Some of the compounds found within golden berries slow the process of breaking down simple sugars from carbohydrates. This helps regulate insulin and prevents blood sugar spikes, which are factors that lead to diabetes. Eating golden berries may help prevent and treat type II diabetes.
May boost the immune system
Studies have shown that golden berries may help regulate your immune system. The fruit contains multiple polyphenols that block the release of certain inflammatory immune markers.
Golden berries are high in vitamin C, which stimulates the production of white blood cells as well as the production of collagen, which is what the body needs to repair cells, tissues, organs, and blood vessels.
Helps with weight loss
Golden berries contain only 53 calories per 100 grams. Since these small fruits pack a nutritional punch without the fat and calories, they are a great addition to your diet if you are trying to lose weight. They are also versatile; you can add them to oatmeal, yogurt, and other snacks, or simply eat them on their own.
May improve vision
Golden berries are high in carotenoid content, which combats oxidative stress on the ocular system and thus can help boost your vision. Eating them regularly may prevent the development of cataracts and macular degeneration.
Some studies report that golden berries (Physalis pruinosa) may benefit bone health because they are a rich source of vitamin K, which plays a role in the development of healthy bone turnover rates.
How to eat golden berries
You can purchase both fresh and dried golden berries at farmer markets, health shops, grocery stores, and online. They are a versatile fruit that you can enjoy in several ways:
- Raw as a snack
- Added to fruit salads
- Blended into a smoothie
- Made into a jam
- Stirred into a grain salad
- Added on top of yogurt and granola