The most impressive health benefits of golden berries include their ability to help lose weight, detoxify the body, manage diabetes, strengthen the immune system, optimize kidney function, and reduce inflammation. Golden berries also prevent certain degenerative diseases, boost heart health, and are widely considered to be a superfood loaded with nutrients and antioxidants that can significantly improve your overall health.
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What are Golden Berries?
Golden berries scientifically known as Physalis peruviana, are small yellowish berries that have originated from South America. Oddly enough, golden berries are more closely related to tomatoes and eggplants than other berries and are approximately the size of a marble.
They have spread to other parts of the world, including South Africa and Europe, and are exported extensively, and hence have many names. Depending on where you are in the world, you may know them by various names, including Cape Gooseberry, Aztec berry, poha, harankash, or Physalis, among a dozen or more other common names.
These super berries contain low levels of calories and moderate levels of most vitamins and minerals; however, the real value of this fruit is the antioxidant concentration. Polyphenols and carotenoids are powerful elements of human health, and golden berries contain significant amounts of them. When combined with the other nutrients, these antioxidants make this fruit very desirable, which would explain its widespread use and demand across the world.
How to eat Golden Berries?
The berry is sweet and tart, which makes it a popular ingredient in various cakes, sweets, and baked goods, as well as salads and fruit salads. The berries can also be eaten, fresh or dried, by themselves as a healthy snack.
Health Benefits of Golden Berries
Golden berries have many benefits for health. So, let’s take a closer look at some of them in detail.
The most important benefits of golden berries are derived from their high antioxidant content, which makes them an ideal nutritional supplement for preventing certain chronic diseases, including certain types of cancers. Antioxidants, like the carotenoids and polyphenolic compounds found in golden berries, can neutralize free radicals, the damaging byproducts of cellular metabolism that can cause healthy cells to mutate into cancerous ones. This is the quality that makes golden berries a “superfood”. Research has shown that polyphenols can stop the spread of various types of cancer, making it a very important food source in many parts of the world.
Golden berries are rich in antioxidants that help in reducing inflammation. If you suffer from arthritis, gout, muscle aches, chronic pain, or even hemorrhoids, anti-inflammatory compounds can soothe these conditions and improve overall health. Golden berries improve heart health by lowering inflammation of arteries and blood vessels and preventing the development of atherosclerosis and coronary heart diseases. It effectively lowers blood pressure as well, which further decreases the symptoms of hypertension and gives relief to your heart.
As a low-calorie food (only 53 calories per 100 grams), golden berries present an interesting option for people trying to lose weight. These tiny fruits deliver a large percentage of your daily nutrients, yet do not contribute any negative fats or calories to your overall intake, helping to keep your weight loss goals on track!
Although many people think of fats as a negative component, in reality, we need a wide variety of essential fatty acids for the proper functioning of many processes in our body. For example, the oleic and linoleic acid in golden berries lower the amount of “bad” cholesterol in our bodies and re-establish the cholesterol balance to ensure the heart health in different ways.
You don’t often hear about withanolides in health food discussions, as they are quite rare, but they are found in golden berries. These unique organic compounds, similar to those found in ginseng, are powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agents that can induce apoptosis or automatic cell death and can slow or even reverse the spread of cancerous cells throughout the body.
Some of the compounds found in golden berries can slow the breakdown and intake of simple sugars from carbohydrates. This means that the body and bloodstream are not flooded with sugar, and insulin receptors are properly regulated. Drastic blood sugar fluctuations are the main cause of diabetes and can be very dangerous for people suffering from this condition, meaning that golden berries are an effective preventative method and a treatment for Type II diabetes.
Improve Liver & Kidney Health
Although the exact pathway for this benefit isn’t completely understood, one of the withanolides found in golden berries has been associated with a reduction in liver scarring and a reversal of liver degradation. Furthermore, golden berries are linked to optimal kidney health, helping to eliminate toxins by stimulating urination and flushing out excess fats, salts, and toxins from the lymphatic system.
Due to the high carotenoid content found in golden berries, they are often suggested for boosting the health of your eyes. Carotenoids specifically eliminate oxidative stress on the ocular system, preventing the development of cataracts and slowing the onset of macular degeneration, keeping your vision in top working order as you age.
The significant level of vitamin C (almost 15% of the daily recommended intake) in a single serving of golden berries makes them a very important fruit for the immune system. Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) stimulates the production of white blood cells and also has certain antioxidant properties. Furthermore, it is a key component in the production of collagen, which helps in repairing and producing the cells, tissues, organs, and blood vessels.
Word of Caution: Avoid eating unripe golden berries as that can be poisonous. Also picking wild berries is not recommended. If you suffer from an allergy to other berries, be sure to speak with your doctor before its consumption. As golden berries are more closely related to nightshade plants than cherries or other berries, the allergenic potential is much the same.