Physalis berries are also sometimes called golden berries. Their appearance gives rise to this name, as they’re bright little globes with an orangish shade of color. They’re from the same family as the tomatillo, and are wrappers in the same kind of husk that’s known as a calyx. Similar to the tomatillo, this husk has to be removed before we can consume the fruit inside.
These berries have a sweet flavor and are a bit smaller than a regular cherry tomato. Their taste is something like a mango and a pineapple combined, so it’s no wonder that many folks enjoy that little burst of flavor in their hams, salads, sauces, etc. The physalis berry is also eaten as a snack or appetizer on its own.
Some people might know the physalis berry by the name of Inca berry, husk cherry, cape gooseberry, poha berry, Peruvian groundcherry, etc. As these berries grow anywhere in the world where it’s warm, different cultures have assigned their own names to them. In addition to their unique taste and lovely appearance, the physalis berries have several other qualities. Let’s take a look at these now:
1. Impressive Nutrient Levels
Many of us want to know what’s in our food before we put it in our mouths. With fruits like the physalis on hand, however, we can easily go ahead and eat a decent amount without worrying too much. The berries are just 74 calories per one cup or 140 grams. While most of these calories come from carbs, the nutrients we get from this intake are quite high.
In one cup of physalis berries, we also get a whopping six grams of fiber. That’s more than a fifth of the RDI for this nutrient. We also get 2.7 grams of protein and one gram of fat. Women will get more than 20 percent of their RDI for Vitamin C, while men would get 17 percent of the same. Other nutrients here include Vitamin A, iron, niacin, calcium, and phosphorus. Vitamin K and beta-carotenes round off the nutrient content on these berries, so we can rest assured that we’re getting a proper health boost with just a cup of these golden berries. Check out the benefits of these bilberries as well.
2. Plant Compounds with Antioxidants
Physalis or golden berries have several plant compounds, most of which have high levels of antioxidants. The latter are adept at repairing the damage done to our body by free radicals, pollutants, etc. In fact, they might even prevent the damage from happening in the first place. When free radicals and other harmful agents are allowed to roam our bodies unchecked, they lead to a lot of diseases, aging effects, and even problems like cancer.
This is why studies show that the golden berry might be a way for us to fight cancer before it even sets in. There are at least 34 compounds in this berry that have several health benefits, including anticancer potential. There are also phenolic compounds that might result in preventing colon cancer and breast cancer cells from growing and spreading.
3. Soothes Inflammation
After the risk of cancer, it’s cell inflammation we have to worry about. Too much inflammation in the body results in a lot of health risks. If the inflammation is around major organs such as the heart, we might be in great danger of problems like heart disease, strokes, high blood pressure, and much more.
All of this is why we need to consume foods that soothe inflammation in as natural a way as possible. Magnolia berries might be another great option if you’re not allergic to them.
4. Enhances Immunity
Our immune system is what fights off all manner of illnesses and diseases from the body. As our body ages and we consume all manner of unhealthy foods, this system eventually weakens and is unable to protect us anymore.
Fortunately, fruits like the physalis berries and goji berries might help us strengthen our immune system before it’s too late. These berries contain a lot of polyphenols that can prevent immune markets from releasing inflammation.
The Vitamin C in physalis plays an important role in strengthening immune system function. With the high percentage of Vitamin C that we get from these berries, we’d probably look forward to years of good health and a robust immune system.
5. Might Improve Bone Health
Losing bone density might be a common aging symptom for many, but it’s not really acceptable for most people. Being diagnosed with osteoporosis might be the worst nightmare of many young folks, so now’s the time to take proper action.
Golden berries give you a decent amount of Vitamin K, which is a fat-soluble vitamin for enhancing bone metabolism. We need this vitamin in order to make up our cartilage and bone. As long as we keep taking sources of Vitamin K from physalis and Vitamin D as well, we should experience a healthy bone turnover from now on.
6. Could Improve Eye Vision
It might seem strange to say that a simple berry could retire our eyesight, but it’s been known to happen. Golden or physalis berries give us carotenoids like beta-carotene, lutein, etc.
When we really consume a diet that has a lot of fresh veggies and fruits, we’re likely to benefit from the carotenoids in them. These substances will help us stave off uses like age-related macular degeneration, one of the major causes of blurred vision and blindness today.
Lutein is the most important carotenoid here, as its effectiveness in preventing all sorts of eye diseases is well-documented. Lutein, along with lycopene and several other carotenoids will also give special protection against loss of vision for people who suffer from diabetes.
7. Possible Side Effects
All the benefits we’ve talked about above might make the phsyalic or golden berry seem like an amazing option for everyone. However, as with all potential solutions to a problem, there are pros and cons to consuming a lot of golden berries.
If we eat these berries before they’re completely ripe, for example, they could even be poisonous. This is because they have solanine in them, which is a toxic substance inside any vegetable that’s part of the nightshade family (potatoes and tomatoes have the same quality and are from the same plant family).
Solanine can cause a number of disturbing side effects, including diarrhea, digestive upset, cramping, etc. In some very rare cases, ingesting solanine might even be fatal.
Even if we’re careful only to consume the golden, orange, fully ripe berries, there are warnings against over consumption.
While we have to be careful about the ripeness of physalis berries there’s no denying that they can be part of a healthy and versatile diet. If we’re on a journey towards healthy eating, including exotic and somewhat uncommon fruits in our daily meal plans will hopefully make things more interesting.