Goldenberry, a fruit originating in the tropical highlands of South America, is gaining popularity in the culinary world for its rich vitamin content. Goldenberry was first domesticated in its native regions – the tropical highlands of Peru, Ecuador, Chile, and Colombia – during pre-Incan times. Although the goldenberry is now grown in different places throughout the world, its natural habitat is still considered subtropical mountain regions.
Health Benefits of Goldenberry
Goldenberry has been traditionally used to treat a variety of health conditions; however, both popular consumption and scientific research suggest that the herb is mainly useful for:
Goldenberry contains compounds that help soothe skin irritations, such as dermatitis, and also alleviate the painful symptoms of arthritis.
Preliminary research shows that goldenberry may be able to help regulate blood glucose levels.
Goldenberries are also a guilt-free snack with only 53 calories per 100 grams. These tiny fruits also deliver a large percentage of your daily nutrients, without any fats or calories, helping to keep your weight loss goals on track. You can easily add them to oatmeal, yogurt, and other healthy snacks, or eat them on their own
Goldenberries’ nutrition is rounded by high amounts of vitamin A (as carotenoids), which delivers 519 mcg per 100 grams, more than half of the daily value for this important compound, which possess antioxidant properties that can help neutralize free radicals and prevent age-related diseases, as well as protecting skin and eye health.
Goldenberries are a good source of vitamins B1 (thiamin), B2 (rivoflavin), and B3 (niacin), all of which help the body produce energy by aiding in the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins; they also support the health of skin, hair, and eyes, as well as the nervous system.
The fruits of Physalis peruviana also provide good amounts of iron and potassium, both important minerals that play a key role in blood cells production and blood pressure, as as well as in the well-function of nerves and muscles.
Contrary to popular belief, the amount of vitamin C (ascorbic acid) contained in 100 grams of Andean goldenberry, while it represents about 22% of the daily value for this nutrient, is not that impressive compared to that of camu camu, kiwi, and orange.
Other nutrients, present in small amounts in the Inca berries are calcium, phosphorus, and zinc.
HOW TO CONSUME GOLDENBERRY
Nowadays, goldenberry is primarily consumed as a food product, enjoyed for its taste and nutritional value, as its medicinal uses are typically limited to indigenous peoples.
Raw. Especially in its native regions, goldenberry is consumed raw, whether alone or in a fruit salad. The berry’s tart, acidic taste is not agreeable to all, but many enjoy it in small amounts.
Juice. All the nutritional and medicinal benefits of goldenberry can be obtained from juicing its fresh berries, alone or mixed with other fruits.
Dried. Outside of South America, goldenberry is often consumed dried because it is easier to transport and store while still making a good snack.
Powder. Goldenberry powder provides all the nutritional and medicinal benefits of these Andean berries. It can be diluted in shakes and juices.
Goldenberry has become an important ingredient in gourmet desserts in Peru and other parts of South America. It be found candied and in products such as energy bars, beverages, and jams.