What Are Golden Berries? Its Benefits Will Have You Reaching For More

Gut Health

Good nutrition is the foundation of your health. However, when you’re busy and don’t have much time, eating well can be a real trial. Overhauling your entire eating plan is a massive chore. So, instead, why not take things one step at a time? Adding healthier ingredients to your existing diet could be the way to go.

That’s where golden berries come into play. These fruits are the latest superfood to take the world by storm and it’s clear to see why. Boasting remarkable vitamins and a sweet and sour flavor, there’s no wonder that so many people are getting on board with this trend. If you haven’t tried the berries yet, you’re in for something of a real treat. Here’s what you need to know and why you should give them a go.

What Are Golden Berries / Cape Gooseberry?

Close up of closed golden berries and one open berry on a table.
From protecting your eyesight to giving you a huge amount of vitamins, there are many golden berries benefits out there.

Have you heard of golden berries yet? You might be wondering what all the hype is about. So, let’s answer the most important question here—what are golden berries?

Also known as a cape gooseberry, these South American fruits are small and orange in color. If you have ever seen a tomatillo before, you should have a clear idea of how the berries look. The two are strikingly similar in appearance.

There’s one other thing that you may notice about these tiny fruits. The golden berries also have a paper coating around them, which is known as a husk or, officially, a calyx. Before you eat the berries or add them to a dish, you should make sure that you fully remove the husk. Doing so is pretty easy; you can simply peel it back and throw it away.

But wait a moment, how do the berries taste? Well, the flavor of golden berries tends to be sweet and exotic. You can add them to your breakfast bowls, eat them as they are or even make something tasty from them, such as a tangy sauce. Delicious.

5 Golden Berries Benefits to Keep in Mind

Now that you’re clear on what golden berries are, you may want to delve a little deeper into why you should be eating them. Believe it or not, there are many golden berries benefits out there and ways that they may improve your health. From protecting your eyesight to giving you a huge amount of vitamins, here’s what you need to know.

1. Could boost eyesight

Close up of golden berry in its husk.

Doing all that you can to keep your vision working well is a smart way to protect your health. Of course, there are things you can do to help, such as limiting your screen time and looking after your general health. Did you know that your diet could also have a substantial effect on your eyesight? Research suggests that choosing foods that are rich in the carotenoid called lutein could help to protect your vision in the long term.[1]

Luckily enough, golden berries are packed with various carotenoids and 51% of the food carotenoids profile is made up of lutein.[2] That could mean that including ingredients like these in your diet is a great way to protect yourself from losing your eyesight. While you should also make small lifestyle changes to look after your vision, this tip could help too.

Fun Fact: Eating golden berries could help to protect your vision in the long-term, thanks to the carotenoid lutein! [3], [4]

2. May improve immunity

Close up of one golden berry in its husk and others in the peripheral.

Having a strong immune system is essential to your everyday health. One study into human cells found that golden berries could help your body to regulate your immune system.[5] What’s more, the extracts from the fruits also showed cancer-fighting properties, which could mean that they help the body to protect itself from the disease.

As though that weren’t enough to have you reaching for a handful of golden berries, you should also know that they are rich in vitamin C.[6] Studies have linked the vitamin to a boost in the immune system as well as the ability to slightly shorten illnesses.[7] If you’re looking for a way in which to protect your body from viruses, you may have found it.

3. Could lower blood pressure

Two golden berries in their husk and one open berry on a white surface.

If you have high blood pressure, it can quickly lead to a broad range of health defects and illnesses. The condition is linked to heart disease and strokes, both of which are major causes of mortality in the United States.[8] Around a third of American adults have prehypertension, which means that they have higher than normal blood pressure.[9] Taking control of the situation is the only way in which you can begin to protect your health.

Golden berries also have high levels of potassium.[10] With that in mind, one of the biggest golden berries benefits could be that it helps to lower blood pressure and prevent conditions. Research from the British Medical Journal actually suggests that having a high potassium intake could reduce blood pressure in those with hypertension and lower the risk of having a stroke.[11] That’s a great reason to eat more golden berries!

Did you know golden berries are rich in potassium, which may lower blood pressure?[12]

4. Could help bone health

Two golden berries next to one golden berry in its husk.

You may rarely give your bone health a second thought. However, you need to look after all areas of your body to ensure that you’re healthy and strong. Ensuring that you eat the right foods to help support your body is one of the ways that you can do just that. You don’t need to make a drastic change to your current nutrition, but you should add certain things.

Golden berries are packed with vitamin K, which could be related to boosting your bone metabolism.[13] Getting more of this vitamin in your diet is a great way to help your bone and cartilage, according to recent research.[14] While there are many viable sources of vitamin K, you shouldn’t overlook the golden berries benefits here. Simply trying something new, such as this vitamin-packed berry, could help you overhaul your wellness.

5. May be anti-inflammatory

A golden berry plant.

Want to stay healthy? Be wary of inflammation! This condition within the body is actually associated with a broad range of diseases including bowel disease and some forms of cancer too. One of the ways in which you can take steps to protect yourself is to eat foods that have anti-inflammatory properties. Needless to say, many types of fruit and vegetables are rich in these compounds, which is why you need them in your diet.

Research published in the United States National Library of Medicine suggests that golden berries could boast some rather astounding anti-inflammatory benefits.[15] The animal-based research found that an extract from the berries could reduce the inflammation that appears in mice with inflammatory bowel disease.[16] While the research is still in its infancy, it may shed a light on the way in which these berries can protect our health.

Nutritional Information and Other FAQs About This Fruit

Close up of some golden berries in husks, an open berry, and a halved golden berry on a white surface.
An ounce of golden berries is only 80 calories, which means that they are a low-calorie and healthy snack!

Do you still have a couple of burning questions when it comes to golden berries? Now that we’ve piqued your interest when it comes to these cool superfoods, you may want to learn more and more about what they are and what you get from them. Thankfully, you’ve come to the right place here. Let’s take a brief moment to look at the main nutritional information, of which you need to be aware, along with some other frequently asked questions.

What nutrients do golden berries contain?

First of all, let’s talk about the nutrients that you gain when you feast on some tasty golden berries. An ounce of the fruit comes in at just 80 calories, which means that they are a low-calorie and healthy snack.[17] But what golden berries benefits can you gain from eating these treats on a regular basis? Let’s take a quick look at what vitamins and nutrients you can expect in an ounce of golden berries, according to the USDA:[18]

  • Protein, 2g
  • Fiber, 5g
  • Iron, 1mg
  • Potassium, 600mg
  • Vitamin C, 6mg

As you can see, the golden berries are rich in many of the vitamins and nutrients that the body needs to function well. Boosting your intake of vitamin C, fiber, protein, and potassium can only be a positive move when it comes to your overall nutrition. Of course, it also goes without saying that you should also eat a healthy and balanced diet if you want to ensure that you maintain a decent level of wellness. It is absolutely crucial.

Tip: Make sure that your golden berries are 100% ripe before you eat them and don’t eat too many of them!

Where do golden berries come from?

The golden berry fruit is native to Brazil.[19] However, over the years they have spread from country to country. You can now find them naturally in the highlands of both Chile and Peru. Plus, farmers began growing the berries in England in the late 1700s, while the seeds were spread in Australia and Hawaii in the early 1800s.[20] That means that you can easily find the golden berry plant all around the world.

Close up of two golden berries in their husks, two open berries, and one halved golden berry on a white surface.
The golden berry plant can be poisonous at times, but only when the berry is unripe.

Are golden berries toxic to humans?

One of the things that you may have heard when it comes to golden berries is that they are dangerous to eat. There is actually some truth to this rumor, which is why it’s important to do your research before you start eating them.

The golden berry plant can be poisonous at times, but only when the berry is unripe. These underdeveloped fruits have solanine in them—a toxin which could be potentially harmful to humans.[21] The side effects of this particular toxin include:[22]

  • An upset stomach
  • Cramps and pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatality*

To protect yourself, you should make sure that the golden berries you consume are as ripe as possible. If you have any doubt about whether they are ripe enough, make sure that you don’t eat them and simply wait a little longer.

Equally, you should avoid overindulging in these fruit as eating too many of the berries could also be harmful. One study into how the berries affected rats suggests that consuming 2,273 mg per pound of the animal’s body weight resulted in heart damage to the male rats but not the females.[23] It’s important to remember that this is an animal study and there is no current indication of how many golden berries is too many for humans.

*Note: The research suggests that these berries may cause fatality in rare instances.[24]

How do you know when they are ripe?

It’s all very well understanding that you should only eat ripe golden berries, but what signs should you be looking for? One of the main signs that you should be looking for here is color. The unripe berries tend to be green in tone. As they mature, you will see that they become a bright golden-yellow color.[25] The riper the fruit is, the more vibrant the color will be. Again, if you have any doubt about the berry’s ripeness, avoid consuming it.

Golden berries with husks on a white table with one open berry laid on top of them.

Do golden berries have alternate names?

As we have already covered, another popular name for golden berries is cape gooseberries. However, things don’t stop there. According to the California Rare Fruit Growers, these berries also go by a range of alternate names including:[26]

  • Goldenberries
  • Husk Cherries
  • Peruvian Ground Cherries
  • Poha
  • Poha Berries

When it comes to shopping for these superfoods, it may help to remember that stores may list them under a variety of different names. Taking the time to learn about these alternative titles means that you can find them quickly and easily.

Are golden berries related to tomatoes?

You may have noticed the similarity between golden berries and cherry tomatoes. The two fruits look quite similar and have a similar size too. So, are they related to one another? The short answer is yes. The California Rare Fruit Growers note that there is a “distant affinity” between tomato plants and golden berry plants. Interesting stuff!

6 Ways to Add the Cape Gooseberry to Your Diet

1. Put them in a smoothie

Two glasses of golden berry smoothie with a couple of golden berries next to it on a blue table.

Drinking smoothies is an excellent way to boost your nutrition, especially if you make them at home. The next time you whip up a superfood smoothie why not add something extra into the blender? Putting some ripe and peeled cape gooseberries into the mix will give the drink a tasty and tangy flavor. Plus, you will get loads of extra vitamins and nutrients simply by adding this extra ingredient. Why not give it a go for yourself? It may surprise you!

2. Eat them as a snack

Golden berries on top of a colorful bowl of fruit salad with kiwi, strawberries, melons, and grapes.

Are you an avid snacker? If you find that you get hungry throughout the day or even at night, eating the right treats is essential. You don’t want to overindulge on junk food, such as chips and chocolate. That’s why you should find some healthy alternatives that keep you full while supporting your health. Golden berries could be the answer. When these berries are ripe, they have quite a strong tropical taste and make an ideal snack.

3. Add them to your oats

Top down view of a bowl of oats next to a bowl of golden berries and wooden spoon, with partial view of a jar.

There’s nothing quite like a warming bowl of oats to start the day! If you’re a fan of this breakfast meal, why not shake it up a little? Adding some ripe golden berries to your hot oats once you have cooked them will give it a sweet taste. Of course, you will need to peel the berries and discard of the husks ahead of time. You should also take a quick moment to wash the berries before you add them to your food.

4. Sprinkle them on a salad

Golden berries on top a green salad on a table mat with a fork and knife on the side.

Whether you’re making a savory or fruit salad, adding some golden berries to the bowl is a savvy move. These sweet little bursts of flavor will liven up any dish while making sure that you get extra nutrients and vitamins along the way. As a golden rule, you don’t need to add more than a mere handful of the fruits to your salad to make it extra special.

5. Make some healthy recipe swaps

Golden berries with a potato salad on a plate.

One of the easiest ways in which you can add golden berries to your diet is to swap them for familiar ingredients. For example, if you’re used to making delectable blueberry muffins, you could experiment with the recipe. Rather than using the blueberries, replace them with golden berries instead. You can try this trick with a variety of different well-known recipes.

6. Infuse them in water

Golden berries with open husks on a wooden table with a tray of golden berries defocused in the background.

Looking for a way to hydrate yourself? Drinking more water doesn’t have to be boring. There’s a simple way in which you can give it some extra flavor. Infusing fruit in water is one of the latest wellness trends. It’s super easy to get this right. Peel your ripe golden berries ahead of time. Pop them in the bottom of a glass. Next, pour some water over them. Be sure to chill the drink for a few hours before enjoying.

What are Golden Berries

Conclusion

What are you waiting for? Now that you’re well-versed in the golden berries benefits, why not look for ways in which you can add them to your diet? The berries are only set to grow in popularity as more and more people learn what they are and how to use them. So, get ahead of the curve and start experimenting with some recipes today!

The Benefits of Golden Berries infographic

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References

  • [1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30231532
  • [2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29287402
  • [3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30231532
  • [4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29287402
  • [5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28719984
  • [6] https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/45268791?fgcd=&manu=&format=&count=&max=25&offset=&sort=default&order=asc&qlookup=golden+berries&ds=&qt=&qp=&qa=&qn=&q=&ing=
  • [7] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19263912
  • [8] https://www.cdc.gov/dhdsp/data_statistics/fact_sheets/fs_bloodpressure.htm
  • [9] https://www.cdc.gov/dhdsp/data_statistics/fact_sheets/fs_bloodpressure.htm
  • [10] https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/45268791?fgcd=&manu=&format=&count=&max=25&offset=&sort=default&order=asc&qlookup=golden+berries&ds=&qt=&qp=&qa=&qn=&q=&ing=
  • [11] https://www.bmj.com/content/346/bmj.f1378
  • [12] https://www.bmj.com/content/346/bmj.f1378
  • [13] https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/45268791?fgcd=&manu=&format=&count=&max=25&offset=&sort=default&order=asc&qlookup=golden+berries&ds=&qt=&qp=&qa=&qn=&q=&ing=
  • [14] https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminK-HealthProfessional/
  • [15] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26221001
  • [16] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26221001
  • [17] https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/45268791?fgcd=&manu=&format=&count=&max=25&offset=&sort=default&order=asc&qlookup=golden+berries&ds=&qt=&qp=&qa=&qn=&q=&ing=
  • [18] https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/45268791?fgcd=&manu=&format=&count=&max=25&offset=&sort=default&order=asc&qlookup=golden+berries&ds=&qt=&qp=&qa=&qn=&q=&ing=
  • [19] https://www.crfg.org/pubs/ff/cape-gooseberry.html
  • [20] https://www.crfg.org/pubs/ff/cape-gooseberry.html
  • [21] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3793154/
  • [22] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6338654
  • [23] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24369482
  • [24] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6338654
  • [25] https://www.crfg.org/pubs/ff/cape-gooseberry.html
  • [26] https://www.crfg.org/pubs/ff/cape-gooseberry.html

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