Rosemary Barnes is the owner of greencyprus.net. She regularly writes on green and environmental issues for Green Cyprus and other online publications.
In our quest for good health, superfoods increasingly play a vital role in providing us with a host of nutrients and valuable anti-oxidants. Falling within the category of superfoods are berries…from acai to goji berries and pomegranate to raspberries the list continues to grow. With extensive proven research regarding their health-benefits, there is little doubt that berries should become a staple in our diet. I for one always make a point, usually with breakfast, to add a variety of berries, whatever is available, to my diet. I am convinced of the benefits they offer and let’s face it, berries taste good!
I am currently writing from the UK, where it is easy to obtain virtually any kind of berry under the sun and on one of my recent health-shopping trips came across a ‘new’ super berry – the goldenberry which I had recently began hearing about. Always on the lookout for all things green and organic, I found what I was looking for in Holland & Barrett.
Apparently taking health fanatics by storm, experts and celebs alike are raving about this super-fruit for its fat-busting and health-boosting qualities. Armed with a couple of bags, I was already planning my next breakfast – more berries to add to my porridge!
So what are Goldenberries?
The Incan Goldenberry (Physalis peruviana), also known as the Cape Gooseberry is a botanical relative to the potato and tomato that’s been growing in the Andes for thousands of years. It’s fruit is bright yellow, small in size and extremely sweet when ripe. It grows quite easily in Hawaii, California, South Africa, East Africa, India, New Zealand, Australia, & Great Britain.
Common Uses For The Goldenberry
The Goldenberry is usually eaten raw like many other small berries such as the blueberry or raspberry but is often dried, strongly resembling a raisin in texture and shape. In this form it’s easily mixed into cereal, yogurt, fruit salads, green salads or on its own as a dried fruit snack.
The Benefits of the Goldenberry
Goldenberries fall into the superfood category for a reason; like other small berries and raw foods they are packed with a plethora of vitamins and nutrients that are highly beneficial:
Goldenberries are high in protein which is extremely high for any kind of a plant or fruit making them an excellent protein supplement for those who don’t care to get their protein from animal or meat sources. Protein is vital to the development of tissues in the body among many things.
Goldenberries are high in phosphorous. Aside from calcium, phosphorous is one of the most vital minerals in the body and necessary for the growth and strengthening of bones and teeth. Calcium alone isn’t capable of building strong bones and tissue, as research has shown that phosphorous is needed to maximize bone-strengthening benefits.
Goldenberries are an excellent source of vitamin A. Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that not only aids in keeping eyes, skin and mucous membranes moist but it’s also a potent antioxidant that neutralizes free radicals in the body. These free radicals are capable of causing severe tissue damage. It exists as beta-carotene in many plants which the body converts in vitamin A.
Goldenberries are an excellent source of vitamin C. A water-soluble vitamin also known as ascorbic acid that is a potent antioxidant, required by more than 300 metabolic functions in the body including tissue growth, adrenal gland function, healthy gums, metabolism, etc. One of the major benefits is that it can bind with toxic substances and certain heavy metals to render them harmless while setting them up for easy excretion.
Goldenberries are rich in complex B vitamins. There are numerous B vitamins that exist in the goldenberry fruit (B1, B2, B6 and B12). These complex B vitamins do a great deal to reduce stress, improve memory, improve energy and reduce fatigue, spur metabolism, relieve PMS and reduce the risk of heart disease. They’ve even been shown to help the body burn fat and glucose off for energy.
A delicious source of bioflavonoids. Studies have proven that bioflavonoids possess antiviral, anti-carcinogenic, anti-inflammatory, antihistamine and antioxidant properties. Essentially, the goldenberry can potentially help you correct a number of ailments if it becomes part of a regular diet.
How Can Goldenberries Help?
While they are indeed a delicious fruit that can be eaten in a variety of forms, the greatest appeal are the healing properties of the goldenberry. Tradionally, goldenberries have been used to help a variety of ailments including asthma, edema, optic nerve disorders, throat afflictions, gastro-intestinal upset, intestinal parasites and various skin conditions.
As I mentioned earlier, goldenberries caused a stir on the celeb scene after some experts started recommending them for their fat-burning properties and so the media caught on….. here at Green Cyprus we too now know!
Goldenberries are available in branches of Holland & Barrett priced at £2.49 a bag.