Goldenberry; Types, Nutritional Value, Recipes, Health Benefits

Goldenberry
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Goldenberry scientifically known as Physalis peruviana are small yellowish berries that have originated from South America. Oddly enough, goldenberries are more closely related to tomatoes and eggplants than other berries and are approximately the size of a marble. [1]

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.[2]

Nutritional Value of Goldenberry

Health Benefits of Goldenberry

  • Anti Cancer Effects – Oral cancer is the sixth most common cancer worldwide [4]. Its high morbidity and mortality are partly due to its relatively poor chemotherapy outcomes [5]. Because of their high cytotoxicity in normal cells, the various anti-oral cancer drugs developed so far have limited therapeutic applications. Therefore, a continuing challenge is to develop an anti-oral cancer therapy that is safer and more effective, particularly in terms of selective killing efficiency. Extract of Physalis peruviana (golden berry), which is an edible plant in the family Solanaceae, reportedly confers an anti-hepatoma effect through apoptosis [6]. Our previous work [7] found that P. peruviana-derived 4β-hydroxywithanolide E (4βHWE) has apoptotic and antiproliferative effects on human lung cancer cells [8]. The 4βHWE withanolides are plant-derived C(28) steroidal lactones [9] with potent anti-cancer properties [10]. Other withanolides, such as withaferin A, also reportedly induce apoptosis in many cancer types, including breast cancer [11], melanoma [12], and leukemia [13]. Accumulating evidence in recent studies indicates that selective activation of apoptosis improves the effectiveness of cancer chemotherapy [14][15]. For improved modulation of the apoptotic potential of cancer cells, one promising line of research is the use of withanolides that selectively kill tumor cells but have low toxicity in healthy cells [16].
  • Antioxidant Content – 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. [17] Like the carotenoids and polyphenolic compounds, antioxidants found in goldenberries can neutralize free radicals, the damaging by-products 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 cancers, making it a very important food source in many parts of the world.
  • Anti-inflammatory Properties – Goldenberries are rich in antioxidants that help in reducing inflammation. [18] If you suffer from arthritis, gout, muscle aches, chronic pain, or even hemorrhoids, anti-inflammatory compounds in the berries can soothe these conditions and improve overall health. Goldenberries improve heart health by lowering inflammation of the arteries and blood vessels and preventing the development of atherosclerosis and coronary heart diseases. This effectively lowers blood pressure as well, which further decreases the symptoms of hypertension and gives a relief to your heart.
  • Weight Loss – mAs a low-calorie food (only 53 calories per 100 grams), golden berries are an interesting option for people trying to lose weight. [19] 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!
  • Normal Blood Sugar – Starch and sugar are broken down in the body through an enzymatic reaction, a process that can increase blood sugar levels. Studies suggest that golden berries may be helpful for inhibiting the enzyme responsible for this reaction and preventing the breakdown of starchy carbohydrates; thus controlling the impact carbohydrates have on blood sugar. [20]
  • Discourages Systemic Redness and Swelling – Illness and irritation can cause redness and swelling in the body; it’s indicative of many diseases. [21]Research conducted by the National University of Colombia confirms that golden berries offer potent activity against systemic redness and swelling. Goldenberries present an immunomodulatory effect which directly (and indirectly) blocks the affected mediators. [22] In layman’s terms, golden berries fight redness in the body by reducing the impact of proteins that cause the redness. [23
  • Liver, Kidney, and Organ Health – In late 2013, Egypt’s National Research Center’s Department of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants reported that golden berries may offer potent liver and kidney benefits, possibly protecting against the “scarring” of liver tissue. [24] Liver health is especially important, as it’s the body’s main detoxifying organ. Its anti-redness and antioxidant compounds may be effective for protecting other organs, including the lungs. In fact, preliminary research is even examining the potential for a primary compound in golden berries, 4 beta-Hydroxywithanolide, as a potential therapy for lung cancer.
  • Cholesterol Balance – Although many people think of fats as a negative component, in reality, humans need a variety of essential fatty acids for the proper functioning of many processes in the body. For example, the oleic and linoleic acid in goldenberries lower the amount of LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) in our body and re-establish the cholesterol balance to ensure a healthy heart. [25] They can also slow down or even reverse the spread of cancerous cells throughout the body.
  • Diabetes Control – Some of the compounds found in goldenberries 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 preventive method and a treatment for Type II diabetes. [26]
  • Improve Liver & Kidney Health – Although the exact pathway for this benefit isn’t completely understood, one of the withanolides found in goldenberries has been associated with a reduction in liver scarring and a reversal of liver degradation. [27] Furthermore, golden berries are linked to optimal kidney health as they help to eliminate toxins by stimulating urination and flushing out excess fats, salts, and toxins from the lymphatic system.
  • Improve Vision – Due to the high carotenoid content found in golden berries, they are often recommended for boosting the health of your eyes. [28] Carotenoids 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.
  • Boost Immunity – 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. [29] 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 cells, tissues, organs, and blood vessels.
  • Improves Cognitive Functions – Eating golden berries on a regular and moderate basis has also been found to be very beneficial for keeping our nervous system healthy and for improving our cognitive functions. This benefit of golden berries is mainly because of the presence of antioxidants like Vitamin C, Vitamin A and other antioxidants compounds like polyphenols in them. The antioxidants present in the golden berries fight with the free radicals of our body, stabilize them and thus prevents them from causing oxidative damage to our brain cells, and thus helps in keeping our nervous system healthy. In addition to this, other nutrients present in the golden berries also plays a significant role in improving our brain health.[30]
  • Good For Digestive System – Eating golden berries on a regular and moderate basis has been found to be very beneficial for stomach and helps in keeping our digestive system healthy. This benefit of golden berries is mainly due to the presence of dietary fibers in them. The dietary fibers present in the golden berries act as a natural laxative, improves bowel movement and ensures smooth elimination of waste from our system.[31]

References

  1. https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/45268791?
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3660349/
  3. https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/agricultural-and-biological-sciences/physalis
  4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Physalis_peruviana

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