Physalis peruviana is a plant and its fruits are more commonly known as Inca(n) berries, Golden berries, Aztec berries, giant ground cherries and Cape gooseberry (in South Africa) among many other appellations. Basically, the fruit has been native to South America for very long, but has also been cultivated in South Africa in the region of the Cape of Good Hope since the beginning of the 19th century, and in England since the late 18th century.
The golden berry is thought to be one of the lost crops of the Incas and recognized as one of the very few foods, grown at the legendary mountaintop citadel of Machu Picchu. Add this extraordinary fruit to your healthy diet with Sunfood SuperFoods! Sunfood use raw organic Inca berries grown by indigenous farmer families that have been showing full dedication for centuries in order to master the art of growing the nutritious fruit.
The flavor of the fruit can be regulated by fluctuation between night and day temperatures, thereby growing Inca berries at appropriate altitude is essential. After harvest, all the fruits are carefully dried at low temperatures, so their vital nutrients can be entirely preserved. You can eat the delicious berries straight out of the pack or use them in a variety of smoothies, trail mixes, cakes, muffins and other sweet courses.
Nutrition facts and health benefits of Inca berries
- The fruit is considered a super-berry thanks to its nutritional density. It’s very low in calories and low in fat, as an ounce of berries (28.3g) contains approximately 80 calories and 1g fat, therefore it’s perfect for slimming diets or simply sustaining optimal weight.
- The same serving delivers 3g of dietary fiber which is vital for healthy digestion and balancing the cholesterol levels. Fiber bulks up in the stomach and digests slowly, making you feel satiated for a longer period of time. Namely, that’s the reason fiber is associated with weight control too. According to the Institute of Medicine, mature men need around 38g fiber a day, while women need 25g, so in that reference the Inca berry can find its place in a fiber-rich diet.
- Golden berries are lower in sugar compared to most other berries.
- Dried fruits like these golden berries are a great source of beneficial nutrients, because you don’t have to eat as much as if the fruit was fresh off the vine. One ounce (28.3g) of berries ensure 45% of the recommended daily intake for vitamin A. Vitamin A is very important for healthy eyes and skin.
- The super-berries contain modest amounts of certain vitamins and trace minerals such as thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin C, calcium, iron and phosphorus.
- Being a plant food, the dried Inca berry is a concentrated antioxidant source. Antioxidants help ward off detrimental free radicals that damage the body cells and lead to dangerous degenerative diseases such as cancer, asthma, atherosclerosis, inflammatory joint disease, degenerative eye disease and more. Antioxidant compounds in Inca berries include vitamin A, vitamin C, beta-carotene and polyphenols.
- Inca berries may help you normalize the blood sugar.
- The power-food might offer a reliable kidney and liver benefits. This was established in 2013 by Egypt’s National Research Center’s Department of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants. Liver health is very important, because this is the body’s main detoxifying organ. Its antioxidant and anti-inflammation compounds may be efficacious in protecting other organs, including the lungs. What’s even more, a certain compound in golden berries called “4 beta-Hydroxywithanolide E” is showing promising results as a potential lung cancer therapy.
- The National University of Colombia has carried out a research confirming that Inca super-berries offer strong activity against systemic redness and swelling. They present an immunomodulatory effect that directly (as well as indirectly) blocks the affected mediators.
This is how Inca berry plants looks like
This is how fresh Inca berries look like
And these are dried Inca berries
Pictures credit: naturalniprodukti.com