Gooseberries come in a variety of colours including golden, greenish, or reddish in colour. They have a tart grape flavour with subtle tropical fruit sweetness. Gooseberries have a texture similar to that of a cherry tomato with thick skin easily broken when chewing. Like most fruits, they confer a variety of health and nutritional benefits.
Gooseberries are a good source of vitamins, minerals, fibre, and antioxidants. They have vitamin C, vitamin A, B vitamins, calcium, copper, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and fibre. One study reported that the riper the fruit, the higher the vitamin C and vitamin A (beta-carotene) in it. Gooseberries are low in calories and protein.
Vitamin B5 is necessary for creating fatty acids and vitamin B6 helps convert food into energy. Copper in gooseberries has a role to play in the functioning of the heart, blood vessels, immune system, and brain. Potassium is essential for normal cell function and manganese supports metabolism, bone formation, reproduction, and immune response.
Rich in vitamin C and antioxidants
Vitamin C boosts the immune system and plays a critical role in the functioning of the nervous system. Antioxidants protect cells from damage and in this way, help prevent diseases. It’s interesting to note that gooseberries shave more vitamin C than lemons and deliver 18% of daily vitamin C requirements.
The antioxidants in gooseberries reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, ageing, as well as protect your brain from degenerative diseases. Antioxidants have anti-inflammatory properties which are how they are able to protect against disease. The above illnesses are all linked to inflammation. They have stroke-reducing properties as well as cancer-fighting and antiviral effects. Organic acids, an antioxidant in gooseberry reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
Vitamin A benefits
Vitamin A has compounds with antioxidant properties that help protect against heart disease, neural degeneration, and diabetes. The vitamin A in gooseberries also guards against macular degeneration which is an age-related eye disease. It stimulates the production of red blood cells and plays a role in regulating the genes.
High in fibre and low in calories
Gooseberries are high-fibre and low-calorie making them a healthy snack to reach for. Research shows that for this reason, eating them can aid in weight loss. The insoluble fibre in them bulks up stool and improves consistency. Soluble fibre helps slow the digestion of food which has the effect of making you feel fuller for longer, reducing hunger and the desire to snack. This also contributes to aiding weight management. Slowing down digestion also reduces the likelihood of blood sugar spikes after meals which makes it diabetes-friendly. It helps control blood sugar levels, reduces blood pressure, cholesterol, and the risk of developing chronic conditions like heart disease, colon cancer, type 2 diabetes and obesity.
Calcium, vitamin C, and phosphorus in gooseberries help in improving bone strength. They also help prevent bone disorders.
Gooseberries support heart health in a number of ways. The nutrients and antioxidants promote heart health. Antioxidants also prevent the oxidation of LDL (bad) cholesterol in the blood which reduces the risk of heart disease. Phytonutrients, compounds in gooseberry help reduce blood pressure and improve blood vessel function. This may lower your risk of heart disease. Potassium in the fruit helps maintain a regular heartbeat and blood pressure and is essential for good blood vessel health. This reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke.
Gooseberries are easy to add to the diet. They can be eaten alone as fruits, added to salads, or used to flavour fish, poultry, and meat dishes. Gooseberries are also used to make jams, jellies, sauce, and chutney and they can be added to muffins, pie-fillings, and ice creams.