If you’ve never seen a gooseberry before, you might confuse its appearance with that of a grape or a shrunken melon. Gooseberries aren’t among the most common fruits here in the United States, but can certainly be found at markets. Gooseberries are more common within Europe and the surrounding area, and have been cultivated for thousands of years, well known for their more tart taste compared to other fruits.
Many people like to use gooseberries as an ingredient, and there are even sodas in certain parts of the world that use the gooseberry flavor. You can pick them straight from the bush and start eating, though, making it a very versatile fruit. Gooseberries also have a wide range of health benefits compared to some other fruits, even if they aren’t as sweet tasting as the grapes you might be familiar with. To show you what gooseberries can do, let’s look at the nutritional breakdown and proven health benefits you get from eating more gooseberries in your diet.
Nutrition of Gooseberries
Gooseberries make for a great snack since one serving (one cup each) doesn’t break the calorie bank with only 66 total. Gooseberries have just over a gram of protein in that serving, while also delivering more than a quarter of your daily recommendation for fiber. Gooseberries are also packed with vitamin C at nearly 70 percent daily value, while also bringing 10 percent of your needed vitamin A.
Other vitamins found in smaller amounts around the five percent daily value include vitamin E, thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin B6 and pantothenic acid. As for the minerals, manganese is the most abundant with over 10 percent daily value. Coming in at around five to 10 percent daily value in each serving are calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and copper. Gooseberries have under one gram of fat in each serving with no sugar or cholesterol and even fatty acids on top of it all.
When looking at the nutrition of gooseberries, the first thing that you notice is the high amount of vitamin C. With more vitamin C per serving than even oranges, gooseberries contain around 70 percent in just one serving. The good news about vitamin C is that you can go over the 100 percent daily recommendation without being worries, as your body will simply expel whatever you don’t need.
Vitamin C helps in a ton of different ways, but the most apparent is with your immune system. Vitamin C helps your body to produce more white blood cells that fight off foreign invaders such as viruses that cause a wide range of illnesses. Vitamin C and some of the other nutrients within gooseberries also act as antioxidants that can fend off the free radicals that attack your body’s cells and cause serious problems such as cancer. You get the maximum amount of vitamin C in a ripe gooseberry that has been stored in a cool place for a couple of days.
The other compound that really stands out on the nutrition label for gooseberries is the amount of fiber. With more than a quarter of your needed fiber in each serving, you’re setting a nice base for a high fiber diet that a large majority of people aren’t getting. Fiber has a ton of benefits, starting with improving your digestive health, as it adds more probiotics to your gut to combat harmful bacteria that makes you ill.
Getting enough fiber in your diet also helps you feel more full throughout the day, making gooseberries a great tool if you’re looking to lose weight, especially since it boosts your metabolism. Fiber even reduces your chances of diabetes and helps those that already have the disease while also reducing your chances of colon cancer.
While vitamin C is certainly praised for its ability to boost your immune health, it does just as many wonders for your skin. Getting enough vitamin C allows your body to produce more natural collagen that improves the elasticity of your skin. The free radicals that we mentioned earlier can also attack your skin and make you look older by producing wrinkles and other signs of aging, but the vitamins in gooseberries can prevent that.
Vitamin A is another important nutrient for your skin and hair as it gives you a glowing complexion and works with vitamin C to get rid of dead or flaky skin. That translates into better hair health, as well, as your scalp will be more clear to allow faster and stronger hair growth. Vitamin A is great for your vision, too, so that you won’t only look good, but you’ll see well on top of it.
Calcium is usually the first mineral that comes to mind when you think of bone health, which can certainly be found in gooseberries. However, one nutrient that doesn’t get as much attention is manganese, and gooseberries deliver more than 10 percent of your daily recommendation. Manganese plays a part in your bone’s health by increasing the mineral density, especially in elderly people.
The small amounts of calcium and phosphorus bind together to increase the bone density which can prevent you from getting osteoporosis later in life. Omega-6 fatty acids further aid you in preventing osteoporosis according to studies as they lead to an increase in bone density according to studies. Omega-6 is found in high amounts within gooseberries, and can be just as important as the omega-3 fatty acids.
Good For the Heart
The high amount of fiber within gooseberries has yet another benefit here as it’s essential for heart health. An increased fiber intake in people has been linked to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels in studies, leading to a lowered risk in heart attacks or strokes. Some of the minerals found in gooseberries can also lower your blood pressure if you suffer from hypertension, and the fruit has an overall benefit to your circulation that even applies to your brain health. Swapping out high calorie foods that increase your cholesterol with something like gooseberries just once per day adds up to many years added onto your life.
Summing it Up
Gooseberries are one of those foods that won’t negatively affect you unless you have a pre-existing medical condition. Gooseberries are safe in most cases, though you’ll want to speak with a doctor before eating them if you have any sort of blood or liver disorder. Gooseberries have been linked with bleeding and bruising, as well as liver function in those that have these conditions and could interact negatively with medications.
If you have a surgery scheduled in the next two weeks, doctors suggest that you avoid eating gooseberries and similar fruits. Most people who eat the recommended amount of gooseberries in their diet will experience no problems at all, making it easy to fit into just about any diet. Gooseberries have a delicious taste and bring great health benefits that you can start enjoying by picking some up from the market today!