Gooseberries are a low-calorie, high-nutrient fruit high in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Though there isn’t much research on gooseberries, several minerals have been linked to significant health advantages. Lower blood sugar, cholesterol, blood pressure levels, and a lower chance of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and age-related cognitive disorders are just a few benefits.
Gooseberries are a delicious, healthful fruit to eat as a snack or a tasty complement to meals. Amla, also known as Indian gooseberries, grows on the same-named flowering tree. The berries are tiny and spherical, with brilliant or yellow-green colors. Although they are somewhat sour on their own, their flavor can be used to improve recipes.
What Are Gooseberries?
Gooseberries are related to currants and come in sizes ranging from half an inch to an inch in diameter. They can have a smooth or somewhat fuzzy exterior, with stripes on the translucent skin sometimes visible and sometimes not. The berries are available in a range of hues, including yellow, red, pink, green, and purple, with the darker color indicating a sweeter flavor. The berries have a center filled with tiny seeds and are marketed with a “top and tail,” the stem and bloom ends, respectively.
Gooseberries were banned in the United States for most of the first half of the twentieth century, commencing in 1911, because they were an intermediary host of a plant disease that attacked pine trees. With the introduction of disease-resistant gooseberries, the federal prohibition was abolished in 1966, although several states, particularly in the Northeast, continue to limit some gooseberry varieties. Because gooseberries are naturally tart, the best methods to use them are pie fillings, jams, syrups, preserves, cobblers, jellies, and sauces cooked with added sugar.
Gooseberry Nutrition Facts
Fifteen grams of carbohydrate and dietary fiber are found in one cup of raw gooseberries (6.4 grams). Gooseberries, like all berries, contain naturally occurring sugar in an amount that the USDA does not specify.
Like many other types of fresh fruit, Gooseberries are exceptionally low in fat, with less than 0.9 grams of fat per cup.
Gooseberries aren’t a particularly high-protein food, with only 1.3 grams per cup.
Minerals and vitamins
Gooseberries are high in vitamins and minerals, despite their low-calorie content. A one-cup intake of raw gooseberries provides at least half of the daily need for inflammation-fighting vitamin C.
Gooseberries are also high in manganese, and vitamin A. Like those in other berries, the vibrant pigments in gooseberry skins provide cell-protecting antioxidants.
What Are the Health Benefits of Gooseberries?
1. High in Fiber and Low in Calories
Gooseberries are high in fiber but low in energy, so you can eat many without gaining too much weight. One cup of gooseberries provides just over 3% of a person’s total daily calorie requirements, making them a healthy, low-calorie snack.
Furthermore, studies show that consuming berries can help you lose weight and eat fewer calories overall.
One tiny study indicated that people who ate berries as a snack consumed 130 fewer calories at their next meal than people who ate the same amount of calories from sweets. Gooseberries are also a good source of both soluble and insoluble dietary fiber.
Gooseberries supply 26% of the daily value of fiber in one cup, making them an excellent method to increase your fiber consumption. Soluble fiber helps delay the flow of food in your gut, which can lessen appetite and boost feelings of fullness. Insoluble fiber helps add bulk to your stool and improves consistency, whereas insoluble fiber helps add bulk to your stool and improves consistency. Furthermore, dietary fiber from fruits can help you control your blood sugar levels and lower your blood pressure, cholesterol, and your risk of chronic diseases like cancer, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and obesity.
2. Rich in Antioxidants
Antioxidants are chemicals that aid in the battle against free radical damage. These reactive chemicals cause cellular damage and trigger the oxidative stress response. Many diseases and premature aging are linked to oxidative stress. Antioxidant-rich diets are thought to lower the risk of cancer, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and aging and protect your brain from degenerative disease.
Gooseberries are high in antioxidants, such as vitamin C and modest levels of vitamin E and phytonutrients. Plants generate phytonutrients to stay healthy and protect themselves from insects and the sun. Gooseberries contain a variety of phytonutrients, including
Flavonols: These are associated with heart health and may have antiviral, anti-cancer, and anti-stroke properties. Quercetin, myricetin, kaempferol, and isorhamnetin are the primary kinds found in gooseberries.
Anthocyanins: These are the colored pigments in fruit, and they’re linked to better eye and urinary tract health, increased cognition, healthy aging, and a reduced risk of some cancers.
Aromatic acids: Caffeic, chlorogenic, coumaric, hydroxybenzoic, and ellagic acids are all found in gooseberries.
Organic acids give the fruit its tangy flavor and may lower your risk of stroke and Alzheimer’s disease.
3. May Help Control Blood Sugar
Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, dementia, and various other disorders are linked to high blood sugar levels. Gooseberries offer several characteristics that may help with blood sugar management.
They’re abundant in fiber, for starters, which slows sugar absorption into your system and prevents blood sugar spikes. Gooseberry extract is also an alpha-glucosidase inhibitor, according to test-tube research. It binds to specific enzymes in your small intestine, blocking them from transporting sugar from your gut to your bloodstream.
Finally, gooseberries contain chlorogenic acid, which may help lower blood sugar levels after starchy meals by slowing carb absorption. Despite the positive results, more research on the influence of gooseberries on blood sugar levels is required.
4. May Protect Your Brain
Excess iron in the cells has been linked to some degenerative brain illnesses. Too much iron can lead to free radicals, chemicals that can harm your cells. Your brain cells have high iron content, making them more susceptible to harm.
Gooseberries contain 11–14 mg of citric acid per 100 mg of fruit, making them a natural source of organic acids. Citric acid prevents iron from accumulating in cells and lowers the risk of diseases like Alzheimer’s and stroke when ingested regularly. Gooseberries’ antioxidants and phytonutrients are thought to help prevent age-related brain illnesses and lower your chance of stroke. More research is still required.
5. It May Have Anticancer Properties
Berries, phytonutrients, and antioxidants-rich diets have been associated with a lower risk of certain malignancies. Folate, phenolic chemicals, and vitamins C and E are some of the anticancer components found in gooseberries.
These nutrients help minimize, counteract, and repair damage caused by oxidative stress and inflammation, leading to cancer. Anthocyanins, for example, have been shown in test tubes and animals to block the formation of cancer cells, potentially lowering your risk of malignancies of the colon, pancreatic, and breast.
However, more research is needed to assess the effects of gooseberries on cancer.
What Does a Gooseberry Taste Like?
Gooseberries have a sour or sweet flavor depending on how mature they are, with green gooseberries being sour and red/purple gooseberries being sweet. They have a taste and texture comparable to grapes but are more acidic. Gooseberries have an acidic flavor, but as they ripen, they get sweeter. The red and purple gooseberries are substantially sweeter than the green types, and when they develop, they take on a winey, grapelike flavor. Gooseberries taste like a sour grape or a hint of rhubarb, which is appreciated in baking and pastries but too sour for most people’s palates on its own.
Where to Buy Gooseberries?
If you live where gooseberries are legal, you can buy them at farmers’ markets or supermarkets. Gooseberries, also known as amla in India, can be found in the produce and frozen areas of Indian supermarkets. The gooseberry season lasts from May to August, with July being the busiest month. You might find canned gooseberries, gooseberry pie filling, and syrup with added sugar.
Gooseberries can be found at farmers’ markets or possibly in the supermarket if you live in a state where they are not restricted. Gooseberries, also known as amla in India, can be found in the produce and freezer departments of Indian grocery stores. Gooseberry season lasts from May to August, with July being the busiest month. You could come across canned gooseberries, gooseberry pie filling, and syrup with added sugar.
How to Eat Gooseberries?
Although they still have a tart flavor, red gooseberries are sweeter than green. These are fantastic for jams and pies, and they can be used in any recipe that calls for rhubarb. Green gooseberries are less ripe, but their tart flavor can still be appreciated; replace Granny Smith apples in your favorite pie with them.
Cutting the fruit and eating it fresh is one of the simplest ways to consume amla. Sprinkle salt on top to counteract the sourness. You can also add a pinch of red pepper flakes, improving the flavor and making it easier to eat the fruit.
How to Store Gooseberries?
Fresh gooseberries can last three weeks in a sealed container in the refrigerator. You can also put them in the freezer. Spread them out on a sheet pan and freeze; once frozen, store them in a plastic freezer bag for 12 months. Refrigerate gooseberries in a small jar, loosely wrapped with plastic wrap.
Gooseberries should not be washed until they are ready to eat, as additional moisture during storage will expedite deterioration. Wash berries thoroughly in cold water, towel dry, and freeze in a single layer on a baking pan; Once frozen, transfer to airtight containers or heavy-duty freezer bags and return to the freezer. The freezer time indicated is for optimal quality only; goods left frozen at 0°F will last indefinitely.
Gooseberries are available worldwide and are particularly popular in Europe. Still, they are one of the lesser-known berries in the United States, even though they are native to the continent. These tangy, flavorful berries are ideal for pies, cobblers, compotes, and various other desserts. They’re tiny, look like grapes, and come in various colors. Gooseberries are best cooked with sugar, even though they can be eaten raw due to their tartness.
Both the American gooseberry (Ribes hirtellum) and the European gooseberry (Ribes grossularia) thrive in climates with cool, humid summers and cold winters. Although all gooseberry plants contain thorns, none have been reported to be harmful. Gooseberries have a sour or sweet flavor depending on how mature they are, with green gooseberries being sour and red/purple gooseberries being sweet. They have a taste and texture comparable to grapes but are more acidic.