Unbelievable health benefits of gooseberries (and a few tasty recipes)


What are Gooseberries?

Gooseberries are European origin small, ripe, oval berries. Gooseberry plants are small deciduous shrubs which grow about 4 to 6 feet in height. The plants have sharp thorns and woody branches. The gooseberry bushes grow really fast and the fruits start growing after 2 to 3 years of planting them. Berries have various shapes, colours and vary in taste too.

The outer surface of gooseberry can be smooth or rough and it can be of any shape such as round, oval, elongated, pear-shaped. Gooseberries are also available in various colours such as white, yellow, red-brown, purple, black and taste sweet and tart. A gooseberry can hold 15 – 30 tiny edible seeds inside of it.

2 most common varieties of Gooseberries are as follows:

Indian Gooseberries 

Indian Gooseberries which are also called Amla are transversely spherical in shape and has a light green texture. Indian Gooseberries are a rich source of antioxidants and Vitamin C due to which they taste very bitter in taste. The antioxidant and the Vitamin C content makes it excessively acidic.

Cape Gooseberries 
 
Cape Gooseberries which are having a South American origin is also called Peruvian Cherry in the United States. Cape Gooseberries are generally small, round, orange-yellow in colour which is covered or encased inside a papery thin husk shaped like a Chinese lantern.

What are the nutritional values of Gooseberries?

The nutritional values of 1 cup or 150 grams of Gooseberries are elaborated in the chart given below.

Nutrients and minerals 

Nutritional values 

Calories 

66

Proteins 

1 gram 

Fats 

Less than 1 gram 

Carbohydrates 

15 grams 

Fibre 

7 grams 

Copper 

12% of DV(Daily Value)

Manganese 

9% of DV

Potassium 

6% of DV

Vitamin B5

9% of DV

Vitamin B6 

7% of DV

Vitamin C

46% of DV

What are the plant compounds present in Gooseberries?

gooseberries-redThere are various plant compounds which are present in Gooseberries besides all the minerals and nutrients. The phytonutrients of the plant compounds which are present in Gooseberries are as follows:

Flavonols

The most common types of Flvonols which are present in Gooseberries are quercetin, myricetin, kaempferol and isorhamnetin. These Flavanols are very helpful for regulating the cardiac health of an individual and hence helps in preventing strokes, cardiac arrests, etc. Gooseberries are a rich source of Flavanols which have several health benefits due to its antiviral and anti-cancer properties.

Anthocyanins

Anthocyanins are the plant compounds which are beneficial for the colour or the pigmentation of the fruits or the Gooseberries. Anthocyanins present in Gooseberries are very essential for maintaining the urinary tract health as well as eye health. Gooseberries are a rich source of Anthocyanins which is extremely beneficial for slowing down the process of ageing, improving the memory of an individual and it is also helpful for lowering the risks of cancer.

Organic acids

The organic acids which are present in Gooseberries are Malic, Citric and Shikmic acids and these acids are responsible for the tart taste of Gooseberries. The organic acids present in the Gooseberries are responsible for reducing the risk of stroke as well as Alzheimer’s disease. 

Aromatic Acids

Aromatic acids like Caffeic acid, Chlorogenic acid, Coumaric acid, Hydroxybenzoic acid and Ellagic acid are present in Gooseberries. These aromatic acids are extremely helpful in removing the oxidative stress in an individual.

What are the health benefits of Gooseberries?

gooseberries-sweetGooseberries are a rich source of all the essential nutrients and minerals. It is a storehouse of various vitamins which act as antioxidants and help in removing all the toxicity from the body of an individual. The nutritional properties of Gooseberries provide a plethora of health benefits on the consumption of the same.

Some of the most important health benefits of Gooseberries consumption are as follows:

  • Gooseberries are extremely rich in Vitamin C which is a powerful antioxidant. Vitamin C in Gooseberries is very beneficial for the regular functioning of your nervous system, immune system as well as the skin.  Vitamin B5 is an essential component for producing fatty acids. Vitamin B6 is helpful for the functioning of several enzymes and cells in the body of an individual. Vitamin B6 is essential for converting food into energy.
  • Copper is an important mineral for promoting the heart health of an individual. Copper helps in maintaining the health of the blood vessels, brain and also promotes the immune system of an individual. 
  • The Manganese content in the Gooseberries is very useful for supporting metabolism, bone formation, reproduction as well as immune response.
  • The normal and healthy functioning of the cell is regulated by Potassium.
  • Gooseberries are a rich source of soluble dietary fibre and hence it slows down the process of digestion i.e. the food is passed slow trough the digestive tract. Hence a person stays full for a very long period of time and thus Gooseberries help in cutting down cravings for extra calories. Gooseberries itself has low-calorie value and by curbing the intake of extra calories, it helps in the process of weight loss. The high fibre content is also responsible for the regulation of good heart health by reducing the bad cholesterol or the LDL(Low-Density Lipoprotein) and hence preventing strokes and other heart diseases and disorders. Certain kinds of cancer can also be prevented by the consumption of Gooseberries. 
  • gooseberries-capeGooseberries are a rich source of plant compounds or phytonutrients which function as antioxidants. These are very essential for removing all the free toxic radicals. Hence, the antioxidants present in the Gooseberries are very essential for slowing down the ageing process as it flushes out all the toxins from the body of an individual. The antioxidants provide protection to the skin from the harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun. the antioxidant properties of Gooseberrie are very essential for preventing Type 2 Diabetes, certain specific kinds of cancers and also protects the brain health. 
  • The high fibre content in Gooseberries slows down the process of sugar absorption in the bloodstream of an individual. Hence consuming Gooseberries can be helpful for preventing any heart diseases, stroke, Type 2 Diabetes, dementia and several other illnesses related to the abnormal blood sugar level. Gooseberries being an alpha-glucosidase inhibitor binds various enzymes to the small intestine which helps in preventing the movement of the sugar from the gut to the bloodstream of an individual and hence keeps a check on the blood sugar level. The presence of chlorogenic acid helps in the slow absorption of the carbohydrates and hence it is very helpful for reducing the blood sugar level after a starchy meal. 
  • An overload of the iron content in the cells can result in the degeneration of the brain cells. The high antioxidant contents and organic acids such as Citric acid don’t allow the accumulation of iron in the cells and hence prevents various diseases such as Alzheimer’s Disease and various cardiac issues such as strokes, etc.
  • The nutrients and the minerals of Gooseberries are very essential for counteracting and repairing the damage of any oxidative stress. The antioxidants have antiinflammation properties which are highly essential for the development of certain kinds of cancer. Gooseberries are a rich source of Folate, Phenolic compounds, Vitamin C which carry anti-cancer properties. The presence of Anthocyanins is very helpful for preventing specific types of cancer such as pancreas cancer, colon cancer and breast cancer.
  • Gooseberries are very helpful for maintaining great heart health due to the high amount of fibre. The antioxidant contents are very helpful in removing all the free toxin radicals as well as helps in removing the bad cholesterol or the LDL(Low-Density Lipoprotein) from the blood of an individual. Thus consumption of Gooseberries is very essential for good heart health. The Potassium and the phytonutrients help in reducing the blood pressure and prevents it from inceasing. Hence it helps in the better functioning of the blood vessels as well as lowers the risks of heart diseases.

What are the precautions to be adopted for Indian Gooseberries consumption?

There are a few common precautions and guidelines which should be abided by during the Gooseberry consumption. 
 
During pregnancy and during breastfeeding, it is recommended not to use Indian Gooseberry as medications.

– In the case of the people who have a bleeding disorder, eating Indian Gooseberries can increase the risk of bleeding and bruising. Hence you should avoid the consumption of Indian Gooseberries if you have a bleeding disorder.

– Indian Gooseberries can lower your blood sugar level than normal and your diabetes medications might not be effective enough. Your health practitioner might have to change your medications.

– If you are suffering from any liver condition, in that case eating Indian Gooseberry with ginger can be very harmful. It can have adverse effects and can result in worsening of the liver functioning thus leading to liver failure. 

– Eating Indian Gooseberries can increase the chances of bleeding during and after surgery. Hence it is recommended to prevent the consumption of Indian Gooseberries 2 weeks prior to any scheduled surgery.
 

Few tasty recipes of Gooseberries

Gooseberry and Custard pie

goosebrries ripe The ingredients which are required for the preparation of the Gooseberry compote for the dish are as follows:

  • 200 grams of golden caster sugar
  • 1 split vanilla pod with scraped out seeds
  • 500 grams of Gooseberry

The ingredients which are required for making the custard are as follows:

  • 300 millilitres of double cream
  • 300 millilitres of full-fat milk
  • 2 split vanilla pods with seeds scraped out
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 50 grams of golden caster sugar
  • 20 grams of plain flour 
  • 20 grams of cornflour

           The other ingredients required are as follows:

  • 6 sheets filo pastry
  • 50 grams of melted butter
  • 2 tablespoon of golden caster sugar
  • Vanilla ice cream to serve with(optional)

Preparation instructions 

  • To make the Gooseberry compote, you have to mix sugar, vanilla pod with seeds with 3 tablespoons of water and boil the mixture in a saucepan.
  • After swirling the mixture for a while, toss a few Gooseberries and simmer it for 20 minutes. Keep it until the liquid is completely bubbled off. 
  •  Put the mixture in small pie dishes and refrigerate the mixture.
  • Take a bowl and mix egg yolks, sugar, flour and cornflour together.
  • Whisk the mixture constantly and pour some milk over the egg mixture.
  • Wash the saucepan and then pour the custard mixture on the saucepan.
  • Cook the custard mixture in low heat. Keep cooking it for 5 to 6 miinutes until it becomes thick. 
  • Discard the vanilla pods and after that, you can pour the custard on the pie dishes.
  • Leave them to cool before you serve them.
  • Preheat your oven over 180 degrees.
  • For making the pie lids, you have to lay one sheet of filo on the work surface.
  • Brush the surface of the filo with melted butter.
  • Put another sheet on top of that and repeat this with the rest of the sheets. 
  • On top of the final layer, you can sprinkle some sugar.
  • Then you can cut the pastry into four rectangles.
  • Pick up each rectangle of the pastry very lightly and place it on top of the pie dishes.
  • Bake the pies in an oven for 20 minutes until the pastry turns golden.
  • After the pastry turns golden or caramelised, you can serve it.

Gooseberry Crumble

The ingredients which are required for the preparation of Gooseberry crumble are as follows:

  • 500 Gooseberries
  • 85 grams of golden caster sugar 
  • 175 grams of plain flour
  • 75 grams of demerara sugar
  • 85 grams of chilled salted butter 

Preparation guidelines 

  • Preheat your oven over a heat of 180 degrees Celcius.
  • Toss some gooseberries in a baking dish along with some caster sugar and 2 tablespoons of water.
  • For making the crumble, you have to put flour, butter and a big pinch of salt in a bowl and mix it well with your fingertips. Mix it until you can feel the rough texture of breadcrumbs.
  • Mix it in demerara sugar.
  • You can scatter all the crumble toppings evenly over Gooseberries.
  • Bake it in the oven for 40 to 45 minutes until it turns pale golden and crunchy.
  • The Gooseberries should be bubbling after baking it properly.
  • You can grill the crumble to give the top an extra browning. 

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