7 INCREDIBLE HEALTH BENEFITS OF CAPE GOOSEBERRIES.

Cape gooseberries also known as physalis peruviana

Cape gooseberries are small delicious tropical fruits that can be grown even in a kitchen garden. From its name Cape, it was first grown in Cape of Good hope in South Africa. These orange berries are highly nutritious with a variety of health benefits. Around the world cape gooseberries have interesting unique names e.g ground cherries, pygmy ground cherry, Physalis peruviana, golden strawberry, pearly round yolkimabobs, Inca berry among others.

Cape gooseberry is indeed an edible natural herb that is used in fruit salads, drinks, as well as in desert with apple and honey. Gooseberries are popular in the western hemisphere and other areas.

They contain polyphenols, calcium, phosphorous, carotenoids, withanolides, melatonin,  iron, potassium, fiber , protein, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pectin, Vitamin A and Vitamin C.

.

The following health actions are associated with Cape gooseberry – anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, purgative, anti-cancer, taxative, diuretic and antihepatotoxic.

Nutritional value of cape gooseberries.

  • Calories 74.2
  • Energy (53kcal)
  • Carbohydrates (11.2g)- 12.06% of DV
  • Fat (0.7g)- 2.08% of DV
  • Protein (1.9g)- 5.32% of DV
  • Vitamin A (36 μg)- 7.14% of DV
  • Vitamin B1(0.11 mg)- 12.83% of DV
  • Vitamin B2 (0.04mg)- 4.31% of DV
  • Vitamin B3 (2.8mg)-24.50% of DV
  • Vitamin C(11mg)- 17.11% of DV
  • Calcium (9mg)- 1.30% of DV
  • Iron (1mg)- 17.50% of DV
  • Phosphorous (40mg)- 8.00% of DV
  • The fruit is also rich in pectin and has adequate amount of polyphenols, withanolides, melatonin and carotenoids.

NOTE: DV- Daily Value

The Cape gooseberry is widely used in traditional Colombian medicine as an antidiabetic treatment. A research done identified the compounds responsible for the hypoglycemic activity .This study established the potential of sucrose esters as α-amylase inhibitors and to explain the hypoglycemic effect that has traditionally been attributed to gooseberry fruit. These berries have been shown to provide significant health benefits because of their high antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and fiber (Zhao, 2007). 

Here are 7 Health benefits of Cape gooseberries (physalis peruviana).

1. Anti- inflammation: Considering the fact that Cape gooseberry has polyphenols and antioxidants, they are used for many medical uses such as anti asthmatic, anti helmenthic, anti spasmodic, anti septic, anti inflammatory, purgative, laxative and good for stomach related disorders.

These antioxidants fight with the free radicals in our body and stabilizes them. This prevents them from causing oxidative damage to our cells. Free radicals(the unstabilized ions that get formed during the oxidation process in our body) steals electrons from the neighboring molecules thus preventing our cells from the oxidative damage. It also reduces the risks of different types of cancers like skin cancer, colon cancer, stomach cancers among others.

2. Improves eye health: Cape gooseberries are a great option for your eyes. Thanks to the high amounts of carotenoids they contain, they are perfect for a superb eyesight and the overall health of your eyes.

Carotenoids gets rid of oxidative stress on the ocular system, preventing the development of cataracts and slowing the onset of macular degeneration, keeping your vision in top working order as you age.

3. Boost immunity: The high amounts of vitamin C in ground cherries boosts your immunity keeping diseases and infections at bay. Eating them on a daily basis will reduce your frequent visits to hospital.

4. Can manage Diabetes: Fructose is a soluble fiber found in ground cherries which can prove beneficial to patients with diabetes. They can help lower blood sugar level. This benefit of physalis peruviana is because of its low glycemic index. This means it releases sugar into the bloodstream at a slower rate, and thus prevents a sudden spike in the blood sugar level.

Additionally, the dietary fibers present in them slows down the rate at which sugar gets absorbed into the bloodstream and thus helps in managing diabetes.

NOTE: Eating a lot of golden berries may lower the blood sugar to a dangerously low level, and this may increase the risk of hypoglycemia.

5. Keeping digestive system healthy: Dietary fibers present in the Cape gooseberries act as a natural laxative. This means it improves bowel movements and ensures smooth elimination of waste from our body. This not only provides relief from constipation but it is also beneficial for treating digestive problems like irritable bowel syndrome, flatulence, abdominal pain, indigestion, etc.

NOTE: It’s best to eat them in moderation since over consumption of dietary fibers may bring problems like malabsorption, intestinal blockage indigestion,intestinal gas etc.

6. High Blood Pressure(Hbp) Management: Eating cape gooseberries regularly has been found to be very beneficial for people with high blood pressure or hypertension. Hbp is a major health concern that affects millions of people around the globe, and is also a leading cause of various cardiovascular problems like heart attack, irregular heartbeat, heart stroke etc.

They are effective in treating hypertension because of the presence of “Potassium” in it. Potassium is an important mineral that acts as a natural vasodilator. This means that it relaxes our blood vessels, improves blood circulation, and thus helps in controlling high blood pressure.

NOTE: It is advisable to eat them moderately. This is because too much potassium in our body may lower your blood pressure to a dangerously low level, and this may increase the risk of hypotension.

7. Healthy Weight gain: Consuming 100 grams of physalis peruviana provides around 53 calories of energy, which means one can enjoy eating them without worrying about excess calories.

However, put in mind that golden berries are not completely calorie free and if you consume them in excessive quantity for a prolonged period of time, then these calories can quickly add up. And, if you are already taking enough calories through your diet to meet your calorie intake, then eating too many golden berries may lead to weight gain.

How to eat Cape gooseberries.

Cape gooseberries.
  • You can choose to dip the fruits in chocolate or other coatings or pricked and rolled in sugar.
  • Fruit Salads: Fruits can be eaten raw in fruit salads, fruit cocktails, in cooked dishes or processed into jams or even canned whole in syrup or as juice.
  • Dessert: Fruits are stewed with honey and eaten as dessert in Colombia.
  • Raisins: Cape gooseberries can also be dried into tasty “raisins”.
  • In Britain their husk is used as a handle for dipping the fruit in icing.
  • Pies and puddings: The berries are great for snacks as well as for making puddings, pies, jellies, ice cream, sauces, jams, preserves, chutneys and glazes for meat and seafood.

Traditional uses of Cape gooseberries around the world.

  • It is also a common medicinal herb in India, used by Muthuvan tribes living in the Shola forest regions against jaundice.
  • Cape gooseberries is traditionally used in folk medicine for dealing with diseases like hepatitis, dermatitis, malaria, rheumatism, dermatitis, malaria, asthma, and leukemia.
  • Heated leaves are applied as a medical dressing on inflammations in South Africa.
  • In Colombia,leaf decoction is taken as a diuretic and an antiasthmatic.
  • To relieve abdominal pains in children, Zulus of South Africa administer the leaf infusion as an enema.

Also read: 9 Health benefits of Custard Apple.

Disclaimer

The information contained in the post is for general purpose only and shouldn’t be considered as medical advice or as an alternative to medical advice. Although I’ve tried my very best to keep the information contained in this post as updated and accurate as possible, I make no guarantee of the accurateness of the same.

Your Stress-Busting Diet

Healthy weight gain can be a challenge just like loosing weight especially when your efforts don’t add up. You may put a lot of your time in exercises,change from diet to diet and the results end up stressing you out.

When you’re stressed out, the foods that you’re turning to are most likely going to be traditional ‘comfort’ foods – think big meals, takeaways, fatty foods, sweet foods, and alcohol. Let’s face it – we’ve all found some comfort in a tasty meal and a bottle of beer or glass of wine when we’ve been stressed out or upset about something. However, this isn’t a good permanent solution.

When you’re turning to unhealthy foods you can feel better temporarily, but in the long run, you will feel worse. When your body isn’t getting the right nutrition, you can begin to feel less energetic, more lethargic, and in some cases less able to concentrate and focus. All of this can lead to even more stress.

Foods that Fight Stress 

If you’ve been feeling more stressed out than usual lately, it’s important to know which foods are best to choose and which to avoid when it comes to combatting stress and helping you to deal with feelings of stress and anxiety. The best way to fight stress is to have a healthy, balanced diet which includes a moderate amount of each of the different food groups.

Filling up on foods such as whole grains, leafy vegetables, and lean proteins as the basic staples of the diet is the best way to ensure that your body gets the optimum amounts of nutrients to fight both physical and mental health problems. When it comes to choosing the foods to eat, some have a range of great properties which help the body to combat stress. Choosing stress-busting for foods will help to heal and calm your mind permanently, rather than providing a temporary fix.

Some of the best stress-fighting foods include:

Avocado is a nutritious fruit with healthy fats.

Avocado – Avocados are a creamy and versatile fruit which can be eaten in a range of different ways whether you enjoy it raw, made into sauces, dressings and dips, or in a smoothie. These nutrient-dense fruits have the properties to stress-proof your body, thanks to their high glutathione content which specifically blocks the intestinal absorption of certain fats which cause oxidative damage. Avocados also contain higher levels of vitamin E, folate, and beta-carotene than any other fruit, which boosts their stress-busting properties. Nonetheless, be careful with portion control when eating avocado, as it is high in fat.

Blueberries – If you’re feeling stressed out and reaching for the snacks, swapping chocolate or chips for one of the best super foods is a great way to help you deal with your stress levels and achieve a higher level of calm. Blueberries have some of the highest levels of antioxidants, especially anthocyanin, which means that this berry has been linked to a wide range of health benefits including sharper cognition, better focus, and a clearer mind – all of which can help you to better deal with stress.

Chamomile Tea – Of course, it’s not all about what you’re eating when it comes to managing stress, as what you’re drinking can also alleviate or worsen stress. Drinking liquids which are high in sugars and caffeine, such as coffee, energy drinks or soda, can actually increase your stress levels if consumed regularly. Chamomile tea has long been used as a natural bedtime soother, and it has also been used in clinical trials, which determined that chamomile tea is effective in reducing the symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder.

Chocolate helps in Healthy weight gain as well as a de-stressor when eaten in moderation.

Chocolate – Although chocolate is usually seen as an unhealthy treat, there is an undeniable link between chocolate and our mood. Studies have shown that eating chocolate can actually make you happier. However, that doesn’t mean that you can start munching on chocolate bars every time your stressed out – chocolate works best as a de-stressor when eaten in moderation and as part of a healthy and balanced diet. Dark chocolate in particular is best for you, as it contains more flavonols and polyphenols, two hugely important antioxidants which can help combat stress, more than many fruit juices.

Beef – Grass fed beef is not only kinder to the planet and to animals, it’s also good for people, too. Grass fed beef has a huge range of antioxidants, including beta-carotene and Vitamins C and E, which can help your body to fight stress and anxiety. If you’re looking for more reasons to spend a little more money on organic, grass-fed beef, it’s also lower in fat than grain-fed beef whilst being higher in omega-3.

Oatmeal – Oatmeal is great in that it can be a filling comfort food, but also has a large number of healthy property to actually make you feel better from the inside out. A complex carbohydrate, eating oatmeal causes your brain to produce higher levels of the feel good chemical serotonin, helping you to feel calmer and less stressed. Studies have shown that kids who choose oatmeal for breakfast tend to be much sharper throughout the morning in school compared to kids who had alternative morning meals.

Healthy snacking helps you meet your daily calories as you try to gain weight. Walnuts make a good snack as a stress buster.

Walnuts – If you’re looking for a healthy snacking option which will help you to stay better in control of your stress levels, walnuts are a great choice. A study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, show that walnuts and walnut oil reduce blood pressure during stress,” said Sheila G. West, associate professor of biobehavioral health. There is no denying that the sweet, pleasant flavor of walnuts and they can be a tasty snack for in between meals or as part of a desert. A versatile nut, walnuts are great for salads, or add them to a sweet treat such as coffee and walnut cake.

Pistachios – another food which is great for snacking on and can also help to combat stress and anxiety in the long term is pistachios. Studies have found that simply eating two small, snack size portions of pistachios per day lowers vascular constriction when you are stressed, putting less pressure on your heart by further dilating your arteries. Along with this, the rhythmic, repetitive act of shelling pistachios can actually be quite therapeutic!

Green leafy vegetables.

Green Leafy Vegetables – leafy, green vegetables should be a pivotal part of anyone’s diet. Together with helping to combat stress, leafy greens are full of nutrients and antioxidants which help to fight off disease and leave your body feeling healthier and more energized. Dark leafy greens, for example spinach, are especially good for you since they are rich in folate, which helps your body to produce more moods regulating neurotransmitters such as serotonin, which is a ‘feel-good’ chemical. Making leafy greens a part of your diet will help you to feel happier and less stressed out overall.

Fermented foods – last but not least, eating fermented foods such as yoghurt can help to keep your gut healthy, which actually in turn will help to improve your mental health and reduce stress levels. The beneficial bacteria which are found in fermented foods such as yoghurt actually have a direct effect on your brain chemistry and transmit positive mood and be havior regulating signals to your brain via the vagus nerve.

Putting Together Your Diet Plan

Planning your meals wisely is key to not only staying physically fit and healthy, but also to staying mentally strong and being able to best manage your levels of stress. Knowing which foods to avoid and which are the best to reach for to snack on when you’re feeling worried and anxious is important to helping you get control over your emotions and fears.

When you’re feeling stressed, you may be tempted to reach for classic ‘comfort foods’ – usually foods which are laden with sugar, very starchy, or greasy. How-ever, although these foods can make you feel momentarily better, they will actually make you feel worse in the long run.

Having stress-busting snacks such as fresh berries, dark chocolate, yo-ghurt, walnuts or pistachios, or even a fruit smoothie with avocado and leafy greens in it can help you to feel better in both the short and long term when it comes to stress.When it comes to combating and dealing with stress in the long run, it’s important to make sure that for the most part, you are eat-ing a diet which is healthy and balanced.

In order to stay on track, it’s a great idea to make a meal plan for your week and plan ahead to make sure that you have a good selection of these stress-busting foods in your kitchen to make meals and snacks from when you’re feeling like stress-eating. Making sure that the majority of your meals include foods such as lean proteins and leafy green vegetables will not only make you feel healthier over-all, but can improve your mental health and stress levels, too.

An example of a simple healthy, stress-busting menu would be:

Breakfast: Oatmeal with berries or a fruit smoothie with avocado and berries
Mid-morning snack: Natural yoghurt with fruit or a handful of pis-tachio nuts
Lunch: A pasta salad filled with plenty of leafy greens
Afternoon snack: Dark chocolate
Dinner: Grass-fed beef with vegetables
Before bed: Chamomile tea

Of course, you don’t need to stick to this menu – but it gives you a good idea! Remember to exercise good portion control when eating foods such as nuts, chocolate, yoghurt or avocado! As the saying goes, you are what you eat – so make sure that first and foremost, you’re filling yourself up with foods which are good for your mental health.

9 Health benefits of Custard Apple.

Custard apple(cherimoya) is nutritious and can aid in weight gain.

Custard apples also known as Cherimoya (Annona cherimola) is a green, cone-shaped fruit with scaly, fairly rough skin and creamy, sweet flesh. It contains anti-oxidants like Vitamin C, which helps to fight free radicals in our body.

It also contains potassium and magnesium in a healthy amount that protects our heart from cardiac disease.

Its rich in fiber, minerals and vitamins. This unique fruit can boost immunity, fight inflammation, and promote eye and heart health.

Custard Apple has a sweet taste similar to other equitorial fruits, such as banana and pineapple.

Custard Apple Nutritional Facts.

  • Calories (94 Kcal)
  • Protein (68g)- 4% of DV
  • fat (0.5g)- 1% of DV
  • Carbohydrate (20g)- 9% of DV
  • Dietary fiber (0.9 g)- 17% of DV
  • Calcium (17.6 mg)- 2% of DV
  • Phosphorous (14.7mg)- 3% of DV
  • Iron (0.42 mg)- 4% of DV
  • Carotene (0.007 mg)
  • Thiamine (0.075 mg)- 7% of DV
  • Riboflavin (0.086 mg)- 8% of DV
  • Niacin (0.528m)- 3% of DV
  • Ascorbic acid (15 mg)
  • Nicotinic acid (0.5 mg)

NOTE: DV- Daily Value

A study on custard apple shows that cherimoyas contain one class of chemicals which sets them apart from other fruit species – the presence of acetogenins (McLaughlin, 2008). The acetogenins are unique to the Annonaceous family and in in vitro and in vivo studies appear to have considerable anti-cancer properties. Many of the compounds appear to have multiple physiological activity e.g. some acetogenins have both anti-cancer and anti-hypertensive activity.

Here are 9 Top benefits of Custard Apples

1. Healthy weight gain- Are you working hard to add weight? Custard apples are good for those who need to gain weight since it contains around 94 calories. A mixture of custard apple and honey when consumed on a regular basis will help add on the required weight and those much required calories as a snack or make smoothies out of it.

2. Rich in Antioxidant.- Custard apple is specifically rich in antioxidants, such as vitamin C and carotenoids. These compounds normally fight free radicals that may contribute to many different diseases.

3. May prevent High blood pressure.- Custard apple have magnesium and potassium, two major nutrients that support healthy blood pressure levels. Foods rich in potassium are very important in managing high blood pressure (HBP or hypertension) Since potassium reduces sodium effects. The more potassium you drink, the more urinary sodium you lose. Potassium also helps ease blood vessel walls strain, which helps lower blood pressure even further.

4.Helps in digestion.- Custard apple contains high amounts of copper and dietary fibre, which helps in digestion, ease bowel movement and relives from constipation. Custard apple pulp can be sun dried,crushed into powder and consumption of the powder with water will help heal diarrhea.

5. Helps anaemics.- Cherimoyas serve as a stimulant, expectorant, coolant and haematnic. Moreover, the rich iron source is also useful in treating anemia.

6. Helps diabetics.- If you are suffering from diabetes, start eating cherimoyas in order to lower the blood glucose levels. Also, the dietary fibre present in custard apple helps slow down the sugar absorption.

Testing for blood glucose levels.

7. Heals wounds.- According to studies, custard apple seeds are effective in healing minor wounds. More so they have plenty of Vit B in it which also speed-up skin cell re-growth and provide instant pain relief. They also contain anti-bacterial properties.

8. Helps in maintaining healthy skin and hair.- Custard apple is rich in vitamin A that works miracles for skin and hair. When applied on the skin and hair, it works as a moisturizing agent that also controls other aging signs. The pulp is also effective on boils and ulcers.

9. Boosts Immunity.- There is a splendid  amount of vitamin C in custard apple, which is a major kick start for the body’s immune system. Vitamin C can help in stimulating the production of white blood cells, which are the first line of defense for the body’s immune system.

You can try out this simple high calorie smoothie.

Avocado & Custard Apple smoothie.

Ingredients. (Serves 2)

  • 1 medium Avocado
  • 1 medium Custard Apple
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Preparation.

  • Cut the avocado into two and scoop out the pulp into a bowl.
  • Cut the custard apple and remove all the seeds. Scoop out the pulp too.
  • Put the avocado, custard apple,cinnamon and whole milk into a blender and blend until smooth and creamy.
  • Serve chilled.

Conclusion

Custard Apple is creamy and sweet. There are many ways to eat custard apples and enjoy the fruit. Make a puree of the flesh by either blending or pushing the custard apple flesh through a sieve with a wooden spoon, discarding the seeds and any overly fibrous parts. You can make smoothies and mix it with other fruits to create a variety of flavors.