“Be a gooseberry; hard to bite, bitter in taste, leaving a sweet sense throughout.”
~ Nivetha Narayanasamy
If you’re fond of making tangy and tasty dips, possibilities are that you’re already familiar with Gooseberry. A perfect tart ingredient used to make salads, dips and even tangy candies, Gooseberries and Gooseberry juice can be easily found in the market.
A species of Ribes (a genus of flowering plants that are native to the temperate regions of the Northern Hemishere), Gooseberries derive their name from ‘Kruisbes’ (a Dutch word) or ‘Krausbeere’, a German word. Having been grown in Europe, the Caucasus and northern America since ages, the new varieties of these gooseberries are also said to be cultivated by the British since the sixteenth century.
While gooseberries are found in varied colours like yellow, green, red or black, the Indian Gooseberry (Amla) is found in a translucent light green colour and is extremely bitter in taste. Relish the sweet-tart taste of these round green berries during summers in their fresh form or grab a box of preserved gooseberries from the markets to avail the numerous health benefits of gooseberry.
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Useful Information About Gooseberry And Gooseberry Juice
Gooseberries are best grown in arid and humid summer conditions. While we see many varieties of gooseberries in the market these days, almost all the cultivars have genetics that can be traced back to its European variants.
While these berries flourish in a fertile and deep soil, they are kept away from the plantations of white pines that require a well-watered and sandy soil. Gooseberries are prone to some serious fungal diseases that can kill these beautiful plantations. Thus, this fruit should never be planted next to white pines.
Having multiple health benefits, gooseberries are rich in Vitamin A, C, B1, B5, B6, along with magnesium, folate, and calcium.
Uses And Benefits Of Gooseberry Juice And Gooseberry
1. Improves Eyesight
Gooseberries, when consumed with honey are quite beneficial for improving eyesight. A rich source of carotene, gooseberries have a powerful effect on vision-related disorders including nearsightedness and cataracts. Along with Vitamin A, carotene can help reduce night blindness, and strengthen your vision before any of the age-related conditions begin to surface.
2. Eases Menstrual Cramps
Gooseberry is a rich source of vitamins and minerals that are necessary for the treatment of menstrual cramps. Consume gooseberries on a regular basis to get relief from the annoying menstrual cramps.
3. Therapeutic For Diabetic Patients
Being a fruit that is a rich source of chromium, a mineral that has a therapeutic value for diabetic patients, Gooseberry can be easily incorporated in a diabetic’s diet. The efficacy of gooseberries in adding therapeutic value to diabetic patients is backed by a 2010 study titled ‘Therapeutic potential of Phyllanthus emblica (amla): the ayurvedic wonder’ that was published in Journal of Basic and Clinical Physiology and Pharmacology, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
4. Prevents Cell Damage
A rich source of antioxidants, gooseberry is effective in preventing DNA cell damage, thus protecting our bodies from oxidative stress. A 2017 study titled ‘Antioxidant and Anticancer Properties of Berries’ published by Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition Journal, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health states that the key phytochemicals present in berries have a biological action in preventing oxidative stress.
5. Slows Down The Growth Of Cancer Cells
A 2010 study titled ‘Antitumour effects of Phyllanthus emblica L.: induction of cancer cell apoptosis and inhibition of in vivo tumour promotion and in vitro invasion of human cancer cells’ that was published as part of Phytotherapy Research in the US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health states that ‘P. emblica exhibits anticancer activity against selected cancer cells, and warrants further study as a possible chemo-preventive and anti-invasive agent’.
6. Relieves Diarrhea
Due to its laxative properties, Gooseberry is said to relieve symptoms of diarrhea by offering relief from gastric secretion and acidity. A 2002 study titled ‘Gastroprotective effects of ‘Amla’ Emblica officinalis on in vivo test models in rats’ published in the International Journal of Phytotherapy and Phytopharmacology, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health states that ‘the extract of Gooseberry possesses antisecretory, antiulcer, and cytoprotective properties.’
7. Good For Hair Growth
Gooseberry is a rich source of carotene that helps in the growth of hair. It reduces hair loss by eliminating the free radicals from damaging the hair follicles. Moreover, it helps strengthen the roots of the hair as well as maintain its lustre and colour.
8. Helps Eliminate Unwanted Toxins
It is a well-known fact that Gooseberries are diuretic in nature. This means that they are quite effective in increasing the frequency of urinating. By this process, Gooseberries help flush out all the toxins and excess level of salts in our bodies, therein preventing infections.
9. Helps Prevent Damage To The Liver
A 2013 abstract titled ‘Hepatoprotective properties of the Indian gooseberry (Emblica officinalis Gaertn): a review’ published in the US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health states that gooseberry has hepatoprotective actions (prevents the liver from damage). It scavenges free radicals owing to its anti-oxidizing, anti-inflammatory, and detoxifying properties.
Also Read: Pomegranate Benefits
Nutritional Value Of Gooseberry And Gooseberry Juice
Loaded with various vitamins and minerals, here’s a detailed insight into the nutrition a gooseberry contains:
|Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)|
|Energy||184 kJ (44 kcal)|
|Dietary fiber||4.3 g|
|Vitamin A equiv.||0.02||15 μg|
|Thiamine (B1)||0.03||0.04 mg|
|Riboflavin (B2)||0.03||0.03 mg|
|Niacin (B3)||0.02||0.3 mg|
|Pantothenic acid (B5)||0.06||0.286 mg|
|Vitamin B6||0.06||0.08 mg|
|Folate (B9)||0.02||6 μg|
|Vitamin C||0.33||27.7 mg|
|Vitamin E||0.02||0.37 mg|
Also Read: Pumpkin Nutrition | Custard Apple Calories
Risks And Precautions When Consuming Gooseberry And Gooseberry Juice
- Not good for Diabetics: While Indian gooseberry is known to reduce the blood sugar levels, incorporating it into your daily routine if you’re a diabetic is not a good choice. Always take minimal quantities of this fruit if you really want to benefit from it without disturbing your blood sugar levels.
- Can aggravate allergic reaction: If you have been experiencing health issues like diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea and dizziness after consumption of gooseberries, the possibility is that you’re allergic to gooseberry. Do not consume gooseberry in this case as it might aggravate allergic reactions.
- Unwanted Weight Loss: Gooseberries are said to flush out toxins from the body in the form of urine. If consumed in high quantities, gooseberries can trigger excessive loss of water from the body leading to an unwanted weight loss and dehydration.
- Could worsen the symptoms of cold and associated illnesses: Gooseberries are known to lower the body temperature. If you’re suffering from a cold or any of its related conditions, then refrain from eating gooseberries as these berries might worsen these conditions.
How To Consume Gooseberries And Gooseberry Juice?
While there are many ways in which one can consume gooseberries and its juice, here are some fun ways in which you can incorporate gooseberries in your daily diet:
- Gooseberry Juice with Lemon and Honey: Dilute 2 spoons of Gooseberry Juice in a glass of water and add half a portion of squeezed lemon in it. Drink it first thing in the morning and see the results yourself.
- Gooseberry Jam: Grab some peeled gooseberries, dried apricots, ginger, lime juice and some vanilla beans. Toss the gooseberries, apricots, ginger and lime juice in a saucepan. Split the vanilla beans, scrape their seeds and add the beans and seeds to the saucepan too. Bring to boil over medium heat and cook till the gooseberries start to pop and begin releasing their juice and seeds. Make sure not to overcook your jam and let the fruit stay intact. Cool and transfer to an airtight jar. Refrigerate.
- Tangy Tart Dip: Blend in the Gooseberry with some mint leaves, coriander, chilly peppers, ginger, garlic (optional) and salt to make a yummy coriander dip.
- Gooseberry, Orange and Almond Dimple Cake: Just like any regular cake, whisk some butter until creamy. Add sugar and orange zest until the mixture is fluffy and light. Whisk in eggs or condensed milk along with chopped almonds. Stir in the sifted flour. Transfer the mixture into a well-dusted tin. Bake in the oven for 20 mins. Then carefully slide the oven rack out and sprinkle the gooseberries over the cake. Bake for another 10 minutes. Again, sprinkle some orange zest along with butter on the cake and bake for another 15 minutes. Cool and relish the taste of this amazing cake.
Before adding this fruit to your daily diet, make sure to consult your nutritionist.
Fun Facts About Gooseberry
- Gooseberries are also called as “fayberries” because of an ancient belief that the fairies used gooseberry bushes to hide from any kind of danger.
- Gooseberries were used during the Middle Ages for treating a fever because of its cooling properties.
- Gooseberries were quite popular in Britain during 1800s and early 1900s. However, in the USA, a fungal bacteria caught by the plant had begun infecting the native pines that subsequently led many states to put a ban on the cultivation of this berry.
- Gooseberries are usually ovoid or spherical in shape, generally ranging from 1 to 2.5 centimeters (0.5 to 1 inch) or more in length or diameter.
- The gooseberry bushes can cope with the cold weather ranging down to –35°C / -31°F.
- Gooseberry can produce fruit and survive at least 20 years in the wild.
While a berry with such a tangy tart taste can provide you a lot of myriad health benefits that also include skin and hair care, this fruit has certainly lost its essence in the culinary world. Hence, start incorporating this fruit in your daily diet and see the amazing results that you get pertaining to your health.