The gooseberry is one powerful fruit! Rich in antioxidants and plant compounds, gooseberries can protect your heart, increase good (HDL) cholesterol, lower your blood pressure, protect against cancer, and help control blood sugar. The vitamin C in gooseberries helps boost your immune system and helps neutralize free radicals in your body. And your body can’t store vitamin C, so you need to be sure to get your daily requirement.
Here are some of the other ways gooseberries contribute to good health—plus a couple notes of caution.
Heart disease is the most common form of death worldwide. Consumption of fruits high in vitamin C, like gooseberries, has been linked to reduced heart disease.
Vitamin C also contributes to lower incidences of stroke, especially among people who are overweight or have high blood pressure. But people who drink or smoke heavily are less likely to enjoy the added benefits of vitamin C.
Some degenerative brain diseases have been linked to too much iron in the cells. Too much iron can trigger the creation of free radicals—molecules that damage cells. Citric acid (found in gooseberries) helps stop the accumulation of iron in cells. Researchers say this can help reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s and stroke.
Gooseberries contain manganese, which helps the body absorb calcium—critical to strong bones. Diets low in manganese put people at risk for osteoporosis or arthritis.
Anthocyanins and flavonols in gooseberries may help lower the risk of some cancers. Some studies show these compounds fight cancer development and provide antioxidant protection against free radicals.
Gooseberries contain soluble fiber. Eating just a cup of gooseberries may help people feel full sooner and resist cravings. And with only 66 calories in a cup of gooseberries, that’s a great deal for anyone watching their weight.
Gooseberries have both soluble and insoluble dietary fiber. That’s good news for people who occasionally experience constipation or suffer from other gastrointestinal issues; the insoluble fiber is a great help there. The soluble fiber slows down the movement of food in your digestive system, which can help make you feel fuller and less hungry.
The vitamin C in gooseberries may contribute to healthier skin—reducing the development of wrinkles and contributing to more hydrated skin and fewer blemishes.
Gooseberries are delicious, nutritious, full of fiber, and low in calories. But the green leaves of the gooseberry plant contain hydrogen cyanide. This is a fairly common compound to find in plants, including almonds and apple seeds. And while eating the raw green leaves can make humans sick, it can be a serious health risk for pets, wildlife, and livestock, especially chickens.
Another thing to note is that gooseberries can also have a laxative effect, so moderation may be in order, especially the first time you try them.
Did you know that gooseberries are so healthful? Did you know about the potential pitfalls of consuming gooseberries? Please tell us how you use gooseberries.