Gooseberries are native to both Europe and North America. Coming in a wide range of sizes, these berries can grow as big as a ping pong ball. Coming in a variety of colors, such a purple, pink, white or yellow, these berries grow well in harsh conditions. Whether it is a rainy summer or a harsh winter, gooseberries grow well.
Gooseberries come from the Ribes genus shrub. With over 150 species of this shrub, a majority of them grow in the northern hemisphere. Currants are sometimes confused with gooseberries because these berries are similar to one another and grow from the same type of bush. However, one way to tell currants from gooseberries are gooseberries have thorns with them. Packed with nutrition gooseberries are a healthy fruit because of its many vitamins and minerals.
Image by olovedog at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Gooseberries are a major source of Vitamin A. Ever since childhood we always needed this vitamin for healthy hair and strong bones and teeth. One of the reasons some children who have a delay in growth and development is because they do not get enough Vitamin A during their growing years. We also need vitamin A for healthy skin and good eyesight. This vitamin is also needed to fight infections-digestive system and urinary tract system.
Gooseberries have almost 50% of your recommended daily allowance (RDA) of vitamin C. You need this vitamin if you want to have a healthy immune system. We can protect our bodies from any illnesses when we have enough vitamin C in our daily diet. The vitamin C of gooseberries also acts as a very powerful antioxidant. We need antioxidants for our bodies to fight against free radicals, which are damaged cells that attack healthy cells.
Gooseberries are an excellent source of Vitamin B1, B5 and B6. Thiamin, or Vitamin B1, helps “helps the body’s cells change carbohydrates into energy” (medlineplus). This helps speed up metabolism and the rate in which we lose weight. The pantothenic acid-or Vitamin B5-found in these berries help remove toxins from the body by making them more water soluble where the kidney flush them out with urine. This helps speed up the breakdown of fats, carbohydrates and protein. By including gooseberries in your daily diet you will notice that your energy will increase and that you will become more active. Eventually you will notice that your pants will feel looser on you since this tea will suppress your appetite and make you feel full. Vitamin B6 is necessary in reducing the chances of getting heart disease, lowering the amount of bad cholesterol in our bodies, unclogging arteries and “reducing blood levels of homocysteine, a chemical that might be linked to heart disease“ (WebMD). Higher levels of homocysteine are one of the main causes of damage to the blood vessels and blood clots. Since avocados are also a good source of folate, which also helps lowers the levels of homocysteine, by including these berries in your diet you may decrease the chance of getting a heart attack by at least thirty present.
Gooseberries are a major source of calcium. Not only is this needed for healthy bones, we need this mineral for our hearts to function properly. Calcium helps the nerve impulses to function properly and allows for muscle contraction and electrical conduction within the heart.
Gooseberries contain copper. While this mineral works wonders in preventing premature graying of the hair, it also helps produce collagen which gives your skin its elasticity. When you have enough copper in your diet, you are giving your skin that youthful look.
Gooseberries contain iron which helps transport oxygen throughout your body. If you are anemic, eating these berries will help increase the amount of red blood cells.
Gooseberries are a major source of magnesium which plays a major role in your body. You need this mineral for healthy bones and teeth. You need it to maintain your body temperatures. Magnesium plays a role in regulating your blood sugar level. If you do not have enough magnesium in your body, there can be an imbalance of potassium and calcium levels which can lead to a buildup of calcium in your kidneys. This calcium build up can lead to kidney stones. By including gooseberries in your daily diet, you may be able to prevent kidney stones.
Gooseberries contain selenium which can prevent you from getting high blood pressure. Selenium plays a role in forming prostaglandins which helps prevent abnormal clotting of your blood. Eating gooseberries is an excellent way to prevent the likelihood of getting a heart attack or stroke.
Gooseberries contain zinc which helps control insulin levels in your body. Eating gooseberries is an excellent way to prevent you from getting diabetes. Another way gooseberries help prevent you from getting diabetes is the fiber from these berries also help regulate blood sugar levels. The fiber in these berries also helps control blood pressure and can prevent heart disease.
Gooseberries can be eaten raw. However, since these berries have a bitter taste, it may be better to use them as an ingredient to many pie, cake, jelly and wine recipes.
If you are on blood thinners, talk your doctor before eating gooseberries.
You can collect gooseberries in for wild. However, before you pick these berries seek the advice of a qualified herbalist since poisonous berries can be confused for gooseberries.