What are Inca Berries and why are they great for our gut?
Inca berries, depending on where you live, have many names such as cape gooseberries, golden berries, giant ground cherries, Peruvian cherries, and their scientific name: physalis peruviana. When they’re fresh, they look like tiny, orange tomatoes and offer a juicy, citrusy eating experience. When dried, they resemble golden raisins and have a sweet yet tart flavor. They are also closely related to tomatoes, tomatillos, and ornamental Chinese lanterns — which means they’re not actually berries at all. Inca berries grow on a vine in papery husks and offer a wide range of health benefits.
Inca berries are a fantastic source of nutrients and if you are looking to add more diversity and fiber to your diet, consider these as they are rich in fiber, vitamin C, and B vitamins. In fact, 1/2 cup contains 3 grams of fiber! They also contain Niacin (vitamin B3), a precursor to the nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, which is one of the coenzyme molecules that makes almost all functions in your body work properly. The intestines especially need niacin: the B-complex vitamins help maintain motility in the gut. Though further research is necessary to understand more about niacin and its role in disorders like Irritable Bowel Syndrome, the motility boosting benefits of the B-vitamins are very important to consider in a well-balanced #GoodGut diet!
Inca Berries have wonderful #GoodGut anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce the severity of conditions such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Inflammatory Bowel Disease. However, there is a caution with inca berries: they should not be eaten until they are completely ripe with NO GREEN spots! Unripe inca berries cause digestive issues such as cramping and diarrhea, so make sure to grab these little guys only after they have ripened sufficiently!
Ways to eat it
If you have IBS or a sensitive gut, try freezing a little bit of Inca Berries before using it in recipes. Additionally, put it in a smoothie to make it more digestible. Inca berries can be eaten raw or dried as a quick snack. Put them on top of yogurt or oatmeal bowls, or even turn them into a sauce or jam! Add them to baked goods such as muffins or breads!
Recipe: Inca Berry “Nice” Cream
Try out this wonderful Berry Nice Cream Recipe with the added benefit of Inca Berries!
Ingredients (Makes 4 Servings):
1 1/2 cups peaches, frozen
1 cup mango, frozen
1 cup inca berries, frozen
1 cup pineapple, frozen
5 dates, pitted
1 cup filtered water (possibly a little more)
Add the ingredients to the high-powered blender.
Blend on medium to high while pushing down on the frozen fruit. This can take some time if you want a smooth and thick "nice" cream.
Optional: if you need to, add a little bit more water to reach the desired consistency.
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