Healthy Snacks

You might know the sweet and sour fruit physalis as “golden berry,” or even as "Inca berry,” as the fruit is considered to have been consumed by the Incas for its nutritional properties.
What is physalis?

The fruit is easy to recognize by its protruding husk, which looks like a semi-transparent lantern, and protects the fruit’s brilliant yellow-orange skin. The berries are small, round, and full of tiny edible seeds. You may have seen these golden berries before — with their pretty husks, they are often used in restaurants to add an extra dash of color and taste to desserts.

The physalis plant is part of the Solanaceae, or nightshade, family. Its scientific name is Physalis peruviana, named for its origins in Peru. While it continues to be produced primarily in South America, the physalis plant also grows wild in the Azores Islands. Queen Bee grows and harvests physalis in the controlled environments of the fields of our organic farm and in our greenhouses.

Why eat physalis?

Physalis may be eaten fresh or dehydrated in desserts, ice cream or in fruit or vegetable salads and it has a flavour somewhat like a very sweet cherry tomato, but with a pleasant tropical sweet and sour tang.

Physalis is a good source of vitamin A (converted from beta-carotene), vitamin C, vitamin B-complex and minerals. For a fruit, the protein level is exceptionally high (the protein in 100-gram of physalis equals 2/3 of an avocado).

Queen Bee grows and dehydrates physalis and makes it available to you to enjoy as a sweet-sour nutritious snack or as an add-on to your cereal, yogurt or salad.

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Discover the health benefits of eating physalis

  1. Antioxidant effect: Physalis has high levels of vitamin A and C, as well as other healthy plant compounds, which function as important dietary antioxidants to protect your cells from damage.1
  2. Hypocholesterolemic effect: Physalis contains oils that help to reduce cholesterol. The oils, which are in the skin and pulp of the fruit, have high levels of beneficial plant sterols. Sterols are important lipid compounds of cell membranes. The most well-known sterol in humans and animals is cholesterol, but in plants, these are called phytosterols. In physalis, three specific types of phytosterols are thought to be responsible for the fruit’s ability to reduce cholesterol.2
  3. Anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and anticancer properties: Like all plants belonging to the Solanaceae family of plants, the cell membranes of the physalis contain important constituents called physalins and withanolides. These immune suppressive substances can help to decrease inflammation and infections, and also have an antitumor effect.3

1 Naido, K., 2003. Vitamin C in human health and disease is still a mystery? An overview.

2 Valenzuela, A. & Ronco, A., 2004. Fitoesteroles y fitoestanoles: aliados naturales para la preteccion de la salud cadiovacular.

3 Ahmad, S., Malik, A., Afza, N. & Yasmin, R., 1999. A new withanalide glycoside from Physalis peruviana.