If you've tried our RawGuru Chocolate Hearts Trail Mix or our Rawmio Super Trail Mix Raw Chocolate Bark you've experienced the chewy, sweet-tart goodness of the Incan Berry. Also known as golden berries, these delicious fruits really are golden in terms of both nutritional benefits and taste.
Incan berries (botanical name: Physalis peruviana), as the name suggests, originate from South America, in mountainous regions of the Andes. You might be surprised to learn that these "berries" are in fact not berries at all, but are rather members of the nightshade family, and are closely related to the ground tomato, or tomatillo.
Traditionally speaking, golden berries were enjoyed by native cultures fresh from the plant, which could typically be found trailing along rows of corn. Once enjoyed wild, Incan berries are now commercially cultivated, and are enjoyed all over the world in Europe, the Middle East, China, the United States, and Africa - where they are known as Cape gooseberries. In years past, if you did happen to stumble upon golden berries in the market, it was likely in the form of a sugary preserve, however, as their healthy benefits have become more well known in the West, they can now be found in more natural, unadultrated forms, such as low-temperature dried.
A Pot of Nutritional Gold
Incan berries have a lot to offer in terms of nutrition. They are lower in calories than many dried fruits, with only 53 calories per 100 grams, yet are rich with vitamins A, C, E, K1, B1, B2, B3, in addition to good levels of mineral phosphorus, fiber, protein, and plenty of antioxidants, fatty acids, and health-promoting phytosterols. Their specialized antioxidants, which include polyphenols and carotenoids, give this powerhouse "berry" unique anti-inflammatory and healing qualities.
One healing compound within Incan berries known as withanolides (a form of steroidal lactone) can also be found within ashwagandha root, and is what gives this prized Ayurvedic herb its highly adaptogenic effect on the body. Withanolides are being explored currently for cancer treatment, brain regeneration, as well as their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.
Nutritional and healing benefits aside, Incan berries also pack in the flavor. They offer a satisfying chewiness, and an explosion of sweet-tart fruity flavor. If you're a lover of sour candy, you'll find that you can satisfy those cravings in a profoundly healthy way with Incan berries.
Itching to try some? Visit our retail site at RawGuru.com and purchase them fresh and chewy by the pound HERE.