Physalis / Golden Berry

Physalis peruviana

General Information

The beautiful orange and healthy fruit is principally known as physalis or golden berry, but also has other names such as cape goose berry, Chinese lantern, uchuva, aguaymanto or uvilla. The physalis is part of the solanacea family, which curiously also includes potatoes, eggplants and tomatoes. Originally the plant grows in South America where the Incas were the first to discover this fruit treasure.

Physalis is a tasty and versatile fruit, which can be consumed as a snack (fresh or dried) or used in salads. The smooth citrus flavour and the combination of sweet and acid plays a love game with our pallet. It is and easy bite and on top of that, like most fruits, it is healthy for our body when consumed in the right proportions. The large amount of pectin makes it a perfect ingredient for sauces, chutneys and jams. Pectin is a naturally occurring substance commonly found in berries, apples and other fruits. When heated together with sugar, it casques a thickening that is characteristic of jams and jellies.

By the ancient cultures in South America the plant was considered a medicinal plant. Recent research has attributed that this fruit helps purify our blood, lowers our cholesterol, improves our vision and regulates diabetes. Physalis has a high content of vitamin C, even more than oranges or tomatoes. The golden berry has also high levels of vitamin A, calcium, phosphorus and iron and that combined with hardly any calories (49 Kcal per 100 grams).

The Colombian physalis is one of the major exported fruits from the country. It grows on the slopes of the mountains departments of Antioquia, Boyaca and Cundinamarca at an altitude of 2.400 – 3.000 meters above sea level. During its growth this tiny fruit is covered by a papery calyx that protects it from birds, insects, pathogens, and adverse weather, after harvest the fruits are selected, and a big part of the fruits are packed and sold with the protection still in place.

Physalis or Golden Barry

Latin name: Physalis peruviana
Family plant name: Solanáceas
Origin: South American

Nutrition Facts
1 servings per container
Serving size 100

Amount per serving
Calories 53
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0.7g 1%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 10mg 1%
Total Carbohydrate 11.2g 4%
Dietary Fiber 10g 34%
Total Sugars 1.2g
Includes 0g Added Sugars 0%
Protein 2g

Vitamin D 0mcg 0%
Calcium 1mg 1%
Iron 8mg 45%
Potassium 0mg 0%
Vitamin A 14%
Vitamin C 18%
Vitamin K 7%

The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

Physalis dragon fruit has numerous health effects:


  1. A warehouse full of Vitamin C

Physalis have abundant quantity of vitamin C, which is good for our skin and helps boosting our immune system.

  1. Improves and protects our eyesight
    Golden berries are also rich in vitamin A, which improves helps to improve our eyesight. The fruit is rich in iron to which also is relevant for having a good vision. It prevents cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.
  1. Controls (high) blood pressure
    The availability of phyto-chemicals such as carotenoids and polyphenols in this fruit help control high blood pressure levels. These chemicals along with the soluble pectin fibre keep bad cholesterol levels in check and promote heart health.
  1. Firmness of our bones
    Since this fruit is high in calcium and phosphorous, it helps to keep our bones strong and firm. Due to the available pectin, the absorption of the available calcium and phosphorus is enhanced which helps to manage conditions such as dermatitis and rheumatism.
  1. Beneficial for diabetes patients 
    Physalis helps to lower the sugar levels in our blood, since the berries contain large amounts of soluble fibres such as fructose. Studies have shown it can be beneficial, however if you are a diabetic make sure you bring it up with your medical practitioner.
  1. Anti-Inflammatory properties 
    Physalis is rich in anthocyanins pigments from which is demonstrated that it prevents inflammation caused by pain and swelling. Due to the presence antioxidants such as polyphenols.
  1. Combats cold and flu
    When the golden berries are regularly consumed with tea or hot water; the antioxidant-rich cape gooseberries can protect us against regular cold and flu attacks. It will soothe our clogged noses and it will make it easier to breathe again. This fruit may help us in treating asthma.
  1. Eases digestion
    Fibre-rich golden berries are great to add to our diet. The available fruit fibre plays an important role in managing our digestive processes. The available pectin fibre helps to ease the disturbed gastro-intestinal tract, prevents constipation and also serves as a great laxative.
  1. Promotes weight Loss
    Low in fat and calories, a handful of golden berries are a great snack or a meal filler to support our weight loss goals.


How to consume?

When it comes with the papery husk, remove this and wash the berry. Then eat it as it comes, use it in a sweet of savory or make a compote or jam with it.