Looking at physalis fruits, you are likely to think that they are orange tomatoes. Eat the fruit, and you will say its taste is a combination of strawberries and tomatoes. It has a delightful sweet-sour taste and is full of juicy tang. Also referred to as ground cherries, the fruit with an orange-yellow skin and juicy pulp is surrounded by thin straw-colored husk. Although the physalis fruit appears similar to tomatoes, it is smaller in size, and moreover, mildly acidic. A fully ripened physalis that remains covered by its husk can last anywhere between 30 to 45 days.
Did You Know?Avoid consuming the unripe green-colored physalis as its consumption can lead to an upset stomach.
These fruits are considered exotic and grow on physalis species of plants. Now, there are a variety of species in the genus physalis, of which 75 have been identified, and moreover, most of these species do not produce edible fruits. The species that are commonly used for their edible fruits are Cape gooseberry (physalis peruviana), tomatillo (physalis philadelphica), and the Chinese lantern (physalis alkekengi). Here, this Buzzle article, will discuss the physalis peruviana species that bear the orange-colored small tomato-like fruits.
The exotic fruit is high in nutrition and contains a wide range of vitamins and minerals. In fact, its nutritional value can rival some of the most nutritious of fruits. The key nutrients in the fruit are shown in the following table.
|Nutrients||Physalis fruit (100 g)||%DV|
|Vitamin A||720 IU||14%|
|Vitamin C||11.0 mg||18%|
Promotes Eye Health
The physalis fruit is considered an eye-friendly fruit, thanks to its high vitamin A content. Just add 100 g of physalis fruit to your diet, and you get a whopping 14% of daily recommended intake value. So regularly eating this fruit can certainly help to protect your eyesight from age-related problems such as macular degeneration. Moreover, vitamin A also displays strong antioxidant activity, which means the intake of this fruit can also play a crucial role in minimizing free-radical damage. External application of the juice is also used for the treatment of eye problems such as pterygium.
With just 100 g of physalis fruit delivering an astounding 18% daily recommended allowance of vitamin C, rest assured that its daily intake can contribute immensely to boost immunity. Vitamin C is proven to strengthen the immune system by increasing the synthesis of infection-fighting cells. The fruit is also a good source of polysaccharides that also help to boost immunity.
Physalis fruit contains a good dose of B vitamins, nutrients that are critical for generation of energy in the body. Adequate vitamin B intake is necessary to keep you energetic and help combat fatigue. 100 g of physalis fruit has 0.11 mg of thiamine, 0.04 mg of riboflavin, and 2.8 mg of niacin. All these vitamins play an important role to produce energy from dietary carbohydrates and fats.
Lowers Cholesterol levels
Physalis also contain a great deal of pectin―a soluble fiber that displays cholesterol-lowering properties. Pectin has excellent cholesterol binding capacity, which prevent their absorption and is eventually eliminated out of the body. So, people with high cholesterol levels may benefit by regularly eating physalis.
Weight Loss Aid
Physalis fruits can be a perfect addition to weight loss meals as 100 g of the fruit provides just 53 calories. The total fat content (0.70 g) in this fruit is also negligible, and moreover, is cholesterol free. With physalis fruit having very few calories, increasing its intake will surely not lead to weight gain.
Good Source of Proteins
Whoever thought meat are the only good sources of protein are sadly mistaken. Raw and dried physalis fruit also contains noticeable amounts of proteins as it has 18 different types of amino acids, including all the 8 essential amino acids. Amino acids are organic compounds that act as building blocks of proteins. 100 g of dried physalis fruit contains a whopping 16% daily recommended intake value of proteins. So vegans looking for non-meat sources to increase their protein intake, should include this fruit in their diet.
Compared to raw physalis, its dried version has more concentrated nutrition. So regular consumption of dried physalis can certainly maximize your nutrition intake. The texture of this dried fruit is soft and wrinkled, akin to a raisin. Because of their energy boosting potential, they are often added to energy bars and oats.
How to Eat Physalis Fruit
As aforementioned, physalis fruit comes encased in an unusual paper-like husk. So, when it comes to eating the fruit, firstly, you need to separate the husk from the fruit. This is because the husk is inedible; hence, its removal is necessary. After removing the husk, rinse it in running water, and then you can consume it as raw or can be cooked and added in a variety of dishes. Sliced ground cherries can be a perfect addition to any salads. Physalis fruits that lend a sweet and sour taste to dishes are also added in desserts.