Top 5 Health Benefits of Barbados Gooseberry

Barbados gooseberry, also known as “Ora pro nobis” in Portuguese (which translates as, “Pray for us”), from the cactus family come all the way from Brazil in South America. Specifically, its leaves and fruits are widely used not only as food merely but also as medicine. Why are they so amazing? Well, they are highly nutritious, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and yep, vegan. Find out why you should try them in our Top 5 Health Benefits of Barbados Gooseberry!

1. High in protein

The leaves found in Barbados Gooseberries provide on average 26% of protein, when compared to other non-animal protein sources as beans (18%), corn (10%) or kale (1.6%). No wonder why it’s known as the “Meat for the poor” in Brazil. They also have a high nutritional profile, due to their high iron content. 

2. Antioxidant booster

Barbados gooseberries are packed with high levels of vitamins and minerals, which makes them the perfect defense against disease. Their leaves are a great source of folic acid, vitamin A and C, calcium, magnesium and zinc. Their fruits are a significant source of vitamin C, phosphorus and calcium. All these vitamins and minerals are essential for proper bodily function; from making red blood cells, boosting the immune system, to enhancing your vision, protecting cells from free radicals and preventing chronic diseases.

3. Optimises intestinal function

As you might have guessed, this amazing plant is also a great source of dietary fibre. Found both in their leaves and fruits, fibre will help you maintain a healthy digestive system. The fibre found in Barbados Gooseberry also possesses probiotic benefits and the improvement of intestinal movement and gut health. For example, in a recent trial, when it was used and consumed as a flour, it resulted in a reduction of flatulence, beneficial maintenance of intestinal microbiota as well as an increased satiety in participants.

4. Anti-inflammatory

These are not only used as food but also as medicine. Because of its high mucilaginous content, it helps heal the skin from most wounds. It also fights tumour cells and treats inflammation thanks to their high antioxidant profile. Finally, it can be used as a natural medicine for headaches, ulcers, hemorrhoids, dermatitis, general pain, rheumatism and inflammation.

5. Analgesic strength

Barbados gooseberries also help relieve pain because of their antimicrobial, antifungal and antiallergic properties. In general, because of their high concentration of caftaric acid, (a non-flavanoid phenolic compound also found in the juice of grapes) free radicals and carcinogenic cells are eliminated.

Although Barbados gooseberries are widely known and used in Brazil they remain largely undiscovered in the rest of world. We hope this helps you understand a bit more about this incredible plant that can not only nurture you, but also heal you through their highly potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. What are your thoughts on the exciting findings of this particular berry? Let us know in the comments below, join in the conversation on Facebook and follow us on Twitter Instagram. There is a fascinating new world of emerging, potent plant-based foods to explore; check out these Top 5 Health Benefits of Coffee Extract, for instance, and of course, don’t forget to Keep YOUR Fit ON!

Alejandra Toro

Alejandra, from Colombia, is a psychologist and Nutrition and Behaviour professional. She has a strong interest in understanding how food affects our mood and behaviour. Some of her passions include aspirations to become a yogi, discovering superfoods from around the world and learning ancient medical systems such as Ayurveda. She strives to help people reach their potential and optimum well-being through a healthy lifestyle and positive mindset.

  1. It really is fascinating how many well-kept secrets, nature has for us. I’ve never heard of Barbados Gooseberries but they do sound like an upcoming superfood for the Western world! If I come across them in any store in London I will definitely give them a try. Thanks for the informative article!

  2. It is incredible that Nature gives us so many things for our well-being and we only discover it little by little. Thank you very much for the informacion, I loved the article, especially hearing about analgesic properties…

  3. This is really useful, even for people who live abroad and are trying to discover new fruits and vegetables with actual down to earth health benefits. Thank you so much, so interesting! I wonder if I can find this fruit in other counries in Latin Amercia, since I live in Colombia and not Brazil.

  4. Absolutely loved this post. I’d never thought that nature would have THAT MANY secrets. Thank you so much for this article, please keep them coming, looking forward to the next one!

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