Though gooseberries look similar to grapes, they are actually berries filled with tiny seeds. The fruit -- which can be green, white or red -- provides many nutrients. Gooseberries have been consumed for centuries right off the vine or made into pies, jam or other desserts. Adding gooseberries to your diet can be a challenge because they are not readily available in many supermarkets, but finding ways to incorporate them into your diet can have many health benefits. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says that 1 cup of fresh berries such as gooseberries counts as a serving of fruit, and that healthy adult men and women need at least 2 cups of fruit every day. Each cup of gooseberries contains only 66 calories.
Like most fruit, gooseberries are a good source of vitamin C. One cup of fresh gooseberries contains 41.5mg of vitamin C. For an adult man, that's 46 percent of his recommended daily intake of vitamin C; for adult women, a cup of gooseberries fulfills 55 percent of her required intake of the nutrient. Vitamin C is necessary for your body to absorb iron and to aid in the formation of collagen. You need plenty of vitamin C to help you maintain healthy bones, muscles, cartilage and blood vessels. A diet that includes adequate amounts of vitamin C may also help ward off infection and prevent illnesses like the common cold.
Audrey H. Ensminger notes in her book, "Foods and Nutrition Encyclopedia," one of the most notable benefits of gooseberries is their impressive fiber content. One cup of fresh gooseberries supplies 6.5g of dietary fiber. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, the average adult diet requires at least 20g of fiber per day, though it's best for a woman to have 25 grams daily and a man to get about 38 grams. A 1-cup serving of gooseberries supplies a man with 17 percent of his fiber RDA and a woman with 26 percent of hers. Ensuring that you get enough fiber may help prevent constipation, as well as more serious conditions like colon cancer and heart disease.
Potassium is an important nutrient because it allows both your nervous and muscular systems to work properly. Potassium promotes the normal function of your nerve cells, while helping you maintain a healthy blood pressure and preventing abnormal heart rhythms. Without enough potassium regularly, you may be more likely to suffer from osteoporosis, high blood pressure or stroke. Adults should have 4,700 milligrams of potassium each day. Fresh gooseberries contain 297 milligrams of potassium in each 1-cup serving, supplying both men and women with 6.3 percent of their daily recommended intake.
Miscellaneous Vitamins and Minerals
Gooseberries supply other vitamins and minerals that offer health benefits. Ensminger reports that gooseberries contain a high concentration of vitamin A for eye health, with 435 International Units, or IUs, in each 1-cup serving, or over 48 percent of the vitamin A requirement for men and 62 percent of the recommendation for women. A 1-cup serving of gooseberries also supplies 38mg of calcium, 40mg of phosphorus and 1.3g of protein. Vitamins and minerals in smaller doses include vitamin E, iron and magnesium.
- Gardenology: Gooseberry
- "Foods and Nutrition Encyclopedia"; Audrey H. Ensminger; 1994
- Harvard School of Public Health: Fiber: Start Roughing It!
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)
- MayoClinic.com: Dietary Fiber - Essential for a Healthy Diet
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Potassium
- ChooseMyPlate.gov: What Counts as a Cup of Fruit?
- ChooseMyPlate.gov: How Much Fruit is Needed Daily?