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BerryTravel suitcaseNutritionists and fitness enthusiasts have declared pichuberries to be the super fruit of the year. Not to be confused with the better known red gooseberries, pichuberries are deep-gold in colour, and are gaining popularity in Pakistan. Ripe pichuberries are delicious; they can be squeezed to make a refreshing drink, dipped in dark chocolate to make a mouth-watering dessert or added to fruit salad.
Pichuberries contain the following nutrients which provide a host of benefits:

Ascorbic acid prevents cholesterol oxidisation and increases HDL (good cholesterol) levels in the body, thereby helping prevent cardiovascular disease.

Collagen promotes the healing of cuts, bruises and wounds.

Phytochemicals reduce the production of histamine in the body which causes inflammation of the respiratory tract and asthma attacks. Increased consumption of pichuberries eases the severity of other respiratory disorders, maintains healthy lung tissues and   de-clogs the respiratory tract.

Sodium relieves sore muscles and acts as an anti-spasmodic by suppressing muscle spasms and reduces pain for people suffering from cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Vitamin A improves vision, prevents mascular degeneration and the development of cataracts in people above the age of 50. Research has concluded that regular intake of freshly squeezed pichuberry juice is a natural cure for night-blindness and delays the onset of glaucoma.Page 1 copy

Vitamin C, a natural antihistamine, prevents pollen and dust-based allergies (common during summer) and reduces the severity of the common cold. It is also a natural antioxidant that boosts overall immunity.

Furthermore, pichuberries have a low-glycemic index, which means that they regulate insulin production and absorption in the bloodstream, ensuring stable blood sugar levels. This makes the fruit especially beneficial for diabetics.

– Saba Gul Hasan
The writer is a nutritionist and dietician.

First published in the Health Section of The DAWN National Weekend Advertiser on May 25, 2014.