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Physalis is a tart berry, somewhat resembling a tomatillo, wrapped in a papery case. This papery wrapping gives it the look of a tiny Chinese lantern — hence the nickname.

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Health Benefits

Immune System Support

One cup of physalis contains more than 50% of your daily value (DV) of vitamin C. Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant to protect your body against free radical damage and boost your immune system. It also plays a role in collagen formation, which promotes wound healing. Additionally, vitamin C enhances other nutrients. It helps your body absorb iron and make other antioxidants, such as vitamin E.

Anti-Inflammatory and Cancer-Fighting Properties

Physalis contains steroids called withanolides. Withanolides can help fight inflammatory conditions, such as arthritis, lupus, and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Withanolides may also play a role in the prevention and treatment of cancer. Researchers are studying using withanolides to target and kill specific cancer cells.

Bone Health

Eating physalis fruit can help you meet your daily calcium needs. Most people know that calcium is essential in building and maintaining bone mass. However, calcium also plays a big role in body functions such as:

  • Muscle contraction
  • Regulating heart rhythm
  • Hormone production
  • Support for healthy blood vessels

Digestive Health

The high content of pectin in physalis fruit makes it perfect for making jams and jellies, but pectin is also a good source of fibre. Dietary fibre helps move food through your large intestine (colon) to prevent constipation. It also absorbs water in the stool to make it softer and easier to pass through your digestive system.