Apart from being bright and succulent, berries are packed with vitamins and anti-oxidants. They are an ideal dessert eaten alone, in a pie, or as a cake topping. Read about the nutritional bonuses of 5 local varieties.

When you hear the word berry, your mind probably jumps to strawberries, which are in season at the moment. Or maybe you picture more exotic berries, such as blueberries and raspberries. Either way, one thing is certain: berries will never let you down.

In fact, there’s ample research to back up the health boosting qualities of this kind of fruit: their high anti-oxidant levels, and polyphenols (that impart their dark purple or crimson colour) are great for the heart, brain and skin health.

Although blueberries and raspberries are beyond the means of many, the good news is that we have our fair share of indigenous, affordable berries too. We present you with 5 of them.

red strawberries, strawberries on table, bowl with strawberries, freshly picked strawberries concept

#1 Strawberry

Winter is the season for these lush, red berries that can be spotted in marketplaces these days. Strawberries are grown in hilly areas of the north, south and north-east regions of the country. Believe it or not, the garden variety we can buy so easily these days, actually originated in Europe. 

The health benefits of strawberries are quite well known: they contain vitamin C, manganese, folate, potassium and flavonoids. Also, are also quite famous for whitening your teeth. 

black mulberry berries in a pot on a wooden table. in the foreground are mulberry berries and sprig with ripened berries.

#2 Shahtoot or Mulberry

For many, mulberries are sure to bring back childhood memories or climbing up trees to eat their fruit straight from the branches. But even though these berries may appear like a child’s sweet treat, they also have many health benefits.

Mulberries are known for their blood-cleansing properties, their calming impact, and their highly nutritious content. They contain protein, iron, calcium, niacin, fiber, and vitamin A, C, E and K.

They are now grown commercially in Karnataka and are available in the autumn season in markets around the country.

cape gooseberry Put in bag, Group of cape gooseberry

#3 Rasbhari or Cape Gooseberry

These delicious berries may seem as Indian as it gets, but they’re actually indigenous to western South America. Cape gooseberries are high in vitamin A and are therefore good for the eyes.

They also have the magical soluble pectin fibre, that helps prevent constipation and lowers bad cholesterol. And they are healthy berries for diabetics too. Gooseberries are grown across India during the spring.

Jambolan plum or jambhul or jamun fruit, Java plum (Syzygium cumini)

#4 Jamun or Blackberry

Every Indian knows about jamuns, from their grandparents. These sharp, black berries are sold on pavements and marketplaces around the rainy season. What makes them especially useful is their ability to control the blood sugar level, so people with diabetes are especially fond of these indigenous berries.

The dark colour of jamuns reflects their high anti-oxidant level, which helps us combat diseases. 

Spoon with red dried goji berries, closeup

#5 Goji Berries

Goji berries are small, red and oblong, and considered one of the most nutritious plant foods on the planet. They can be eaten raw, made into a juice or brewed. Also known as Himalayan Goji berry, they grow in the Himalayan regions of Tibet and Mongolia.

Surprisingly, their size is deceptive, since these berries  are a rich source of amino acids, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. In addition, they contain many unique phytochemicals, complex compounds and polysaccharides.

Aside from regulating blood sugar, they improve stamina, eliminate fatigue, and are immunity boosting. And guess what else? Goji berries are called happy berries sometimes, since they improve the mood and level of optimism.