Turkey berry, also known as susumber berry or pea eggplant, is a fascinating plant. Its fruits are a great treasure of health.
Turkey berry is grown mostly in the tropics. The scientific name of turkey berry is Solanum torvum. It is originated from Florida, South America (1).
Turkey berries are mostly used in Brazil, India, Mexico, and the Caribbean. Because of their health benefits, they have spread around the world.
Turkey berries have a slightly bitter taste, but when you prepare them properly, you’ll get an unusual aroma and add a new flavor to your dish.
Turkey berry is known as sundakkai in Tamil, is often used to make a famous dish called vatha kuzhambu. It’s also possible to prepare them as an addition to soups and similar dishes.
The main characteristics of turkey berry are the richness of calcium and iron.
Consequently, these little berries are indispensable for the health of bones and teeth.
Carbohydrates make up only 7.03% of turkey berry. It consists predominantly of water, as much as 86.23%, and it doesn’t contain a lot of calories.
Turkey berry is rich in fiber, so we can say that it’s excellent for digestion. The abundance of iron makes it a top choice for those who are struggling with anemia.
Turkey berry provides the following nutrients per 100 grams serving (2):
- Water: 86.23%
- Carbohydrate: 7.03 grams
- Protein: 2.32 grams
- Fat: 0.27 grams
- Fiber: 3.9 grams
- Iron: 7.6 mg
- Manganese: 1.9 mg
- Calcium: 22 mg
- Zinc: 2 mg
- Vitamin A: 70 μg
- Vitamin C: 2.68 mg
Health benefits of turkey berry:
1. Turkey berry strengthens your immune system
Turkey berry is an excellent source of vitamin C and zinc, both of which are essential for our immune system.
Also, the seed and fruit extract of turkey berry has an antioxidant called flavonoid, which has anti-inflammatory properties. Therefore, eating turkey berry may help fight inflammation (5).
2. Turkey berry protects your liver and kidneys
Turkey berry could be an excellent solution for protecting your kidney and liver from harmful chemicals.
A study on rats indicates that turkey berry may alleviate kidney and liver damage by modulating oxidative stress (6).
In another study, turkey berry managed to relieve the kidney damage on rats caused by a cancer drug called doxorubicin (7).
3. Turkey berry helps manage diabetes
Turkey berry contains phenolic compounds and consequently has antioxidant and anti-diabetic properties.
In one study (8), the fruit extract of turkey berry significantly reduced blood glucose levels in diabetic rats.
Although turkey berry is used as traditional medicine for diabetes, there seems to be a potential for the development of an anti-diabetic drug using its fruit extracts (9).
4. Turkey berry lowers blood pressure
A high intake of fructose, a sugar substitute found in soft drinks and sweets may raise your blood pressure (10).
According to a study, turkey berry has the potential to lower systolic blood pressure caused by high fructose intake (11).
5. Turkey berry prevents the formation of cancer cells
The antioxidant potential of turkey berry appears to be very high (12), which is very important to prevent the formation of cancer cells.
Moreover, research reveals that turkey berry has a phenolic compound called methyl caffeate, which seems to have anticancer activity (13).
Is turkey berry good for weight loss?
However, the leave extract of turkey berry seems to be an excellent solution for reducing blood cholesterol and body weight (16).
Potential side effects
Immature or environmentally stressed turkey berries might be poisonous, but it’s rare.
A study has shown that people who had toxic turkey berries developed symptoms, such as diarrhea, hypertension, and weakness (17).
If you develop any such symptoms after consuming them, talk to your physician.
Analyzing turkey berry, we can confirm that the real things come in small packages. Its nutritional qualities are amazing. Consequently, with continuous use, you can drastically improve your health.