Goji berries, also known as wolfberries, have been used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine for their health benefits. These small red berries are packed with nutrients and antioxidants, making them a popular superfood in the Western world as well. In recent years, research has shown that goji berries may have a range of health benefits, from reducing inflammation to protecting against disease.
One of the key benefits of goji berries is their high antioxidant content. Antioxidants help protect the body against damage from harmful molecules called free radicals, which can contribute to aging and disease. Goji berries also contain anti-inflammatory compounds that may help reduce the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease and cancer.
In this blog post, we will explore the many health benefits of goji berries and how they can be incorporated into your diet. From boosting immunity to improving vision, we’ll cover everything you need to know about this powerful superfruit. So, whether you’re looking to improve your overall health or simply add some variety to your diet, read on to learn more about the incredible benefits of goji berries.
What Is the Goji Berry?
Goji berries, also known as wolfberries, are a bright red-orange fruit that grows on a shrub native to China, Tibet, and Mongolia. They have been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries to treat a variety of ailments, from improving vision to boosting the immune system. In recent years, goji berries have gained popularity in the Western world as a superfood due to their high nutritional value and potential health benefits.
Goji berries are a good source of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, vitamin A, iron, and zinc. They also contain antioxidants called polyphenols and carotenoids, which help protect the body against damage from harmful molecules called free radicals. Additionally, goji berries contain anti-inflammatory compounds that may help reduce the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease and cancer.
Goji berries can be eaten fresh or dried and are often used in smoothies, trail mixes, and baked goods. They have a sweet and slightly tart flavor that pairs well with other fruits and nuts. With their many health benefits and versatility in the kitchen, goji berries are a great addition to any diet.
Goji Berry – Nutrition Facts
Here are the nutrition facts for a 28-gram serving (approximately 1/4 cup) of dried goji berries:
- Calories: 98
- Carbohydrates: 21 grams
- Fiber: 3 grams
- Protein: 4 grams
- Fat: 1 gram
- Vitamin A: 140% of the Daily Value (DV)
- Vitamin C: 20% of the DV
- Iron: 11% of the DV
- Zinc: 9% of the DV
In addition to the above, goji berries also contain various other vitamins and minerals, including calcium, potassium, and riboflavin. They are also a good source of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds.
It is worth noting that goji berries are relatively high in sugar, with 12 grams of sugar per serving. While the sugar in goji berries is naturally occurring, it is still important to consume them in moderation as part of a balanced diet.
8 Goji Berries Benefits
- Provide High Levels of Antioxidants and Nutrients – Goji berries are a great source of antioxidants and nutrients, including vitamin C, vitamin A, iron, and zinc. These compounds help protect the body against damage from free radicals and support overall health.
- Improve Immune Function and Fight Cancer – Goji berries contain polysaccharides and other compounds that may help boost the immune system and potentially reduce the risk of certain types of cancer. These compounds may also help regulate inflammation and support healthy cell growth.
- Promote Healthy Skin – The antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds in goji berries may help protect the skin against damage from UV radiation and other environmental stressors. Additionally, goji berries contain compounds that support collagen production and may help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
- Protect Eye Health – Goji berries are rich in zeaxanthin, a carotenoid that helps protect the eyes from damage caused by blue light and oxidative stress. Studies have suggested that consuming goji berries regularly may help reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration and other eye diseases.
- Help Stabilize Blood Sugar – The polysaccharides in goji berries may help regulate blood sugar levels by slowing down the digestion of carbohydrates and reducing insulin resistance. This may be particularly beneficial for individuals with diabetes or those at risk of developing the condition.
- Detoxify the Liver – Goji berries contain betaine, a compound that may help protect the liver from damage and support healthy liver function. Additionally, the antioxidants in goji berries may help reduce oxidative stress in the liver and support the body’s natural detoxification processes.
- Keep Your Energy and Mood Up – Goji berries are a good source of vitamins and minerals that support energy metabolism and help reduce fatigue. Additionally, goji berries contain compounds that may help improve mood and reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.
- Boost Fertility – Some studies suggest that goji berries may help improve fertility and reproductive health. The antioxidants and other compounds in goji berries may help protect sperm and eggs from damage, while also supporting healthy hormone levels and reproductive function. However, more research is needed to fully understand the potential effects of goji berries on fertility.
Here Some Risks and Side Effects
While goji berries are generally considered safe for most people when consumed in moderation, there are a few potential risks and side effects to be aware of.
Firstly, goji berries may interact with certain medications, including blood thinners and diabetes medications. If you are taking any medication, it is important to consult with your healthcare provider before adding goji berries to your diet.
Additionally, some people may experience an allergic reaction to goji berries, particularly if they are allergic to other fruits in the nightshade family (such as tomatoes, peppers, or eggplants). Symptoms of an allergic reaction may include itching, hives, and difficulty breathing.
Finally, goji berries may interact with the iodine in seaweed and kelp, which can affect thyroid function. If you have a thyroid condition or are taking medication for your thyroid, it is best to talk to your healthcare provider before consuming goji berries regularly.
It is also worth noting that goji berries are relatively high in sugar, so they should be consumed in moderation as part of a balanced diet. As with any food or supplement, it is important to listen to your body and stop consuming goji berries if you experience any adverse effects.