Goji berries have been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for thousands of years. They are also called wolfberries, the fruit of Lycium barbarum (a native Chinese Shrub). It is a bright orange-red fruit possessing a lot of medicinal benefits. In traditional Chinese medicine, goji berries are eaten raw, poured in Chinese soups, brewed into a hot cup of tea, or made into liquid extracts for easy consumption. Read my findings below to consider why goji berries are thought to be a super food, in fact one of the best super foods.
7 things You Need To Know About Goji Berries:
1. High in Antioxidants
Goji berries contain vitamin C, zinc, and copper that protect our DNA. Free radicals that exist in our bodies are highly reactive and will mutate the DNA in our cells causing damage, aging, and potentially even cancer. Antioxidants neutralize and destroy these free radicals and goji berries contain more than many other foods including red grapes, strawberries, and broccoli. Medical research has proven that food items with high antioxidants are often high in fiber and low in unhealthy fats. They protect body cells from breaking down when exposed to smoke and harmful radiations. Studies have detected the presence of Zeaxanthin, an antioxidant in high levels, which is also responsible for the vivid red color of goji berries. (1)
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2. Helps in losing Weight
Regular consumption of goji berries supports weight loss efforts. The composition of goji berries is such that it does not incite any fats. Having goji berries is like eating small servings of complete nutrients. They do not directly aid in weight loss, but do help the weight loss action plan. Also, having such a sweet and fiber filled fruit can help tone down the sugar craving.
3. Gives Immunity
There are three compounds in the berries of the goji plant that may help to boost your immune system. These are beta-carotene, the mineral germanium, and polysaccharides. Beta-carotene helps to stimulate your thymus gland, germanium is known to protect against some types of cancer, and polysaccharides are compounds that improve the functioning of your immune system. When added to your diet on regular basis, goji berries will improve concentration and reduce fatigue.
4. Energy Booster and Helps With Mood Swings
Goji berries are said to enhance energy levels, and decrease a lot of health problems on a commendable level. They improve blood circulation and slow the aging process and could also help reduce blood pressure and sugar levels. According to a study from the Journal of Alternative and Complimentary Medicine, drinking goji berry juice on a regular basis can help increase energy levels, moods and improve digestive health. (2) Participants who drank goji juice for two weeks had improvements in terms of their feelings of “general well-being,” increased energy levels and better gastrointestinal function.
5. Good for Eyesight
A Swiss study shows a positive effect on eye health from a daily consumption of goji berries, using healthy subjects ages 65-70. Eye examinations were administered to evaluate eye health; blood was drawn to gauge antioxidant levels. Intake of goji berries sharpens eyesight. The anti-oxidant Zeaxanthin, protects the eyes from the harmful ultraviolet radiations of the sun. At the same time, it also reduces the chances of developing cataracts. (3) Goji berries are considered to be a natural treatment for macular degeneration.
6. Healthy Skin
Because goji berries are loaded with beta-carotene (a pigment found in plants and fruits), they helps promote healthy skin and even act like a natural skin cancer treatment. In an animal study done by the Faculty of Veterinary Science at the University of Sydney, drinking 5% goji juice supplied antioxidant activity that offered significant defense against skin disorders and lipid peroxidation of UV light damage. Two known endogenous skin antioxidants are present in goji berries, heme oxygenase-1 and metallothionein, which were found to be involved in the photoimmune protection. (4) The results show that drinking juice made from goji berries increases your protection against free radical damage from the sun. Gojis provide additional photoprotection for people who are susceptible to skin cancer and other skin disorders.
7. Detoxify the Liver
Goji berries may also offer liver protection and are used along with traditional herbs like licorice, ganoderma, gynostemna and pentaphylla in many liver cleanses. For this reason they’re frequently used as a tonic ingredient in soups and to make sweet or savory porridges for people who are sick. They’re thought to be one of the best ingredients for promoting liver and kidney health, according to TCM. This makes them a great kidney stone natural remedy as well as a good food for cleansing the blood.
Goji berries have a pleasant taste that’s slightly bitter; they taste like a cross between dried cherries, cranberries and raisins. They are usually sold in open packages in dried form. They can also be found and grown fresh. You can add dried goji berries to your cereal, or sprinkle them onto your oatmeal. We use goji berries regularly in our oatmeal porridge, yogurt and daily smoothies. Read more in our post: Benefits of Goji Berries.