Goji berries have been used in traditional Chinese medicine for more than 2,000 years. Some legends report that Goji berries were eaten by monks in the Himalayan Mountains thousands of years ago and soaked in hot water to help meditation and gain greater health, vitality, longevity, energy and endurance. Low in calories, without fat, a good source of fiber and a highly antioxidant food, the benefits of goji berry include the ability to help you fight disease, control your weight effectively and experience better digestion. Commonly raw foods, dried or in liquid or powdered form, the versatile goji berries contain a wide range of phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals, which are called “superfood berries” by many health experts.
In fact, according to a study published by the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, the benefits of goji include experiencing an increase in the levels of energy levels, sports performance, sleep quality, ease of waking, ability to concentrate on activities, mental acuity, calm, feelings of health, satisfaction and happiness, and significant reduction of fatigue and stress.
Some Proven Benefits of Goji Berries:
The “wolfberry fruit,” as goji berries are known in China, has been used in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) since about 200 BC. The benefits of Goji berries were even mentioned in “Shen Nong Ben Cao Jing,” an ancient book detailing the medicinal and agricultural knowledge of the mythical Chinese emperor Shen Nong and the oldest existing book on Chinese herbs. Goji berries – with the scientific name is Lycium barbarum – have been widely investigated for their ability to generate general feelings of well-being, improve neurological / psychological traits, improve gastrointestinal health and intestinal functions, help build more skeletal muscle systems strong and improve cardiovascular health. They are easy to add to meals to increase energy levels and performance.
“The benefits of Goji berries include the ability to naturally treat diabetes, hypertension, infectious diseases and common diseases such as a cold or fever”.
Traditionally, they have also been used to combat depression and anxiety or other mood disorders. They are a great source of antioxidants known as beta-carotene, in addition to other phytonutrients that help protect the health of the skin and eyes. Thanks to its ability to reduce blood glucose, regulate cholesterol levels and maintain triglycerides in an ideal balance, it has also been shown to prevent heart disease.
Nutrition Facts of Goji Berries:
Goji berries grow on a type of hawthorn plant that belongs to the Solanaceae family of plants. This family of plants also includes other fruits and vegetables such as potatoes, tomatoes, eggplants and chili peppers. An excellent snack of high protein content, the benefits of dried goji berry also offer a good dose of fiber, more than 20 different vitamins and minerals and, of course, a lot of antioxidants. The USDA does not offer nutritional information for goji berries, and is believed to vary widely depending on the type, how fresh they are and how they are preserved. Different sources claim that the benefits of goji berry include varying degrees of nutrients, but a variety of vitamins, minerals and other phytochemicals present in goji berries are included below.
¼ Cup Dried Goji Berries Has Approximately:
- 100 calories
- 0 grams of fat
- 3 grams of fiber
- 13 grams of sugar
- 4 grams of protein
- 140 percent of vitamin D DV
- 35-163 percent DV vitamin C
- 100 vitamin DV B2
- 91 percent selenium DV
- 24 percent potassium DV
- 10-100 percent iron DV
- 4-10 percent calcium DV
- 18 amino acids (11 of which are essential)
- 5 sources of healthy unsaturated fatty acids, including alpha-linolenic acid and linoleic acid
- Phytochemicals, including beta-carotene, zeaxanthin, lycopene, cryptoxanthin, lutein and polysaccharides
How Does This Compare with Some Other Popular Fruits?
According to Superfoodly, a small portion of dried goji berries has a radical oxygen absorption capacity (ORAC) rating that measures the antioxidant value of several foods, of 4,310. In comparison, an apple has an ORAC score of 2,568; you pass a score of 3.406; blueberries a score of 4,633; and pomegranate seeds a score of 4,479. (3) All are good sources of various antioxidants, but what differentiates goji berries are their amino acids (proteins), specific fatty acids and antioxidants. It is rare for a fruit to provide amino acids, especially 11 types considered “essential” that the body cannot produce. Also remember that each type of berry or fruit provides a different variety and a level of antioxidants, so the more types you consume, the more benefits you will get. Another benefit of goji berries is its convenience. They come in such a small package that it is often easier for some people to eat them and get high levels of nutrients than it could be to eat a few whole pieces of fruit. For example, when Goji berries and oranges are compared by weight by weight as foods with vitamin C, goji berries provide up to 500 times more vitamin C.
Wondering how Goji berries taste compared to other fruits and how can you use them? Good news: most people consider that its flavor is totally pleasant and easy to use. They add a chewable texture to the recipes, and in terms of their flavor, you can think of goji berries as a cross between blueberries and cherries. They look similar to raisins since they are normally dry, but they have a brighter pink color and a sweet / bittersweet “bite” special for them.
8 Health Benefits of Goji Berries:
1. Provide High Levels of Antioxidants and Nutrients:
- Like most superfoods, Goji berries are an excellent source of antioxidants that help stimulate the immune system and protect the body from high levels of inflammation, as they fight free radical damage. In terms of the amount of antioxidants present in goji berries, they have a high ORAC value along with other beneficial berries, indicating their exceptional ability to reduce oxidative stress.
- One of the amazing benefits of the goji berry that you may not know is that each serving contains approximately four grams of protein per serving and 18 different amino acids, plus another 20 minerals, such as zinc, iron, phosphorus and riboflavin (vitamin B2). Ounce for ounce, goji berries offer more beta-carotene than carrots and more iron than soy and spinach nutrition, which makes them a great source to help prevent iron deficiency.
2. Improve Immune Function and Fight Cancer:
- Goji berries are similar to other berries, such as blueberries and raspberries, as they provide high levels of antioxidants vitamin C and vitamin A. These are two key nutrients to build immunity and prevent common diseases such as a cold, as well as more chronic diseases. serious as cancer or neurodegenerative decline.
- Of the antioxidants present among the benefits of goji berry, carotenoids such as zeaxanthin and vitamin C precursors are the most widely investigated? The high levels of these compounds give the Gojis a reputation for fighting cancer cells, fighting tumor growth, decreasing inflammatory cytokine levels and detoxifying the body of harmful toxins.
- The benefits of Goji berry also extend to other parts of the body thanks to its polysaccharides and glycoconjugate compounds that promote unique bioactive immuno-modulatory, anti-tumor and antioxidant activities in the brain, liver, reproductive organs and digestive tract. Did you know that it could help fight skin cancer with food? Gojis have been reported to have anti-aging properties and show antitumor activities against various types of skin cancer cells by inhibiting tumor growth and inducing apoptosis.
3. Promote Healthy Skin:
- Similar to the benefits you get from eating other berries, goji berries are loaded with beta-carotene (a pigment found in plants and fruits), which helps promote healthy skin and even acts as a natural cancer treatment. of skin.
- In an animal study conducted by the University of Sydney School of Veterinary Science, drinking 5 percent goji juice provided antioxidant activity that offered significant protection against skin disorders and lipid peroxidation from UV light damage. Two known endogenous skin antioxidants are present in goji berries, heme oxygenase-1 and metallothionein, which were found involved in photoimmune protection.
- The results show that drinking juice made from goji berries increases your protection against free sun damage. Goji berries provides additional photo protection for people who are susceptible to skin cancer and other skin disorders.
4. Protect Eye Health
- The benefits of Goji berry also include the ability to protect the eyes from age-related diseases such as macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in older adults. Goji berries are a natural treatment for macular degeneration and beneficial for vision due to their high levels of antioxidants (especially zeaxanthin), which can help stop damage from exposure to UV light, free radicals and other forms of stress oxidative.
- A study published in the Optometry & Vision Science magazine of the American Academy of Optometry found that drinking goji berry juice daily as a dietary supplement for 90 days significantly increases the levels of zeaxanthin and antioxidants, which protect the eyes from hypo pigmentation and the accumulation of oxidative stress compounds that can damage the macula.
- Other studies show that goji berry benefits eye health by protecting the retina from ganglion cells, so goji antioxidants act as a natural treatment for glaucoma.
5. Help Stabilize Blood Sugar:
- Especially useful for people with diabetes, the benefits of goji berries also help control the release of sugar in the bloodstream, which prevents spikes and falls due to problems in balancing glucose levels.
- Evidence shows that goji exhibit significant hypoglycemic effects and insulin sensitizing activity by increasing glucose responsiveness. As part of a healthy diet, a natural remedy for diabetes and a way to increase insulin sensitivity, goji berries are one of the best options for those who have trouble balancing blood glucose levels and their effects.
- Reducing sugar intake and increasing insulin responsiveness is extremely important for the growing number of cases of diabetes in the US. UU. And other developed nations today, so goji berries are a better alternative for snacks and sweeteners to products high in sugar and sugar additives.
6. Detoxifies the Liver:
- Goji berries are believed to offer liver protection and are used together with traditional herbs such as licorice, ganoderma, gynostemna and pentaphylla in many liver cleanses. This is one of the reasons why they are commonly used as a tonic ingredient in soups and to make sweet or savory porridge for people who are sick.
- They are believed to be one of the best ingredients to promote liver and kidney health, according to TCM, since goji berry benefits the liver and kidney meridians of the body to restore vitality, strength and welfare. This makes them a great natural remedy for kidney stone, as well as a good food for blood cleansing.
7. Keep Your Energy and Mood:
- According to a study by the Journal of Alternative and Complimentary Medicine, drinking goji berry juice regularly can help increase energy levels, mood and improve digestive health.
- Participants who drank goji juice for two weeks had improvements in terms of their feelings of “general well-being”, increased energy levels and improved gastrointestinal function.
- Try to have some gojis as a snack before training to help you and maintain your resistance.
8. Boost Fertility:
- Traditionally, the Chinese believe that the nutrition of goji berries benefits the reproductive system and offers greater fertility.
- It is believed that Goji berries increase sperm count and sperm vitality.
- Evidence shows that the additional benefits of goji berry include the treatment of female infertility in patients with premature ovarian failure and the inability to ovulate normally.
- Gojis are mainly used in TCM to treat “yin deficiency,” which is believed to be the “feminine” aspect of personality and body. Knowing that the benefits of goji berry include the ability to increase mood, reduce stress and fight inflammation, doctors of traditional Chinese medicine prescribe a dose of six to 15 grams daily to balance the yin and restore the hormonal health.
- The results of a study conducted by the Wuhan University School of Public Health in China showed that goji protect against testicular tissue damage induced by heat exposure, increase the antioxidant activity of superoxide dismutase in the reproductive system, raise Sex hormone levels and protect against oxidative damage of testicular cells DNA. These findings support the popular reputation that goji are effective in fighting infertility.
Goji Berries History:
Goji berries are native to Asia, especially China, where they are grown in the northern and southern regions. Two main types of goji berry plants are currently grown: L. chinense is grown in southern China and L. barbarum is grown in the north. Gojis are known in pharmacological studies and are called “Lycii fructus”, but worldwide they have many names, such as wolfberries or Tibetan goji. Since the beginning of the 21st century, interest in goji berries in the United States has increased as their nutritional value has been known, but in traditional Chinese medicine, all fruit and its extracts have had numerous effects and uses for Health for centuries. Cultivated in China for more than 2000 years, Goji berries have earned the nickname “red diamonds.” In addition to berries, other parts of the wolfberry plant, which include the flower, leaf, seed and root bark, are also praised for its benefits in China. From the point of view of TCM, it is said that the nature of wolfberry is “calm” and its flavor is “sweet”.
According to the theory and practice of TCM, the benefits of goji berries include acting positively on both the “hepatic canal” and the “renal canal” by nourishing and detoxifying the liver and kidney. It is said that this improves eye function, fertility, energy and tranquility. TCM practitioners use nutrition components of goji berries to treat various diseases, but fruit is also a popular food for Chinese people in their daily lives. Commercial volumes of Goji berries are grown in the Chinese regions of Inner Mongolia, Qinghai, Gansu, Shaanxi, Shanxi and Hebei. When the berries are ripe, they are picked carefully or removed from the vine in trays so they can be preserved. This is done either by drying them in full sun in open trays or by mechanical dehydration for a period of two days. The most common way to find goji berries in the United States is in dried or powdered form because the berries are very delicate, do not ship well and have a short shelf life.
In China, gojis are celebrated every August with an annual festival that coincides with the harvest of berries. They are praised for helping with land irrigation and are planted to control erosion and recover irrigable soils from desertification. As food, they are traditionally cooked before consumption in China and used in recipes such as congee rice, almond jelly and Chinese tonic soups, or in combination with chicken or pork, vegetables and other beneficial plant foods such as wild yam or licorice root. Berries are also boiled as an herbal tea and made in various juices or wines (similar to the way grapes are used).
How to Buy and Use Goji berries?
Considered both a fruit and an herb, goji berries are most easily found in health food stores that are sold in bulk or in Asian and European gourmet markets. To get the freshest and best quality berries, look for them in dry packages or sold by weight in specialized bulk food stores, where you can get them at a better price. Many high quality and packaged trail mixes or dry “superfood” mixes also include goji berries, so look for them on ingredient labels.
Other Ways to Find Products That Contain Goji Berries Include:
- Pieces of berries on granola bars
- Added to some organic yogurt products
- In concentrated juice
- It is sold as a whole fruit puree
- Made in pulp powders
- Whole or ground goji berry seeds (which are rich in fiber)
One of the reasons why some people hesitate to eat more of them is because goji berries tend to be expensive. Although they can be a bit expensive, especially when compared to raisins or other dried fruits, they are worth considering their long list of proven goji benefits. A typical bag of dried berries can cost around $ 15 to $ 20 at most health food stores, although you may be able to find them at lower prices online. Like all “superfoods”, the price depends on whether they are organic, pure and of natural origin. Once you find some, what can you do with them? There are many ways to easily add more goji berries to your favorite foods. You can eat them raw or soak them in hot water so that they fill up a bit. Some popular ways to enjoy them are to add some to the trail mixes, mix them in smoothies, add oatmeal or yogurt with a few tablespoons, or throw some in a salad. If you like to cook and bake, keep in mind that dried gojis can be added to baked goods, cooked in sweet sauces or as a garnish for roasted vegetables or many desserts.
Goji Berry Recipes:
Goji berries have a naturally sweet but slightly acidic taste, very similar to blueberries. Some people also feel that they have a slight “herb” flavor, which makes them especially good for salty and sweet recipes. Here are some easy ways to add more goji berries to your meals:
Raw Carrot Salad Recipe
Total time: 15 minutes
For 4 people
- 10 grated large carrots
- 1 cup dried goji berries
- 4 green apples, chopped
- 1 cup pecans
- 3 tablespoons dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon lemon pepper
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- Mix all the ingredients together.
- Serve cold.
Is There Any Risk of Eating Goji Berries?
- Like all dried fruits, Goji berries contain sugar in a small amount, so portion control is important, and they are not necessarily good options for people with blood sugar imbalances. Like all dried fruits, it can be easy to overdo it.
- People who use anticoagulants or take diabetic medications can possibly have a negative reaction when eating many goji berries. As for allergies, goji are not a common allergen and are also suitable for children, but if you have a known allergy to other berries, you may want to exercise caution and clean them with your doctor first.