Have you ever heard of goji berries and their health benefits? If not, then you are in the right place. Goji berries, also known as wolfberries, are bright orange-red berries that comes from a shrub that’s native to China. These festive red berries have a sweet, slightly-sour taste. They often come in dried form, like raisins. Goji berries are eaten raw, cooked, or dried (like raisins) and are used in herbal teas, juices, wines, and medicines. In Asia, goji berries have been eaten for generations in the hope of living longer.
Their family also includes the potato, tomato, eggplant, belladonna, chili pepper, and tobacco. Wolfberry leaves form on the shoot either in an alternating arrangement or in bundles of up to three, each having either a lanceolate (shaped like a spearhead longer than it is wide) or ovate shape.
What sort of Nutrients do we get from Goji?
Goji berries are very rich in nutrients. Just like many other super foods, goji berries are an excellent source of antioxidants that help boost the immune system and protect the body from high levels of inflammation since they fight free radical damage. Goji berries are a very good source of vitamins and minerals, they contain the following:
The carbohydrates in goji berries are also complex carbs (Complex carbs pack in more nutrients than simple carbs, because they are higher in fiber and digest more slowly). This means your blood sugar will rise slowly, reducing your risk of a sugar crash afterwards.
Can you mix goji berries with other types of medication?
As much as how good the goji berries are, goji berries can interact with
some medications you’re currently taking. It is always good to talk to your doctor before mixing them with medication. You should avoid adding goji berries to your diet if you:
- have low blood sugar
- are using blood thinnerssuch as warfarin
- have lowor high blood pressure
- are breastfeedingor pregnant (can cause miscarriage)
- are allergic to the fruit
Health Benefits and Side Effects
Many people wonder about the health benefits of goji berries and goji juice. Some claim that the goji berry is a fountain of youth.
The question is does it really live up to those claims? And do dried goji berries have side effects? To follow are some answers to your questions.
Goji Berries Benefits
1. Provide High Levels of Antioxidants and Nutrients
Goji berries are an excellent source of antioxidants. Like most other super foods, they help boost the immune system and protect the body from high levels of inflammation since they fight free radical damage. Goji berries offer more beta-carotene than carrots and more iron than soybeans and spinach nutrition, which makes them a great source to help stave off iron deficiency!
2. Improve Immune Function and Fight Cancer
Goji berries are similar to other berries — like blueberries and raspberries in that they supply high levels of antioxidants vitamin C and vitamin A. These are two nutrients key to building immunity and preventing common illnesses like a cold, plus more serious chronic diseases like cancer or neurodegenerative decline.
Were you aware that you could help fight skin cancer with food? Gojis are reported to have anti-aging properties and show anti-tumor 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 like a natural skin cancer treatment. 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.
4. Protect Eye Health
Goji berry benefits also include the ability to protect eyes from age-related diseases like macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in older adults. Goji berries are a natural treatment for macular degeneration and beneficial for vision because of their high levels of antioxidants (especially zeaxanthin), which can help stop damage from UV light exposure, free radicals and other forms of oxidative stress.
5. Help Stabilize Blood Sugar
Especially useful for people with diabetes, goji berries benefits also help control the release of sugar into the bloodstream, which prevents spikes and dips due to problems balancing glucose levels. Evidence shows that gojis exhibit significant hypoglycemic effects and insulin-sensitizing activity by increasing glucose responsiveness. As part of a healthy diet, a natural diabetes remedy and a way to increase insulin sensitivity, goji berries are one of the best choices for those with trouble balancing blood glucose levels and its effects.
Reducing sugar intake and increasing responsiveness to insulin is extremely important for the growing number of diabetes cases in the U.S. and other developed nations today, so goji berries make a much better snack alternative and sweetener to high-sugar packaged goods and sugar additives.
6. Detoxify the Liver
Goji berries are believed to offer liver protection and are used along with traditional herbs like licorice, ganoderma, gynostemna and pentaphylla in liver cleanses. This is one reason they’re commonly used as a tonic ingredient in soups and to make sweet or savory porridges for people who are sick.
7. Keep Your Energy and Mood Up
Goji berry juice regularly can help increase energy levels, moods and improve digestive health, too. 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.
8. Boost Fertility
Traditionally, the Chinese believe that goji berry nutrition benefits the reproductive system and offers increased fertility. Goji berries are believed to increase sperm count and the vitality of sperm. Evidence shows additional goji berry benefits include treating female infertility in patients with premature ovarian failure and the inability to ovulate normally.
Gojis are mainly used in TCM for treating “yin deficiency,” which is believed to be the “female” aspect of the personality and body. Knowing that goji berry benefits include the ability to increase mood, reduce stress and fight inflammation
Are There Any Risks of Eating Goji Berries?
Like all dried fruit, goji berries do contain sugar in a small quantity, so portion control is important — and they’re not necessarily good choices for people with blood sugar imbalances. Like all dried fruit, it can be easy to overdo it!
People who use blood thinners or takes diabetic medications can possibly have a negative reaction eating a lot of goji berries. As far as allergies, gojis are not a common allergen and are suitable for children, too, but if you have a known allergy to other berries, you might want to use caution and clear them with your doctor first.
Do Goji Berries Have Side Effects?
Goji berries could interact with some drugs. If you take warfarin (a blood thinner), you may want to avoid goji berries. Goji berries may also interact with diabetes drugs and blood pressure drugs, so talk with your doctor first. Otherwise, it’s probably safe to eat goji berries in moderation.
Before taking diet supplements, let your doctor know.