Goji berries health benefits are extensive. In fact, goji berries have been called nature’s most potent superfood, due to their high levels of antioxidants and nutrients. It’s said that consuming them regularly can improve your immune system, help you live longer, and even combat age-related diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Here are ten reasons why goji berries are good for you.
What are goji berries?
A goji berry is a bright red fruit with a sour taste that grows on a shrub native to China. It has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years, and it has recently become popular in Western countries as well.
The most well-known goji berry, Lycium barbarum, is native to China. Other species are native to North America and other parts of Asia
The goji berry is rich in antioxidants, which help fight off free radicals that can damage cells and lead to aging and disease. They are also high in essential micro and macronutrients that can promote health and wellbeing.
A single serving of goji berries has about 4 grams of protein with18 different amino acids and 20 other trace minerals, including iron, zinc, and phosphorus.
Furthermore, they have more beta-carotene than carrots and more iron than soya bean and spinach. That’s why they are often used in treating anemia or blood deficiency in the body.
Goji berries are available in most grocery outlets and certainly at healthy grocery stores as either dry or in powdered form.
Goji Berries Health Benefits
1. Boost the immune system
The perfect immunity boosters you’ll find on planet earth are goji berries.
They enhance lymphocyte levels in the body. White blood cells or lymphocytes are your body’s primary defense. They protect you from bacteria and viruses, which could otherwise make you sick.
Many studies have shown that goji berries boost the production of white blood cells.
Moreover, they are also rich in essential vitamins like vitamin A and C that support the immune system and provide flu protection. Always remember that a healthy immune system goes a long way in combating various infections, from the common flu to lethal cancer. Read More.
In addition, goji berries help fight inflammation which is the root cause of most diseases.
This makes it a great supplement for people who suffer from autoimmune diseases or chronic inflammatory disorders like type 2 diabetes.
2. They may enhance weight loss
If you’re trying to lose weight and improve your overall health, you might want to look into adding more goji berries to your diet.
The main reason why goji berries are good for weight loss is their ability to increase body metabolic rate. A higher metabolic rate means that you burn more calories and body fat. The process of burning fat requires energy (calories), which usually comes from stored fats.
If more stored fat is being burned than replaced, then you will lose weight over time. This works especially well when combined with exercise, which increases your daily calorie expenditure even further. But be careful not to exceed recommended calorie intake, or you might gain weight instead!
Goji berries are also high in fiber which controls the blood sugar, giving you a feeling of satiety that prevents you from overeating. You can add them to your weight loss smoothie or yogurt. Read More.
3. Promote skin health
The health benefits of goji berries don’t stop at weight loss and immune system strengthening. One cup of dried goji berries contains 23 percent of your daily value of vitamin C, which is a key player in boosting skin elasticity, giving it that healthy glow. The antioxidants found in goji berries also reduce inflammation—one reason you may have noticed acne clearing up after you started adding them to your diet. Goji berries are also high in anti-inflammatory properties that help soothe redness and irritation.
In addition, goji berries are loaded with beta-carotene, which helps promote skin health and protect against skin cancer.
Drinking goji berry juice has been shown to protect the skin against sun damage and skin disorders. Read More.
4. Detoxify the liver
As one of your main detoxification organs, your liver is responsible for removing toxins and waste from your blood. This process is essential to keeping your body healthy, but it can also add strain to an already taxed organ. Goji berries provide nutrients that support and help to detoxify your liver and ultimately improve its functioning.
Goji berries are also high in liver-protective properties and have been used with other herbs for liver cleanses. In Chinese medicine, goji berries have been used to treat liver disease.
According to research, goji berries may help promote liver health, reverse alcohol-induced fatty liver, and prevent excess storage of fat in the liver.
5. Prevents cancer
In addition to being a rich source of vitamins and minerals, goji berries contain antioxidant compounds that protect against free radicals. Free radicals can create damage throughout your body, which over time leads to cell mutations and cancer. This is why goji berries are effective in preventing cancer.
The easiest way to get antioxidants is through food sources—and goji berries are one of the best you can find!
Adequate intake of goji berries helps fight against different cancers like esophageal, lungs, stomach, and breast cancer. They are reported to have anti-tumor properties against these cancer types. Read More.
6. Stabilize blood sugar
Goji berries help to stabilize blood sugar levels and improve digestion. This is because they contain a compound known as beta-sitosterol, which helps to control glucose and cholesterol levels. This makes them particularly beneficial for people with diabetes or other metabolic disorders.
Goji berries are also rich in lyceum barbarum polysaccharide, another active compound that effectively lowers blood sugar levels in diabetic patients.
According to research, goji berries control blood sugar by enhancing insulin sensitivity and secretion through the pancreas.
In addition, goji berries are high in fiber and protein, which help keep you feeling full for longer periods of time. In fact, studies have shown that when subjects eat foods high in fiber before meals, they end up consuming fewer calories overall. This is great news if you’re trying to lose weight!
7. Boosts energy levels
Goji berries are among the readily available energy foods. They contain many nutrients that help deliver oxygen to your cells, including vitamin C and iron. High levels of oxygen in your blood provide a feeling of sustained energy. If you’re looking for a boost without caffeine, goji berries may be right for you.
Additionally, antioxidants found in goji berries can help reduce fatigue. If you’re looking for a healthy way to make it through your workday without feeling tired, try eating these tasty little fruits first thing in the morning. A few ounces of dried goji berries or a cup of fresh gojis make an excellent addition to your daily diet. You can also add some dried gojis to your favorite smoothie recipe.
Many studies have shown that drinking goji berry juice increases energy levels and boosts mood.
Goji berry juice can also promote muscle creation and glycogen, helping maintain physical activity efficiently.
Moreover, goji berries also eradicate blood urea nitrogen, a waste product produced by the body after exercise. For better exercise performance and increased energy levels, incorporate goji berry juice into your diet.
8. Increase fertility
Goji berries have been used for a long time in treating infertility in traditional Chinese medicine. Studies have shown that goji berries significantly increase sperm quantity, movement, and ejaculation response and improve sexual ability.
One study found that consuming 1 gram of dried goji berries for three months significantly improved sperm quality in men who had a history of poor sperm motility. In fact, those who ate goji berries regularly were two times more likely to aid women’s conception than men who didn’t. Encouragingly, improvements in sperm quality lasted even after participants stopped eating goji berries.
Also, the antioxidants in goji berries may help prevent oxidative stress in sperm cells, which is thought to be one of the causes of infertility. Researchers found that rats who were fed freeze-dried goji berry powder had higher levels of testosterone than those who were not fed any supplements at all.
Additionally, women who eat more than 1.5 ounces of dried goji berries per day have been shown to have higher estrogen levels, which is essential to fertility. If you’re struggling with infertility, try adding a handful of goji berries to your diet every day and see if it helps.
Goji berries may also treat female infertility in patients suffering from premature ovarian failure. Read More.
9. Reduces cholesterol levels
Adding goji berries to your diet is a great way to naturally reduce cholesterol levels – thanks to its cholesterol-lowering soluble fiber. A high level of LDL (bad) cholesterol is associated with an increased risk of heart disease and stroke, thus reducing your LDL cholesterol helps decrease your risk of these potentially fatal conditions. . Read More.
According to one study, participants who consumed goji berry juice for six weeks reduced their total and low-density lipoprotein (LDL).
They also had higher levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) or good cholesterol. The researchers concluded that Goji berry juice may be useful as a complementary therapy for hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol).
10. Help with arthritis
Like most berries, goji berries are packed with nutrients and healthy antioxidants, making them a great food to eat to keep your body in top shape. They’re especially high in vitamins C and E, which help your body fight inflammation and maintain a strong immune system that fights off infections. This can be particularly helpful for those who have arthritis.
The antioxidants in goji berries reduce oxidative stress and help in reducing the pain and symptoms of arthritis.
Studies have shown that goji berries increase neuroplasticity in joints. Read More.
11. Reduces cognitive disorders
Aging is associated with a number of cognitive disorders, including age-related memory impairment, mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and Alzheimer’s disease.
Studies have shown that goji berries can help reduce cognitive disorders like Alzheimer’s due to their high level of antioxidants, which can help prevent oxygen-free radicals from damaging brain cells.
Other research found that goji berries reduce harmful beta-amyloid plaque formation, which is strongly associated with Alzheimer’s disease. So if you’re concerned about brain function as you get older, increase your goji intake.
Goji berries are also high in polysaccharides, which lower inflammation and lessen stress in the body. In this way, it improves your overall health, especially the brain. Read More.
12. Improves eye health
Goji berries contain one of nature’s best sources of lutein, a compound that plays an important role in maintaining healthy eyes. Lutein is essential for preserving night vision and protecting against age-related eye diseases like macular degeneration and cataracts.
The antioxidants in goji berries can also help fight off free radicals that can damage eye cells and lead to disease. Free radicals are molecules created when we are exposed to dangerous elements like ultraviolet rays from sunlight or cigarette smoking.
In one study, researchers found that regular consumption of goji berry supplements reduced the progression of age-related macular degeneration in people with early macular degeneration.
In a similar study, goji berry supplementation increased blood antioxidant levels and prevented macular hypopigmentation, often associated with macular degeneration.
13. Contains all essential amino acids
Essential amino acids are important for your body to function properly. These amino acids cannot be made by your body and must come from food sources. Unfortunately, many of us don’t get enough essential amino acids in our diets.
Eating goji berries provides your body with 20 amino acids, including all eight essential ones, making it an excellent source of protein.
The amount of protein provided by goji berries is comparable to that found in meat products like beef and fish. In fact, one cup of goji berries contains more protein than a 6-ounce steak! Protein is vital for muscle growth and repair. If you exercise regularly or have a physically demanding job, you need more protein in your diet. One cup of goji berries can provide about 20% of your daily recommended protein intake.
What Are the Side Effects of Goji Berries?
Whether dry or fresh, goji berries are considered safe for any healthy individual. However, they may trigger some allergic reactions in some individuals, especially those allergic to other foods.
Goji berries and drug interaction
Goji berries may interact with certain medications, such as those used in high blood pressure, diabetes, and blood thinners. Overall, if you are on any medication or have an underlying condition, consider talking to your doctor before including goji in your diet.
Are goji berries safe during pregnancy?
If pregnant, you should exercise caution as goji berries contain betaine which may cause side effects to the fetus, although more research is needed.
How to Add Goji Berries to The Diet
There are lots of ways to include goji berries in your diet. In China, these berries were traditionally cooked before being added to various recipes like Chinese tonic soups, rice congee, and almond gelly. They were also used in combination with other foods, including vegetables, licorice root, and wild yams.
While you can duplicate these recipes, you can also consume them according to the following:
- Eat them raw or soak dry ones to plump up a bit
- Toss them on a salad
- Use as a garnish in desserts and roasted veggies
- Cook into sweet sauces
- Make goji berry jam
- Add them to trail mixes, cereals, or granola
- Add to baked goods like bread, cookies, and muffins
- Include goji berry powder in smoothies, juice blends, and shakes
- Boil to make goji berry tea
Goji berry is a type of berry native to China and has been used in Chinese traditional medicine. It contains a variety of nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, trace minerals, and antioxidants – which is why they’re often referred to as superfoods or superfruits.
Because of the high concentration of nutrients, goji berries have many health benefits that are worth including them in your diet. These may include improved skin health, a strong immune system, cancer prevention, controlled blood sugar, low cholesterol levels, and improved brain health, among other benefits.
Goji berries can be eaten raw, made into tea, or even juiced. You can eat them alone or mix them into smoothies with other fruits and vegetables for added nutritional benefits and flavors.
Goji berries are commonly available in their dried form or as a powder.
In case of any medical condition, be sure to consult your doctor before consuming goji berries.
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