The goji berry, also called the wolfberry, is a bright orange-red berry that comes from a shrub that’s native to China. These berries have a natural tinge of sweetness with a very slight herb-like aftertaste, and are normally found in dried packages or sold by weight at bulk food stores and specialty food stores. There are different ways to eat goji berries. They can be baked, cooked, steamed, and processed in any way after they are washed. They can also be eaten raw.
Below is a list of the health benefits of Goji Berries.
- Goji berries are a good source of vitamin C and fiber, and low in calories. They are also a good source of iron and vitamin A. One serving of about four ounces of goji berries even provides nearly 10 percent of the suggested amount of dietary protein, a surprising amount for a fruit.
- While they don’t have any direct correlation with weight loss, Goji berries can be part of a healthy weight loss plan. Their high fiber content can provide a feeling of fullness that can keep you from overeating and packing on the pounds.
- Studies have cited the high level of antioxidants in goji berries, especially zeaxanthin. It’s the zeaxanthin that gives goji berries their bright color (along with saffron and bell peppers).
- Some believe that goji berries could help lower blood sugar and blood pressure. Eating them might make a difference for people who suffer from diabetes or the many complications associated with high blood pressure, including heart attack and stroke. However, if you’re taking any medications, ask your doctor first if it’s OK to eat goji berries.
- Although medical evidence is not consistent, some people with arthritis claim that goji berries help reduce their pain. The inflammation and joint discomfort of arthritis could be affected by the potent antioxidants in goji berries.
- Similar to the benefits you get from eating other berries, goji berries are loaded with beta-carotene which helps promote healthy skin.
- A study published in the Journal of American Academy of Optometry found evidence that goji berries can protect against macular degeneration, a medical condition that usually affects older adults and results in a loss of vision in the center of the visual field because of damage to the retina.
- A 2008 study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine required participants to eat goji berries daily for 14 days. Almost all participants reported significant improvements in energy levels and digestive function.
- According to a paper published in The Journal of Nutrition, early testing in mice suggests that goji berries could help fight off the flu in elderly patients who have been vaccinated but still contract the illness.
- According to a small study from the Journal of Alternative and Complimentary Medicine, drinking goji berry juice for two weeks helped participants increase their energy levels and improve their gastrointestinal functions.
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.