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Goji berries are tiny reddish-orange fruits, and they are also termed Wolfberries. Over time, they have gained a reputation as one of the super fruits recognized for vitamins, nutrients, and trace minerals.
Goji berry has its scientific name as Lycium barbarum. Goji berries are native to Asia and have been used for over 2000 years in traditional Chinese medicine for numerous health benefits. They benefit us by enhancing blood antioxidant levels and phytochemicals.
Goji berries have a unique taste of sweet and tangy flavor. Dried goji berries have a better taste than raw Goji berries, and dried goji berries taste similar to raisins with a slight cranberry flavor. When it comes to recipes, fresh Goji berries are best.
Goji berry supplements and juice blends have health benefits that include anti-aging properties and good eye health. Goji berries have high vitamin c than an orange, and they have more Beta carotene than carrots.
1. Nutritional Values of Goji Berries
In 100g of Goji berries, they contain:
- Calories: 349 kcals
- fat: 0.4 g
- Protein: 14.3 g
- Carbohydrate: 77 g
- Fiber: 13 g
- Calcium: 190 mg
- Iron: 6.8 mg
- Vitamin C: 48.4 mg
- Vitamin A: 8040 mg
How Goji berry benefits us? Let’s find out.
2. Health Benefits of Goji Berries
2.1. Goji Berries Assists in Diabetes Treatment
Goji berry benefits us by lowering blood sugar (glucose) levels. Scientific studies have shown that they have polysaccharides, that contain long-chain carbohydrates, these carbohydrates are the ones that regulate glucose levels whenever it exceeds the limit.
Interestingly, eating goji berries proved helpful in treating Type 2 Diabetes, which is caused by inadequate insulin production or the diabetic body can’t recognize the insulin and utilize it for the required needs. Type 2 Diabetes turns fatal if it is not treated on a long-term basis.
What happens when the blood sugar level increases?
If the blood sugar level rises from the optimum level, the pancreas produces insulin, a hormone that directs the muscle and fat cells to absorb blood sugar for energy needs. As muscle and fat cells absorb the glucose, the glucose level decreases. This condition prompts the pancreas to produce glucagon, a hormone that stimulates the liver to release stored sugar into the blood.
Goji berries may help regulate the release of blood glucose into the bloodstream. In a study, it was found that Goji berries balance insulin and glucose levels in the blood.
Goji berries have been used in traditional Chinese medicine for their property to lower blood sugar levels.
In addition to the balance of insulin and glucose, Goji berries increase the HDL level. HDL stands for High-Density Lipoprotein, which is also known as Good Cholesterol and it is carried back to the liver.
Instead of taking advanced medications, eating Goji berries is natural and far away from side effects.
2.2. Fights Cancer Cells
As we already know that these goji berries contain polysaccharides, which also have the role of causing death to cancerous cells that may occur in the prostate or stomach.
Goji berries also contain physalin, which is an anti-cancer agent. Physalin B posses anti-cancer properties like cell cycle arrest that occurs in the G2/M phase and serves as a therapeutic agent that prevents the growth of tumor cells, especially breast cancer cells, that include MCF-7, MDA-MB-231, and T-47D.
Goji berry juice provides significant protection, not in favor of skin cancer. Drinking Goji berry juice helps in protection against harmful UV radiation, inflammatory sunburns, and stunted immune response. The good practice is to drink goji berry juice twice daily with an intake of 30ml.
The Health Benefits of Goji berries have historical roots and one of the shreds of evidence was the recognition of goji berries in traditional Chinese tonic soups for complex antioxidant properties and boosting the immune system.
2.3. Weight Loss Companion
Including Goji berries in your weight loss diet plan can help in reducing your weight. Obesity and overweight are caused by overeating or binging.
Consumption of sugar and fat is the root cause of obesity. Don’t worry, if you are obese or you have the habit of binging, just add goji berries to your diet, they reduce the craving for sugar intake and ultimately make you stick to the diet.
Goji berries are rich in dietary fiber, and nutrients and they are low in calories. Consuming goji berries proved to help in increasing metabolism and maintaining good digestive health.
The liver is one of the body’s important organs that performs many vital functions. Obesity is also connected with liver abnormalities and it is known as Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD). Therefore, the metabolism is adversely affected, as a result, the breakdown of fatty acids, glucose, and lipoprotein is irregular.
Ultimately, the deposition of bad cholesterol in our body. So, keeping the liver healthy is very crucial. Adding Goji berries to your diet helps maintain good Liver health and prevent the risk of NAFLD.
Goji berries had been used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat liver disease and it prevents tumor growth in the Liver.
For better results in weight loss, exercise regularly and consistently, and eat a handful of dried goji berries which is about 20g to 30g daily.
2.4. Improves Vision Health
Goji berries have potential health benefits in protecting the eyes. These berries have high levels of healthy antioxidants, especially Zeaxanthin which enhances eyesight.
Zeaxanthin also protects our eyes from UV exposure, harmful free radicals, and age-related oxidative stress.
Goji berries are considered a natural treatment for age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Macular degeneration is a chronic eye disorder that affects central vision and elderly people above 50 years of age are prone to macular degeneration. Luckily, goji berry benefits us in reducing the risk of macular characteristics.
Optometry and Vision science say that those who drank Goji berry juice for about 90 days significantly increased Zeaxanthin and plasma antioxidant levels.
Goji berries help in the natural treatment of Glaucoma, which is a condition that can cause permanent vision loss. These berries protect the retina from Ganglion cells that cause Glaucoma.
To maintain proper eye health, make a routine of drinking Goji berry juice.
2.5. Promote Healthy Skin
Goji berry benefits us in improvising skin health. Goji berries are rich in beta carotene, which is a precursor of vitamin c that promote healthy skin, and amino acids.
Beta carotene is used as an ingredient in many skin creams and lotions, due to following reasons:
- Improve skin health
- Protection against sun rays
- Reduce skin irritation
- Deals with the impacts of aging
Beta carotene is recommended for treating skin disorders like psoriasis, eczema, and dermatitis. and our body converts beta carotene to Vitamin A, which is also an antioxidant that plays a major role in repairing and protecting skin damage.
Vitamin C boosts the activity of collagen, which is a protein that is naturally present in our skin and it prevents sagging. The productivity of Collagen protein is reduced as we grow older, thus, Vitamin C can promote the growth of new collagen proteins. Vitamin C reduces hyperpigmentation which is caused by inappropriate secretion of melanin in the skin.
Amino acids are important nutrients that are required for wound healing, repairing damaged skin, and moisturizing the skin. It also diminishes fine lines and wrinkles and firms the skin. Glutamine is one of the essential amino acids that contain anti-aging properties.
Goji berries have anti-inflammatory properties and can help in preventing acne breakout. Inflammations can be cured by drinking goji juice or the goji berry extracts can be applied over the face. These berries have antifungal and antibacterial properties which maintain a healthy immune system.
2.6. Relieves from Depression and Anxiety
The supplementation of Lycium barbarum polysaccharide that is extracted from Goji berries contains crucial vitamins like vitamins B and C and contains manganese and fiber, these nutrients are known to enhance positivity and control uneven mood swings. Traditional Chinese medicine included Goji berries that fight depression and anxiety.
Sleeping problems and depression are related to each other. Prolonged sleeping issues could cause insomnia which is a common sleep disorder among working youth that may have a high risk of developing depression compared to individuals who have proper sleep.
Goji berry contains melatonin which is a hormone that plays a role in regulating the body’s natural sleep cycle. Melatonin is produced by our body naturally, it is produced more in dark and produced less during exposure to light. The benefits of melatonin include improving eye health and reducing depression and anxiety.
2.7. Enhances kidney Function and Reduces The Risk of Heart Disease
2.7.1. Kidneys and Heart
According to researchers, kidneys and the heart work together. The heart pumps oxygen-rich blood to all parts of the body and pumps dirty blood to the kidneys, which clean the blood and remove excess water. These two organs play a vital role in pumping and purifying the blood respectively. If one organ fails to work properly then another organ is also affected.
Whenever kidney function gets retarded, there will be an accumulation of waste in our bodies. Goji berries contain polyphenols that help kidneys in removing toxins and eliminate free radicles from our bodies.
As mentioned earlier, the health benefits of goji berries include an increase in HDL (good cholesterol) level, which reduces the risk of heart disease.
2.7.2. Effects of High Blood Pressure (BP)
High blood pressure is a severe condition that affects the arteries and leading heart failure and kidney problems. It is also referred to as hypertension and it forces the blood to flow against the walls of arteries at a very high rate, this burdens the heart to work harder to pump blood.
2.7.3. Role of Goji Berries in Reducing High BP
Goji berry benefits us in controlling high BP by their antihypertensive properties like effectively lowering blood pressure, widening blood vessels to slower heartbeat, and removing excess fluid and salt in the body.
Goji berry benefits us in these ways.
3. Additional Benefits of Goji Berries
3.1. Improves Fertility
Goji berries enhance fertility and sexual health in both men and women. Goji berry benefits men by increasing sperm count, testosterone level, and the function of reproductive hormones. In women, Goji berry benefits the two ovaries, strengthens the ovum, and increases sex drive.
3.2. Enhances Hair Growth
There are multiple benefits of Goji berries when we talk about hair growth. Vitamin A in Goji berries promotes more blood flow on the scalp and Vitamin C helps in the absorption of nutrients.
Externally, Goji berry juice blends normal oils and almond oil, and apply and gently massage that mixture on your scalp. Leave it for 30 minutes and wash it, this may stimulate hair growth.
These are the potential Goji berry benefits that apply to all ages.
Check out the different recipes you can make with Goji berries.
4. Recipes That You Can Try
4.1. Goji Berry Juice
- Raw Goji berries (100g)
- Water (100 mL)
- Salt (required amount)
- Ice (if required)
- Wash the Goji berries.
- Stems are to be separated from raw goji berries.
- Put it in a jar and blend it well.
- Add the required amount of water.
- Serve it and enjoy the Goji berries.
4.2. Herbal Teas
- Goji berry (15g)
- Hot water (100mL)
- Ginger (1 small piece)
- Sugar (required amount)
- Take fresh Goji berries and wash them with cold water.
- Boil the water.
- Switch off the stove after the water got boiled.
- Add Goji berries, ginger, and sugar to the boiled water. It is better to slice the ginger.
- Cover the container with a lid. This enhances the flavor.
- After 10-15 minutes, open the lid and see red color ginger tea ready to serve.
- Enjoy your tea with every sip.
4.3. Goji Berry Sauce
- 1 cup of raw Goji berries
- 1 medium Shallot
- 1/4 cup of water, Apple juice, and orange juice
- 1/3 cup of date sugar
- 1 tablespoon date syrup
- 1 teaspoon ginger
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Fresh orange zest
- a pinch of Allspice
- 1/3 cup of chopped walnuts
- In a saucepan, add Cherries, Goji berries, and Shallot. Pour water and both the juices.
- Stir it continuously for a while, so the mixture blends well and put a lid after stirring it well.
- Adjust the heat to boil, then turn it to simmer and leave it for about 15 minutes or leave it in simmer until Cherries and Goji berries plump double their sizes.
- Add date sugar, date syrup, ginger, allspice, and salt. Stir it for another 5 minutes.
- Switch off and remove the saucepan from the stove. Stir in Walnuts and Orange zest.
- Allow the Sauce to cool, it thickens as it cools.
- Now your homemade Goji berry sauce is ready.
Although Goji berries benefit us in numerous means, these berries have potential downsides too. So, let’s see what Goji berry effects are.
5. Side Effects of Goji Berries
Those who are allergic reactions to other fruits must be very cautious while taking Goji berries. Many studies show that, in allergic people, these berries may suppress the immune system and trigger allergic reactions. It is recommended to check whether you are allergic to any other fruits.
One with pollen allergies must also stay away from Goji berries. They cause photosensitivity, which could cause rashes upon exposure to the sun.
5.2. Interaction with Drugs
Goji berries may interact with certain medications. The medications include Warfarin which is a blood thinner and blood pressure medication.
5.3. Issues Related to Pregnancy
It is suggested to avoid Goji berries during pregnancy because they can cause harm to fetal health or may lead to miscarriage.
The above side effects are specific to an individual’s health condition otherwise it is safer to eat Goji berries within the recommended dosage.
6. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
6.1. Are dried Goji berries good for you?
Yes, they contain healthy antioxidants which help improve immune function.
6.2. What is the maximum amount of Goji berries I can eat per day?
A 30 g of Goji berry in the form of juice or extract can be consumed and you can take dry and powdered forms too.
6.3. Is eating Goji berries daily a good practice?
Yes, it is healthy to eat Goji berries daily. Goji berry benefits us by improving eye health, detoxifying the liver, enhancing kidney function, and much more. Eat Goji berries daily to have better results.
6.4. Who should avoid eating Goji berries?
Goji berries may cause side effects as they interact with medication for diabetes and high bp also it is recommended for pregnant women to stay away from these berries.
6.5. Do Goji berries increase fertility?
Yes, Goji berries increase fertility in both men and women. In men, they increase sperm count and help in erectile dysfunction. In women, they strengthen ovaries and enhance reproductive hormone function.
6.6. Is caffeine present in Goji berries?
Yes, Goji berries have caffeine in them, which provides energy to us.
6.7. Can Goji berries help regulate high bp?
Yes, Goji berries have antihypertensive properties which help regulate high bp and stimulate the immune system.
6.8. Do Goji berries improve vision?
Yes, Goji berries contain high levels of antioxidants, particularly Zeaxanthin, which helps in improving eye health.
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