The goji berry is a bright orange-red fruit that comes from a shrub native to China. These berries are popular in Asia and have been eaten for generations because of the health benefits that they bring. Goji berries health benefits are many. Also known as wolfberry, these berries have been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for over 2,000 years. Legends have it that goji berries were eaten by monks in the Himalayan Mountains to help in meditation and to obtain better health, energy, stamina, vitality, and longevity.
Goji berries contain 8 essential amino acids. A single 4-ounce serving provides nearly 10% of your daily value for protein. For a fruit, this is a surprising amount of protein. Additionally, the carbs found in goji berries are complex carbohydrates. This means your blood sugar will rise more slowly.
Goji Berries Health Benefits
1. Boost energy and mood
According to a Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine study, drinking goji berry juice can help improve your mood and increase your energy levels.
People who participated in the study and drank goji juice for two weeks had improvements in digestive health, energy levels, and feeling of general well-being. Have some goji berries as a pre-workout snack to keep your stamina up and help you get going.
2. Help stabilize blood sugar
Especially beneficial for people affected by diabetes, goji berries help control the release of sugar into the bloodstream. This prevents spikes and dips in blood glucose levels. Research shows that goji berries exhibit hypoglycemic effects and insulin-sensitizing activity by increasing glucose responsiveness.
For this reason, you can consider goji berries as part of a healthy diet. Reducing sugar intake is an important consideration for the growing number of diabetes cases worldwide, and goji berries are a better alternative to high-sugar foods and sugar additives.
3. Weight management
Goji berries provide energy even in small servings. Aside from having a rich taste, they also have a high fiber content, which is good for your health. You can add goji berries in your yogurt or salad, or you can consume them as a snack. These low-calorie, low-sugar berries are the perfect substitute for dried fruits with higher sugar content. One ounce of goji berries only has 23 calories.
4. Protect eye health
Goji berries can be beneficial for vision and treatment of macular degeneration. They contain high levels of antioxidants, particularly zeaxanthin that provides protection from free radicals, UV light exposure, and other forms of oxidative stress. Goji berries are also one of the foods that are very rich in vitamin A.
5. Promote healthy skin
Goji berries are packed with beta-carotene which helps promote healthy skin. They can help protect you from UV light damage and certain skin disorders. Two known antioxidants are present in goji berries, namely, heme oxygenase-1 and metallothionein, which are involved in photoimmune protection. Drinking juice from goji berries increases protection against free radical damage due to sun exposure.
Things to Consider Before Eating Goji Berries
One-fourth cup of goji berries fulfills 340% of your vitamin A intake. Put a limit to how much you eat to reduce the likelihood of vitamin A toxicity. Goji berries can also interact with medications you are currently taking. Consult your doctor before adding goji berries to your diet.
Avoid goji berries if you:
- have low blood sugar,
- are breastfeeding or pregnant,
- have low or high blood pressure,
- are taking blood thinners such as Warfarin, or
- are allergic to the fruit.
If you’re looking for a nutritious food to add to your diet, goji berries may be a good option. Packed with vitamins, minerals, protein, and phytonutrients, they can help improve your overall health and well-being.
Goji berries are low in calories, fat-free, rich in antioxidants, and a good source of fiber. Usually eaten raw, dried, juice, or powder form, goji berries contain vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients, the reason why many health experts call them “superfood berries.”