Goji berries, also known as wolfberries, have been considered a ‘superfruit’ in Western cultures for at least a decade now but in Eastern cultures it has been highly looked upon as herbal medicine for thousands of years. It is said that towns that surround the goji berries natural habitat live to over 100 and in 1933 a man who was known to be 256 years old attributed goji berries as one of the main reasons. Believe this or not, Goji berries have been shown to have many significant health benefits.
12 Benefits of Goji Berries
1. Helps the body to resist disease
The goji berry contains a unique compound known as Lycium barbarum which has similar chemical structures to echinacea and maitake mushrooms, which have been linked to help support the immune system. Additionally, the Goji berry has more vitamin C than an orange.
2. High in Anti-oxidants
Anti-oxidants are known to prevent free radicals which at high levels may contribute to cancer and cellular damage. They have been shown to boost antioxidant blood activity by over 50% in some and it has also been shown to inhibit the formation of free radicals. Furthermore, they contain more carotenoids, a powerful anti-oxidant, than any other known food.
3. Supports liver function
According to WebMD.com, there was a Chinese research study which showed that a month long trial of a standard Goji berry dose resulted in a significant boost of anti-oxidant liver enzymes.
4. Helps reduce wrinkles
Along with its high antioxidant content, which is known to benefit the skin, Goji berries also contain high levels of vitamin C which assists in the building of collagen. On top of that, it’s active component Lycium barbarum helps with this by inhibiting certain enzymes which are related to the destruction of collagen. They also contain vitamin E which is beneficial to the skin and helps keep the skin moisturized and smooth.
5. Supports eye function
Goji berries have high levels of carotenoids which give many plant foods the orange-red color such as carrots, except goji berries have an even higher level of this compound. Carotenoids are a precursor for vitamin A, which are known for supporting healthy eyes, among other things such as an anti-inflammatory and immune system booster. Additionally, they have notable levels of lutein and Zeaxanthin which protect the eyes from UV rays and age-related eye diseases such as cataracts and macular degeneration.
6. Good for the mood
In a 2008 study, participants were given 120 mL/day of goji juice (equivalent to 150g of fresh fruit) for two weeks. They were compared to a placebo group and the differences were astonishing. The group that was drinking the actual goji berry juice showed significant increase in energy levels, sleep quality, mental focus, mental acuity, calmness, happiness, and overall health, as well as increased intestinal function.
7. Supports the ‘good’ bacteria of the gut
The goji berry is a good source of fiber. Along with the fiber, the active compound Lycium barbarum can help support the natural good bacteria of the gut which can lead to a greater functioning immune system, enhanced digestion and preventing, or reducing, certain digestive disorders.
8. Helps burn fat and build muscle
Goji berries help build muscle and burn fat due to components within it that stimulate human growth hormone production. These components include the goji berries sesquiterpenoids as well as potassium, L-arginine and L-glutamine.
9. Provide a complete protein
Goji berries contains 18 amino acids, including all of the essential amino acids which classifies it as a complete protein source.
10. Lowers LDL ‘bad’ cholesterol
Goji berries contain Beta Sitosterol which not only lowers ‘bad’ cholesterol but it has also been used to ease the symptoms of enlarged prostate, as well as menopause.
11. Improves sexual function
As mentioned, Beta Sitosterol is found in goji berries but this compound has also been linked to improved sexual function.
12. Prevents Iron-deficiency
In 100g of goji berries, it contains 9mg of iron. This is a significant amount as for men are recommended to take 8mg of iron and women are recommended to intake about 18mg of iron. Want more information on iron, check out our article here!
In addition to these 12 benefits, goji berries also contain calcium, copper, germanium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, selenium, and zinc. Furthermore, along with the vitamins C, E, and A already mentioned, they contain vitamins B1, B2 and B6.
Goji berries are most nutritious when they are organic and can be eaten raw, dried, as a juice, or in a supplement form. You can use dried goji berries the same way you would use other dried fruits, such as raisins, in common recipes.
We would love to hear your experiences with goji berries and if you haven’t already, we hope you give them a try! As you can see, they add tons of benefits to your health!
Keep on living the Green Vine Life + Vine On!
Note: Always talk to a doctor before making diet changes or adding supplements to your diet. Green Vine life is not responsible for