Goji berry facts and health benefits

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Goji-berry-facts-and-health-benefits

Goji berries Quick Facts
Name: Goji berries
Scientific Name: Lycium barbarum
Origin Southeastern Europe and Asia
Colors Bright orange-red
Shapes Ellipsoid, Diameter: 1–2 cm
Flesh colors Red-orange
Taste Mild taste
Calories 98 Kcal./cup
Major nutrients Vitamin A (55.71%)
Iron (23.75%)
Carbohydrate (16.60%)
Vitamin C (15.11%)
Dietary Fiber (9.47%)
Health benefits Prevent diabetes, Reduce cholesterol , Healthy Body, Prevents cancer, Protects liver
More facts about Goji berries
Goji berries belong to the Solanaceae family within the genus: Lycium L. and has a botanical name Lycium barbarum. Goji berry is a small, deciduous, erect and perennial shrub native to Southeastern Europe and Asia. It is also referred to as Barbary Boxthorn, Box Thorn, Barbary Matrimony Vine, Chinese Teaplant, Barbary Wolfberry, Common Matrimoney-Vine, Chinese Wolfberry, Common Matrimony Vine, Goji, Duke of Argyll’s Tea Tree, Duke of Argyll’s Teaplant, Gojiberry, Lycium, Himalayan Goji, Red Medlar, Mede Berry, Wolfberry, Matrimony Vine and Tibetan Goji. The names for Goji berries in different countries are:  German: Bocksdorn, Wolfsdorn; Italian: Spina-Santa Di Barberia; Spanish: Mora De La Vista, Cambronera; Korean: Tangkugijanamu, Gu Gi Ja etc.

History

Goji berry was used in China and Tibet for thousands of years as a culinary ingredient and medicinal purpose. But it was introduced in Western countries in recent years.

 Plant

It grows to about 1–3 m tall and bears ellipsoid, about 1–2 cm in diameter fruits. The flowers are purple/blue with bell-shaped or tubular sepals which forms short, triangular lobes. They open in summer season. Leaves are deciduous, grey-green, 7 cm in length and 3.5 cm broad. The branches are thorny. They are rounded or blunted at tips. It is an excellent choice for temperate climates. They perform well in moist, well-drained soils. The plant has the life span of 4-5 years.

Fruit

Goji berry fruits are 1-2 cm in diameter, ellipsoid and bright orange red. This fruit flavors the combination of cherries, raspberries and dates with mild taste. Each fruit contains 10-60 tiny yellow seeds. The fruits are available during July to October.

Nutritional value

Goji berry is the fruit which possesses all essential amino acids and antioxidants along with the high amount of protein. They also possess vitamin C, carotenoids, twenty one minerals and rich in fiber. It provides 15 times more amount of iron than spinach. Goji berry is also called nutritional powerhouse as it contains zinc, calcium, selenium and others.

Nutritional value of Goji berry
Serving Size: 28 g

Calories 98 Kcal. Calories from Fat 1.00 Kcal.

Proximity Amount % DV
Water 2.1 g
Energy 98 Kcal
Energy 409 kJ
Protein 3.99 g 7.98%
Total Fat (lipid) 0.11 g 0.31%
Ash 0.22 g
Carbohydrate 21.58 g 16.60%
Total dietary Fiber 3.6 g 9.47%
Total Sugars 12.77 g

Minerals Amount % DV
Iron, Fe 1.9 mg 23.75%
Sodium, Na 83 mg 5.53%
Calcium, Ca 53 mg 5.30%


Vitamins Amount % DV
Vitamin A 390 µg 55.71%
Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid) 13.6 mg 15.11%

Amino Acids Amount % DV
Threonine 0.1 g 5.68%
Isoleucine 0.073 g 4.37%
Valine 0.088 g 4.17%
Histidine 0.044 g 3.57%
Leucine 0.128 g 3.46%
Lysine 0.065 g 1.94%
Methionine 0.024 g
Cystine 0.04 g
Phenylalanine 0.076 g
Tyrosine 0.062 g
Arginine 0.202 g
Alanine 0.195 g
Aspartic acid 0.479 g
Glutamic acid 0.401 g
Glycine 0.085 g
Proline 0.28 g
Serine 0.139 g

*Above mentioned Percent Daily Values (%DVs) are based on 2,000 calorie diet intake. Daily values (DVs) may be different depending upon your daily calorie needs. Mentioned values are recommended by a U.S. Department of Agriculture. They are not healthbenefitstimes.com recommendations. Calculations are based on average age of 19 to 50 years and weighs 194 lbs.

Health Benefits
Goji berries possess various anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and antifungal properties which enhances the immune system. In traditional Chinese medicine, it is used to increase the longevity and strength. It is also a good source of Vitamin A, C, antioxidants, iron, potassium, zinc, iron and others. The dried berries assist to strengthen the immune system, improve liver function and protect eyesight.

  1. Prevent diabetes

Diabetes has become one of the common diseases nowadays. Diabetes can lead to various diseases such as obesity, cardiovascular disease, heart disease, ocular disease and stroke. The recent studies shows that the fruit extracts of Goji berries contain hypoglycemic properties. It also reports that the use of Goji berries helps to prevent diabetes without any side effects.

  1. Reduce cholesterol

Cholesterol is the main cause for cardiovascular disease and heart diseases. Cholesterol restricts the flow of blood by forming a plaque inside the arteries and blood vessels which makes the heart to pump with force which leads to weak heart. The recent studies show that Goji berries helps to lower the LDL cholesterol level.

  1. Eliminates free radicals

The presence of antioxidants in Goji berries prevents the formation of free radicals in the body because it can damage cells, tissues, cell membranes as well as DNA. The study made on the research reports that the intake of Goji berries reduces the medical conditions associated to the free radicals. The antioxidant also enhances the immune system. (1)

4. Protects cardiovascular system

When the free radicals attack the heart, it gets weaken. The antioxidant chemicals prevent the heart from the damage of free radicals. The recent studies have shown that the extracts of Goji berry eliminate the free radicals from the heart. (2)

  1. Healthy Body

Goji berry also provides a healthy body and general well-being. The study shows that the intake of Goji berries promote the gastrointestinal functions along with lowering fatigue and stress. It also enhances the psychological and neurological performance. (3)

  1. Prevents cancer

The Chinese people use Goji berry to cure cancer besides food. The scientific investigations on the extracts of Goji berry fruit shows that it possess anti-cancer properties. The test on human cancer cells shows that it could prevent the development of cancer cells and also the death of cells. (4)

  1. Prevents cell damage

Free radicals assault the body from inside and also damages the brain cells and neurons which is the cause for neurodegenerative diseases. This could be treated with the consumption of Goji berry. The extracts of Goji berry possess the neuroprotective activity. The research also reports it as a preventive medicine which also contains the anti-aging activities. (5)

  1. Protects liver

The liver gets damage in the process of preventing itself from free radicals and physical damages. Goji berry is used in Chinese medicine as the treatment for liver diseases. The Goji berry extracts eliminates the free radicals from the liver and possess the protective properties. (6)

  1. Protects skin

The Ultraviolet radiation leads damage to the skin as well as cancer which could be reduced by the consumption of Goji berries. The extract of Goji berry prevents the skin damage from UV rays. The studies show that Goji berries lowers the immune suppression and skin inflammation due to the presence of antioxidant properties. (7)

10. Promotes sleep

Goji berry is used in Chinese traditional medicine to reduce the stress and promote sleep. The research conducted on the human shows that Goji berry enhance the sleep without any side effects. (8)

11. Increase sperm quality

In traditional Chinese medicine, Goji berry is used as an aphrodisiac. The scientific studies show that an aphrodisiac property lowers the damage to the testes and prevents stress caused by hydrogen peroxide which decreases the semen and sperm quality. (9)

12. Eye health

The presence of antioxidants in Goji berries improves the eyesight and prevents the free radicals that cause cataracts, loss of eyesight and other eye ailments.

Traditional uses

In traditional Chinese medicine, Goji is used to cure back pain, eyesight and dizziness. Traditional Oriental medicine uses root, bark and berries to enhance vision, good health, strengthen immune system, kidney and liver, antiageing, improve sperm production and blood circulation and enhance sexual performance. It is also used to treat diabetes, tinnitus, Anaemia, lung and liver diseases.

How to eat

Goji berries could be consumed raw and also available in the form of juice. It can be brewed in form of tea by adding Goji berries to the glass of cold or hot water and let it remain for 5 to 10 minutes. It could be added to the smoothie by soaking it. It could be mixed with the dried fruit and nuts or added like raisins to the hot or cold cereals. Goji berries could be used like raisins to the scones or muffins. It is used as an ingredient in soups.

Precautions

Goji berries may interact with the medications for blood pressure, diabetes and blood thinner warfarin. Those who are allergic to the peaches, tobacco, nuts and tomatoes, they might experience some allergic reactions to Goji berries. Pregnant and breast feeding women should avoid Goji berries because it possess chemical, betaine which leads to the miscarriage.

 

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