|Goji berries Quick Facts|
|Scientific Name:||Lycium barbarum|
|Origin||Southeastern Europe and Asia|
|Shapes||Ellipsoid, Diameter: 1–2 cm|
|Major nutrients||Vitamin A (55.71%)
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Calories 98 Kcal. Calories from Fat 1.00 Kcal.
|Total Fat (lipid)||0.11 g||0.31%|
|Total dietary Fiber||3.6 g||9.47%|
|Total Sugars||12.77 g|
|Iron, Fe||1.9 mg||23.75%|
|Sodium, Na||83 mg||5.53%|
|Calcium, Ca||53 mg||5.30%|
|Vitamin A||390 µg||55.71%|
|Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid)||13.6 mg||15.11%|
|Amino Acids||Amount||% DV|
|Aspartic acid||0.479 g|
|Glutamic acid||0.401 g|
Health Benefits of Goji berry
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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)
- 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)
- 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)
- 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)
- 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)
- 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.
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.
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.