Promoted as superfruits in the recent years, goji berries are known to help fight diabetes and cancer. They also are known for their powerful antioxidants and anti-aging effects. These bright orange-red berries that are native to China are what the world is talking about today – which is why we will talk about them too. Scroll down for more information.
In This Article
Are Goji Berries Good For You?
These berries are popular amongst celebrities like Madonna and Miranda Kerr, and they are so for a reason. Studies have shown that consuming the berries can boost brain activity and a feeling of wellness (1). Another Chinese study found how these berries could make cancer regress. Well, there are several studies that speak so highly of goji berries that one can’t help but try them. And in the coming section, we discuss the studies that talk about the various benefits of these berries.
Did You Know?
A raw goji berry is about the size of the tip of your pinky finger!
What Are The Benefits Of Goji Berries?
1. Goji Berries Aid Diabetes Treatment
Some animal studies have shown how goji berries can lower blood sugar levels. The berries contain polysaccharides, which are long-chain carbohydrates that play a role in reducing blood sugar. Studies have also shown how these berries can help treat type 2 diabetes (2).
Goji berries also increase glucose responsiveness, and this accounts for their hypoglycemic effects.
2. Help Fight Cancer
Studies done on cancer patients revealed that they responded better to treatment when supplemented by goji berries. The berries contain physalin that is known to kill cancer cells. The polysaccharides in the berries were known to cause cancer cell death, and this is especially true with respect to cancers of the colon, stomach, and the prostate.
The vitamins A and C in the berries offer antioxidant benefits and can prevent cancer too. They also work in preventing skin cancer (3). Another Polish study talks about how the berries can help prevent breast cancer (4).
3. Can Aid Weight Loss
Given that they are low in calories and rich in nutrients, they can find a place in your weight loss diet plan. And goji berries have a low glycemic index (29), which is why consuming them can reduce cravings for sugary foods and aid weight loss. Reports show that consuming low-glycemic foods can accelerate weight loss (5).
The berries are also rich in fiber, like most fruits and vegetables. Fiber promotes satiety and prevents binging – and can hence contribute to weight loss. Another study speaks about how goji berries can increase energy expenditure and decrease waist circumference in overweight individuals (6).
4. Can Regulate Blood Pressure Levels
The polysaccharides in the berries can be credited to their anti-hypertensive properties. In fact, these berries have been used in traditional Chinese medicine to regulate blood pressure levels. As per a Chinese study, the polysaccharides in the berries can help lower blood pressure levels and prevent related diseases (7).
5. Boost Vision Health
Goji berries are exceptionally rich in zeaxanthin, an antioxidant known for its superb benefits for the eyes. They are often considered a natural treatment for age-related macular degeneration. The zeaxanthin in the berries also protects the eyes from UV exposure, free radicals, and various other forms of oxidative stress.
Drinking goji berry juice regularly for 90 days was found to increase plasma zeaxanthin concentration, and this could protect the eyes from hypopigmentation and other forms of oxidative stress that can damage the macula (8). Other studies show how the berries can serve as a natural treatment aid for glaucoma (3).
6. Goji Berries Improve Lung Health
Studies showed how taking a goji berry supplement for four weeks decreased inflammation in the lungs and increased white blood cell activity against lung diseases like influenza.
Goji berries can also boost immunity, which has a desirable impact on lung health (9). This property can also help treat respiratory ailments like asthma.
7. Can Help Balance Hormones
Some research says that goji berries can be used to treat yin deficiency and restore hormonal health and balance (10).
8. Enhance Fertility And Sexual Health
Studies have shown that goji berries can increase testosterone levels in men, thereby improving their sexual health. They can also work as a potential alternative remedy for erectile dysfunction.
Research also states that the berries can exhibit fertility-enhancing effects in men (11).
9. Goji Berries Fight Depression
Goji berries are rich in B and C vitamins and also contain manganese and fiber – all of these nutrients elevate your energy levels and are known to enhance positivity. The berries have also been used in traditional Chinese medicine to fight depression and other anxiety and mood disorders.
Studies have also shown that regular intake of goji berry juice can increase energy levels and enhance mood.
Did You Know?
Legend says a Chinese man named Li Qing Yuen ate goji berries daily and lived to be 252 years old!).
10. Detoxify The Liver
The berries are often used along with other traditional herbs like licorice and ganoderma in liver cleanses. As per traditional Chinese medicine, goji berries benefit both the liver and kidneys and restore the strength and vitality of the individual. Some sources say this aspect of the berries also makes them a natural remedy for kidney stones – but we recommend you talk to your doctor before taking them for this purpose.
11. Might Alleviate Pain
Goji berries have anti-inflammatory properties, which can help relieve pain – with arthritic pain being one of them. However, there is little information on whether the berries can alleviate muscle pain as well.
12. Can Enhance Muscle Growth
Goji berries contain 18 amino acids, which can aid muscle growth. Goji berry extract can also enhance the production of muscle and liver glycogen, and this consequently helps you stay physically active for long periods.
The berries also contain good amounts of protein – another reason they can enhance muscle growth (12).
13. Goji Berries Might Repair Tanned Skin
The berries work well for treating hyperpigmentation as well. They are rich in vitamin C, beta-carotene, and amino acids – all of which improve your complexion and make your skin glow. You can include the berries in your regular diet.
You can also make a paste of the berries and apply to your face. Leave it on for 15 minutes and then rinse with cold water. Doing this once daily can give you results.
14. Can Help Treat Acne
This can be attributed to the anti-inflammatory properties of the berries. They treat skin inflammation and help reduce and prevent acne breakouts. Drinking the juice can treat inflammation from within, which could also be contributing to your acne breakouts.
Additionally, you can also apply goji berry juice or extract to your face and rinse with cold water after 15 minutes. The berries can also firm up your skin (as they are rich in vitamin C that helps build skin) and reduce wrinkles too. This basically means you can also use them for their anti-aging benefits.
Did You Know?
The Ningxia Hui region of Northern China, where goji berries are consumed regularly, has 16 times as many centenarians as the entire country!).
15. Boost Hair Growth
Goji berries are rich in vitamin A, a nutrient known to enhance blood circulation. This also improves circulation to the scalp, thereby boosting hair growth and preventing hair fall.
And like we say, the berries are also rich in vitamin C. This nutrient helps in the absorption of iron, which is also essential for hair growth.
You can take goji berries (as whole fruits or as juice) or even wash your hair with the juice (post which you can shampoo as usual).
Now that we are done with the benefits of goji berries, let’s take a look at the several nutrients they contain.
What Is The Nutritional Profile Of Goji Berries?
|Amount per Serving||–||–|
|Servings Per Container:||–||188|
|% Daily Value +|
|Total Fat||1.4 g||5%|
|–||% Daily Value|
These nutrients are what make goji berries superfruits. But taking them in excess can cause certain undesirable effects.
What Are The Side Effects Of Goji Berries?
- Drug Interactions
Goji berries might interact with certain medications. These include warfarin (a blood thinner) and diabetes and blood pressure medications (13).
Individuals with pollen allergies must stay away from goji berries. They can cause photosensitivity, which involves the formation of rashes on the skin on exposure to sunlight (14).
- Issues With Pregnancy And Breastfeeding
Pregnant women are recommended to stay away from goji berries as they can cause miscarriage. We have little information with respect to breastfeeding – hence, stay safe and avoid using them.
These side effects are specific to certain health conditions. Even otherwise, it is best you keep your intake within the recommended dosage.
What Is The Ideal Dosage Of Goji Berries?
Take five tablespoons of goji berries a day, and that too, with no other ingredients.
Goji berries are loaded with many beneficial nutrients. If included regularly in the diet, these berries can aid in diabetes treatment and weight loss and enhance eye, lung, and sexual health. In addition, they help balance hormones, alleviate pain, regulate blood pressure, help treat depression, and detoxify the liver. They also help treat tanned skin, manage acne, and boost hair growth. However, excess consumption may cause drug interactions, allergies, and issues during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Hence, moderate consumption helps reap all their benefits.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Are there any substitutes for goji berries?
Goji berries are definitely healthy. But they are a tad expensive too. If the investment seems a little heavy on your pocket, you can replace them with dried currants or dried cranberries.
How long do goji berries last in the fridge?
The berries can last for about one year when stored in a cool and dry place (like inside a refrigerator).
Can you eat raw goji berries?
Yes, you can eat raw goji berries.
Are dried goji berries good?
Dried goji berries, in fact, are the best. They are known to contain the highest concentrations of nutrients.
Can you feed goji berries to dogs?
Yes, but just ensure you soak them in water first – so that they soften a bit. Solid berries can pass through your dog’s digestive system.
What do goji berries taste like?
The berries taste slightly bitter, a little tart, with a slightly sweet aftertaste.
Where can you buy goji berries?
You can buy them from your nearest supermarket store. Or you can also order them online at Amazon or Walmart. You can consume them raw or even make juice out of them.
What are goji berries called in other countries?
Goji berries are called beri goji in Malaysia, ghwjy altawt in Lebanon, and caora goji in Ireland.
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