What is Goji Berry
Goji berries are deciduous, perennial, evergreen, woody shrubs that grow mainly in subtropical and temperate regions in China and the sheltered valleys of the Himalayan regions of Tibet and Mongolia.
Goji berries are obtained from the two species - Lycium barbarum and Lycium chinense.
Why Goji Berries
Goji berries are usually sold dried. They are shriveled red berries that look like red raisins. Goji berries are unique among the fruits because they contain all the essential amino acids and also contain highest concentration of protein of any fruit.
They are loaded with vitamin - C, vitamin A, contain more carotenoids than any other food, have 21 trace minerals and are high in fibre. The iron content in them is 15 times the amount found in spinach, as well as calcium, zinc, selenium and many other trace minerals. As such goji berries are a nutritional powerhouse.
The Himalayan goji berries also known as wolfberry is often classified as a superfood because of its dense nutritional content.
In addition to the nutrient contents they also have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. The antioxidant properties of goji berries are due to the abundant presence of zeaxanthin. That is why, goji berries have been long used in traditional Chinese medicine.
Goji Berries - Health Benefits
Goji berries have several health benefits:
- They are rich in polysaccharides like prebiotic fibre and thus help to lower cholesterol
- It is a great source of essential daily nutrition
- Zeaxanthin present in goji berries help to prevent age-related macular degeneration
- It is also effective against glaucoma
- Dietary antioxidants found in the fruit help protect the body from free radicals
- It is a powerful anti-ageing food.
- Protect the nervous system from homocysteine damage and thus protect from Alzheimer's disease
- Possess anti-bacterial, anti-fungal properties
- Used to manage diabetes, blood pressure, fatigue
- Boost the immune function
- Vitamin A protect against skin damage and maintain night-vision
- Protect kidney and liver function
- Studies say that it can also help to cure cancer
Goji berries are mostly available as dry fruits. They can be consumed either as whole dry fruits or juice. It is recommended to take 2-3g of goji berries per day.
Side-effects and Precautions
- Those who are taking blood thinners like warfarin should avoid taking goji berries. They also interact with blood pressure and diabetes medicines.
- People who have pollen allergies also should avoid goji berries.
- Pregnant and nursing women should avoid as it stimulates the uterus.
- While purchasing goji berries we should ensure whether it is authentic.