Goji berries, also known as wolfberries, are a highly nutritious fruit native to China. They are typically eaten sun-dried and contain tiny seeds that are rich in fiber. Goji berries are also packed with iron, vitamin C and calcium.
Small studies have shown that goji berries have the potential to boost your immune system, aid in digestion and help treat certain forms of cancer. Goji berries can interact with your medication and cause allergies in those vulnerable, consult a doctor if you experience any side effects.
Boost Your Health with Antioxidants
In addition to its multivitamin content, goji berries are fat-free and low in calories, which can help support your dietary weight management efforts. The fiber content also aids in digestion and healthy bowel movement.
Goji berries have a high oxygen radical absorbance capacity, which measures its antioxidant capabilities. A Tufts University study found that goji berries has ten times the antioxidant capabilities of blueberries. Antioxidants help fight free radicals, which can lead to heart disease, cancer and Parkinson’s disease.
Goji Berries Contain a Plethora of Nutrients
Goji berries is a source of vitamin C, selenium, B vitamins, iron and about 18 amino acids. The British National Health Service notes that goji berries contain polysaccharides, a powerful antioxidant. It is believed to be responsible for goji berries energy-boosting effect and an improved quality of life, which is discussed next.
Goji Berries Literally Makes You Feel Good
Consumption of goji berries is associated with higher levels of energy, gastrointestinal health, better sleep quality and mental alertness. A small study published in a 2008 issue of the “The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine” set out to examine the effects of 120 milliliters of goji berry juice daily.
Within two weeks, the participants who drank goji berry juice experienced improvements in physiological and psychological health without any cardiovascular, muscular or skeletal issues. The improvements in overall well-being includes better sleep quality, the ability to concentrate, feeling calm and generally happy.
I have incorporated goji berries in my smoothies for three weeks with and three weeks without them and the difference in mood and energy was noted. However, I didn’t experience an improvement in sleep quality.
Goji Berry is Good For Weight Loss
Goji berries are low-fat and high in fiber. There are rich in protein, when compared to other fruits — 28 grams of goji berries provides you with 4 grams of protein. It helps promote satiety without significantly increasing your daily caloric intake. This is due to its very low glycemic index (GI) of 29, which helps you control your appetite and cravings.
Adding goji berries to your diet can help you achieve 1 to 2 pounds of weight loss weekly, if it is combined with a high protein, low carb diet. And if you want to make sure to drop those pounds, just 10 minutes of intense exercise would suffice.
A study published in “The Journal of the American College of Nutrition” in 2011 conducted a pilot study on goji berries effects on weight loss parameters. When compared to placebo, goji berries helped reduce belly fat and increase the metabolism in the healthy participants.
Side Effects & Allergies
Although goji berries have been used in Chinese medicine for centuries, it is a new food in the typical Western diet. In those who are vulnerable, goji berries can cause an allergic reaction.
According to research, published in a 2012 issue of “Journal of Investigational Allergology and Clinical Immunology,” people with plant-food allergies are at risk of having a reaction to goji berries — particularly those who are allergic to plant lipid transfer proteins.
Goji berries may also interact with blood thinners, diabetes medication and medicines for high-blood pressure. Therefore, it is important you discuss using goji berries with your doctor first.
Clinical Evidence? Final Notes
Although Goji berries have been recognized as a highly nutritious food, there is still a lack of clinical research on its effectiveness in treating chronic diseases. Other than those who are susceptible to an allergic reaction, the berries are safe to include in your diet.
There is a lot of preliminary evidence on anti-aging, cancer, enhanced sexual function and lowing blood pressure. These reported benefits all require larger scale sudies, along with the ones mentioned in this article.