These treasures are one of the most nutritionally dense fruits on earth! When local berries are out of season, these handy little red gems always give me the antioxidant boost in a flash since they are dried and keep for a long time.
Goji berries are:
Rich in antioxidants, including immune-boosting Vitamin C and selenium
High in beta-carotene, which is great for skin health, immunity and vision
A good source of zeaxanthin, a carotenoid that’s concentrated in the eyes and is important for vision protection and health
Contain a wide spectrum of amino acids, which are essential for healing and repair
High in minerals such as iron and calcium
Goji berries have been used for thousands of years in Chinese medicine, and they’ve only recently hit the mainstream and begun to be studied by scientists. Most of the investigation into Goji berries focuses on their immune-modulating properties, their anti-tumor/anti-cancer activities and their antioxidant power. For example:
Breast Cancer. Extracts from Goji berries prevent the proliferation of breast cancer cells. Other research indicates that the polysaccharides in Goji berries can inhibit the growth of cancer cells in cervial, gastric, colorectal, liver and bone cancers.
Immune Modulation. One study of volunteers who drank Goji berry juice every day for a month not only boosted their immune response but also increased their feelings of general wellbeing, as well as improved sleep and focus compared to those who only took the placebo. Additional research shows that Goji berries have a positive influence on many components of the immune system, including T cells, B cells, macrophages and lymphocytes.
General Wellbeing. In this study, one set of participants drank Goji berry juice while a second set consumed a placebo. After two weeks, the Goji berry reported they felt more energy, slept better, woke more easily, had better digestion, were more able to focus and felt generally more healthy than the placebo group. energy level, athletic performance, quality of sleep, ease of awakening, ability to focus on activities, mental acuity, calmness, and feelings of health,
Stress. In the same study mentioned above, the participants who had goji berries said they felt calmer, happier, and less stressed out.
Diabetes. The antioxidants, fiber and amino acid content in Goji berries offer a hypoglycemic effect and can be therapeutic for diabetes, obesity and metabolic syndrome.
Anti-Aging. The range of antioxidants in Goji berries means they can help improve skin, vision, cellular health, overall anti-aging and even neurodegenerative diseases. Imagine tossing out your toxic beauty products and exchanging them for tasty berries. Sounds like a pretty good deal right?
Other benefits to Goji berries include improved cardiovascular health and sexual function. They really are an all-around winner!
For those of us who live in colder climates, fresh berries can be hard to come by in the winter and organic Goji berries are the perfect addition to our diets. Even during summer months, with their greater amounts of Vitamin C and cartenoids, Goji berries can help protect you from sun damage.