What are Goji Berries?
Lycium barbarum or better known as goji berries are one of the most nutritionally dense fruit on the globe. These berries are also called as wolf berries have a bright orange-red color. They are a member of the nightshade family, which contains some poisonous plants like deadly nightshade or belladonna, as well as many other common vegetables, such as: pepper, eggplant, tomato, and potato.
Goji berries have been used for thousands of years in China and Tibet, both as a culinary ingredient and medicinally, and have been introduced in many other countries in recent years. Goji berries are eaten dried, cooked or raw, and also have used to treat many common health problems like age-related eye problems, fever, high blood pressure, and diabetes.
Goji berries are unique among common fruits, because:
- they have twenty-one trace minerals, such as: selenium, zinc, calcium, iron, and fiber.
- contain more carotenoids than any other food.
- they are a good source of vitamin C.
- have the highest concentration of protein of any fruit.
- contain almost all essential amino acids.
So, it is no doubt that goji berry is a nutritional powerhouse. However, the ripe berry is easily damaged during picking, so it’s advisable to carefully dry them before export.
What are the Health Benefits of Dried Goji Berries?
This amazing super-fruit also contains natural anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and anti-inflammatory compounds. Their powerful polysaccharides and antioxidant properties help to boost the immune system. It’s no wonder why in traditional Chinese medicine they are renowned for increasing longevity and strength. They are most often used as an ingredient in soups, made into a tea or consumed raw.
Goji berry contain polyphenols, an antioxidant compounds that may slow the growth and protect against the development of cancer. These antioxidants may improve the effectiveness of chemotherapy by weakening tumor cells, preventing the likelihood of cancerous tumor development, and fight against, repair, and diminish cell damage that results from oxidative stress and inflammation. However, it is too soon to recommend goji berries in the treatment of cancer.
Goji berries can reduce the damage done by ultraviolet radiation. Several lab studies suggest that consumed goji berry juice had a significantly reduced inflammatory sunburn. Researchers believe that the antioxidants found in a goji berry are responsible to prevent the inflammation and oxidative damage.
Goji berries are a good source of zeaxanthin, an antioxidant that protect the eyes from high-energy light waves. Several studies suggest that lutein and zeaxanthin in the eyes are associated with better vision, and decreased likelihood of and age-related macular degeneration and cataracts. Although goji berries are a good source, zeaxanthin is also found in many vegetables including broccoli, spinach, and kale.
In recent years, goji juice has become popular as a health beverage. Some of the claims, include:
- promote weight loss
- improve circulation
- boost immune function
- skin and hair health
- strengthen the legs
- improve sexual function
- protect the liver
- promote longevity