For a berry so small, the purported health benefits of the goji berry (also referred to as wolfberry) are kind of magnificent.
Nutritional facts regarding phytochemical, vitamin and mineral contents vary among varieties of the goji berry and depend on freshness levels, but the berry is most well known for its antioxidant levels, protein levels, beta-carotene levels and the number of amino acids (18!) contained within a single serving. All of the nutrients above are what contribute to making them sought after items in health food stores across the nation.
While more studies must be done to confirm these findings as indisputable, those who consume goji berries do say they can feel the difference. Plus, they’re celeb-endorsed, and these specific health benefits are the reasons why.
The antioxidants found in goji berries provide immune support (its vitamin C content helps with this too, providing 500 times more vitamin C than a single orange would!). Many find that the consumption of goji berries can help to prevent or relieve flu and cold symptoms, as well as lower inflammation levels. What makes goji berries so special when it comes to antioxidants? Their high ORAC level, which indicates they are that much more effective at maintaining overall wellness.
Beta-carotene is what gives the goji berry its skin health benefits and is thought to help protect skin from the sun. Because antioxidants are known to fight aging, the goji berry is an ingredient found in many natural skin care products.
Goji berries are said to help protect eyes from macular degeneration, an age-related illness that causes blindness. Plus, the same antioxidants that help protect skin from the sun also help protect eyes from the sun.
A study conducted in China showed promising results for those suffering from cancer. Those who were given L. barbarum polysaccharides in addition to IL-2/lymphokine-activated killer (LAK) therapy showed “higher response rates and longer remission rates.” The details of the study have not been fully determined yet, but these results are certainly promising and provide good reason for further studies.
In traditional Chinese medicine, goji berries are thought to restore hormonal health related to “yin” deficiency and are touted for their ability to increase sperm count. Further studies have shown that goji berries can help to heal testes that have been damaged by heat exposure and DNA oxidative damage. Upon healing, fertility is improved, and goji berries are thanked for bringing about the outcome.
Mood and Energy
GoChi is a goji berry juice that has been studied in relation to its claims that it will boost mood and energy levels. One study showed that feelings of general well being increased, particularly in the areas of stress and fatigue, and their gastrointestinal function improved as well.
Goji berries are a great snack choice for anyone living with blood sugar issues because they are thought to help control the amount of sugar that is released into the bloodstream. They are also thought to help increase glucose responsiveness which could make them a viable natural diabetes remedy for those who have mild forms of the illness.
Goji berries aren’t cheap, but they do come in a variety of forms including powders and tonics, and they are available both online and in health food stores. One of the best ways to consume the fruit, which tastes like a cross between cherries and cranberries, is to simply eat them in small handfuls — they make a damn tasty dried fruit snack.
A more economical way to include goji berries in your diet could be to purchase granola bars containing them or including the seeds in smoothies. Make sure whatever form you choose is organic and naturally sourced to ensure you’re getting the most out of your investment.
As wonderful as goji berries are, some studies have reported negative side effects if they are taking blood thinners or if they have an LTP allergy. Always speak to your doctor if you are taking any medications or have health concerns before adding any kind of supplement or superfood to your diet, especially when pregnant or breastfeeding.