Health Benefits of Goji Berries
Ever heard of goji berries?
If you’re into health food and energy bars, then probably.
Goji berries are distinctly a health food store staple and have been for years. They’re sold by themselves and often wrapped up in food bars or shakes/drinks.
As they’ve been used by the Chinese and other Eastern cultures for centuries to help improve various aspects of health they’ve been a fixture in stores where selling incense and salt lamps is the norm.
Now, some mainstream grocery stores are beginning to sell them because of the amount of research done on them in the past years.
The goji berry, sometimes called the wolfberry, is native to many areas in Asia.
If you see them in stores they’re often sold dehydrated.
They have a very unique flavor with a blend of sweet and sour and they’re long and skinny which makes them appear “different” than other berries.
The good news is they’re tasty and also great for helping positively impact health.
In this article, I’ll write about many of the health benefits of goji berries.
How Goji Berries Can Positively Impact Health
Like many berries, goji berries are loaded with numerous nutrients that are known to positively impact health.
1 oz of these berries contains the following:
- 98 calories
- 4 grams of protein
- 0.1 grams of fat
- 21.6 grams of carbohydrates
- 3.6 grams of fiber
- 21.8 grams of sugar
- 11% of the Daily Value of iron
- 150- 501% of the DV Vitamin A
- 15-25% of the DV Vitamin C
In addition to that, there are a ton of antioxidants and polyphenols that can help to boost the health of your eyes, liver, kidneys, lungs and more,
Let me show you why goji berries are great:
1 - Can Help With Eye Health:
Perhaps you noticed goji’s have 500% of your DV of vitamin A.
That’s an incredible amount of any vitamin, but what you may not realize is vitamin A is often available to you in food as beta-carotene which is the same form of vitamin A attributed to the vision-boosting properties of carrots.
So, that’s one thing goji berries have going for them as it relates to supporting optimal health.
Furthermore, goji berries contain high levels of antioxidants (especially zeaxanthin), that are known to help your visual system including helping to prevent the development of macular degeneration as well as helping the eyes resist the damage done by exposure to UV light and to free radicals that can harm optical tissue at the cellular level.
The journal American Academy of Optometry’s Optometry & Vision Science did a study on goji berries and noted that when people drank goji berry juice daily for 3 months it had a major impact on the amount of zeaxanthin transported through the bloodstream.
There are other studies that goji berries can also keep your eyes safe from developing glaucoma by keeping the retina safe from ganglion cells. As this is one of the most prevalent diseases in the eyes, it’s a good reason to eat ample goji berries.
2 - They May Make Your Skin Appear Healthier:
When we think of berries, we don’t typically imagine they can boost your physical appearance, but goji berries might be able to.
Vitamin A which I just indicated helps protect your vision may also act as a natural skin cancer treatment and keep skin’s appearance healthier.
Dr. Axe writes:
In an animal study done by the Faculty of Veterinary Science at the University of Sydney, drinking 5 percent goji berry juice supplied antioxidant activity that offered significant protection against skin disorders and lipid peroxidation of UV light damage. Two known endogenous skin antioxidants are present in goji berries, heme oxygenase-1 and metallothionein, which were found to be involved in the photo-immune protection.
The results show that drinking goji berry juice increases protection against free radical damage from the sun. Gojis provide additional photoprotection for people who are susceptible to skin cancer and other skin disorders.
3 - Support the Health of the Liver:
For hundreds and hundreds of years, practitioners of traditional Chinese Medicine had people use goji berries as a tonic to purify their bodies. Come to find out the nutrients available in these little red berries are likely to help the liver perform its job at peak capacity.
As MedicalNewsToday writes:
Research on animal models indicates goji berries can help with managing liver health and preventing the progression of alcohol-induced fatty liver disease.
Research on human liver cancer cells has also found that goji berries can inhibit tumor growth.
4 - They May Help with Immune Health:
For the past 3 years, you’ve been told over and over how important it is to support the health of your immune system.
Goji berries to the rescue?
Maybe, especially since they’re high in immune-supporting antioxidants like vitamin C and vitamin A. Without these nutrients in your body, you wouldn’t be able to mount a successful response to invading pathogens, and if a small handful can provide these two nutrients in abundance you’ve got a good reason to think they’re a great immune system modulator.
Plus, carotenoids like zeaxanthin present in goji berries have been researched numerous times and much of the research around them indicates they help aid the body in stopping the proliferation of cancerous cells and can help fight tumor growth.
Consider this, a study following 60 older adults who drank 4 ounces of goji berry juice for 30 days was shown to have an increased number of immune cells circulating in their bodies, and self-reported feelings of improved well-being, and you’ve got yet another evidence-based reason to put them in your grass-fed yogurt in the morning.
Get Them In the Store or Online
As I mentioned, goji berries are easily found in health-food stores.
They’re becoming more common in regular grocery stores (typically in the bulk section, or the health-food section)
And you can get them in bulk on Amazon which is nice.
You should try and get a few ounces into your diet weekly to see real benefits.