What are goji berries and what are goji berry health benefits?
Used in Chinese medicine for centuries, goji berries are a dried fruit that looks like red raisins. They are grown in China and the surrounding region and they have been hailed, as one of the most nutrient dense foods in the world. Packed full of vitamins, minerals, protein and anti-oxidants, they have a mild tangy, sweet taste and you can use them in exactly the same ways, as you would use any other dried fruit. There have been a huge range of claims regarding the health benefits of goji berries and here are eight reasons why they should be forming a part of your diet:
1. They provide protection against cancer
One of the most important goji berry health benefits is that these berries have the ability to help protect you against cancer. The berries are rich in antioxidants that remove free radicals from your blood, which can be a cause of cancer. The berries also promote the body’s production of cancer fighting enzymes.
2. They give your immune system a boost
Another one of goji berry health benefits is that eating the berries can actively help to improve your immune system. They contain a phytonutrient called physaline, which is known to be an immune system booster and cancer fighter, as well as ascorbic acid and solavetivone, all of which are needed by the body to enable it to effectively fight off disease and infection.
3. They help to maintain healthy vision
Goji berries are a good source of vitamins A (beta-carotene), B-group, E, C, and zeaxanthin. These compounds, especially zeaxanthin, are known to help maintain a healthy eyesight and decrease the risk of developing age related macular degeneration.
4. Insomnia cure
Consuming the berries on a regular basis can reduce the amount of hydrocortisone, the hormone that your body releases when you are under stress. The reduction in hydrocortisone will help to calm you down and allow you to get a good night’s sleep.
5. Good for strengthening your muscles
Goji berries contain 18 powerful amino acids (6 times the amount of amino acids found in Bee Pollen), minerals and vitamins. Regular consumption of these berries can help strengthen your bones and muscles and provide your body with protein.
6. They are good for your heart
Goji berry health benefits also include a healthier heart. The fiber and rich antioxidant content found in goji berries help reduce the bad cholesterol and maintains the levels of the good cholesterol in the blood and thus, promoting a healthy circulation, a healthy heart and reducing the risk of heart attack.
7. Protects the liver
Some studies have shown that goji berries can protect the liver from the accumulation and build-up of fat, which is the cause of fatty liver disease. The berries also contain a compound called physalin, which has been shown to be beneficial in treating hepatitis B, protects the liver from disease and keeps it healthy.
8. Gorgeous skin
Thanks to a high anti-oxidant content, eating goji berries can improve the appearance of your skin. The berries are rich in vitamins A and E, which help promote beautiful, healthy, glowing and soft skin.
9. Better memory
Improved memory is another one of goji berry health benefits. The betaine found in goji berries, is not only good for muscle growth, but it also protects DNA, detoxifies the liver, calms nervous system down and promotes better memory. Therefore, if you lack concentration and focus, snack on!
10. Promotes longevity
The Chinese have long believed that goji berries can help to promote longevity. They are bursting with goodness and they also have anti-inflammatory, as well as anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties, and they are renowned in traditional Chinese medicine for increasing strength, wellbeing and longevity. There is a legend that Li Ching-Yuen, a Chinese herbalist, who lived a very long life and supposedly died to be over 256 years old, consumed goji berries on a regular basis, after getting an advice from a Taoist hermit whom he met in the mountains and who claimed to be 500 years old. Along with goji berries, Li Ching-Yuen also consumed wild ginseng, he shou wu, lingzhi, gotu kola and other Chinese herbs; he supposedly lived off a diet of rice, wine and these herbs. Well, who knows, whether it’s true or not?!
Quick note: If you take any medicines or if you have diabetes, kidney problems or bee pollen allergies, you may want to stay away from goji berries or consult your doctor about possible interactions and goji berries side effects.
Do you like to include goji berries in your diet? What are other goji berry health benefits? Feel free to share your healthy eating tips and thoughts in the comment section below.
Stay happy and healthy!