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What are the Benefits of the Goji Berry?

Updated on August 14, 2013

Dried Goji Barries

Dried Goji from China
Dried Goji from China | Source

What is a Goji Berry?

Goji Berries are small bright red berries that come from a deciduous perennial that is harvested in the late summer/fall in the Northern Hemisphere. The berries are believed to be originally native to Tibet and thanks to travelling traders the plant spread to China, India and Mongolia.

Goji Berries, or Wolfberries as they are sometimes known, were first recorded for their health giving properties in the first century BC, so far from being a new discovery or a modern super fruit, man has known about this little berry and its health giving properties for over two millennia.

However like every modern craze it can be really difficult to differentiate between fact, fiction and just plain lies.

One of the ills of the modern age is that internet marketers can make any outrageous claim and by the time it is disproven and they are shut down, they have already made a run for it with their millions. Even Goji Berries can't overcome this illness!

But I know that I like them and I feel better since I have been eating them, so here's what I know about this ancient, delicious 'superfood'.



Get your Goji Berries Online

USDA Organic Goji Berries (also called Wolfberries or Lycium Barbarum) in Resealable Pouch, 8 Ounce Bag, By The Happy Fruit
USDA Organic Goji Berries (also called Wolfberries or Lycium Barbarum) in Resealable Pouch, 8 Ounce Bag, By The Happy Fruit

Can't find Goji Berries in a store near you? Then what could be easier than ordering them online! Try them once and you won't regret it.

 

Nutritional Comparisons by Brand

Brand
Calories
Carbohydrates (inc Sugar)g
Protien(g)
Fat(g)
Sugar(g)
Sodium(mg)
My Health Store Brand
272
3.5
0.4
0.2
3.5
1
Tesco
300
47
0
2
47
100
Fruit for Life
305
49
12
5
45
500
Navitas
366
77
15
0
48
275

Rehydrated Goji Berries

Don't like the crunch or texture of Dried Berries? The let them rehydrate in water, or for a taste sensation, orange juice.
Don't like the crunch or texture of Dried Berries? The let them rehydrate in water, or for a taste sensation, orange juice. | Source

What are the Known, Proven Benefits of the Goji Berry?

So what are the benefits of this so called super food? Well I am a big fan of facts, and nothing but the facts, so here we go:

  • Nutritional information of the Goji Berries I have per 100g is listed in the table above and already I have an issue with the information available. This seems to be a common problem with almost every superfood on the market, facts get distorted to suit whoever is selling the product. Want to really be baffled, then try to find factual information about Acai Berries! An explanation of the different content could be that the berries come from very different locations or that they were dried using different processes. Even accounting for that there does seem to be a large discrepancy in the sodium content of each brand.
  • Goji Berries have 18 (or some quote 19) kinds of amino acid which are the building blocks for the bodies protein
  • Goji Berries contain 21 trace minerals including zinc, calcium, germanium, selenium and phosphorus
  • Goji Berries contain vitamins C, A, B1, B2, B6, and E (more vitamin C than an orange)

So what are the known benefits of all this? In my non medical opinion, if you get a decent dose of all these vitamins and minerals on a daily basis you will feel better. The one hard fact I have discovered is that if you eat a healthy balanced diet your body will function more efficiently and you will feel better.

Since I have been eating around 40g of Goji Berries a day I have certainly had more energy and have been sleeping better. This could just be down to the vitamins, minerals and sugar hit my body is getting and the better sleep could be down to the extra exercise I am doing because I am feeling better and dog sitting (which does involve getting out and walking more often).

Whatever the reason, I enjoy them and feel better for eating them. They are a sweet/sour burst of flavour and much better than a chocolate or donut hit!



A Delicious Healthy Smoothie

5 stars from 1 rating of Goji and Mango Smoothie

Preparation Time

Prep time: 3 min
Ready in: 3 min
Yields: 1 Delicious Smoothie

Ingredients

  • 2 Mango Cheeks, Use tinned mango
  • 25g Dried Goji Berries, Rehydrate if you don't like the texture
  • 100ml Guava and Orange Juice, Can Substitute any 100% Juice
  • 10 Small Ice Cubes, Don't want ice? Then freeze the juice you are using

Instructions

  1. Put the Goji, Mango and juice in a blender and pulse.
  2. Add the ice cubes bit by bit to ensure a consistent smoothie and to save the blenders electric motor.

Fruity, Sweet and full of Vitamins and Minerals

A Delicious Goji and Fruit Smoothie
A Delicious Goji and Fruit Smoothie | Source

A Real Energy Booster

Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 1 Glass
Calories 220
Calories from Fat9
% Daily Value *
Fat 1 g2%
Carbohydrates 35 g12%
Sugar 45 g
Protein 1 g2%
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 33 mg1%
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

Other Ways to get the Benefits of Goji Berries

Yogi Goji Berry Green Tea, 16 Tea Bags (Pack of 6)
Yogi Goji Berry Green Tea, 16 Tea Bags (Pack of 6)

Combining the benefits of Green Tea and Goji Berries.

 

The Oldest Man Ever?

Li Ching-Yuen, Older than Methuselah? Not Quite.
Li Ching-Yuen, Older than Methuselah? Not Quite. | Source

The Goji Berry - Myths, Fables and Unproven Claims

This could be the longest list of all time, so I shall try and keep it as succinct as possible, but the following claims have all been made about the effects of Goji Berries on the human body and in the treatment of diseases.

It is claimed Goji Berries:

  • Can cure or prevent cancer
  • Reduce the incidence of Alzheimer's Disease
  • Prevent macular degeneration
  • Increase longevity
  • Increases metabolic rate, therefore inducing a natural weight loss
  • Induces a feeling of well being (whatever that means!)
  • Cure infertility
  • Cure dry cough

A limited number of medical tests have been carried out on rodents and they have usually been sponsored by the manufacturers of Goji Berries, so the veracity of any of these claims cannot be held to any scientific standard.

To get a real idea of the level of exaggeration associated with these little red berries, have a read of this Wiki about Li Ching-Yuen who it is claimed, lived to be over 200 years of age (there are various ages claimed, all bar one over 200 years), all thanks to his consumption of Goji Berries.

I do reiterate though that eating a berry that is chock full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants certainly can't be a bad thing for most people.

Are there any Side Effects when eating Goji Berries?

With almost any food group there will be some people that are allergic, and Goji Berries are no different. I have read several forums where people have claimed both rashes and diarrhea associated with the consumption of the berries.

The only other side effect I can find and it is quite close to home for me as my mother takes the drug, is that Goji Berries interact with the blood thinning drug Warfarin. This is dangerous as too much Warfarin could cause excessive bleeding, while too little may increase clotting, and possibly lead to a stroke or heart attack.

Other foods and supplements which also have an adverse effect on Warfarin users are cranberry juice, avocados, ginseng and fish oil supplements. My mother has also been advised to limit dark green leafy vegetables and olive oil.

So if you are going to start adding Goji Berries to your daily routine, like anything new it may be wise to have a small amount and see if you have any adverse reactions.


How do you like your Goji Berries?

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    • stephaniedas profile image

      Stephanie Das 

      5 years ago from Miami, US

      Nice recipe, I am a goji fan and a health nut so ill revisit it!

    • prettynutjob30 profile image

      Mary 

      5 years ago from From the land of Chocolate Chips,and all other things sweet.

      This looks yummy, voted up, more and shared.

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