Also known as the “wolfberry” fruit, the goji berry is a brightly colored fruit that’s been used as a food supplement and medicinal herb for over 2,000 years by the Chinese.
People currently use the fruit to treat ailments in organs such as the eye, liver, and kidney. The fruit also helps in boosting the immune system, preventing premature aging, and are beneficial in protecting you against cancer and heart conditions.
Read on to know what the real health benefits of goji berries are so you can add more nutrition to your diet.
Goji berries, what are they?
The goji berry goes by the scientific name of Lycium barbarum and grows on small, thorny bushes. It belongs to the Solanaceae plant family that also includes tomatoes, eggplants, chili peppers, and potatoes.
This fruit comes in dried form and has a bright orange-red color with a sweet and slightly sour flavor. It can be eaten raw, taken as tablets, powders, or extracts, and consumed as a juice or herbal tea.
The fruit contains high levels of antioxidants and is a good source of vitamins and minerals including iron, vitamins A and C, zinc, and fiber. The fruit also provides 11 essential amino acids that provide a range of health benefits.
Here are 4 health benefits of taking goji berries:
Boosting the immune system
Goji berries contain high levels of antioxidants known for their immune-boosting qualities. Vitamin C and A are the two key nutrients that help to improve your immunity and prevent common diseases such as a cold.
A boosted immune system can also help to fight against serious illnesses such as cancer.
High levels of carotenoid like zeaxanthin and vitamin C precursors contained in the fruit aid in fighting cancerous cells, tumor growth, and detoxifying the body.
Promoting healthy skin
The fruit contains an essential plant phytochemical known as beta-carotene that’s known to promote healthy skin and acts as a natural treatment to skin cancer.
Beta-carotene is also used as one of the ingredients in skin creams to help improve skin health and manage the effects of the sun. The skin cells are protected from breaking down due to exposure from smoke and radiation by the antioxidants in the goji berry.
Protecting the eyes against age-related conditions
Taking goji berries regularly could help keep your eyesight strong. They can help to improve one’s vision and protect against age-related eye diseases since they contain high levels of the zeaxanthin antioxidant.
Macular degeneration is one age-related disease that can be prevented by taking goji berries. Zeaxanthin can also stop the damage from exposure to UV light, free radicals, and oxidative stress.
Boosting liver health
Goji berries have been used alongside other herbs like Ganoderma and licorice in traditional Chinese medicine to treat liver diseases. They’re used in making savory porridges for sick people and in soups as a tonic ingredient.
The fruit is believed to benefit the liver’s meridians to restore strength, vitality, and well-being. It’s also beneficial in inhibiting tumor growth on liver cells.