These bright little fruits pack a punch. Goji berries offer several health benefits that can improve your health from the inside out. Keep reading to learn about these sweet crimson gems.
What are goji berries?
Goji berries are tiny red fruits derived from the Lycium barbarum and Lycium Chinese shrubs. The humble goji berry, also known as the wolfberry, is native to China. The Chinese have enjoyed goji berries and used them medicinally for thousands of years.
Over the past few decades, goji berries have made their way overseas and brought along their status as a superfood. Now, you can find them in many health supermarkets (usually dried) and enjoy their revitalizing benefits.
The health benefits of goji berries
Ancient cultures have enjoyed many health benefits of goji berries for millennia. Today, research confirms these ancient practices. Here are three proven benefits of consuming goji berries.
1. Provide immune support
Goji berries offer immunomodulatory effects, which help your immune system regulate itself depending on your current conditions. A 30-day placebo-controlled study in 60 older adults revealed this. The group of adults that received 120 milliliters (4 ounces) of goji berry juice per day experienced an increase in immune cells and “a significant increase in general feelings of well-being” without any adverse reactions.
2. Promote eye health
Consuming goji berries can protect your eyes from retinal damage, macular degeneration, and other eye-related diseases. The eye health benefits of goji berries are primarily thanks to their high levels of antioxidants and a molecule called zeaxanthin. One study found a correlation between antioxidants and zeaxanthin in goji berries and protection from hypopigmentation and macular degeneration.
3. Support metabolic health
Your metabolism is the system that generates energy in your body. Regulating glucose and insulin is essential for optimizing metabolism and avoiding diseases like type 2 diabetes. A clinical trial in 67 patients with type 2 diabetes showed that supplementing with goji berries balanced glucose and insulin levels. The study indicated “remarkable protective effects” of compounds in goji berries against type 2 diabetes.
What’s the best way to eat goji berries?
Good news: you don’t need to eat a ton of them to experience benefits! Goji berries can enhance many recipes while promoting well-being, a win-win.
They taste mild, slightly sour, woody, and sweet. You’ll find goji berries most commonly in dried form. Dried goji berries are an excellent addition to smoothie bowls, cookies, muffins, and salads. Try them with Love Crunch Dark Chocolate and Red Berries Granola and yogurt!
You can also soak, soften, and rehydrate goji berries to widen their range of uses. Try rehydrated goji berries in salsas, soups, or stir-fries.
Lastly, goji berry juices or powders are great ways to get your goji. Try them blended into marinades, sauces, smoothies, shakes, or any drink!
Who should avoid goji berries?
If you’re supplementing with goji berries, enjoying them in moderation is recommended. Some people, however, should avoid them altogether. The following cases indicate someone should not consume goji berries.
- People allergic to goji berries or sensitive to nightshade plants
- Pregnant women
- People taking blood thinners, blood pressure medication, or diabetes drugs
If you have any questions or concerns, speak to your doctor before adding goji berries to your diet.
The bottom line
Goji berries are not only delicious, but they’re a natural superfood! Some goji berry health benefits include supporting your immune system, promoting eye health, and preventing type 2 diabetes. As long as you don’t have any contraindications, enjoy goji berries daily in moderation to receive these fantastic benefits and more!