Learn why they deserve to be called a superfood and what they can do for you.
Photo by Sambazon on Unsplash
Goji berries are small red berries that are mostly consumed in dried form. They have been used in traditional Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Tibetian, and Vietnamese medicine to treat conditions such as joint pain, anemia, tinnitus, or diabetes.
In Tibet, goji berries are so popular and appreciated for their health benefits that there are yearly celebrations held in the berries honor.
What makes goji berries a so-called superfood?
Goji berries are packed with healthy nutrients.
According to the nutrition database of the USDA, 1 ounce of dried goji berries contains:
- 112 kcal
- 4 grams of protein
- 1.4 grams f fat
- 19 grams of carbohydrates
- 1.9 grams of fiber
- 59.9 mg of calcium
- 2.16 mg of iron
- 16 mg of sodium
- 12 mg of Vitamin C
- 12 mg of Vitamin A
Goji berries are a good source for antioxidants
Goji berries contain various antioxidants including, carotenoids, lycopene, lutein, polysaccharides, and phenolics.
Antioxidants inhibit oxidation, which helps to protect your cells against free radicals.
The polysaccharides also stimulate the synthesis of Human Growth Hormone (HGH). HGH is essential for growth, cell regeneration, and cell reproduction, which helps to repair organ tissues and muscles.
Antioxidant capacities are measured in the so-called ORAC (oxygen radical absorbance capacity) score. Goji berries have an ORAC score of 3,290, which is less than raspberries (5,065), but higher than most other fruits. For example, the ORAC score of bananas is only 795.
Goji berries contain all essential amino acids
Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins and required for many body functions, including the synthesis of hormones and neurotransmitters.
The nine amino acids phenylalanine, valine, threonine, tryptophan, methionine, leucine, isoleucine, lysine, and histidine are called essential amino acids because they can?t synthesize by your body, which means that they have to be supplied by your diet.
Compared to other fruits, goji berries are high in protein and contain 18 amino acids, including all essential ones.
Goji berries are a source for linoleic acid
Linoleic acid is a polyunsaturated omega-6 fatty acid that supports heart health by reducing total and LDL cholesterol. Linoleic acid is also linked to improved insulin sensitivity and blood pressure.
How goji berries benefit your health
A recent study suggests that goji berries can be beneficial for cancer prevention, probably a result of the high levels of antioxidants found in goji berries.
The protection against free radicals can also help with anti-aging. Research shows that high levels of antioxidants can inhibit the skin aging process.
According to a Chinese study, the consumption of goji berries can help with blood sugar control and therefore be beneficial in preventing or managing diabetes. One reason for this is that goji berry extract increases the absorption of glucose into the cells. Apart from that, goji berries are a good source of fiber, which also helps to manage blood sugar levels.
Also, goji berries are linked to improved immune function, eye health, and increased testosterone levels.
How goji berries can improve your energy and performance
A study published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that drinking goji berry juice for 14 days can improve energy, focus, and overall wellbeing.
Participants of the same study also reported improved quality of sleep as well as increased athletic performance.
Can goji berries help you to lose weight?
According to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, the consumption of goji berries can increase resting metabolic rate: In a 14-day intervention trial, participants drank 120-ml goji berry juice. Besides increasing their metabolism, they reduced their waist circumference by an average of 0.8 cm.
Goji berries are also high in fiber and protein, which helps to suppress appetite.
And as the consumption of goji berries can stimulate HGH production, they can help you to build and maintain muscle mass, which has a positive effect on your metabolism as well.
What to consider before including goji berries into your diet
As goji berries can interact with medications, it?s crucial to check in with your physician before eating goji berries or drinking goji berry juice if you?re suffering from any chronic condition.
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?that you can probably find in your kitchen
In good health,Rike
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