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Goji berries, also called as wolfberries, are bright orange-red in colour. They are a versatile fruit which can be eaten raw, cooked, or dried and used in juices, wines, herbal teas and medicines. The health benefits of goji berries are huge ranging from fighting cancer to delaying ageing  .
These red berries have a sweet and slightly sour taste and are rich in nutrients.
Nutritional Value Of Goji Berries
100 g of goji berries contain 375 kcal (energy) and they also contain
- 12.50 g protein
- 80.00 g carbohydrate
- 2.5 g total dietary fibre
- 75.00 g sugar
- 3.60 mg iron
- 475 mg sodium
- 15.0 mg vitamin C
- 2500 IU vitamin A
Health Benefits Of Goji Berries
1. Boost immunity
Goji berries are packed with antioxidants that protect the immune system from inflammation caused by free radical damage. The antioxidant vitamin C helps to slow down the oxidation process that damage the cells in your body. The polysaccharides in goji berries help in immune functioning and increase the total antioxidants in the body  ,  .
2. Regulate blood sugar
Goji berries can help lower blood sugar levels in diabetic patients. A research conducted in 2015 shows that goji berries improve sugar tolerance, increase insulin resistance and aid in cell recovery that help to produce insulin in type 2 diabetes  .
Note: If you have low blood sugar, speak to your doctor before consuming goji berries.
3. Help in weight loss
Goji berries are loaded with fibre which is known to promote satiety and provide a feeling of fullness which in turn aids in losing weight. A study shows that consumption of goji berries increases metabolic rate and reduces the waist circumference in healthy overweight men and women  .
4. Lower blood pressure
The antihypertensive effect of polysaccharides in goji berries can help regulate blood pressure levels  . In traditional Chinese medicine, these berries are used for reducing blood pressure. If blood pressure is left untreated, it could lead to loss of vision, heart failure, stroke and kidney disease.
5. Protect the eyes
Goji berries are an excellent source of vitamin A which helps to protect the eyes from age-related macular degeneration. Also, the high level of antioxidants, especially zeaxanthin can prevent eye damage caused by the UV rays, free radicals and oxidative stress. According to a study individuals who drank goji berry juice for 90 days had an increase in antioxidant content  . Another study shows that goji berries can treat glaucoma due to the action of polysaccharides  .
6. Promote liver and lung function
In traditional Chinese medicine, the berries have been used to treat liver disease. It can promote proper functioning of the liver and prevent the progression of alcohol-induced fatty liver disease. Goji berries can also treat lung-related disorders like asthma and manage lung function.
7. Fights cancer
Goji berries can inhibit the growth of cancer cells in liver cancer, colon cancer, malignant melanoma, lung cancer, renal cell cancer, etc. They contain a chemical component called beta-sitosterol which aids in decreasing the size of cancer cells and leads to apoptosis of cancer cells according to a Chinese study  . Other studies have shown the effectiveness of polysaccharides in prostate cancer and breast cancer prevention  ,  .
8. Improve depression & sleep-related issues
According to a study, these berries can help with neurological and psychological function by fighting depression and other anxiety disorders  . People who drink goji berry juice could improve their energy, digestive health, ability to focus, mental clarity and mood.
9. Increase testosterone
Goji berries elevate sperm quantity, enhance sexual ability and improve the recovery of testosterone levels  . This berry has long been used in Chinese medicines for curing male infertility due to the effect of polysaccharides  .
10. Promote healthy skin
The antioxidants present in goji berries prevent the skin from harmful free radicals and delay the process of ageing. They contain flavonoids, vitamins, polysaccharides, betaine, phenolics, and carotenoids that are known to have antiageing effects on the skin  . Another study found that drinking goji berry juice can protect the skin from UV radiation .
Side Effects Of Goji Berries
If you are having blood thinning medications like warfarin, diabetes and blood pressure medicines, avoid consuming goji berries. People who are allergic to berries should also stay away from goji berries. Pregnant or breastfeeding women also shouldn't consume goji berries as they might cause miscarriage.
Ways To Eat Goji Berries
- You can consume both fresh and dried goji berries by adding them into your breakfast cereal, yogurt, and trail mix.
- Consume fresh or dried goji berries by making a smoothie.
- You can also add it to baked goods, desserts and salads.
- The berries can be prepared into a sweet sauce and added while cooking meat to give a different taste.
- Goji berries can be brewed in a tea.
How Much Goji Berries To Consume Per Day
The USDA recommends consuming 1 1/2 to 2 cups of goji berries each day.
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