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10 Health Benefits Of Goji Berries (Wolfberries)


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 [1] .

These red berries have a sweet and slightly sour taste and are rich in nutrients.

benefits of goji berries

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
proven health benefits of goji berries

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] , [3] .

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 [4] .

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 [5] .

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4. Lower blood pressure

The antihypertensive effect of polysaccharides in goji berries can help regulate blood pressure levels [6] . 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 [7] . Another study shows that goji berries can treat glaucoma due to the action of polysaccharides [8] .

health benefits of goji berries infographic

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 [9] . Other studies have shown the effectiveness of polysaccharides in prostate cancer and breast cancer prevention [10] , [11] .

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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 [12] . 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 [13] . This berry has long been used in Chinese medicines for curing male infertility due to the effect of polysaccharides [14] .

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 [15] . Another study found that drinking goji berry juice can protect the skin from UV radiation[16] .

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.

View Article References
  1. [1] Amagase, H., & Nance, D. M. (2008).A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Clinical Study of the General Effects of a Standardized Lycium barbarum (Goji) Juice, GoChi™. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 14(4), 403–412.
  2. [2] Cheng, J., Zhou, Z. W., Sheng, H. P., He, L. J., Fan, X. W., He, Z. X., Sun, T., Zhang, X., Zhao, R. J., Gu, L., Cao, C., … Zhou, S. F. (2014). An evidence-based update on the pharmacological activities and possible molecular targets of Lycium barbarum polysaccharides.Drug design, development and therapy,9, 33-78.
  3. [3] Amagase, H., Sun, B., & Nance, D. M. (2009).Immunomodulatory Effects of a Standardized Lycium barbarum Fruit Juice in Chinese Older Healthy Human Subjects. Journal of Medicinal Food, 12(5), 1159-1165.
  4. [4] Cai, H., Liu, F., Zuo, P., Huang, G., Song, Z., Wang, T., Lu, H., Guo, F., Han, C., … Sun, G. (2015). Practical Application of Antidiabetic Efficacy of Lycium barbarum Polysaccharide in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes.Medicinal chemistry (Shariqah (United Arab Emirates)),11(4), 383-90.
  5. [5] Amagase, H., & Nance, D. M. (2011). Lycium barbarum increases caloric expenditure and decreases waist circumference in healthy overweight men and women: pilot study.Journal of the American College of Nutrition,30(5), 304-309.
  6. [6] Zhang, X., Yang, X., Lin, Y., Suo, M., Gong, L., Chen, J., & Hui, R. (2015). Anti-hypertensive effect of Lycium barbarum L. with down-regulated expression of renal endothelial lncRNA sONE in a rat model of salt-sensitive hypertension.International journal of clinical and experimental pathology,8(6), 6981-6987.
  7. [7] Bucheli, P., Vidal, K., Shen, L., Gu, Z., Zhang, C., Miller, L. E., & Wang, J. (2011).Goji Berry Effects on Macular Characteristics and Plasma Antioxidant Levels. Optometry and Vision Science, 88(2), 257-262.
  8. [8] Zhou, S.-F., Cheng, J., Zhou, Z.-W., Sheng, H.-P., He, L.-J., Fan, X.-W., … Zhao, R. J. (2014).An evidence-based update on the pharmacological activities and possible molecular targets of Lycium barbarum polysaccharides. Drug Design, Development and Therapy, 33.
  9. [9] Cao, G. W., Yang, W. G., & Du, P. (1994). Observation of the effects of LAK/IL-2 therapy combining with Lycium barbarum polysaccharides in the treatment of 75 cancer patients.Zhonghua zhong liu za zhi [Chinese journal of oncology],16(6), 428-431.
  10. [10] Luo, Q., Li, Z., Yan, J., Zhu, F., Xu, R.-J., & Cai, Y.-Z. (2009).Lycium barbarum Polysaccharides Induce Apoptosis in Human Prostate Cancer Cells and Inhibits Prostate Cancer Growth in a Xenograft Mouse Model of Human Prostate Cancer. Journal of Medicinal Food, 12(4), 695-703.
  11. [11] Wawruszak, A., Czerwonka, A., Okła, K., & Rzeski, W. (2015).Anticancer effect of ethanolLycium barbarum(Goji berry) extract on human breast cancer T47D cell line. Natural Product Research, 30(17), 1993-1996.
  12. [12] Ho, Y. S., Yu, M. S., Yang, X. F., So, K. F., Yuen, W. H., & Chang, R. C. C. (2010). Neuroprotective effects of polysaccharides from wolfberry, the fruits of Lycium barbarum, against homocysteine-induced toxicity in rat cortical neurons.Journal of Alzheimer's Disease,19(3), 813-827.
  13. [13] Dursun, R., Zengin, Y., Gündüz, E., İçer, M., Durgun, H. M., Dağgulli, M., Kaplan, İ., Alabalık, U., … Güloğlu, C. (2015). The protective effect of goji berry extract in ischemic reperfusion in testis torsion.International journal of clinical and experimental medicine,8(2), 2727-2733.
  14. [14] Luo, Q., Li, Z., Huang, X., Yan, J., Zhang, S., & Cai, Y.-Z. (2006).Lycium barbarum polysaccharides: Protective effects against heat-induced damage of rat testes and H2O2-induced DNA damage in mouse testicular cells and beneficial effect on sexual behavior and reproductive function of hemicastrated rats. Life Sciences, 79(7), 613-621.
  15. [15] Gao, Y., Wei, Y., Wang, Y., Gao, F., & Chen, Z. (2017). Lycium Barbarum: A Traditional Chinese Herb and A Promising Anti-Aging Agent.Aging and disease,8(6), 778-791.
  16. [16] Reeve, V. E., Allanson, M., Arun, S. J., Domanski, D., & Painter, N. (2010).Mice drinking goji berry juice (Lycium barbarum) are protected from UV radiation-induced skin damage via antioxidant pathways. Photochemical & Photobiological Sciences, 9(4), 601.

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