Goji berries have been a staple in Asian cuisine for many hundreds of years, but in recent years they have been transformed into a health food and have made their way into kitchens and pantries all over the world.
In this guide we’ll take a closer look at these little red berries and discuss the benefits that they can bring.
Regular drinkers of our Detox Organics superfood formula will already know how much we love these berries as we included them as one of the 25 superfoods that make up this drink.
But stay tuned, because in this article we’ll show you why we’re so enamored with them and why you should be too.
The Health Benefits of Goji Berries
There is a lot to cover here, and as usual we’ve linked to our sources where possible, so if you want more information on the studies cited, feel free to check them out.
1. They are Nutrient Dense
Goji berries have proven popular with strength athletes and bodybuilders because they have 3 grams of protein per serving in addition to a complete profile of essential amino acids.
In fact, they contain 18 amino acids in total, which means they can help to build and repair muscle when consumed as part of a high protein diet.
Just add a handful to your protein shake, or munch them after a workout and you’ll reap all of those benefits.
A 100g serving of goji berries, which contains 350 calories, will provide you with nearly 100% of your RDI of vitamin C, around 50% of your RDI of iron, 25% of calcium, and a huge 550% of vitamin A!
You’ll also get 15 grams of protein and fiber, in addition to many trace amounts of minerals.
2. They Improve Eye Health
Goji berries are very effective at improving eye health and can be used to combat macula degeneration, known as AMD.
There are many factors at play here, including the minerals and vitamins contained within these little berries, but the biggest role is played by the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, which can slow the progression of AMD, prevent conditions like glaucoma, and lead to better eye health overall.
3. They Contain Lots of Antioxidants
Many of the benefits of goji berries can be linked to their antioxidant capacity. These free-radical fighting compounds have shown to have a plethora of benefits when consumed in their natural form.
One study linked these antioxidants to a range of benefits long known to the Chinese, who have used goji berries for many hundreds of years, while another found them to be particularly useful in the treatment of many types of cancer (1) (2).
The cancer studies are particularly noteworthy. Scientists have known for many years that a diet rich in natural occurring antioxidants can help to reduce the risk of many types of cancer, but there are suggestions that they may also play a role in treating cancer.
A lot more research needs to be done before we can say anything with any certainty though. This is a very complex field, and it would be reckless to suggest that they could treat cancer, but in years to come we may find that they play a role in doing just that.
4. They May Have Neuroprotective Benefits
Another field of study that deserves more attention concerns goji berries and their apparent ability to prevent neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.
There are studies out there have arrived at very positive conclusions. (3) We also know that goji berries can have an anti-inflammatory effect and that many chronic diseases are the result of inflammation.
If we put all of these things together then it only make sense that they would play a role, but the extent of that role is not yet known.
In any case, this research is very exciting and could lead to a breakthrough in the future.
Side Effects of Goji Berries
There are some contraindications here. If you have low blood sugar, are consuming blood thinning medication (such as Warfarin), have low or high blood pressure, or are pregnant, then caution is advised. It’s also better to be safe than sorry.
This is also true for anyone who is allergic to the plant/fruit, although that should go without saying. We also recommend avoiding excessive consumption of these berries if you are using medications like Sortret, prescribed to treat acne, or if you are taking vitamin supplements.
These meds, in addition to large amounts of goji berries, can lead to a buildup of vitamin A, which can be dangerous if it occurs over an extended period of time.
This should not be an issue for the average consumer, but it becomes more of an issue if you’re also consuming large amounts of vitamin A elsewhere.
Conclusion: A Super Fruit?
Goji berries are very healthy and if you can consume them then we recommend doing so. There are many fruits and vegetables out there that are better at doing certain things.
Kiwis and oranges will give you way more vitamin C, and you’ll get more protein from a serving of leafy greens and more minerals from nuts.
But it’s not about finding 1 superfood that can provide you with everything you need. Even cholera and spirulina, which really are potent superfoods, don’t come close to doing that.
You need a healthy, balanced diet that contains lots of different superfoods in order to truly benefit.
And if you don’t fancy buying pounds of fruits and vegetables a day, then simply grab yourself a tub of Detox Organics and let that do the work.
It will give you the power of 25 superfoods (including goji berries) in one chocolate flavored drink!
We spent a long time formulating Detox Organics and during that process we looked at hundreds of different superfoods.
The research you see on this page was all factored into the equation when we decided to include goji berries, and similar research was done on every other superfood we included.
We wanted to focus only on the ones that actually worked and had actual scientific evidence backing up the claims being made about them.
We also wanted superfoods that worked well together (creating a balance of benefits that could improve energy, digestive health, brain health, etc,.) and tasted great.
It took us a long time, but the end result is one of the fastest growing, most popular, and most highly praised superfood formulas on the market.