Goji berries have been a popular addition to medicinal supplements for quite some time now, and you might’ve been hearing some of its health benefits. The origin of using these berries as a medicinal plant dates back to ancient China. It is widely used to treat eye, liver, and kidney issues.
With its various health benefits, you might be wondering how you can incorporate it into your diet. Read on to know more about goji berries and why it might be right for you.
What Are Goji Berries?
Characterised by its bright, orange-red colour, goji berries originated from an evergreen shrub native to China. Also known as wolfberry, these festive berries have been eaten for generations in Asia because it was believed to help one achieve life longevity. The berries have a sweet and slightly sour taste to them. They usually come in their dried form, similar to raisins.
Goji berries are a good source of vitamins and minerals. It is rich in vitamin C, fibre, iron, vitamin A, zinc, and antioxidants. These berries also contain all eight essential amino acids, and an ounce of it provides nearly 10 percent of your daily requirement for protein. Considering that it is a fruit, the berries contain a surprising amount of protein. Its fibre content and complex sugars reduce your risk for a sudden spike in blood sugar despite being a fruit.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Goji Berries?
Boosted Immune System
Due to its abundant number of vitamins and amino acids, goji berries are great in boosting your immune system. This also protects you from the common cold and the flu. However, you shouldn’t treat these berries as a replacement for your flu vaccine.
Potential Weight Loss Aid
With its high-fibre content, it’s no wonder that goji berries might help you in keeping your eating habits in check. These berries are great as a light snack to prevent you from overeating during mealtime. Its low-calorie and low-sugar option makes them a better choice compared to other dried fruits with high sugar content.
Goji berries have been a popular ingredient in beauty supplement as well because of its high level of antioxidants. The zeaxanthin that gives the goji its bright orange-red colour is indicative of the berry’s rich antioxidant content. Eating the berries on a daily basis helps protect your cells from breaking down when exposed to free radicals, such as smoke and radiation.
Maintain Blood Sugar Levels
If you have a sweet tooth, goji berries might be the healthy alternative you’re looking for. These wonder berries can help in lowering your blood sugar, alleviate your resistance to insulin, improve your sugar tolerance, and recover cells that help produce insulin. You should note however that before you include goji berries in your diet, you must consult with a doctor first, especially if you’re using medications to manage your blood sugar.
How Do I Use Goji Berries In My Diet?
With the health benefits listed above, it wouldn’t be a surprise if you immediately want to add goji berries to your diet. However, you must always talk to your doctor before you begin eating these berries since you might be allergic to the fruit or it can interact with any medications you are currently taking.
Once you’ve received the go signal from your doctor, you can then purchase goji berries and include them in your diet. Most supermarkets sell dried goji berries pre-packaged or in bulk. You can also opt to purchase them fresh. It’s no different from raisins or fresh berries and you can mix them into your breakfast cereal or yoghurt. If you want to add sweetness to your main dishes, cooking the berries with lean pork or turkey provides a surprising balance to it. If you prefer eating the berries as it is, two or more servings of the fruit daily will give you the greatest health benefits.
Marketed as a superfood, goji berries indeed live up to its health benefits. While it is more expensive than other fruits, the dense nutritional value of these berries certainly makes it worth the price. Bursting with vitamins and minerals, goji berries have the potential of improving your overall well-being.