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Goji Berries or Wolfberries - Facts, Nutritional, Health Benefits and Some Side Effects

Rajan is a botany and chemistry major. He has worked as a poultry breeder for 23 years, breeding layer and broiler parents.

Ripe Goji Berries

About Goji Berries

Goji berries are also known simply as goji, wolfberries or Western snowberries are the fruits of the plants Lycium barbarum and Lycium Chinense and belong to the family Solanaceae to which the nightshade, potato, tomato, eggplant, chilli pepper and tobacco also belong.

Native to China the L.chinense grows in South China and is somewhat shorter than L.barbarum that grows in North China. The goji plants have been growing in the temperate and subtropical regions of China, Mongolia and the Himalayan region of Tibet.

The plant is a deciduous, woody and perennial vine from 3 to 10 feet tall having lanceolate to ovate leaves.

The fruits or goji berries are bright orange-red in coloured ellipsoid berries containing tiny yellow seeds.

Goji Berries Or Wolfberries

Goji berries have been termed a superfood and a superfruit because of their nutritive and antioxidant content.

Traditionally whole goji berries or its extracts have been used in folk medicine in China since a long time especially to promote longevity, boost immunity, lower weight, protect the liver and kidneys, improve circulation and improve sexual performance and fertility. For this reason, they have also been called fruit viagra.

Goji berries have a mild tangy taste, a mix of a mildly sweet and sour taste. They have a chewy texture and shape akin to raisins though they are more tart than sweet and are generally drier too.

On a weight to weight basis they have :

# more vitamin C than oranges
# more beta carotene than carrots
# more iron than steak


The remarkable nutritional benefits of goji berries have been recently discovered in the West.

Goji berries can be eaten raw or cooked. They are an extremely healthy snack and can be added to muesli or cereals, yoghurt or ice cream. Use it in cakes, cookies, pies, scones or muffins or use them to make smoothies, soups or stews etc. Goji berries can also be brewed to make tea.

Nutritional Benefits Of Goji Berries

A daily serving of 10 to 30 grams of goji berries is sufficient to provide one with its amazing health benefits.

Goji berries are probably the most nutritionally dense fruit known.

Among other things goji berries provide :

  • 11 essential and 22 trace minerals
  • 18 amino acids
  • 6 vitamins
  • 8 polysaccharides and 6 monosaccharides
  • unsaturated fatty acids including the essential linoleic and alpha-linoleic acids
  • phytosterols including beta-sitosterol
  • carotenoids including beta carotene, zeaxanthin, lutein, lycopene and cryptoxanthin
  • many phenolic compounds

1 ounce or 28 grams of goji berries provide :

  • 140% of the daily requirement of vitamin A
  • 20% of the daily requirement of vitamin C
  • 4% of the daily requirement of calcium
  • 10% of the daily requirement of iron
  • 12% fibre
  • 8% protein

Health benefits Of Goji Berries

Some of the health benefits of goji berries are:

  • Consumption of goji berries improves the general feeling of well being, the neurological & psychological performance and the gastrointestinal function.
  • The phytochemicals like polysaccharides, zeaxanthin, lutein and beta carotene offer antioxidant protection, stimulate the immune system, stabilize the blood glucose levels, reduce colon cancer risk, maintain the health of the colon lining, lower the pH of the digestive tract and increase mineral absorption, protect the vision against macular degeneration and cataract etc.
  • Supports cardiovascular health by preventing lipid peroxidation.
  • Reduces weight, cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and lower blood pressure.
  • Protects the DNA from damage and counteracts ageing.
  • Improves fertility in men as it prevents damage to the DNA of the testicular cells.
  • Has healthy effects on the brain and because of its neuroprotective effects against the toxic effects of beta-amyloid protein in Alzheimer's disease.
  • Increase the effect of cancer treatment drugs. and inhibits the growth of cancer and leukaemia cells.
  • Has liver-protecting effects.
  • Increases libido by raising the testosterone levels.

Some Side Effects Of Goji Berries

There is supposedly some interaction of the herb with certain drugs like those taken for thinning of the blood, and drugs taken for diabetes and blood pressure.

Those having an allergy to pollen should avoid these berries as it may cause breathing difficulty, nausea, dizziness etc.

Eaten in moderation goji berries appear safe.

Disclaimer

The information provided in this hub is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult your physician, or healthcare provider before taking any home remedies, supplements or starting a new health regime.


References

  • http://www.lesliebeck.com/ingredients/goji-berries
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goji
  • http://www.webmd.com/balance/goji-berries-health-benefits-and-side-effects
  • http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100330102835.htm
  • http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18447631
  • http://www.gojitrees.com/RichNatureCerts/Research%20and%20References%20on%20Goji%20Science.pdf
  • http://www.naturalnews.com/022924_berries_goji_foods.html


Some Of My Other Hubs On Healthy Foods

Before and After Taking Goji berry Juice

Chocolate Peanut Butter Goji Berry Fudge Recipe

How to Make hot tea with goji

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2013 Rajan Singh Jolly

Comments

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on July 24, 2013:

@Indian Chef-thanks for the read and sharing.

@Devika-thanks.

@moonlake-glad to provide you with this info. Thanks for stopping by.

moonlake from America on July 23, 2013:

Did not know about this berry but I do now. You always have so much good information on your hubs. Voted up and more.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on July 17, 2013:

A well researched hub on this topic and a lovely photo added an informative, and useful hub with many interesting facts. Sounds a beneficial fruit. Voted up!

Indian Chef from New Delhi India on July 16, 2013:

Very informative hub. I have never heard about it before so thanks for sharing it. voting up , awesome, interesting and sharing.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on July 15, 2013:

@Riveira Rose-thanks for the comments and visit.

@My Cook Book-thanks for the votes and sharing.

Dil Vil from India on July 12, 2013:

Absolutely informative and highly useful article. Quite interesting, i have learnt good info from your hub. Thank you. Voted UP, interesting and Shared!

Riviera Rose from South of France on July 12, 2013:

What a fantastic overview - I've been adding goji berries to my daily muesli for a while now, and even have two young plants. No berries as yet, though, I imagine it'll take a couple of years. But there I was feeling so virtuous about all this, and that peanut butter goji berry fudge recipe looks positively sinful!! Voted up and interesting.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on July 11, 2013:

Aurelio, glad you like the recipe and the info here. Thanks.

Aurelio Locsin from Orange County, CA on July 11, 2013:

I thought this was just going to be another delicious fruit but your video on using goji berries with peanut butter by fudge really got my interest because I love peanut butter and fudge. I wonder if they have this fruit at the local farmers' market here in Southern California. Voting this Up and Useful.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on July 08, 2013:

Thanks for stopping by and appreciate the sharing, healthylife.

healthylife2 on July 08, 2013:

Excellent article on the benefits of goji berries. I knew they were healthy but wasn't aware of the specific benefits. I will have to try adding them to my smoothie although I hope it doesn't create a sour taste. Voted up and shared!

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on July 08, 2013:

@Suzie, thanks for appreciating and showering all the votes and sharing.

@Joe, thanks and I am glad you found what you were looking for. Appreciate the visit and comments, my friend. Aloha!

@MsDora, thanks for stopping by.

@Peggy, thanks for sparing time to read and leave comments. appreciate the sharing and pinning.

@Bill, you can always make smoothies from berries and enjoy them that way if you so like. Have a wonderful week, my friend.

@Deergha, nice to see you and appreciate the votes and sharing.

@Subhas, thanks.

@DreamerMeg, glad you decided to give them one more try in a form you like, maybe a smoothie! Thanks.

@Rose, thanks for coming by.

@Kathryn, thanks for dropping in and have a wonderful week.

@ImKarn, thanks for your feedback. Sorry to learn abt your cholesterol problem. You can try other foods and I have a hub on foods that reduce high cholesterol. Maybe you'd find foods that you could try for lowering cholesterol. Thanks for passing on this information.

@Rasma, glad you like the info. Appreciate you sharing this.

Gypsy Rose Lee from Daytona Beach, Florida on July 07, 2013:

Voted up and interesting. Never heard of these berries. Wonder if they grow around here too. Something about wolf berries rings a bell. Thanks for sharing this informative hub. Passing this on.

Karen Silverman on July 07, 2013:

Hi Rajan! Great info on the goji berry - which i have heard of.

I have extremely high cholesterol even tho i'm thin and don't smoke or drink - it's 'familial' doncha know..

goji juice was recommended, but where i live - it's VERY expensive!

Sharing on, my friend..

Kathryn from Windsor, Connecticut on July 07, 2013:

I have never had these Goji berries before, although I have heard of them. Thanks for sharing this information with us, and have a wonderful Sunday!

~ Kathryn

rose-the planner from Toronto, Ontario-Canada on July 07, 2013:

Another informative article! It is amazing how many health benefits the Goji Berry has. The videos are also great! Thank you so much for sharing. (Voted Up) -Rose

DreamerMeg from Northern Ireland on July 07, 2013:

I tasted goji berries once and did not like them but having read your hub I think I will give them another chance and try them in a different form.

Subhas from New Delhi, India on July 07, 2013:

Hi Rajan! Very nice to know about this wonder fruit with loads of medicinal benefits.

deergha from ...... a place beyond now and beyond here !!! on July 07, 2013:

Very informative and useful hub as always. I never knew about this berries. Thank you for this one. Shared and votes up interesting and useful.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on July 07, 2013:

If it's a berry then my Bev would love it. I'm not much for berries unless they are in a smoothie....I love the berry flavor but not the texture when eating them whole.

Anyway, excellent job as always my friend.

Blessings and have a wonderful week ahead.

bill

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on July 07, 2013:

Hi Rajan,

I have heard of goji berries but have never tried them. Will have to get some and taste them after reading this descriptive hub of yours. Up, useful and interesting votes. Sharing and Pinning.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on July 07, 2013:

Really a superfood based on the weight to nutrient ration. Thanks so much for doing the research.

Hawaiian Odysseus from Southeast Washington state on July 07, 2013:

Hi, Rajan!

Great article jam-packed with interesting information! I was curious about the numbers in paragraph 4. Thank you for sharing, my friend! Aloha!

Joe

Suzanne Ridgeway from Dublin, Ireland on July 07, 2013:

Hi Rajan,

How interesting and while I have heard of Goji berries, I have never tasted them, seen them (to my knowledge) or knew anything about them.

What a super healthy fruit to be able to avail of with all it's health benefits!

I love the alternative name Western snowberries. it sounds so wintery and exotic. Thanks Rajan for a really thorough insight into this vine that is another wonderful addition to your niche!

Voted up, Useful, Awesome, Interesting, Shared and Pinned!

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