The health benefits of goji berry are quite extensive. Goji berries are by far one of the top superfoods on the planet and according to researchers like David Wolfe are perhaps the most nutritionally rich berry-fruit (1). The scientifically verified nutrient density and medicinal qualities of this food are a testament to the truth of superfoods: they are both a food and a medicine.
I have been eating goji regularly for many years and am continually amazed at the power of this small red fruit. As can be seen from the picture above, they shine with a magnificent radiance.
What do Goji Berries Look and Taste Like?
The goji berry grows on a bush that has vine like qualities and can produce hundreds of berries on each bush. These prolific berries are now grown throughout Asia and the Americas.
Goji have a wonderful unique flavor and can be used in many different ways such as on their own, or with smoothies, teas, desserts, soups, and salads. My personal favorite is to soak goji overnight and then mix the goji water with lemon juice and a small amount of agave. Wow! This is a nutritious and delicious way to start the morning or to stay hydrated during the day.
Health Benefits of Goji Berry
Many nutritionists say that consuming one small handful of goji a day is sufficient to maximize their nutritional and health generating properties.
Please be aware that the benefits of goji berries are not always the same. When purchasing goji look for ones that are organic and grown in nutrient rich soils. Non-organic goji and/or those that are grown in nutrient deficient soils do not have the same health generating or nutritional potency.
Note: Due to the variance in nutrient content and health properties in the research on the benefits of goji berry plants, because of differences in the quality of berries studied, I have decided to only offer data that was across the board in the scientific studies that have been done.
- Complete protein source
- 18 amino acids
- Contains the essential amino acid Tryptophan, which is a biochemical precursor to serotonin
2. Vitamins (rich in the following):
- Beta Carotene, the precursor to Vitamin A
- B1, B2, B6
- Contain on average 21 trace minerals
- Great source for Iron, Selenium, and Germanium
- Longevity has been associated as one of the benefits of goji berry plants due to the presence of sesquiterpenoids that stimulate the pituitary gland to release more Human Growth Hormone (HGH) (1). As one ages the levels of HGH released into the body decreases, thus it is theorized that by increasing levels of HGH we can experience longevity (2).
- As a natural health proponent I want to make it clear that I do not recommend synthetic HGH therapy, which does not have sound science to back up the claims of therapeutic effects. As always, I recommend natural (not synthetic) forms of healing and nutrition.
2. Reducing free-radical damage:
- Goji berry seeds and fruit are continually shown to have extremely high levels of antioxidants. Antioxidants are chemical compounds that lend an electron to unstable atoms that have lost an electron, thus stabilizing these atoms and stopping them from creating a chain reaction of electron stealing. Therefore, one of major benefits of goji berry plants is the stabilization of the foundational structure of the body.
- In order to live a healthy long life we must support our cells from damage. One of the major ways that cells can become damaged is from free-radicals disrupting the atomic structure within them, leading to degenerative break down. Goji and other rich sources of antioxidants such as cacao, chaga mushroom, acai berries, and bee pollen can help remedy this situation.
- According to dictionary.com an adaptogen is defined as, “any of various natural substances that work through the adrenal glands to produce adjustments in the body to combat stress and increase resistance to stress, and which usually produce no side effects.” (3)
- Chinese and western herbalists have classified goji as an adaptogen.
4. What the superfood experts say:
- According to superfood proponent and researcher David Wolfe, goji berry can also improve vision, enhance immune system functioning, increase libido, keep the organs vital, and offer brain, neurological, and cardiovascular support (4).
- According to holistic medical doctor Gabriel Cousens, goji have been shown to increase white blood cells, protect liver functioning, lower cholesterol, relieve hyper-tension, build muscle tissue, and burn body fat (5).
Our journey on the road of healthy living can be greatly enhanced by consuming, growing, and experiencing the goji berry. This amazing superfood is so nutritious that a human could live for a considerable amount of time just on this food alone. By the way, rabbits, birds, and deer also love to snack on goji!
It has high quality proteins, fats, and carbohydrates, an astounding array or vitamins and minerals, and offers various adaptogenic qualities to keep us strong and vital amidst fluctuating environmental circumstances.
You too can experience the profound health benefits of goji berry by adding this superfood into your current diet.
1. Wolfe, David. Superfoods: The Food and Medicine of the Future. pg. 21
3. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/adaptogen?qsrc=2446 Retrieved on June.7, 2009
4. Ibid. pgs. 22-25
5. Cousens, Gabriel. Rainbow Green Live Food Cuisine. pg. 147