For over 2,000 years goji berries have been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to treat a variety of illnesses and to strengthen the body's natural defenses against disease and illness. Goji Berries may remind you of a red raisin, but they are much more…the goji berry is a tiny vessel of dense nutrition of antioxidant power second only to the impressive blueberry. Goji’s can be eaten by the handful, although dried gojis are pretty chewy, but they inject a super-food boost to quinoa or oatmeal, smoothies, cookies, trail mix and, of course, my Goji Berry Breakfast recipe. With all their goodness it’s not surprising that goji berries are a great source of protein. Here are a few things you may not know about the great goji.
Goji berries, aka wolfberry fruit, or scientifically speaking, Lycium barbarum, belong to the Solanaceae plant family, which is the same family that includes tomatoes, eggplants, chilis and potatoes— have been thoroughly researched in their ability in improving digestive health, sleep quality, neurological function, as well as bone and hearth health. Gojis also possess compounds that help to naturally balance blood sugars and boost the immune system.
Only ¼ cup of goji berries contain:
- 4 grams of protein
- 3 grams of fiber
- 0 grams of fat
- A scant 100 calories
- Selenium 91% DV
- Potassium 24% DV
- Vitamin A 140 % DV
- Vitamin C
- Phytochemicals, including beta-carotene, zeaxanthin, lycopene, cryptoxanthin, lutein and polysaccharides
- 18 amino acids – including the 11 essentials
- The antioxidant power is similar to blueberries & pomegranates.
Goji berry research has shown that consistent consumption may help with the following:
- Athletic endurance
- Better sleep
- Stabilized blood sugar
- Lower blood pressure
- Skin and hair
- Some Chinese studies suggest that goji berries can help fight cancer. Goji berries contain a phyto-chemicalcalled beta-sitosterol. According to the study, this chemical can help decrease the size of overgrown cells and can cause tumor cells to committ suicide.
With all of these benefits in one small berry, you can't help but wonder why you haven't tried them yet. My very favorite brands are TruVibe Organics and Sun Food.