Go, Go, Goji Power! 5 Goji Berry Health Benefits to Snack On

Ponce de León may never have found the fountain of youth, but had he discovered goji berries, he may have stopped looking.

Highly concentrated with phytonutrients that promote cellular maintenance, goji berries were consumed daily by the Chinese herbalist Li Ching-Yuen, believed to be the oldest man ever to live in modern times.

Though records vary, it is believed that he was at least 197 when he died. 

What are Goji Berries?

the best goji berry health benefits

Goji (Lycium barbarum) is an evergreen shrub that produces the bright red, tomato-colored berries that are known as a superfood.

Goji berries, also known as wolfberries or the happy fruit, have a tart, cranberry-like taste which is perfect in fruit and veggie smoothies as well as atop salads or cereal. 

Of course, they’re delicious just on their own, as well. But their yumminess isn’t the only thing they’ve got going for them – they’re not known as a superfood for nothing!

Goji Berry Health Benefits: Go, Go, Goji Power!

So what’s so awesome about goji berries? Let us count the ways…​

1. Goji Berries are Crazy High in Antioxidants

The ORAC (oxygen radical absorbance capacity scale) value of wildcrafted Tibetan goji berries is one of the highest of any foods at 36,000 with only spices ranked higher.

This is due to the many antioxidants found in the plant including carotenoids, polyphenols and polysaccharides.

goji berry health benefits

Zeaxanthin, a carotenoid in goji berries, helps protect the eye, maintaining the health of your retina and helping to prevent cellular damage that causes age-related ocular diseases.

2. Goji Berries Fight Inflammation, Protecting You From Various Diseases 

top goji berries benefits

Studies of goji berries have found that consumption of goji berries elevates blood levels of zeaxanthin.

A 2012 study of the berries published in Food and Function found that one of the most notable goji berry benefits was that these little berries help to reduce inflammation through the plant compound beta-sitosterol.

This healthful compound also prevents build-up in blood vessels – both the reduced inflammation and the limited build-up in your blood vessels help to lower your risk of cancer.

Since cancer cells require a blood supply to grow, inhibiting vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) by eating goji berries can be key to prevent tumor growth in your body.

3. Goji Berries Contain All Essential Amino Acids

Just one ounce of goji berries contains four grams of protein and 1.4 grams of fat.

The fatty acids in the berries are the essential omega-3’s and omega-6’s that are required for hormone production, cardiovascular health and cognitive function.

the health benefits of goji berries

To help promote muscle growth, increase energy and regulate blood-sugar levels, goji berries contain 18 amino acids that are the building blocks of protein, including all eight of the essential ones that your body cannot manufacture on its own.

4. Goji Berries Pack a Mean Vitamin Punch

Goji berries are high in vitamins as well. With a one ounce serving containing 170 percent of your RDI of vitamin A, they are a great source of beta-carotene. They also have 500 times more vitamin C ounce-per-ounce than oranges as well as several B vitamins and vitamin E.

Trace minerals such as calcium, copper, iron, selenium and zinc are also included in the superfruit. These contribute to skeletal health via bone formation as well as overall health and immune function.

5. Goji Berries Carry Unique Health Protective Benefits

There are many plant compounds found in goji berries that contribute toward protecting against specific ailments.

For instance, solavetivone is a potent antibacterial and antifungal that protects against colds and the flu.

A precursor to choline, betaine is converted in the liver and used by the nervous system to help calm nerves and improve memory. It is also helpful in protecting against fatty liver disease.

Lycium barbarum polysaccharides which help boost immune function are also found in goji berries.

Research has shown that goji berries are also awesome for:

  • Increasing energy
  • Immune support
  • Protecting against oxidative damage
  • Slowing the aging process

​Where to Buy Goji Berries?

There are a million and one companies that sell goji berries. So how do you pick the best ones?

Well, the one most important thing to keep in mind is that commercial cultivation of goji berries typically uses a lot of organochlorine pesticides to keep insects away from the plants.

The FDA have detected high levels of insecticide and fungicide residues in the conventionally grown goji berries so this is one superfood we absolutely recommend you buy organic. ​After all, what’s the point in consuming these nutrient-dense berries if you’re going to get a whopping load of toxins at the same time, right?

Organic goji berries are not only free of harmful pesticides and other chemical toxins, but they’re also quite affordable. ​

where to buy goji berries

Viva Labs’ goji berries are our top pick – they’re top quality Himalayan berries that are certified organic, non-GMO, raw goji, non-irradiated, sustainably grown and sourced in accordance with fair trade practices.

They’re also the best-tasting goji berries we’ve ever had :)​

where to buy the best goji berries

TruVibe’s pretty new to the market, but their goji berries are legit – large, juicy and delicious.

They’re also certified organic, GMO-free, come with a 30-day money-back guarantee and they donate 1% of all sales (not profits) to support the environment. 

Where Do I Do Goji Berries?

If you are ready to give goji berries a try, here are some delicious ways in addition to smoothies that I have discovered to consume them:

  • To maximize nutrients, eat them raw. Just a handful daily will help bridge nutritional gaps between your recommended intake and what you actually consume. If you can’t find them raw, try planting your own berry bush. They grow in many places across the US.
  • Try them dried if you can’t find them raw. While not quite as nutritious as raw berries, they still pack a powerful nutrition punch. They go great in a trail mix or homemade energy bars with some almonds and hemp seeds (YUM!).
  • Juice the berries for a flavorful treat. You can add the juice to water for an easy flavored water with no added sugar or drink just the juice for easy nutrient absorption. I cut them in half and add them to my water bottle with a built-in infuser for an added kick to my water and find the sweet and tangy berries so refreshing! The rich color of the freshly juiced berries is beautiful as well.

About the Author Jessica

After growing up a perpetually pudgy kid, Jessica discovered real food - and her waistline shortly afterward. When she's not crafting concoctions in the kitchen, she spends her free time writing about food, making her own deodorant, watching sci-fi, doing headstands, and looking for gluten free food that doesn't suck.

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