Organic Goji Berries: Superfood or super-elude?
nic Goji Berries: Superfood or super-elude?
Goji berries were once a traditional medicine used by the ancient Chinese, with their medicine books traditionally paying close attention to the healing properties of Lycium Barbarum.
Goji’s were used to manage various health disorders such as diabetes, high blood pressure, fever, eye related problems and fatigue associated with living in high altitudes.
The medicinal books focus on various health benefits provided by the Goji, from alleged longer lifespans to strengthening muscles and tendons.
The Goji Berry is now the leader of a new and popular category of fruits known as “Superfruits”. But, what are the proven health benefits that we can confirm?
The red colour found in goji berries are natural anti-oxidants, known to help protect the protect the body against oxidative damage. There are many benefits of antioxidants such as helping with heart problems, eye problems, memory problems, mood disorders and helping strengthen the immune system.
In addition, Goji berries contain complex starches known as “Lycium barbarum polysaccharides”, which may benefit the immune function, and may reduce fatigue associated with living at high altitude.
Goji Berries are known for their compounds which are rich in Vitamin A, and these may also offer health benefits. Vitamin A and its derivatives may aid protection against skin damage, help improve vision in the dark, while also benefitting the immune system.
Some research suggests that Goji Berry extracts can help improve moods, also protecting against age related diseases such as Alzheimer’s, but there is no solid medical evidence to support and strengthen these claims.
In an overall summary, Goji Berries offer a rich source of antioxidants, with preliminary research showing potential health benefits when taken in their standardised form – but there is still speculation as to how many benefits the Goji truly has.
Do Goji Berries have any side effects?
Goji Berries do not have any serious side effects if eaten in moderation, while using the correct intake. If simply eating Goji Berries with no other added ingredients, the daily serving size is 5 level tablespoons.
There are also herb-drug interactions with goji berries. If you take warfarin (a blood thinner) you should avoid Goji Berries. Goji Berries may also interact with diabetes and blood pressure drugs, so be sure to check with your local pharmacist about possible interactions.
If you have pollen allergies you may want to steer clear, as case reports have linked Goji Berries consumption with skin photosensitivity, causing a skin rash on exposure to sunlight. They are also naturally rich in oxalate which may be a health issue with kidney problems.