Goji Berry Series - Goji Berry and Antioxidants
Goji Berries have been used in traditional Chinese medicines for centuries, and they are full of all sorts of vitamins, minerals and nutrients needed to have a healthy body. Because of this, they’re known as a superfood. They’re rich in antioxidants which are integral to the removal of free radicals in our bodies.
What is an antioxidant?
Antioxidants remove free radicals in our bodies, which is great, but it’s probably worth mentioning what free radicals are. Free radicals are compounds that can bind to, and ultimately damage cells in our bodies. Free radicals are those compounds which are generally linked to the development of cancer.
While certain external activities or factors can lead to the production of free radicals, many of them come from normal metabolism in the body. Therefore, there is not much we can do to prevent them from entering our systems. That’s why we need to boost our intake of antioxidants.
Antioxidants are found in the foods we eat, and goji berries are full of them. Antioxidants work by interfering with the mechanisms that can cause cell damage. They bind to the free radicals, reducing their ability to bind to other cells or molecules and damage them. Therefore, they hugely important to our bodies as a whole.
Goji berry antioxidants
Goji berries are rich in a number of vitamins and minerals which act as antioxidants, such as Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Selenium. These are some of the most common antioxidants, and they are all found, in high quantities in goji berries.
Antioxidants are measured using an ORAC score, an oxygen radical absorbance capacity. It was developed by the National Institute on Aging at the National Institute of Health in the USA.1 This scale is applied to foods rich in antioxidants and goji berries rate highly on it, compared to other fruits commonly found in our diets.
The goji berry has an ORAC score of 4,310, while an apple has a score of 2,568 and raisins have a score of 3,406. Compared to blueberries, goji berries do score lower, as blueberries have a score of 4,633 and pomegranate seeds score 4,479. However, goji berries are also rich in amino acids and fatty acids. In fact, the goji berry contains 18 different amino acids, none of which can be produced naturally in our bodies.2
Goji berries, antioxidants and skincare
Goji berries are often used in skincare products, as they have a fantastic effect on our skin. This is because they contain high levels of beta-carotene, which is found in goji berries. Beta-carotene is a precursor to Vitamin A, an antioxidant and is known to reduce UV damage to skin. Similarly, the antioxidants found in goji berries remove free radicals from the skin, adding to its health.3
Skin damage is caused by cell damage from free radicals, UV light and inflammation. All of these could be reduced with increased intake of antioxidants, which can reduce inflammation and the damage caused by free radicals. Vitamins A and C are very important for healthy skin and are both present, in high amounts, in goji berries.
Most skin damage is caused by UV light, and by eating goji berries, the beta-carotene present will work to minimise the damage caused. The berries also provide added photoprotection from the UV rays.
Goji berries, antioxidants and eyecare
Our eyes are how we navigate around the world, they’re integral to everything we do and we sometimes neglect to take care of them. Spending hours in front of a screen, without taking a break, artificial lighting, smartphones. All these things can take a toll on our eyes and put them under pressure.
Goji berries are a wonderful food to eat to improve or reduce damage to our eyes and are a natural treatment for macular degeneration. Macular degeneration is a cause of vision loss or change and most commonly affects people who are over 60.4 While sight loss is irreversible, you could reduce your chance of developing it by consuming vitamins and minerals that are known to boost eye health.
One particular antioxidant found in goji berries, zeaxanthin, is hugely beneficial for vision. This is because zeaxanthin is one of only two antioxidants that are found in the macula of the eye. It’s important that we have a high level of antioxidants in our eyes because many eye problems are the result of oxidative stress.5
Supplements to boost antioxidants, skin health and eye health
Now that we know what antioxidants are, we know how important they are to ensuring our bodies are as healthy as can be. However, most antioxidants need to enter our bodies through the food we eat, as we produce free radicals naturally, but not all essential vitamins and minerals.
However, there are supplements available to boost our antioxidants, including a specially formulated antioxidant booster. Our Antioxidant Boost tablets are full of Vitamins A, C and E, and the mineral Selenium. These are all the main antioxidants we need to consume to ensure we have a high level of them in our systems.
Lutein, along with zeaxanthin, is an amino-acid that’s important in the promotion of healthy vision and eyes. Unlike zeaxanthin, it’s not present in the goji berry, but can be found in Vision Care supplements. These are great for increasing the amount of vitamins and minerals that are specifically beneficial to our eye health.
There have been supplements intended to improve the health of our Skin, Hair and Nails for years, and we have specifically designed ours to be full of all the antioxidants, vitamins and minerals needed. Of course, the best way to get the vitamins and minerals you need is through your diet, but this isn’t always possible, so supplements are available.
There is a reason that Goji Berries are found everywhere! They are full of (almost) everything we need to ensure our immune systems, eyes and skin are healthy! They have so many vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and interactions that most other foods pale in comparison. Sprinkle some dried goji berries on your breakfast in the morning and see how you feel.