Goji Berry Series- An Introduction to Goji Berries
You can’t walk into a health food shop without seeing goji berries. They’re included in a huge range of foods, supplements, teas and more. This is because they have so many different benefits that a lot of us might never have known about.
We’re going to run a series on the goji berry, discussing the many active ingredients and benefits of adding it to our diets.
What is a goji berry?
Also known as a wolfberry, the goji berry is a fruit of either Lycium barbarum or Lycium chinense. These two are closely related members of the nightshade family and both are native to Asia. For thousands of years, this berry has been used in traditional Chinese medicine and has recently gained popularity in the western world.
Vitamins and Minerals in Goji Berries
Goji berries are called superfoods because they are full of vitamins and minerals, including:
- Vitamin c
- Vitamin A
Vitamin C, also known as Ascorbic Acid is a water-soluble vitamin that’s essential for the production of collagen, which is what’s found in our bones, teeth and connective tissue. As it is water soluble, our bodies don’t store it, so we need to consume higher quantities of it. Vitamin A is also necessary for healthy bones, tissue and skin.
Fibre is found in a number of the foods we consume, and it’s necessary to ensure we have a healthy, functioning digestive system.
Iron and zinc are both huge immune system boosters and have an impact on our energy and metabolism. Iron is especially important for our health and it produces red blood cells which are responsible for transporting oxygen throughout our bodies.
Many foods are rich in antioxidants which help to remove free radicals from our systems, which are essentially waste products that are produced in our bodies. Removing these free radicals has a huge impact on our health.
Betaine in goji berries
Along with the above vitamins and minerals, goji berries contain betaine, which lowers homocysteine levels. Homocysteine is an amino acid, and high levels of it have been connected with blood clots and strokes.2 Reducing homocysteine is therefore, very important.
Betaine is also an amino acid, but is beneficial in reducing homocysteine levels and improving cardiovascular health, and it is found in goji berries among other plants.
Health benefits of goji berries
Goji berries are so full of vitamins, minerals and amino acids that their role in our health is not one to be ignored. All the vitamins and minerals it contains each have very important roles in our bodies for our immune system, bones, tissues, cardiovascular and digestive systems.
The berry contains many of the most commonly sought-after vitamin and mineral supplements. However, each and every one of the vitamins and minerals in the goji berry is natural and not synthetically-produced.
Traditional Asian medicine has been incorporating the goji berry into its treatments for millennia. In western culture, it’s slowly been growing in popularity as a superfood, and for good reason: it’s so full of many of the essential vitamins and minerals we need.
In our series on the goji berry, we’ll discuss the benefits of the berry in detail, and give you all the information you need about this tiny but mighty food.