Goji berries are small, often dried, red fruits. Originally from China, they gained worldwide popularity thanks to advertising campaigns that sold them as a panacea. While these delicious berries are not actually magical, they are particularly nutritious and healthy.
Goji berries contribute to slowing the ageing process strengthen our immune system. They can also regulate blood glucose (glycaemia) levels and improve both eye and skin health. Do you want to know more about goji berries? We've designed this guide to give you all the information you need before you add them to your diet.
- 1 Weekly newsletter with the best personal finance tips
- 2 Key Facts
- 3 Our selection: The best goji berry supplements in the market
- 4 Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about goji berries
- 4.1 What are goji berries exactly?
- 4.2 What do goji berries taste like?
- 4.3 What nutrients are found in goji berries?
- 4.4 What are the health properties of these berries?
- 4.5 What is the recommended daily dose of goji berries?
- 4.6 Why is it important to buy organic goji berries?
- 4.7 Do goji berries prevent ageing?
- 4.8 Are these fruits recommended for diabetic individuals?
- 4.9 Are goji berries beneficial for the skin?
- 4.10 Why do goji berries protect eyesight?
- 4.11 Do goji berry supplements help regulating intestinal function?
- 4.12 Do Goji berries increase our defences?
- 4.13 Can goji berries help me lose weight?
- 4.14 Are there contraindications and side effects to eating goji berries?
- 5 What goji berry supplements are available and which one is right for me?
- 6 Shopping Criteria
- 7 Summary
- Goji berries contain carbohydrates, dietary fibre, vitamin C, provitamin A (beta-carotene, lutein), iron, zinc and potassium. Being very versatile and tasty, they are easily added to cereal bars, jams, salads, baked products and many more recipes.
- These fruits contribute to longevity and slow down ageing. Our skin's appearance and health are also directly improved and they can prevent eye diseases. Finally, they help us keep stable blood glucose levels.
- We generally eat these berries dried, but you can now also find them in supplements in the form of powder, capsules or beverages. All goji berries used for consumption must come from organic production to guarantee their safety for humans.
Our selection: The best goji berry supplements in the market
The production of this superfood has dramatically increased, in great part due to the publicity campaigns that praised the benefits of Goji berries. While certain products offer excellent quality, others leave a lot to be desired. In the following section, you'll find our top goji berry products; all meet high quality standard, and we're sure you'll find exactly what you want!
Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about goji berries
Goji berries have become one of the most controversial superfoods on the market. From misleading ads selling them as miracle cures to detractors of these fine berries, it can be hard to make up your own opinion. What you should know is that goji berries are very nutritious and can contribute to improving your health if taken responsibly.
What are goji berries exactly?
What do goji berries taste like?
What nutrients are found in goji berries?
- 330 calories
- 57 grams of carbohydrates, half of which are simple sugars
- 2 grams of fat
- 12 grams of protein
- 8 grams of fibre
- Minerals: iron, potassium, selenium, zinc, amongst others
- Vitamins: vitamin C and provitamin A (beta-carotene)
- Pigments: beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin
What are the health properties of these berries?
- They strengthen the immune system (immunostimulants)
- They protect the liver and prevent liver-related diseases (hepatoprotectors)
- They improve visual health
- They slow ageing and increase lifespan
- They help prevent cancer
- They increase energy levels (energising)
- They increase libido (sexual desire) and fertility
We want to focus on the scientifically proven benefits of goji berries, which are the following:
- They help regulate intestinal function
- They regulate blood glucose levels
- They contain multiple antioxidant compounds (substances capable of mitigating oxidative stress in the body)
- They are satiating and reduce appetite
- They support the immune system
- They promote visual health
- They contribute to having a healthy skin and prevent wrinkles and other blemishes
What is the recommended daily dose of goji berries?
Why is it important to buy organic goji berries?
The Spain-based independent organism OCU (organisation of Consumers and Users) ran tests on a total of 10 goji berry samples, all of which came back with proven contamination from pesticides, lead or cadmium. Long-term cadmium intake is associated with multiple kidney, bone and fertility problems. This is why we strongly recommend that you stick with organic goji berries.
Do goji berries prevent ageing?
Antioxidants help block free radicals, which are compounds that "oxidise" cells and cause disease and ageing.
Are these fruits recommended for diabetic individuals?
However, you should absolutely consult your doctor prior to elating goji berries if you suffer from diabetes. The effect of these berries combined with your medication may result in blood glucose levels falling below standard values. This phenomenon called hypoglycaemia leads to dizziness, trembling and sweating.
Are goji berries beneficial for the skin?
Why do goji berries protect eyesight?
Do goji berry supplements help regulating intestinal function?
Do Goji berries increase our defences?
Can goji berries help me lose weight?
Goji berry supplements won't affect body weight.
Miguel Ángel Lurueña (Doctor in Food Technology) points out that there is a risk that "these products are perceived as a way of compensating for an unhealthy diet and bad habits".
On another note, you can integrate these dried fruits into your weight-loss plan because they help control appetite. The fibre found in goji berries slows digestion and extends the feeling of satiety, which lowers your appetite and makes you eat less.
Are there contraindications and side effects to eating goji berries?
Regarding contraindications, here are the groups who should refrain from consuming goji berries:
- Children, pregnant and lactating women, as no studies currently guarantee that their consumption is safe during these biological stages. Children may occasionally eat dried goji berries.
- Individuals on warfarin, acenocoumarol, or other anticoagulant medication, as goji berries can interact with these medicines. There is a risk of haemorrhage.
- Individuals with a tendency to suffer from hypoglycaemia.
- Individuals suffering from chronic diseases (hepatic, renal, hormonal or cardiac) or taking permanent medication should check with their doctor before taking such supplements.
- Individuals with allergies to certain foods (tomato, peach skin, peanut, nut), pollen or mites may have a cross-allergic reaction after eating these fruits. This group may suffer from hives, itching or tearing. These people should NOT consume goji berries or any product containing them.
What goji berry supplements are available and which one is right for me?
You should know exactly what results you're looking for in order to find the appropriate supplement for you. The good news is that there are now so many products out there that finding the one that fits your needs, tastes and budget is always possible. The numerous brands on the market sell goji berries in the following forms:
- Whole and dried fruits
Whole and dried goji berries
This is obviously the most natural way to eat goji berries. As we've mentioned before, only water content is removed when the fruits are dried, and they retain all the original nutrients. They are rich in carbohydrates, fibre, vitamins and minerals. You can eat them alone or in jams, muffins, pancakes, salads, cereal bars and smoothies.
Whole berries will add delicious flavour to your diet as they are sweet and refreshing. Individuals suffering from constipation and looking to regulate their intestinal function will be particularly fond of them. Their satiating properties will calm your appetite for hours, which can help in reducing snacking. Diabetic people will appreciate their ability to lower blood glucose.
Goji berry extract capsules
These capsules contain goji berry extract, and manufacturers recommend taking 1 to 3 of these per day. They are easy to swallow, which makes them ideal when you're travelling. Their neutral taste can be an advantage for certain people. They are most recommended for individuals looking to slow the ageing process, take care of their skin and prevent eye conditions.
Most manufacturers of these supplements now use hydroxypropylmethylcellulose – a plant material – to make the capsules, which means that vegans can also take them. That being said, we suggest always checking the label for ingredients.
Goji berry powder
Frozen dry air is used to dry the berries before reducing them into fine particles to obtain the powder. You can mix it with milk, yoghurt, milkshakes and infusions, or even in food when you're baking. Its sweet taste is mild, and its nutritional profile is actually very similar to that of whole berries.
Goji berry juices
These sweet and refreshing juices have high sugar content and are low in fibre. Avoid adding too much simple sugar to your diet by drinking a maximum of 50 millilitres per day. These products are not recommended for diabetic individuals, as they may raise blood sugar levels.
|Dried berries (1 tablespoon)||Capsules (2 units)||Powder (2 teaspoons)||Juice (50 millilitres)|
|Calories||33 calories||2 calories||15 calories||24 calories|
|Proteins||1.1 gram||0.13 grams||0.55 grams||0|
|Carbohydrates||5.7 grams||0.34 grams||2.65 grams||6 grams|
|Fibre||0.8 grams||0||0.7 grams||0|
The best goji berry supplements are made from excellent quality fruits and are completely free of additives, pesticides and heavy metals. There are a certain number of aspects that you'll need to take into account if you want to get the product that's just right for you. They are the following:
The sweet yet slightly acidic flavour of dried goji berries has made their taste a consumer favourite. They fit right in a variety of recipes and food combinations. On the other hand, juices and supplement powder have a sweeter taste. If you're looking for a neutral taste, we suggest you opt for capsules.
Dried goji berries, capsules and powder should be stored at room temperature in a dry and dark place. They're actually so easy to store that you can leave them in your car, in a bag or at the office. Once opened, goji berry juice must be kept in the refrigerator and drunk within 4 days.
Form of consumption
Capsules are easily taken with a glass of water, while whole berries and juice are both consumed on their own. You'll have to dissolve goji berry extract powder in a drink (milk, water, milkshake, vegetable-based drink), or simply slip it into your doughs or desserts for consumption.
We strongly encourage you to opt for supplements that have been tested for the absence of heavy metals and pesticides. If you cannot find such products, you should settle for certified organic goji berries. Coeliac individuals should naturally only consume gluten-free berries or supplements.
|Flavour||Sweet, somewhat acidic and refreshing||Neutral||Sweet and mild||Sweet and refreshing|
|Form of consumption||Alone or with other foods||Alone, with a glass of water||Dissolved in drinks, infusions or yogurts. Mixed with other flours||Alone, does not need to be mixed or diluted|
|Conservation||At room temperature, in a dry and dark place||In their contained, at room temperature and in a dry and dark place||At room temperature, in a dry and dark place||In the refrigerator|
As you now know from reading our article, the clear nutritional value of goji berries for our health has been scientifically proven. These supplements can therefore positively impact your body if taken regularly. While they do offer these advantages, don't forget that they are not meant to compensate for food excesses or replace a balanced diet.
We strongly encourage you to pay attention to the label of any goji berry product you want to buy, and don't let yourself be fooled by ad campaigns selling them as miracle food. While the value of goji berries is undeniable, they may be contaminated or contain harmful additives. Using these supplements to improve your health will be useless if you put yourself at risk.
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(Source of featured image: Puhha: 68361767/ 123rf.com)