Exploring Goji berry: Nutrition, Benefits, Side effects and Interactions
What are Goji berries?
Goji berries, also called wolfberries, matrimony vine, and Chinese boxthorn, have risen dramatically in popularity in recent years thanks to their extraordinary health advantages and diverse nutritional makeup. Traditional Chinese medicine has long used these tiny red berries, which are Asian in origin. They have a sweet and tangy flavor comparable to cherries and cranberries. They’re primarily available in dried forms that look like raisins.
This article discusses the goji berry’s nutritional value, health advantages, culinary applications, adverse effects, safety considerations, and potential drug interactions.
Fast Facts on Goji berries
- Both Lycium barbarum and Lycium chinense produce the goji berry fruit.
- Tomatoes, potatoes, and eggplants are all Solanaceae family members, including goji berries.
Nutrition profile of Goji berries
Goji berries are extraordinarily nutrient-dense, high in vital nutrients yet low in calories. 28 grams or five tablespoons of dried goji berries contain:
- Calories – 97.7 Kcal
- Water – 2.1 g
- Protein – 4 g
- Fat – 0.11 g
- Carbohydrates – 21.6 g
- Fiber – 3.64 g 3
- Calcium – 53.2 mg
- Iron – 1.9 mg
- Sodium – 83.4 mg
- Vitamin C – 13.6 mg
- Vitamin A – 7500 IU
Goji berries have several health benefits, including:
- Antioxidant property
- Supports the immune system
- Promotes eye health
- Enhances heart health
- Prevents aging
- Improves skin health
- Regulates blood sugar
- Goji berries have gained popularity due to their widespread recognition as a superfood with excellent antioxidant and nutritional qualities.
- These antioxidants defend the body from oxidative stress, lessen inflammation, and combat free radicals linked to chronic illnesses, including cancer and heart disease.
Supports immune system
- The goji berries’ intense vitamin C concentration boosts the body’s defenses against disease and infection. ,
- The berries also contain unique polysaccharides that have been demonstrated to improve immunity.
Promotes eye health
- The antioxidants zeaxanthin and carotenoids, known to improve eye health, are abundant in goji berries.
- These substances shield the eyes from cataracts and age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
Enhances heart health
- Goji berries include antioxidants and fiber, which lower the chance of heart disease and promote heart health.
- In addition to improving blood lipid profiles and preventing LDL cholesterol oxidation, they assist in lowering blood pressure.
- Goji berries contain antioxidants that help shield the skin from free radical damage, resulting in more youthful-looking skin and a diminished appearance of wrinkles.
Regulates blood sugar levels
- According to studies, goji berries control blood sugar and insulin levels in people.
Side effects of Goji berries
Short-term consumption of goji fruit may be safe. It has been securely used for up to 4 months to consume up to 15 grams of goji fruit daily.however, in rare instances, these fruits may trigger allergic responses, which may include:
- Stuffed nose
- Stomach pain
- Slurred speech
- Trouble breathing
- Itching in the mouth
- Difficulty swallowing
- Nausea or vomiting
- Swelling of tongue, or lips
There are several ways to eat goji berries with a mildly sweet flavor. The following suggestions may help you include goji berries in your diet:
- Snack on them – Enjoy a handful of goji berries as a nutritious snack. They make for a convenient, on-the-go option.
- Smoothies and Juices – Add a handful of goji berries to your favorite smoothie or juice for an extra nutritional boost. The berries blend well with other fruits and provide a vibrant color.
- Granola Bars – To make a wonderful and energizing trail mix, combine the goji berries with seeds, nuts, and dried fruits. One can also make homemade granola bars with them for their taste and texture.
- Baked Goods – Sprinkle goji berries on top of muffins, cookies, or bread before baking for a delightful twist.
While goji berries are generally safe for consumption, it’s essential to exercise caution and be aware of potential side effects :
- Allergies – Goji berries may cause allergic responses in certain people. If you are allergic to other berries, you should see a doctor before eating goji berries.
- Digestive Issues – Some people may have stomach distress or diarrhea after consuming a lot of goji berries. It is advised to begin with tiny doses and assess body’s reaction before increasing consumption.
- Pregnancy and Breastfeeding – There isn’t much information on goji berries’ safety during pregnancy and breast-feeding. It is important to talk to a doctor before putting them in your diet.
- Bleeding problems – goji berry can prevent blood clots and should not be taken in patients with bleeding disorders or those preparing to undergo surgery in a few days.
Goji berries may interact with the following medications:
- Blood Thinners – medicines like warfarin are given to prevent blood clots, and when taken along with goji berries, they may interact and cause abnormal bleeding.
- Diabetes Medication – Goji berries may also have a blood sugar-lowering effect and may interact with diabetes medication. This interaction can cause hypoglycemia in diabetic patients.
To ensure there are no negative effects from any medications you take, check with your doctor.
Goji berries are a nutrient-dense superfood that offer a variety of health benefits and culinary options. They can be a tasty and healthy addition to your diet, whether consumed as a snack, added to smoothies, or used in baked goods. Nevertheless, being aware of possible side effects, precautions, and drug interactions is critical. As with any dietary change or supplement, it is advisable to consult a healthcare professional before including goji berries into your regimen. So go ahead and enjoy Goji berries’ sweetness and take advantage of its health advantages.