Goji: a Berry of Many Virtues
Although in the West, Goji berries are a new and modern trend, the truth is that these are millenary food. In their place of origin, they’ve been used for centuries. In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about this little fruit with so many virtues.
What are Goji berries?
The scientific name of this plant is Lycium barbarum, and it’s native to China. Of the deciduous type, it can grow up to three meters high. It has spiny branches, elongated leaves, and reddish flowers. The fruit is a reddish or orange berry, which is consumed and used in traditional oriental medicine.
Goji berries offer many nutrients in their composition. Among them are amino acids, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, iron, zinc, Omega-3 and 6 acids, vitamins A, B, C and E, carbohydrates and proteins.
They can be consumed in infusions, juices, desserts or nuts. In addition, in health food stores they’re obtained in the form of capsules with extracts of the fruit.
What are the benefits of Goji berries?
Similar to cherry tomatoes by size and color, Goji berries are a product that’s marketed worldwide. However, it’s only grown in China, Tibet and in some regions of Europe. Among the main virtues of this tiny fruit we find:
1. Allow you to lose weight
For years, Goji berries have been used for their ability to reduce appetite and accelerate the fat-burning process. Therefore, it’s recommended in those people who want to lose weight, as long as it’s accompanied by a balanced diet and exercise.
2. Lengthen life
This is because the berries have a great antioxidant action, which protects us from free radicals and their attacks. On the other hand, they make us feel younger because they stimulate the production of the happiness and growth hormone (both released from the pituitary gland). This gives us a younger appearance, allows us to recover our libido and heal faster from certain diseases.
3. Improve eyesight
Goji has a high content of b-carotene -the same compound as tomatoes and carrots-. This is why this fruit has the ability to improve vision and reduce the appearance of certain eye problems, such as glaucoma.
4. Reduce cholesterol
The beta-sitosterols offered by Goji berries serve to reduce the levels of bad cholesterol in the blood. In addition, due to antioxidants, they prevent the formation of arterial plaques and allow the arteries to function normally. They also help balance blood pressure.
5. Enhance sexual function
People who suffer from sexual problems can use a treatment with Goji, considered as one of the most powerful and natural tonics that exist. These berries increase testosterone levels and libido, both in men and women.
On the other hand, they’ve also been used since ancient times as a cure for infertility. It’s one of the natural Asian methods to restore the female reproductive essence.
6. Regulate blood sugar
Some doctors recommend their diabetic patients consume Goji berries, in order to naturally regulate blood sugar levels. Also, this fruit contains betaine, which prevents typical vascular damage in people with diabetes, as well as fatty liver disease.
7. Goji berries also strengthen muscles and bones
Goji berries have the ability to increase the production of the so-called ‘growth hormone’. This hormone is responsible for many important processes, such as the repair of muscle or bone damage.
Experts recommend you consume this fruit to increase muscle mass and provide more calcium to the bones.
Do Goji berries have any contraindications? They can have adverse effects if they’re combined with some blood anticoagulants or when interacting with medications for diabetes or hypertension.
On the other hand, some people have claimed to have complications because they are allergic to pollen. In certain cases, it can cause stomach pain, diarrhea, vomiting or insomnia.
To avoid all these side effects, we recommend you consult a doctor about their consumption. Then, once you have got the permission of a health professional, use low doses and increase the amount over the weeks.