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What Are The Health Benefits Of Goji Berries?

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Goji berries, sometimes called wolfberries, are small red berries with a mild tangy taste that is slightly sweet and sour. Considered both a fruit and an herb, they grow on an evergreen shrub found in mild climates and subtropical regions in China, Mongolia and in the Tibetan Himalayas.

Even though goji berries date back to the early days of Chinese medicine and are still widely used in Traditional Chinese Medicine, we are still learning about all the benefits and more research is needed to prove certain claims.

Still, many people around the world, including celebrities like Madonna and Miranda Kerr, swear by this tiny scrunched up fruit.

So, what are the health benefits of goji berries?

According to Rosanna Lee, health and nutrition expert based in Toronto, "Goji berries are an excellent source of antioxidants; the sky is the limit when it comes to incorporating goji berries in your diet”.

They are referred to as “super fruits” and for good reason. Goji berries have been known to help boost the immune system and protect the eyes.

Like other berries, goji berries are an excellent source of vitamin C and can reduce tough cold symptoms. They are also a good source of zeaxanthin and carotenoid lutein, which may protect your eyes from high-energy light waves such as the sun's ultraviolet rays. Studies suggest that zeaxanthin and lutein in the eyes tend to increase vision and decrease likelihood of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.

Goji berries are an excellent source of antioxidants and Vitamins B, which protect against harmful free radicals that damage cells in your body.

Goji berries are also loaded with beta-carotene, which helps promote healthy, glowing skin.

Several lab studies suggest that goji berry extracts may slow the growth of cancer cells and lower cholesterol levels. However, it is too soon to recommend goji berries in the treatment of cancer.

Lee also cautions against believing every marketing claim; some even claim goji berries are natural remedies for diabetes, hypertension, malaria or even fever. In addition to understanding that not all health claims are necessarily all true, it is good to stick to the daily serving of goji berries (10 to 30 grams), and mix them with other healthy, nutritious foods – such as other dried fruits and nuts.

Furthermore, these berries are not for everyone; for example, if you use blood thinners or take diabetic medication you may have a negative reaction eating goji berries, according to WebMD. As always, check with your doctor first.

The fact is - dried goji berries have become a popular, healthy snack, and for a good reason. They are also fat-free, low in calories, and rich in fiber — which also helps you manage weight and go to the bathroom on a regular basis.

So, if you haven’t already, begin incorporating these small berries into just about any meal or snack.

You can eat goji berries raw or soak them in hot water before munching. Add them when baking or soak them to blend in with your smoothie. Goji berries are great to add to trail mixes, cereals, salads or yogurts. Basically, after they are washed, goji berries can be baked, cooked, steamed, and processed in any way you like.

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