Are goji berries a superfood? They are the most nutritionally dense fruit on Earth so that sounds pretty amazing! The health benefits of goji berries are numerous and probably exceedingly more than that decadent chocolate pie you’d rather be eating but hey, life is all about balance.
Learn more about superfoods in this series. I mention in this introduction to superfoods series that I don’t keep goji berries in my pantry.
A while back, I had one of the currently popular açaí bowls and it had goji berries on top. I crunched down on one and well, my tooth cracked which led to A LOT of pain and a crown. Now, most likely the goji berry was ‘the last straw’ for this tooth and really anything semi hard would have caused it to crack, but you know how you make those associations… Let’s see how ‘super’ this food is and maybe I’ll have another go at it.
Goji berries (Lycium barbarum), also referred to as the wolfberry, are cousins to the tomato and native to China. Goji berries have been used in traditional Chinese medicine for more than 2000 years.
Health Benefits of Goji Berries
Goji Berry Nutrition Facts
A single serving (3 Tbsp (30g)) contains:
0g of total fat
4g dietary fiber (14% of recommended daily intake)
180% of your Vitamin A recommended daily intake
Why Are Goji Berries a Superfood?
These little berries pack a powerful punch including the following super powers:
Healthy Fats – Alpha Linolenic Acid which is an essential Omega 3 fatty acid (great for your brain), Linoleic Acid is an essential Omega 6 fatty acid.
Vitamins and Minerals – goji berries provide us with:
- Vitamin A – needed for healthy skin and mucus membranes as well as to support a healthy immune system and good eye health
- Vitamin C – needed for the body to form collagen, repair and maintain cartilage, to heal wounds and form scar tissue, helps strengthen the immune system
- Calcium – needed for bone, muscle, and nerve development
- Iron – helps in transporting oxygen through the body, kinda important
- Zinc – our immune systems needs zinc for cell division, cell growth, wound healing, and the breakdown of carbohydrates
- Potassium – helps regulate fluid balance, muscle contractions and nerve signals
Protein – 1 serving (3 tbsp) has 4g of protein which makes it the most protein rich fruit available.
Fiber – 1 serving (3 tbsp) of goji berries contain 14% (4g) of your recommended dietary fiber intake that can help keep you fuller long and help with digestion and constipation.
What are Goji Berries Good For?
*I am not a medical professional nor claim to be one. I cannot guarantee that goji berries help with these conditions. Please consult a medical professional to determine if these are right for you.*
As I already shared, goji berries are full of various vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. All this goodness may help with the following medical conditions:
- blood pressure
- macular degeneration
- alleviate menstrual cramps
- enhance fertility
- increase sperm count
Macular degeneration runs in my family so I was super jazzed to find out that goji berries contain lutein and zeaxanthin (both important antioxidants), that defend the body against UV damage and free radicals. The new goji berry slogan should be ‘eat goji berries for amazing eye health’!
Goji berries also contain beta-carotene which you’re probably familiar with it in carrots. Isn’t there a theory that eating carrots helps your vision? Beta-carotene is a precursor to Vitamin A, our bodies convert beta-carotene to Vitamin A. Vitamin A is good for supporting eye health so I guess that makes the theory true.
Y’all know I don’t do science. For more information on medical benefits, I find Dr. Axe’s website to be extremely informational however, I would encourage you to consult your medical professional to determine what is right for your specific condition and circumstances.
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Any purchase you make by clicking these links will earn me a small commission but will not cost you anything extra. Please see my Disclosure page for more details.
Where Can I Buy Goji Berries?
You can find goji berries at many supermarkets, health food stores and even stores like Target. I like and have used the Navitas brand for several years, for all these ‘superfoods’.
Conveniently, you can also buy them right here right now on Amazon so you don’t even have to leave your chair.
How to Consume Goji Berries
Goji berries can be consumed as is, dried, or in powder form or as a juice. Now that I have learned all this awesome information and since macular degeneration runs in my family, I think I’m going to have to put on my big girl pants and incorporate them into my diet. You can soak the dried berries in water for a bit to soften them up, maybe I’ll try that.
I can foresee incorporating the powder and berries onto/into:
- smoothie bowls
- granola bars
- energy bites
Energy bites are all the rage and super easy to make. You can really add a variety of different seeds and dried fruit to them so long as you have some oats, nut butter and a sweetener, you’re good to go.
You may remember this recipe from my Hemp Seeds post. My friend Jessica at Scratch Mommy has this awesome brownie bite recipe.
From everything I’ve read, consuming these little red berries are full of all the good stuff (antioxidants, trace minerals, and amino acids) to make your skin, eyes, hair, and so on super happy.
Goji Berries with a Side of Caution
If you are taking blood thinning medications or have high or low blood pressure, definitely consult your doctor before consuming these little berries.
If you have an allergy to berries, go slow just to be sure they don’t do more harm than good.
Just like all dried fruit, they contain sugar so watch your portions.
Do you include goji berries in your diet?
Do you have some in the pantry? Comment below and let me know how you incorporate them into your diet and if you haven’t yet tried them, which of these recipes will you try first?
Make it a green day!