Goji berries: small berries with a big impact?

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The goji berry is known as a fruit for health and well-being. Just two centimeters long, elongated with coral color and a fruity-tart taste Goji berries are a part of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Also in this country, the fruit is very popular. No wonder, because goji berries contain valuable vitamins and vital substances.

Use of goji berries

Most popular are the fruits of the common buckthorn, especially in them rich active ingredients which should contribute to the promotion of health. The berries can be eaten fresh and raw after picking.

However, to ensure that all the valuable active ingredients in the goji berries are maintained in the long term, they are put on the sun for gentle drying after harvesting. The dried berries find their use then, for example, in soups, muesli or in sauces and jams. But they can also be processed into tea or juices.

But not only the fruits of the common buckthorn are processed in food, but also the leaves, roots, bark and seeds.

Goji berries to strengthen the body's defenses

Goji berries persuade some scientists and nutrition experts mainly because they have a high level of various valuable ingredients. So is a unique group bioactive molecules, the Lycium Barabrum saccharides being researched in Goji berries.

Furthermore, goji berries are characterized by high levels of vitamin C, vitamins B1 and B2 as well as vitamin E.

Healthy ingredients in goji berries

The following ingredients were also detected in goji berries:

  • 19 amino acids
  • 21 trace elements
  • essential fatty acids
  • iron
  • copper
  • magnesium
  • Beta-sisterol
  • Cyperone
  • Betaine
  • polysaccharides

Anti-aging effect through antioxidants

Due to the many different ingredients, the effect of goji berries should be versatile. So they are appreciated in addition to the promotion of health, especially in cosmetics for anti-aging. Because the goji berry should be through her antioxidant properties have cell protecting effects, so they may slow down the aging process.

The valuable goji berry should be able to achieve even more positive effects.

5 facts about goji berries - © istockphoto, id-art

Effect of goji berries on health

The goji berry is said to have the following health effects:

  • strengthens the immune system
  • works against stress and exhaustion
  • helps with diabetes (beta-sisterol is said to lower blood fat)
  • works against high blood pressure
  • helps with heart disease
  • Relieves problems with the eyes
  • strengthens kidneys and liver

According to research results, a positive effect of goji berries on brain activity is also possible. Because goji berries appear to serve as protection against amyloid peptides, which are among other things responsible for the development of Alzheimer's.

However, it should be noted that so far none of these health benefits have been scientifically proven.

Are goji berries poisonous or unhealthy?

Every now and then it is to be read that goji berries are poisonous and therefore better not to be consumed. However, this thesis is outdated and does not coincide with current research results.

However, the consumer center warns that goji berries are often contaminated with pollutants pesticidesburdened and harmful to health. However, residues on samples have never been seriously hazardous to health. Nevertheless, the Consumer Advice Center recommends treating quality information with caution, as it may not always be true.*

Health risk for allergy sufferers and heart patients

There are some groups of people for whom the consumption of goji berries can pose a health risk.

On the one hand, there may be interactions between goji berries and blood-thinning medications, as the berries intensify the anticoagulant effect. People with high blood pressure who use such remedies should therefore do without the berries better.

On the other goji berries hold a high allergy potential. Cross-allergies, such as nuts, tomatoes or peaches, often occur in conjunction with goji berries.

Origin of goji berries

The main growing area of ​​Goji berries is located in Ningxia province, innorthern central China. There, in honor of the Goji berries, a festival is celebrated every year in August to conclude the goji berry harvest.

The exact origin of goji berries is historically unknown. However, it is believed that the plants of the goji berries reached Central Europe from southern Asia. What is certain, however, is that goji berries nowadays grow around the globe on plants known as common wolfberry or wolfberry.

Sources and further information

* Consumer Center: Goji berries in capsules - effect not proven. (As of: 15.03.2018)

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