Herbs | Berries | Fruits | Nuts | Oils | Tea | Vegetables

Goji Berry

Goji berry, also called the wolfberry, is a bright orange-red berry that comes from a shrub that’s native to China. Wolfberry leaves form on the shoot either in an alternating arrangement or in bundles of up to three, each having a shape that is either lanceolate (shaped like a spearhead longer than it is wide) or ovate (egg-like).

 

Goji berries are eaten raw, cooked, or dried (like raisins) and are used in herbal teas, juices, wines, and medicines. They are in the nightshade (Solonaceae) family. Goji berries are usually sold dried. They are shrivelled red berries that look like red raisins. Goji berries have a mild tangy taste that is slightly sweet and sour.

 

The whole, dried berries have a similar shape and chewy texture as raisins. Goji juice products are also available, usually in 32-ounce bottles. Goji berries have appeared in snack foods in North America, such as goji berry trail mix. Goji juice can be found in some health food stores, online stores, and through network marketing companies.

 

This amazing little superfruit also contains natural anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal compounds. Their powerful antioxidant properties and polysaccharides help to boost the immune system. It’s no wonder then, that in traditional Chinese medicine they are renowned for increasing strength and longevity.

 

Goji berries are an excellent source of antioxidants such as polyphenols, flavonoids, carotenoids and vitamins A, C and E. In fact, the goji berry contains approximately 500 times more vitamin C per weight than an orange and considerably more beta-carotene than carrots.

 

Goji berries have long been considered a male aphrodisiac in China, and more studies are starting to confirm these allegations. The ripe berry is easily damaged during picking, so it’s common for them to be carefully dried to preserve them before export.  In the UK they are commonly eaten as the dried fruit or as a component of fruit juice.

 

If you have pollen allergies you may want to stay away from this fruit. Case reports have linked goji berries consumption with skin photosensitivity, causing a skin rash on exposure to sunlight.

 

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