Goji Berries - Organic
Goji berries - action and nutritional properties
Goji berries are fruits whose action and healing properties have been used in natural medicine in Asian countries for over 2,500 years. Recommended are, among others in the treatment of rheumatism and with a decrease in immunity. Goji berries are called the red diamonds of the East and belong to superfoods, or "superfoods".
Goji berries are the fruit of a Chinese plant called wolfberry (Lycium barbarum L.). However, the name "goji" only refers to the fruit of the Tibetan wolfberry (Lycium barbarum L.) - this is its trade name. The wolfberry belongs to the nightshade family, which is the same as peppers, tomatoes, potatoes and eggplants.
Goji berries, which grow in the Tibetan valleys and the Himalayas, are the healthiest because they are grown in areas unpolluted by pollution or pesticides. The varieties grown in warm and subtropical countries such as Japan, Korea and other countries in Southeast Asia and Europe have lower nutritional and medicinal value.
Goji berries can inhibit the progression of cancer
Goji berries are a very good source of protein, which consists of as many as 18 amino acids. In addition, they contain carbohydrates and fats, including 5 unsaturated fatty acids from the omega-6 group, responsible for the production of hormones, the proper functioning of the brain and nervous system.
In addition, they are a source of many vitamins and minerals, including:
- vitamin C.
- vitamin B1
- vitamin B2
- vitamin B6
as well as carotenoids and polyphenolic compounds, the most numerous group of which are flavonoids.
However, goji berries have a much more valuable ingredient. It is a water-soluble bioactive polysaccharide complex LBP (Lycium Barbarum polysaccharides). The results of many studies indicate its stimulating effect on the immune system, antioxidant properties and, above all, anti-cancer properties.
The research shows that the LBP complex inhibits the growth of human gastric cancer cells (MGC-803 and SGC-7901 cell lines), human colon cancer cells SW480 and Caco-2, and lung cancer cells, inducing their apoptosis, i.e. cell death.
It also significantly inhibits the growth of prostate cancer cells and is effective in inhibiting the growth of human breast cancer cells (MCF-7 cell line).
This complex also has antiproliferative (multiplication inhibition) properties against human hepatoma QGY7703 cells, and also contributes to the apoptosis of HL-60 leukemic cells.
Dried goji berries are also valuable!
- Energy value - 349 kcal
- Total protein - 14.26 g
- Fat - 0.39 g
- Carbohydrates - 77.06 g (including simple sugars 45.61 g)
- Fiber - 13.0 g
- Vitamin C - 48.4 mg
- Vitamin A - 26,822 IU
- Calcium - 190 mg
- Iron - 6.80 mg
- Sodium - 298 mg
Data Source: USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference
Goji berries can lower sugar levels
In animal studies it was shown that the group of the above-mentioned polysaccharide compounds stimulates the proliferation of pancreatic β cells and increases the uptake of glucose in peripheral tissues.
The hypoglycemic effect of goji berries has been confirmed by other scientists, whose studies show that the administration of the LBP polysaccharide complex may reduce hyperglycemia in animals suffering from diabetes.
Moreover, it has been observed that the LBP complex can improve insulin sensitivity and thus reduce insulin resistance.
Goji berries for high blood pressure and cholesterol
Goji berries contain cyperon, which is beneficial for heart function and blood pressure, and betaine, which is used to produce choline, a substance that plays a role in preventing heart disease.
In addition, they contain β-sitosterol and the LBP complex - substances that lower cholesterol. The health-promoting effect of goji berries is confirmed by studies on rats with hyperlipidemia.
They show that wolfberry fruits significantly lower the level of triglycerides, total cholesterol and "bad" LDL cholesterol in the blood serum, and also contribute to the increase of the level of "good" HDL cholesterol.
The presence of vitamin C is also important, which also has a beneficial effect on the work of the circulatory system. Some sources report that 100 g of dried, ripe goji berries contain as much as 2,500 mg.
Goji berries - contraindications
You shouldn't eat more than 5-12 g of dried goji berries per day.
Goji berry should not be consumed by people taking anticoagulant medications. People taking other medications and / or struggling with diseases should be careful and consult a doctor before reaching for goji berries.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding are also contraindications to eating goji berries.
In addition, you should not eat fresh, unripe fruit, as this may lead to poisoning, which is manifested by a disruption of the digestive and nervous system functions. Fortunately, you can only buy dried fruit in Ireland.
Goji berries for healthy eyes
The red-orange color of the fruit is the result of the high content of carotenoids, including zeaxanthin (accounting for over 70% of the total carotenoid content in fruit, although other sources say 31-56%) and lutein.
Lutein and zeaxanthin have antioxidant properties and protect the retina from damage caused by free radicals. Their deficiency in the diet may be one of the risk factors for the development of AMD, i.e. macular degeneration.
In addition, lutein is able to absorb visible blue light and thus protects the eye structures against dangerous doses of visible and UV radiation.
Goji berries can protect the liver
For years, Tibetans have been using goji berries in therapies to help cleanse the liver of toxins and improve digestion. Recently, scientists decided to study their influence on the work of this organ.
Studies on mice show that the polysaccharide complex contained in goji berries inhibits oxidative liver damage caused by a high-fat diet.
Goji berries - use in the kitchen
Goji berries taste similar to cranberries, but are less sweet and more tart. Additionally, they have a hint of tomato and herbal flavor.
Goji berries can be eaten like raisins or other dried fruits, i.e. raw. However, remember not to overdo them, especially since they are not low-calorie (they have 370 kcal per 100 g).
In Chinese cuisine, dried goji berries are boiled before they are eaten. They are then added to rice, soups, chicken and pork, or mixed with vegetables.
You can also make herbal tea from boiled dried goji berries, to which Chinese chrysanthemum flowers are added in Asia. Dried wolfberry fruits also go well with red tea.
In addition, goji berries are used to produce juices, wines, tinctures, as well as powders and tablets.