The goji berry, or wolfberry is a round red fruit native to the Himalayan region. It is nutritionally rich in Beta-carotene, vitamins C, B1, B2 and many other vitamins, minerals antioxidants and amino acids and is a good source of essential fatty acids.
Goji berries are widely used for their medicinal and culinary purposes and contain complex phytonutrients, some of which are used to treat disease:
- Betaine: used by the liver to produce choline, a compound that calms nervousness, enhances memory, promotes muscle growth, and protects against fatty liver disease.
- Physalin: this is active against all major types of leukemia. It has also been used as a treatment for Hepatitis B.
- Solavetivone: a powerful anti-fungal and anti-bacterial compound.
- Cyperone: a sesquiterpene that benefits the heart and helps maintain normal blood pressure. It has also been used in the treatment of cervical cancer.
Research has shown that the goji berry
can improve vision
. This is because it contains Beta-carotene
in a highly biologically active form which is readily utilized by the body.
The berry is said to contain 2500 mg of Vitamin C per 100 grams of fruit, making it one of the world's richest sources of Vitamin C. It is rated at number 1 on the ORAC scale (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity), which measures the antioxidant level in foods.
Pure and unadulterated goji berry juice is a proven and powerful antioxidant full of bioflavonoids, which are beneficial to human health. However, the goji berry has recently been mass-marketed as a 'health food' by big manufacturers and goji berry juice Drinks are being sold as 'health' drinks. However, these drinks contain citric acid, flavourings and preservatives and do not have the same nutritional benefit as pure goji berry juice.
Goji berries can be eaten raw or cooked, and are commonly available in their dried form from health Food shops.