Believe it or not, it’s debatable among the masses if the goji berry is actually a superfood. After all, it depends on your definition of a superfood. I’d say a food qualifies if it has a special property that makes it worth eating given the millions of options we have to choose from.
After reviewing the science literature, I noticed there hasn’t been too much research done on goji berries. These berries have been used in Chinese medicine for thousands of years and I’m a big believer in the fact that if something withstands the test of time it’s worth looking into. The studies I did find were pretty interesting:
- Goji berries do in fact increase antioxidant markers in the blood making it protective against aging and cancers.
- One study gave two groups of patients a questionnaire before and after eating goji berries and a “fake” juice for 14 days. When comparing the groups, there was a significant improvement in well-being, feeling energized, and GI function in the Goji berry group.
- In mice they found goji berry juice was protective against UV-radiation skin damage— the other juices they tested didn’t show these results. Although the studies haven’t been done in humans yet (usually things are tested on animals before humans— it’s how the science world works), it’s possible goji berries can protect against wrinkles and sunspots!
- Several studies report goji berries’ effectiveness in protecting against diabetic and aging eye diseases.
Though more studies can be done to prove the benefits of this ancient chinese medicine, goji berries make the list of super foods for me because of their ability to increase antioxidants in our bodies. Oxidation is the reason we age, so any simple food that can do that is super to me.
They are great to just snack on as dried berries, add in a smoothie or already mixed in healthy snacks. Enjoy!