Health

The Goji Berry Phenomenon

Not all berries are created equal.

 

Sure, all berries are delicious, healthy, and carry numerous benefits, but not all berries are quite as magical as the goji berry.

The goji berry may seem super trendy right now, but this scrunched up superfruit has actually been around for centuries and dates back to the early days of Chinese medicine! And there’s a reason why: it’s immensely powerful.

These tiny red berries are considered both a fruit and an herb. They’re typically found in Asian and European countries, but are also packaged and sold in places across North America. In fact, you’ve probably seen them in most health food markets in fresh and dried form. If you haven’t been inclined to purchase them before, you may want to reconsider after you learn about their abundant benefits.

Here are 7 major health benefits of goji berries that will help justify their higher-than-average price.

goji berry benefits

They’re antioxidant powerhouses.

These superfruits increase levels of antioxidants—substances that help prevent or stop cell damage from oxidants—in the body, particularly carotenoids such as beta carotene and zeaxanthin. These antioxidants help protect skin and eye health, which was one of the original uses for these berries back in the day.

They could protect us from the elements.

A study showed that consuming goji berries in juice may provide protection from harmful UV rays by reducing skin inflammation when sunburn strikes.

They boost moods and energy levels.

Another study found that subjects who consumed these beneficial berries for 14 days showed higher energy levels, improved quality of sleep and athletic performance, better focus, reduced stress, and mental sharpness (I KNOW, RIGHT?). It also helps that they’re rich in iron and B vitamins, which are known to increase energy!

They can help fight cancer.

The polysaccharides in goji berries have been known to inhibit the growth of prostate cancer and colon cancer cells. Plus, the high antioxidants also improve cancer-fighting properties in the body.

They boost the immune system.

Goji berries are loaded with vitamin C, making them a good immune system booster. Studies have shown their ability to help the strength of flu vaccines.

They reverse effects of aging.

One of the very first uses for these super berries was for anti-aging properties. Some even claim the goji berry is a fountain of youth. They may be right, too. This 2014 study bolstered the claim, and the region of Northern China where goji berries are grown and eaten daily has a 16 times higher amount of centenarians as the rest of China.

They’re detoxifiers.

Goji berries are known for detoxifying the liver and kidney, and have been used for such since the days of ancient Chinese medicine. The berries benefit the body’s liver and kidney meridians to restore vitality and overall well-being. They’re also great for cleansing the blood and fighting kidney stones!

It’s almost hard to believe that such a tiny food could pack so many benefits. In fact, many scientists still aren’t quite convinced. While studies have shown them to help with everything from fighting cancer to improving eyesight, they say more research still needs to happen for them to truly believe it.

How can you consume them?

Goji berries have natural sweetness to them with a slight herby aftertaste. You can eat them fresh and raw, dried, in trail mix, smoothies, smoothie bowls, salads, or cereals, or our personal favorite, in Torii Awake. Our therapeutic herbal tonic is filled with not only goji berries, but also an abundance of other adaptogenic herbs that work together to revitalize the mind and body and boost overall performance.

Like everything, goji berries shouldn’t be relied upon as a cure-all for everything under the sun, but they are a great addition to any diet. Be sure to check with a physician to ensure goji berries will play nice with your body! Then either grab a bag and make this superfruit your go-to snack or get your hands on some Torii Awake and bask in all the benefits.

smoothie bowl with goji berries and chia seeds

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