Small, slightly sweet, and packed with antioxidants, the goji berry packs so many benefits that it may just be your new favorite fruit. It’s been used for centuries around the world as a dietary supplement. But the benefits of this unassuming little fruit go beyond the diet, and some of the health benefits might surprise you.
The Healthy Goji Berry: Small But Powerful
We have other favorite fruits at Soap Hope, but the goji berry just might top our list. A goji berry is about the size of the tip of your pinky finger. This fruit is a member of the nightshade family of plants — an important family of flowering plants that range from annual and perennial herbs to vines, shrubs, and trees. The bright, orange-red berry is mostly commonly grown in China, but can also be found in increasing frequency in countries like the Canada and the United States.
Occasionally referred to as wolf berries, they are often damaged during picking. As a result, you’ll often be able to find goji berries in a dried form as a way to preserve them. The most common dietary uses for goji berries are eating the dried fruit or drinking them as a fruit juice. When it comes to goji berries and skin care, the oil from the berries is extracted and used because of its high concentration of minerals and essential amino acids, as we’ll explain below.
6 Benefits of the Berry
1) Natural Remedy
Goji berries have been used as natural remedies for diabetes, hypertension, and even malaria. That’s because this little fruit is a natural antioxidant and full of nutrients that support bodily functions.
Antioxidants counteract the chemicals caused by free radicals, substances that occur naturally in our body. When free radicals are produced in excess, it can cause cell damage.
From WebMD: “Chinese research has shown a standardised dose of goji berry extract given over a month-long trial helped boost levels of protective antioxidant liver enzymes, and reduced by-products of oxidative damage in the blood by almost 10%.”
2) Immune System Boost
Because of its antioxidant superpowers, goji berries can help boost your immune system and its functions. The berries also contain vitamin A, which supports your body’s ability to fight off sickness.
3) Healthy, Glowing Skin
Many have praised the goji berry for its anti-aging potential. The fruit contains 11 of the 22 essential dietary trace minerals, including calcium, potassium, iron, and zinc, along with amino acids. All of these vitamins and nutrients make the goji berry a powerhouse of skin care. This berry supports skin hydration and improves the tone of your skin.
4) Lighten Up the Mood
For many years, goji berry has been used in tonics or as an extract to improve mood and overall well-being. Goji berries contain complex starches (Lycium barbarum polysaccharides) which benefit immune function and reduce fatigue.
5) Aging Gracefully
The goji berry has a reputation for preserving long life. In China’s first herbal encyclopedia, “Shen Nong’s Materia Medica,” the goji was deemed a “superior tonic.” People used the berry in teas and tonics to strengthen the liver, purify the blood, protect healthy vision, and promote higher energy.
While there is not yet enough medical research to support the goji berry as a “fountain of youth,” the antioxidant properties, amino acids, and vitamins contained in the berry all support healthier bodily functions and even protect against age-related diseases like Alzheimer’s.
6) Overall Powerhouse
The goji berry contains essential amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein. Amino acids are important for the growth and recovery of muscle tissue. While our bodies can make some of these building blocks (called non-essential amino acids), we have to obtain others (essential amino acids) from food or supplements, like the goji.
Small Berry, Big Benefits
All of these amazing properties make the tiny goji berry a powerful addition to any health or skin care regimen.
Natural ingredients like the goji berry deliver so many benefits to the human body. So, it’s no wonder we look for them in our skin and health care products here at Soap Hope.
(It’s important to note that the goji berry isn’t for everyone — people who use blood thinners or other medication could have a negative reaction. You should consult with your doctor first before trying any kind of natural remedy.)
Is this your first time learning about the goji berry? If so, what questions do you have for us?