Native to China, goji berries have been used for traditional medicine and in local cuisine for over two thousand years. Inundated with nutrients, they are quickly gaining popularity in the United States for their many health benefits. Their scientific name is Lycium barbarum, and they belong to the nightshade family of fruits and vegetables. These small berries have a delightful taste best described as a cross between a cranberry and a cherry. China has long been the leading exporter of the berry, but due to rising interest, the United States has begun growing them. Goji berries are most often sold dried, similar to raisins, and can also be found in yogurts, teas, granola bars, and assorted dietary supplements. Get to know their significant health benefits now.
Warding off sickness before it begins is one of the smartest things a person can do. The immune system works by fighting foreign or bad cells in the body, but sometimes, it can mistake native cells for bad cells and attacks itself. This is what happens in autoimmune diseases.
Goji berries contain compounds that can better differentiate between good and bad cells reducing autoimmune responses and special polysaccharides not found in other foods. These sugars assist the immune system by intensifying communications, or signaling, between white blood cells and by increasing the formulation of antibodies. A balanced diet including goji berries also improves immunity because they contain high levels of zinc and vitamin C, both of which are important for cell growth and repair.
Continue reading to learn about more health benefits of goji berries.