When it comes to Goji berry size does not matter
Who would have thought these little red things would be so power-packed with nutrients and antioxidants? But as the saying goes – Size doesn’t matter!
The Goji berry or Wolfberry is native to Asia and has been present in Chinese cooking and traditional Chinese medicine for centuries.
Not only has it been said to alleviate ailments ranging from liver and kidney problems to issues with the skin, eyes, immune system and digestive tract, but its sweet taste has also been used to augment taste and texture in soups and other traditional dishes.
An added incentive is that it is reasonably inexpensive to purchase and widely available in Asia. Most health food stores in Europe and the United States would also stock dried Goji berries.
What are the nutritional benefits of this small red berry?
According to research, the Goji berry is packed with vitamins and minerals. According to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), just 5 tablespoons (28 grams) of dried goji berries contain:
- Calories: 98
- Protein: 4 grams
- Fat: 0.1 grams
- Carbs: 21.6 grams
- Fiber: 3.6 grams
- Sugar: 21.8 grams
- Iron: 11% of the Daily Value (DV)
- Vitamin A: 501% of the DV
- Vitamin C: 15% of the DV
This means that even a small serving of this tiny fruit is loaded with fibre, iron, and vitamins A and C.
How can you consume Goji berries outside of traditional cooking?
If you are not a fan of cooking and recipes, don’t let this put you off from consuming this super food.
A handful can be eaten with your normal cereal or it can be blended with your protein shake. They are also available in supplements and teas in most health food stores or supermarkets.
You can even just add a few teaspoons and top it up with hot water and you will have your own special red berry brew!
Unfortunately, all good things have their downsides and the goji berry is no exception.
Most healthy adults can enjoy goji berries in moderation as part of a balanced diet. However, for a minority, this food source can trigger an allergic reaction. As such, if you are allergic to other fruits or prone to allergies in general, you may want to check before consuming.
Goji berries, when mixed with certain drugs such as blood thinners and medication for diabetes or high blood pressure may also result in allergic reactions.
If you are pregnant, it would be best to exercise caution. Goji berries contain betaine, a compound that can harm fetal health.
As always, if you are on medication or have underlying health conditions, or otherwise in any doubt, always seek the advice of a healthcare professional before adding goji berries as part of your diet.