Goji berries have been used in traditional Chinese medicine for around 2,000 years, a fine testament to just how effective this super food is at keeping us healthy and well. In fact, a study published within the scientific Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine associated the following health benefits with these powerful berries:
increased energy levels, athletic performance, quality of sleep, ease of awakening, ability to focus on activities, mental acuity, calmness, feelings of health, contentment and happiness.
Goji berries were also associated with reduced fatigue and stress as well as improved regularity of gastrointestinal function.
53% of the calories in a goji berry are derived from protein. They contain 18 different amino acids which serve as the building blocks of protein within the body. They house the branch chain amino acids leucine, isoleucine and valine which can prevent muscle breakdown and increase protein synthesis. These are perfect reasons to throw some goji berries into morning smoothies and breakfast bowls.
Goji berries contain 17.8mcg of selenium per 28g serving, this covers 25% of the recommended daily amount of this mineral. Selenium is known as an "essential" nutrient, meaning the body cannot make it and is dependent on external sources. The mineral is require by the body to form selenoproteins which are involved in thyroid hormone metabolism, antioxidant defense and muscle function.
The antioxidants present in goji berries can help to combat oxidative stress caused by free radicals which can damage DNA and contribute to inflammation and disease.
A 28g serving of goji berries can provide 2520IU of vitamin A, which makes up an impressive 50% of the recommended daily amount. Vitamin A is fundamental for growth, vision and immune system maintenance.