Goji Berry, also known as wolfberry are small red fruits and are native to Asia and have been often used traditionally in Asian cuisine and also have medicinal benefits. These berries are often found in its dried or powdered forms and are also consumed as food supplements.
Here are the benefits of goji berries:
1. Can be beneficial for blood sugar regulation:
Goji berries can be helpful to balance the insulin and glucose levels in the blood. Insulin is a hormone that moves the glucose from your blood into the body cells for energy and storage purposes. Consuming goji berries can help control the release of sugar into the blood.
2. For overall health and immunity:
Goji berries contain antioxidant properties which can help boost the immune system functioning. Antioxidants can help the body fight free radicals (unstable molecules which can build up in cells and cause damage to the other molecules such as DNA, lipids, proteins etc) that can cause damage and harm to the body. They are rich in fibre, iron and vitamins which are vital for building body immunity.
3. Good for the eyes:
Goji berries are known to protect eye health. It contains an antioxidant called zeaxanthin, which is a yellow coloured pigment found in the centre of the macula (the central area of the retina of the eye). This antioxidant, zeaxanthin can help protect your retina from damage and protect your eyes against eye disorders like macular degeneration (an age-related progressive eye condition that can lead to loss of vision to a severe or even permanent extent).
4. Good for the skin:
Goji berries being rich in antioxidants can help keep your skin youthful and give it a radiant glow and enhance the quality of your skin and complexion, by retaining the moisture and efficiently regenerate the skin cells. They can help fight free radicals that are brought in by air pollution, smoke, ultra-violet (UV) rays, etc and can reduce fine lines, wrinkles and signs of aging.
Uses of Goji Berries:
1. Goji Berry juice:
- 1 cup goji berries
- ½ litre water
- Sugar/sweetener (optional)
Step 1: Soak the goji berries in the water overnight and they will expand after absorbing the water, by the next day. (At this stage you can also drink this water and eat the goji berries as it is as well).
Step 2: In a mixer blender, put the goji berries along with the water it was soaked in and grind it into a liquid. Add in some sugar or sweetener if you wish to and give it a quick blend.
Step 3: Strain the mixture using a strainer or muslin cloth and then the juice is ready to consume.
2. Adding it to your cereal or granola bar:
If you are making a homemade granola bar or enjoying an oatmeal cereal in the morning, you can add in a few goji berries for enhanced flavour.
3. Goji Berry Tea (using a tea bag):
In a cup, add in one tea bag (tea flavour of your choice) and around 15 to 20 goji berries. Then, top up the cup with hot water and leave it to sit for 5 to 10 minutes. You will soon see that the goji berries have expanded/bloated. Then you can reheat the tea, if you find it has cooled down too much or else you can consume it the way it is.
4. Goji Berry Ginger Tea:
- 25 grams sliced ginger
- 25 grams dried goji berries
- Sugar/honey/jaggery (gur) powder to taste
- ½ litre water
In a tea pot or vessel, add in the sliced ginger, sugar/honey/jaggery (gur) powder (to taste) and the dried goji berries. Then, add in half a litre of hot water and leave it to sit for 10 to 15 minutes. You will soon see that the goji berries have expanded/bloated and the ginger has got infused into the water. Then you can reheat the tea, if you find it has cooled down too much or else you can consume it the way it is.
Caution: Consumption of goji berries is safe in moderate quantities, but they could have interactions with some drugs like for those on blood thinners, diabetic or blood pressure medications etc and therefore consult a doctor before consuming goji berries.