We’ve all heard about the goji berry fruit once or twice, but are you aware of its nutritional content and excellent benefits to the human body?
Goji berries are one of the most nutritionally-rich fruits on the planet as it is packed with vitamins, minerals, protein, and antioxidants. Often called a Wolfberry, the goji berry fruit has a taste that resembles a combination of the cherry and cranberry fruit. Being a superfood, it is also often being compared to the acai berry which can be enjoyed in a lot of different ways.
Goji berries are believed to be a complete source of protein and labelled as among the “super foods” that offers longevity and strength development. A single goji berry can contain up to 21 trace minerals, such as iron, zinc, calcium, copper, and different amino acids.
The Science of Gogi Berry Fruit
Goji berries are deciduous, woody perennial plants that bear oval berries that are red-orange in color and measure one to two centimetres in length. It is under the Solanaceae nightshade family that includes chili peppers, potatoes, tomatoes, tobaccos, and eggplants. Goji berries are vine-ripened and usually harvested during summer in north-central China.
Goji berries are known by many names. In China, where it is originally harvested, the fruit is called gouqizi (pronounced goo-chee-zee) or gouqi. In some parts of the world, they are also known as Matrimony vine and Duke of Argyll’s tea tree. More commonly, they are referred to as Himalayan and Tibetan Goji berries, or simply the wolfberry. Scientifically, they are called Lycium chinense and Lycium barbarum.
For at least 2000 years, the goji berry has grown wild in China and has been used as a popular ingredient in producing traditional Chinese medicines and recipes. Over time, people have used the goji berry fruit to help ease common health problems like fever, diabetes, high blood pressure, and age-related problems.
This reputation has inspired scientists to study and investigate about the fruit’s characteristics, potential health benefits, systematic cultivation, and commercialization. Today, goji berry is starting to increase its popularity around the world, with growing export to first-world countries mainly in Europe, Australasia, and the USA.
Goji berries could be eaten raw, cooked, or dried (like raisins) and are used in juices, wines, herbal teas, and medicines.