Nowadays, Goji berries have become all the rage — especially in the health-conscious communities. They have a chewy texture and sweet, tangy flavor. When you think about these berries, a picture of the dried variety comes to mind. A lot of people claim that these berries are healthy, so let's delve deeper in this article.
What are Goji berries?
Goji berries are also called wolfberries. They're the fruits of a plant called Lycium Barbarum, which has its origins in Asia. For centuries, people in Asia have enjoyed Goji berries. In the 21st century, these healthy berries started gaining popularity in the Western countries.
People consider Goji berries as nightshade because they're related to eggplants, chili peppers and tomatoes. Usually, people eat Goji berries in their dried form, but when fresh, the berries have a lovely appearance. They're shiny, red-colored and oblong-shaped berries that ripen during the warmer months.
Traditionally, Asians cook the dried Goji berries first before they add them to their recipes for pudding, jelly and more. But in the West, people usually consume the dried berries on their own. Either that or they chop the berries up and add them to their recipes for chia pudding, granola bars and more.
Why should you consume Goji berries?
According to rumors, the "superfood" title of Goji berries came from their association with a very controversial man named Li Ching-Yuen. He apparently consumed a lot of these berries, which may have been part of the reason for his incredibly long lifespan.
Some reports even state that Ching-Yuen lived to between 197 and 256 of age! This is very surprising, as the oldest recorded age is 122 years old.
According to Ching-Yuen, his long life was thanks to a combination of a healthy body, mind and diet. One of the foods which he claimed to have eaten a lot of was Goji berries, and this may have contributed to his longevity.
Although these claims remain unconfirmed because there are no official records of the man, the health benefits of Goji berries have become legendary and are still widely known today.
If you try to analyze the nutritional profile of Goji berries, you'll see that it's quite impressive. If you consume an ounce of these berries, you will get approximately 3g of protein, 4g of sugar, 3% of your daily calcium requirement, 9% of your vitamin C RDI, 14% of your iron RDI, 50% of your vitamin A RDI, and about 23 calories.
If you compare this to the nutrient profile of dried mulberries, you will get 3g of protein, 13g of sugar, 8% of your calcium RDI, 130% of your vitamin C RDI, 20% of your iron RDI, 2% of your vitamin A RDI and about 90 calories.
As you can see, Goji berries have a lower calorie count, they contain more vitamin A and don't contain as much sugar as dried mulberries. This is just one comparison, but we can safely say that Goji berries — just like most of the other types of berries — are nutritional powerhouses.