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What's the Deal With: Goji Berries?

What's the Deal With: Goji Berries?

The Inappropriate Yoga Guy video on Giggle, always cracks me up. I love when the guy hums and says "Goji BERRIES!"

Very funny to me, but I wanted the back story on this little berry. Why are Goji berries so popular? I was inspired to do a little research and here is what I found.

Goji berries, also called wolfberries, grow in regions of China, Mongolia, and the Himalayas in Tibet. They're part of the nightshade family that includes peppers, tomatoes, and potatoes. Fresh ripe goji berries can be hard to track down, so people usually eat them dried. Similar in appearance to raisins, the dried berries have a tangy slightly sweet and sour taste.

These berries are rich in antioxidants and have been used by herbalists in China for over 6,000 years. They're believed to protect the liver, help eyesight, improve sexual function and fertility, strengthen the legs, boost the immune system, improve circulation, and promote longevity.

Are Goji berries really that nutritionally dense? To find out

Goji berries and goji juice are hitting stores, and marketing is making huge claims about their nutritional value and powers. The thing is though, there isn't much scientific research to back it up. Only 2 studies have been published about goji berries and their effects on humans. One study found that goji extract may help to prevent the growth of cancer cells, but this says nothing about the increasingly popular Goji juice or tea.

Call me skeptical, but I feel like more research definitely needs to be done. If I were you, I wouldn't rush to your local health food store for some goji berries just yet.

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tchan01 tchan01 8 years
You can get this at a Chinese herbalist store, and/or a Chinese supermarket.
kellyanne kellyanne 8 years
I got an antioxidant blend of dried fruits at Trader Joes, and it had Goji berries mixed in. I bought it because I read an article claiming all of the benefits of the berries, but unfortunately I don't really like the taste of them.
ma9321 ma9321 8 years
Where can I find these?
ma9321 ma9321 8 years
Where can I find these?
ma9321 ma9321 8 years
Where can I find these?
tchan01 tchan01 8 years
My mom uses this in the herbal soups she makes for me and my brother. And like hotasianmama said, it's pronouced "go ji zi" in Mandarin. Even though more research should be done, it seems like it does more good than harm.
beingtazim beingtazim 8 years
sounds good - i want improved vision!!
ley ley 8 years
haven't tried it but its a fruit right.. so they're bound to be good for you.
pebby01 pebby01 8 years
thanks for posting this, fitsugar! it's always important to know whether these claims have scientic research backing it up. i'm glad you told us that there were only 2 studies done.
Baby-Girl Baby-Girl 8 years
I've never tried them, but I want to. I read another diet site that the juice from exotic fruits like goji, mangosteen and acai is no better than regular juice.
joielin joielin 8 years
Oh wait. they already posted that. oh well. the more the merrier. Improves sexual function, eh?
joielin joielin 8 years
Oh wait. they already posted that. oh well. the more the merrier.Improves sexual function, eh?
joielin joielin 8 years
According to about.com, goji berries aid with the following: protect the liver help eyesight improve sexual function and fertility strengthen the legs boost immune function improve circulation promote longevity I think I've got a pack sitting in the cabinet somewhere...
joielin joielin 8 years
According to about.com, goji berries aid with the following:protect the liverhelp eyesightimprove sexual function and fertilitystrengthen the legsboost immune functionimprove circulationpromote longevityI think I've got a pack sitting in the cabinet somewhere...
Spectra Spectra 8 years
I've actually never had these, but I bet they are similar to blueberries or any other berry. I don't know if I believe all the hype about them, but I wonder if they're tasty.
tati33 tati33 8 years
Oooo I know what you are talking about hotasianmama. They are good, although I'm not too sure about their properties..More research please
sparklestar sparklestar 8 years
I am so addicted to goji berries. I buy 300g of them like every other day. =D I know that the health claims are as yet mostly unfounded but I will tell you this..!! I was told when I was 5 years old that my eyes would get progressively worse and there is nothing that modern science can do for me. All they can do is keep giving me glasses until my eyes finally give up the ghost and stop working. I went for an eye test last in 2004 and my eyes had gotten worse, again. I was prescribed glasses which lasted for about a year before the lenses started to not work as well. Then I went again in 2007 (a month or so ago) and I was told my eyes had IMPROVED! The reason was not because of the glasses and the optician was astounded. At this point I had regularly been consuming goji berries for about six months. =) Ohhhhh.. and they're just so TASTY! =D
hotasianmama hotasianmama 8 years
I giggled at a healthfood store when I saw goji berry juice because I was reminded of the Inappropriate Yoga Guy video. Minutes later, I realized I unknowingly had goji berry in my mom's chicken soup. In Chinese, they're called "go ji zi" and they're not bad.
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