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Thursday, February 20, 2014

6 Health Benefits of Goji Berries

6 Health Benefits of Goji Berries
Goji, goji berry or wolfberry is the fruit of Lycium barbarum two very closely related species of boxthorn in the family Solanaceae (which also includes the potato, tomato, eggplant, deadly nightshade, chili pepper, and tobacco). The two species are native to southeastern Europe and Asia.


6 Health Benefits of Goji Berries



Cancer Prevention
One of the best benefits of brightly colored berries, like goji berries, is that they contain high levels of antioxidants which are extremely effective in fighting cancer. When you eat goji berries, the antioxidants seek out and remove cancer causing free radicals in the blood.

Heart Disease and Cholesterol
Another benefit that the antioxidants they provide is that they lower bad cholesterol levels and protect the heart from disease. Goji berries also contain fiber and higher fiber consumption has been linked with a lower risk of high cholesterol and heart attack.

Anti-Aging
Slowing the aging process can be achieved by eating certain types of foods and the antioxidants contained within goji berries have been linked with wrinkle reduction and slower aging. Also, longevity may be increased because of the disease and illness prevention that naturally occurs when antioxidants are consumed.

Eye Health
Goji berries contain vitamin A, zeaxanthin, and beta-carotene, all of which have been associated with healthier eyes. These compounds protect your eyesight, and they also prevent certain eye conditions such as macular degeneration. 


Better Sleep
Regular consumption of goji berries can help to improve sleep. If you are suffering from insomnia, try eating goji berries on a daily basis and your sleep patterns will likely improve. Stress Relief Research has found that goji berries may relieve stress and promote a sense of calm, happiness, and well-being by reducing the amount of cortisol released in the body during periods of stress.


Goji Berry Nutritional Facts


Calories, Protein and Dietary Fiber
 A 1/4 cup serving of goji berries contains 90 calories and 4 grams of protein per serving. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that adult women consume 46 grams and adult men 56 grams of protein per day. It also contains 4 grams of dietary fiber, which provides between 10.5 and 19 percent of the dietary reference intake for dietary fiber for adult men and women. According to Colorado State University Extension, most adults do not receive enough dietary fiber each day. Dietary fiber is important as it adds bulk to your diet, preventing overeating and helping your body pass waste through your system by adding bulk to your stools.

Antioxidant Vitamin A 
A 1/4 cup serving of goji berries contains 180 percent of your daily value of vitamin A. A natural antioxidant, vitamin A protects your body from damage from free radicals, produced when your body breaks down food. Free radicals can speed up the aging process and can cause cell death and damage. Vitamin A is also necessary for keeping your mucous membranes healthy, as well as helping your cells reproduce. A vitamin A deficiency is often indicated by poor vision, as vitamin A is needed for good eyesight.

Collagen-Building Vitamin C 
Also a natural antioxidant, vitamin C slows down the aging process and reduces the risk of cancer and heart disease by defending your body against free radicals. Vitamin C is also used in the production of collagen, which makes skin, cartilage, tendons, ligaments and blood vessels healthy. It also aids in the healing of wounds and in the repair and maintenance of healthy bones and teeth. A 1/4-cup serving of goji berries has 30 percent of the daily value of vitamin C.

Iron-Rich 
Goji Iron can be found in every cell in your body and is an essential mineral as it is needed to make blood cells. It is used to produce hemoglobin and myoglobin, two proteins that carry oxygen throughout your body. An iron deficiency will cause anemia, which can cause dizziness, weight loss, tiredness and shortness of breath. A 1/4-cup serving of goji berries provides you with 15 percent of the daily value of iron. 

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