If you were to ask most Americans to name a berry, it would go something like this, “Strawberry, blueberry, raspberry, blackberry…” That’s what we’re used to (some people would say cranberry, but it doesn’t always fall into the same mental realm). Those are the berries in stores. And they’re all great health promoters. In fact, blueberries are loaded with antioxidants, raspberries are proven to help fight fat fast, and blackberry extract has stopped cancer in its tracks.
So it’s no wonder that this other berry has some incredible health benefits- it runs in the family. But due to its rarity, this berry might sometimes cost its weight in gold. Not really, but it is much more expensive than your average carton of strawberries
It’s the goji berry.
This berry, lycium barbarum, has been a traditional Chinese medicine for hundreds of years and are a native of the country as well.
They are traditionally dried and then eaten, which can make them quite expensive compared to other dried berries and fruits. But their health properties make them worth it, compared to traditional western medicine costs.
Some of the benefits of goji berry include healthy skin, increased eye health, stabilized blood sugar and detoxification of the liver for starters. Then there’s the berry’s ability to fight cancer!
According to Dr. Axe, a doctor of natural medicine and chiropractic, goji berries are an accessible way to fight cancer
Of the antioxidants present among goji berry benefits, carotenoids like zeaxanthin and precursors to vitamin C are the most extensively researched. High levels of these compounds give gojis a reputation for battling cancerous cells, fighting tumor growth, decreasing inflammatory cytokine levels and detoxifying the body of harmful toxins.
And because of its role in Traditional Chinese medicine, it’s no surprise that Chinese universities have studied it in depth. One such university, Wuhan University, studied rats and their sexual function after consuming goji berries.
The results showed that [Lycium Barbaruml] LBP provided a protective effect against the testicular tissue damage induced by heat exposure. When compared with negative control, a suitable concentration of LBP significantly increased testis and epididymis weights, improved superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity, and raised sexual hormone levels in the damaged rat testes.
Just as surprising is the fact that goji berries also have protein in them. This, along with the multiple minerals and vitamins, and their dense fiber count make goji berries an excellent snack to keep around for staying full, sprinkling on a salad, or even mixing into yogurt to have a rich, filling meal.