Goji BerriesWhen it comes to talking about powerful health and nutritional products, the word antioxidant is frequently used to describe fruits and vegetables that are readily available sources. Pomegranates, Blueberries, strawberries, and cherries are common sources of antioxidants, but few people know about the power of the Goji Berry.

Similar appearance to a Red Pepper, but only as large as a grape, this little fruit (alternately known as the wolfberry) is packed with nutrients. Consumers say that the Goji Berry has a very mild, tangy flavor, but that is not why they continue to seek it out. What people are after is the perceived preventative medicinal quality and nutritional value. Some enthusiasts have gone so far as to claim that Goji inhibits cancer growth, prevents Alzheimer’s disease, and fights arthritis, but this certainly has never been proven scientifically or gained the endorsement of major medical researchers.

Given the inconclusive nature of the arguments surrounding the consumption of Goji Berry products, it is not our intention to focus on what it isn’t. Rather, let’s stick with what is known about this little red fruit.

Erica Wickham is a registered dietitian that covers health, exercise, and lifestyle related content for various websites. Recently, she reviewed the pros and cons of the Goji Berry for the well known foundation for cancer research, Livestrong. Among the various benefits she cited, the most interesting are as follows:

ANTIOXIDANT – “goji berries are a rich source of antioxidants such as flavonoids, polyphenols, carotenoids and vitamin C, E and A. The goji berry contains 500 times more vitamin C per weight than an orange and on average have more beta-carotene than carrots.”

AMINO ACIDS AND PROTEIN – “goji berries contain 19 amino acids, including the eight essential amino acids. These berries therefore are a nearly complete source of protein, providing 13 percent more protein than weight.”

VITAMINS AND MINERALS – “in just a quarter cup of goji berries there are B vitamins including thiamin, riboflavin and niacin, 11 essential vitamins, 22 trace minerals including zinc, copper, calcium, selenium, phosphorus and more iron than spinach.”

POLYSACCHARIDES – “As with any fruit, goji berries contain sugar. However, rather than just simple carbohydrates, goji berries are also full of eight polysaccharides that fortify the immune system, support a healthy intestinal mucosal lining, lower pH and the risk of colon cancer, enhance mineral uptake, promote a positive mood, support energy levels, and enhance optimal heart and liver function.”

OTHER NUTRIENTS –  “the goji berry has a remarkable number of other nutrients comprising photochemicals, essential and nonessential fatty acids, and pigments. Goji berries are also known for their anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties.”

In conclusion, there are so many benefits available from Goji Berry consumption, that it is surprising that it is not more popularly known among the developed nations. In China, the secrets of this fruit have been used for centuries, but it is just catching on in the United States. As with most fruit, the consumption of Goji should be in moderation in order to avoid diarrhea or other bowel related irritation.

Among the most readily available forms of this natural little power house, is Goji Berry Juice. In the United States is the top Manufacturing resource of this product.