Goji fruits

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Overview

Goji berries grow on as evergreen shrub found in temperate and subtropical regions of China, Mongolia, Tibet and Himalayas; it is a plant included in Solonaceae family.

They are shriveled red berries that look like red raisins are usually dry.


Contents

1. Overview
2. Why to eat goji?
3. What kind of research has been done on goji fruit?
4. How goji fruit tastes like?
5. Possible drug interactions


Why to eat goji?

These fruits have been used for 6,000 years by herbalists in China, Tibet and India to:

- protect the liver
- improve vision
- stimulate sexual function and fertility
- strengthen legs
- improve immune system function
- promote blood circulation
- increase longevity

Goji berries are rich in antioxidants, particularly carotenoids such as beta-carotene and zeaxanthin. One of zeaxanthin’s key roles is to protect the retina of the eye by absorbing blue light. In fact, increased intake of foods containing zeaxanthin may reduce the risk of developing muscle degeneration, the leading cause of diminishing vision and blinding in people over 65 years.

In recent years, goji juices have become known as drinks with an important role in maintaining health. Marketing companies that promote products containing goji fruit juice, give examples of people using these juices and reached old age. Although there are few published research studies, consumers support an extensive list of health benefits of goji juice.


What kind of research has been done on goji fruit?

These fruits have been studied in humans in only two published studies. A Chinese study published in 1994 found that 79 people with cancer responded better to treatment when goji was added to the diet.

There have been studies showing that goji fruits contain antioxidants and goji extracts may prevent development of cancer cells, reduce blood glucose and can decrease the cholesterol levels. However, not automatically mean that the goji juice or tea will have the same benefits.

Although goji fruit, such as those used in traditional Chinese medicine are not very expensive, goji juice is usually found at very high price, 1l of goji juice reaching (in certain brands) at 50 dollars and convincing scientific evidence still missing to justify the higher cost of those drinks.

The side effects of regular consumption of goji are not yet know and also, we don’t know if it interferes with a certain type of treatment or medication.


How goji fruit tastes like?

Goji fruit has a slightly spicy, sweet and sour taste. It has a shape and texture similar to raisins.

In Chinese medicine they are eaten raw, made into a tea, added to soups or as liquid extract. Goji juice is also available on the market, usually in 900-ml bottles. In some parts of the world they were added in different snacks and munchies.


Possible drug interactions

Goji berries are thought to interact with anticoagulant drugs like warfarin. There is one noted case: a 61 years old woman presented an increased risk of bleeding. She used to consume 3-4 cups of goji fruit tea daily. Density and blood flow returned to normal after discontinuing the goji tea consumption.

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