What are goji berries?
Goji berries are known in traditional Chinese medicine for more than 3000 years. They are the fruit of a daisy plant related to potatoes and tomato. The original tree dwelt in the north of central China, in Tibet and the Himalayas, and is now cultivated in many countries.
Goji, sweetish fruits of red color, are eaten raw or dried. Thanks to the profile of vitamins and nutrients, goji berries are advertised as a means of losing weight and increasing immunity, but the evidence base is often contradictory.
Benefits of Healthy Goats
Goji berries are high in natural antioxidants and phytonutrients( vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamins B1 and B2, five different carotenoids), microminerals( copper, iron, zinc, selenium, calcium, potassium) important for metabolismsubstances of amino acids.
For centuries, the fruits of the tree have been used in Asian medicine as a common restorative. In ancient times it was believed that Goji reinforces vision, relieves pain in the lower part of the body, dizziness, helps with male problems( pollutions)( 1).
Goji in Chinese Medicine
Traditional Chinese medicine considers goji berries as a means for harmonizing and enhancing Jing energy( 精, jīng - essence, seed, spirit).The result is the acquisition of longevity, increased endurance, strength, increased sexual energy( 2).
When symptoms of lack of energy Jing( weakness, frequent colds, memory loss, low back pain, impaired function of the genitals), the patient was recommended daily intake of decoction from goji berries. It was believed that the long-livers necessarily consumed the fruits of the tree.
Evidence base of
There are scientific studies confirming the stimulating effect of goji berries on the adrenal gland, a decrease in the levels of cortisol and dehydroepiandrosterone in daily use( 3).The results also revealed a decrease in the feeling of fatigue.
It is important to note that this study was conducted using a certain brand of juice from goji berries. Independent studies are more critical to the effectiveness of goji and especially to the claims that berries are useful in losing weight and reducing body weight.
Chinese treatises on health do not contain indications that goji are useful in losing weight. In the catalog of modern scientific reviews, there is only mention of a pilot study of the benefits of berries to accelerate metabolism and reduce the waist( 4).
As a result of the study, men and women with obesity who consumed goji berries noticeably lost weight and lost 5 cm in 14 cm waist circumference. However, this scientific research was also sponsored by the manufacturer of a specific product.
Effect on weight loss and weight loss
From the point of view of logic, the benefits of taking goji berries for weight loss can be a mechanical effect. Adopted in dried form, the berries swell when they hit the stomach, causing a feeling of saturation. This, theoretically, will force a person to eat less.
Given the low cost and wide availability of berries, they definitely worth a try at least - maybe you'll like the taste. Even critical sources mention that goji are useful, like any other red berries( barberry, dog rose and others).
How to take goji berries?
If you want to lose weight, taking 10-15 dried goji berries 10 minutes before meals can reduce the size of the portion necessary for saturation. The same dose will become a tasty and satiating vitamin snack, available even in the workplace.
However, do not overestimate the effect on weight loss. You will not get a noticeable weight loss result without reducing the caloric intake and increasing physical activity. The same applies to the use of goji for health - the berry is not a panacea for diseases.
In ancient China, goji berries were used to prolong life and enhance immunity. Modern scientific research is very accurate in confirming the benefits of berries for health and weight loss, but their intake can mechanically reduce the amount of food eaten.
- Chinese Medicine Database, Barbary Wolfberry Fruit, source
- Superfoods: The Food and Medicine of the Future, source
- Lycium barbarum Fruit( Goji) Attenuates the Adrenal Steroid Response to an Exercise Challenge and the Feeling of Tiredness, source
- Lycium barbarum Increases CaloricExpenditure and Decrees Waist Circumference in Healthy Overweight Men and Women, source