Chinese Goji Berries - Are They Really Good For Weight Loss?
What are goji berries?
Dried goji berries are fruits of intense red color, the size of raisins and with a taste of a mixture of cranberries and cherries. In the fresh state, goji berries are similar to cherry tomatoes in both shape and size. In Russia and in Europe, these berries are sold already in dried form, and are also available in the form of juices, oils, extracts and in the form of various cosmetic products.
The main country producing goji berries is China - according to the traditional medicine of this country, they are considered as a means to harmonize and strengthen the energy of Jing. Ancient Chinese healers believed that goji strengthen vision, relieve dizziness, pain in the lower body, and also help with various male problems (1) .
The calorie content of fresh goji berries is quite small - about 80-90 kcal per 100 g of product. Compared to other fruits (such as grapes or plums), they contain less carbohydrates, but more vitamins and antioxidants. In addition, their low glycemic index (30 units) allows us to consider goji dietary as well as acceptable in the diet of diabetics .
In addition to their high vitamin content, dried goji berries are an excellent source of fiber and protein. In fact, goji are one of the leaders among all fruits in terms of protein content and the completeness of the profile of its amino acids - goji berries contain 11 essential amino acids for human metabolism and metabolism.
Calorie content and composition of 100 g of dried goji berries:
Vitamin and Mineral Content
Goji berries are characterized by a high content of natural antioxidants, phytonutrients, vitamins (vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamins B1 and B2, five different carotenoids) and microminerals (copper, iron , zinc, selenium, calcium, potassium). 100 g of dried goji berries contain 500% of the daily intake of vitamin A and 80-90% of the daily intake of vitamin C.
Due to the increased content of vitamin C, goji berries are used to make cosmetics for the face. It is believed that such cosmetics can help in the treatment of acne, and can also heal microdamages caused by sunlight. However, we note that we are not talking about the sunscreen properties of goji berries, but only about restoring the skin after tanning.
Goji Berry Health Benefits
For centuries, goji berries have been used in Chinese medicine as a tonic. With symptoms of lack of Jing energy (weakness, frequent colds, memory loss, lower back pain, impaired "male strength"), the patient was recommended daily intake of goji berries. It was believed that long-livers necessarily consumed these berries.
Modern scientific studies confirm the stimulating effect of goji berries on the adrenal gland, as well as a decrease in cortisol and cholesterol levels with their daily use (3) . Among other things, scientists noted the effect of goji berries on reducing feelings of fatigue, improving sleep depth, and also on lowering various inflammatory processes in the body.
How to take goji berries?
The optimal form of eating dried goji berries is either in the morning in the form of a light decoction (first they drink tea, then the pulp is eaten), or as a snack between main meals (mixed with other dried fruits and nuts). It is important to note that goji berries are able to even out the level of glucose in the blood and thus reduce hunger.
If you want to lose weight, then taking a handful of dried goji berries (about 15-20 pieces) 20 minutes before a meal will help reduce the size of the eatable portion necessary for satiety - if it gets into the stomach, the berries simply swell, helping to control your appetite. We also mention that goji berries do not contain gluten .
Goji berries for weight loss
The ancient Chinese treatises on health do not contain any indication that goji berries may be useful for weight loss or weight loss. In the catalog of modern scientific reviews, the only mention is made of the study of the benefits of these berries to speed up metabolism and reduce waist size (4) - however, goji berries are mistakenly considered a fat burner .
Despite the fact that goji can have a certain effect on the level of insulin in the blood (in fact, normalize it) and mechanically fill the stomach (which, without a doubt, dulls appetite), most of the claims about the amazing benefits of goji berries for weight loss are no more. than by advertising and dishonest reporting of facts.
Can goji berries harm your health?
Goji berries themselves are not toxic and cannot be harmful. However, there are studies that note the presence of pesticides and preservatives in dried goji berries. Before buying, carefully study the packaging - inexpensive berries can be processed with the preservative E-220 , which can cause diarrhea, nausea and headaches.
In addition, in people who are allergic to pollen, eating goji berries in large quantities can cause unpleasant symptoms. Among other things, dried goji berries are not recommended to be taken in conjunction with medications to control blood pressure, with diabetes medications and with anticoagulants (especially warfarin).
Goji berries contain a large amount of vitamins A and C, minerals and antioxidants. In ancient China, these berries were used to extend life and increase immunity. Modern scientific studies are very accurate in confirming the benefits of goji berries for 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 Caloric Expenditure and Decreases Waist Circumference in Healthy Overweight Men and Women, source