Why you should include goji berries in your diet

goji berries, health benefits, indian express news

Goji berries look and taste like raisins, and are sometimes treated as dry fruits in the commercial market. (Source: Getty/Thinkstock)

There are many berries out there, but there is none quite like the goji berry. Native to ancient China, the berry has been used as a medicinal plant. It is believed that goji berries are good for the eyes, the liver and the kidneys. While a Chinese term that is used to refer to the juicy, reddish-orange appearance of the fruit, it is known as 'wolfberry' in India. It is also hailed as the fruit of the gods, and has a slightly sweet, slightly sour taste. The berries also come in dry form, and look like raisins. Here are some health benefits that you need to know about. Read on.

The origin

The berries belong to the Solanaceae family of plant kingdom, which include many other fruits and vegetables like potato, eggplant, tomato, tobacco, chili pepper, to name a few. Goji berries are believed to have originated in southeastern Europe and southwestern Asia, but are found all over the world today, with China owning most of the market.

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Nutritional value

The berries are rich in vitamins and minerals, fiber, iron, zinc and antioxidants. They are also believed to contain essential amino acids and protein. It is, however, advisable to consult with your doctor/dietician if you are looking to include it in your diet. A professional will be able to tell you better after listening to your medical history.

Health benefits

* The vitamins present in goji berries are believed to give a boost to the body's immune system, thereby protecting it from flu.

* The berries also potentially help with weight loss. Every berry is packed with energy. Sweet in taste and high in fiber, it can help you eat healthy and stay on track.

goji berries, health benefits, indian express news

'Goji' is a Chinese term that is used to refer to the juicy, reddish-orange appearance of the fruit. (Source: Getty/Thinkstock)

* The berries have antioxidants like zeaxanthin that help with eye and skin health. It is zeaxanthin which gives the berries its red-saffron colour.

* It is believed that the berries also help maintain the sugar level in the blood by alleviating insulin resistance and improving cells that produce insulin.

* The berries are also sometimes touted to be superfoods, given that they help with increased energy, quality sleep, and overall well-being.

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How to eat them?

The berries can be eaten raw or cooked with tea. They are similar to raisins and are available as dry fruits in the commercial market. The berries can also be consumed in their juice form.