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Goji Berries - Nutrient Information for Super-food Goji berries
Home Health & Fitness Nutrition & Supplement
By: Sheila York Email Article
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The following nutrient information explains the key health benefits of goji berries. So what's the hype about goji berries, can they really cure cancer? Perhaps goji berries alone cannot cure cancer, but they are indeed a super food that helps to prevent and fight cancer. Goji berries are a deep reddish color with the shape and size of raisins. They're one of about 80 varieties of the lycium berry. They grow in only a few parts of the world, the most well known being Tibet and China. Goji berries generally go by the names "Tibetan goji berries" and "Chinese wolf berries". Regardless of the name, goji berries are not only highly nutritious, they're also a delicious fruit. Like other fruits and plant foods, goji berries have their own unique taste. The flavor is referred to as being similar to a cross between a cranberry and a cherry. It's a mildly sweet and tart flavor. Goji berries are packed with nutrients. They're particularly a good source of antioxidants including carotenoids and vitamin C.

What are antioxidants? Antioxidants are compounds that help to protect the body from the formation and damage of free radicals. Free radicals are atoms and groups of atoms that can cause damage to the body's cells. This causes the immune system to be impaired and thereby leading to the increased susceptibility of various illnesses and conditions. Free radicals can be formed in a variety of ways including through the ingestion of toxic foods, smoking, air pollution, water pollution, and through exposure to other toxic chemicals. Antioxidants provide protection against some of the damage that can be caused by free radicals. Not only do antioxidants help to prevent the formation of free radicals, they also neutralize the free radicals that are there. Eating goji berries and other plant foods is the best way to obtain a variety of antioxidant nutrients.

Carotenoids are antioxidant substances that give some plant foods their vivid red and orange colors. Many plant foods contain carotenoids, but their colors may not be visible due to another vivid color in the plant food. For example, many green leafy vegetables contain carotenoids, but due to the green chlorophyll contained in the green leafy vegetables, the carotenoid colors may not be visible. Carotenoids work like other antioxidants. They prevent the formation of free radicals and also neutralize free radicals in order to prevent the damage caused by them. Goji berries are a good source of carotenoids.

The antioxidant vitamin C is an essential nutrient needed by the body for several important functions. Vitamin C plays a role in the formation of and protection of gums, joints, artery walls, ligaments, and skin. Vitamin C is important for the formation of collagen, a protein that helps to support the body's structures. Vitamin C also helps to heal wounds and boosts the body's resistance to infection. Like most edible berries, goji berries are a good source of vitamin C.

Goji berries are most often available in their dried form. Adding a few goji berries to a healthy diet is a great way to improve your health. While some raw foodists consider goji berries to be a common food that can be eaten regularly, some health experts consider them to be a nutritional supplement with possible adverse side effects. For that reason, it's a good idea to consult with your physician before consuming goji berries.

Sheila York writes about nutrition, natural health, and alternative medicine. Learning about the nutrient information in foods reminds us of why it's important to eat and drink healthy foods. All edible plant foods offer a unique set of nutrients and health benefits.

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