Goji berries are small, delicious red fruits that are mainly consumed in their dried form. Originally from China, they’ve achieved worldwide popularity thanks to advertising campaigns that boasted them as “the cure of all illnesses”. Although they are not magical fruit, these delicious berries are highly nutritious with a multitude of health benefits. For example, many people use goji berries to treat eye, liver, and kidney ailments, among other things.

Goji berries strengthen the immune system and help delay the effects of aging. They also assist in regulating blood glucose (sugar) levels and help improve the health of eyes and skin. Do you want to learn more about Goji berries and their health benefits? This guide includes everything you need to know about this amazing superfood so you can be informed about how and why you should include them in your diet.

Key Facts

  • Goji berries contain a plethora of macro and micro molecules we need for our body to function efficiently. These include carbohydrates, dietary fiber, vitamin C, provitamin A (beta-carotene, lutein), iron, zinc and potassium. They’re versatile and tasty; easily added to cereal bars, jams, salads, baked goods and more.
  • These fruits contribute to our overall longevity and have anti-aging properties, which primarily increase the healthy and youthful appearance of the skin. It also works to combat various conditions that affect the eyes, while also helping to maintain stable blood glucose levels.
  • Goji berries are generally consumed dried, but supplements in the form of powders, capsules and beverages have also been developed. Both dried forms and goji berry supplements should be manufactured ethically from natural, organic sources to ensure they are totally safe for human consumption.

Ranking: The best goji berry supplements on the Canadian market

As a result of advertising campaigns promoting the benefits of goji berries, the supply of these “superfoods” has increased dramatically. Some products are of excellent quality, while others fail to live up to their superfood title. To facilitate your decision, we have chosen and described for you all the different supplements that truly meet the high quality standards we are all looking for.

No. 1: Viva Naturals, Premium Himalayan Organic Berries (1lb)

Unlike most sun-dried goji berries, Viva naturals carefully selects berries from fully developed shrubs to be dried naturally in the shade. Because of this, the goji berries are larger, juicer and contain larger amounts of preserved antioxidants and micronutrients. Certified organic and non-GMO, these berries are sourced directly from Tibetan farmers in compliance with fair trade practices.

Each serving of these organic berries contributes to the maintenance and health of our bodies by helping fulfill our daily dietary requirements. These goji berries contain over 20 trace minerals, 18 amino acid, vitamin C, vitamin A and beta-carotene, all carefully preserved by the harvesting methods used. The manufacturer offers a full refund for 90 days after purchase if their product doesn’t meet your high expectations.

No. 2: Sunfood, Certified Organic & Non-GMO (8oz)

The antioxidant rich goji berries by Sunfood are non-GMO and certified organic by CCOF. This all natural product is an amazing source of potassium, iron, selenium, B vitamins, calcium, zinc, fiber and even protein. By providing such high amounts of essential nutrients to our body, this superfood helps increase longevity, vitality and overall energy.

Sunfood goji berries come in delicious cherry and cranberry flavors. Because of the meticulous way they are sun-dried, these berries are the juiciest, sweetest and have a full-bodied taste. It is a food product that is great for all to consume, a wonderful snack that is great for people of all ages.

No. 3: Navitas Organics, Goji Power (4oz)

Goji Power by Navitas Organics is a true 100% plant-based product, certified organic by the USDA. These 1-4 oz pouches of goji berries are an amazing vegan and gluten-free source of vitamin C, vitamin A, beta-carotene, iron and multiple antioxidants.

They contain more vitamins and minerals than carrots, soybeans and spinach. Navitas is B corps certified, operating in accordance with rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency. Buying this product not only gives support and health to your body, but to the earth as well.

No. 4: Giddy Yoyo, Organic Raw Goji Berries (1lb)

Giddy Yoyo certified organic Goji berries are sweet, chewy and nourishing. A 100 gram serving provides nearly 100% of your daily recommended intake for vitamin C. These berries are grown in the fertile soils of Qinghai Province and they go through a rigorous 14-phase quality-control process before export. After, they are further independently tested in Canada to guarantee purity.

Goji berries can be added to yogurts, cereals, biscuits, muffins, sweets and shakes. Because they have been dehydrated at precisely the right time, avoiding the loss of freshness, they can also be consumed alone as a snack. These berries are free of gluten, nuts, dairy and soy, making them a nourishing treat for every kind of person.

No. 5: DICTEA, Goji Berries (200gr)

DICTEA offers natural sun-dried goji berries presented in a 200g resealable bag. The packaging contains 90 capsules. The recommended daily dose is 1 to 3 capsules. This supplement has neutral taste and it’s free of preservatives, flavourings and genetically engineered organisms (GMOs). Moreover, it is suitable for vegans and it presents gluten-free product certification.

You can eat them raw or soak them in hot water before consumption. This versatile, nutrient-dense fruit is perfect to add to trail mixes, smoothies or as garnish for cereals, salads and yogurts. Because of their ability to regulate blood glucose levels, these goji berries are an excellent snack for those looking to limit their sugar intake while increasing their responsiveness to insulin.

Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about goji berries

Goji berries are one of the most controversial superfoods out there. At the same time that companies began selling them as a miracle fruit, other scholars were discrediting these honourable berries. The reality is that goji berries are very nutritious and can work to improve your health if consumed responsibly.

Healthy Breakfast

Breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day, and goji berries offer us the opportunity to bring variety to our breakfast.
(Source: Baibakova: 73708136/123rf.com)

What are goji berries exactly?

Goji berries are small, bright red fruits that resemble cherry tomatoes in shape, texture and appearance. They originate in China, but their consumption has spread all over the world. In general, these berries are consumed dehydrated and their appearance is similar to an elongated raisin with a red hue.

What taste do goji berries have?

The taste of Goji berries is sweet, slightly acidic and refreshing. Although during dehydration they lose some of their water content, dried berries retain a good portion of their water, preserving their juiciness. These fruits can be eaten alone, mixed with yogurt or as part of salads, smoothies, cereal bars and biscuits.

Goji berries

Dried berries have lost only part of their water content, but retain all the nutrients of the fresh fruit.
(Source: Puhha: 68361767/123rf.com)

What nutrients do goji berries provide?

Goji berries are either dried naturally under the sun or dehydrated using dry, frozen air. Preserving them in these ways significantly reduce the nutritional losses that would occur if high temperatures were used for drying. In 100 grams of dehydrated goji berries we find:

  • 330 Calories
  • 57 grams of carbohydrates, of which approximately half correspond to simple sugars
  • 2 grams of fat
  • 12 grams of protein
  • 8 grams of fiber
  • Minerals: iron, potassium, selenium, zinc, among others.
  • Vitamins: vitamin C and provitamin A (beta-carotene).
  • Pigments: beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin.

What beneficial health properties do these fruits have?

Traditional Chinese Medicine attributes numerous health benefits to these berries:

  • Strengthen the immune system (immunostimulants)
  • Protect the liver and prevent liver-related diseases (hepatoprotectors)
  • Improve sight health
  • Delay aging and lengthen life
  • Help prevent cancer
  • Increase energy levels (energizing)
  • Increase libido (sexual desire) and fertility
Goji Tea

Goji berries are ideal for making tea or milkshakes.
(Source: Balabanova: 43580663/123rf.com)

Despite all these Eastern Medicinal claims, in this guide we want to focus primarily on the benefits of this fruit that are supported by scientific evidence, such as:

  • Help regulate bowel function
  • Regulate blood glucose levels
  • Contain multiple antioxidant compounds (substances capable of mitigating oxidative stress in the body)
  • Provide satiety and reduce appetite
  • Immune system support
  • Promote visual health
  • Contribute to maintaining healthy skin and prevents wrinkles and blemishes
Gemma del CanioNutritionist

“There is no one magic food that is a solution to cure us of all ailments.”

What is the recommended daily dose of goji berries?

There is no universally recommended daily dose for the intake of dried goji berries. However, many people who eat them as part of their breakfast use 1 tablespoon each day. Another option is to alternate with 1 teaspoon of goji berry powder in juices or smoothies. In the case of capsules, the recommended dose is 1 to 3 units per day.

Why is it important to choose organic goji berries?

As a result of the massive diffusion of the “miraculous” properties of goji berries, meticulous cultivation has increased considerably. However, in many cases, inexperienced producers will grow these fruits under inappropriate and unfavourable conditions. The result of these shortcuts is the contamination of the berries with heavy metals and agrochemicals.

Analysis of 10 samples of Goji berries by the Organization of Consumers and Users (OCU) showed that all samples were contaminated with pesticides, lead or cadmium. Remember that long-term cadmium intake is associated with kidney, bone, and fertility problems. It is therefore very important to choose organically grown berries.

Breakfast bowl

Raw and unmanufactured berries are sweet and refreshing.
(Source: Kolpakova: 40974331/123rf.com)

Do goji berries prevent aging?

Ageing is an inevitable process in all living organism. However, the speed and ways with which something ages are factors that can be modified. This is where goji berries can have a positive influence thanks to their antioxidant compounds: vitamin C, beta-carotene, selenium, lutein and zeaxanthin.

Antioxidants help block free radicals, which are compounds that “oxidize” cells, causing disease and aging.Goji berries can help keep your body healthy and young if they become a permanent part of your lifestyle.

Are these fruits recommended for people with diabetes?

A study of 32 adults with diabetes showed that Goji berries produced a decrease in blood glucose (glycaemia) numbers. Zhao and collaborators demonstrated that these fruits favour the use of glucose by cells and reduce the requirement of insulin.

However, it is important that all diabetics consult their family doctor before consuming these berries. There is a possibility that the effect of berries, in addition to that of medication, will result in a lowering of blood glucose below appropriate levels. This is known as hypoglycemia and it causes dizziness, tremors, and sweating.

Goji berries

Consuming dehydrated goji berries brings a delicious taste to our food.
(Source: Zabrotskaya: 84212281/123rf.com)

Are goji berries beneficial to the skin?

Yes, these berries help keep skin healthy and young, due to the presence of vitamin C and beta-carotene. Beta-carotene protects the skin from sunlight and radiation damage and prevents spots and wrinkles. Vitamin C is an essential nutrient for collagen synthesis, which gives the skin its firm and smooth appearance.

How do Goji berries protect our eyesight?

Goji berries help prevent age-related macular degeneration. This disease reduces vision because it affects the center of the visual field, which eventually leads to blindness. Lutein and zeaxanthin are antioxidant pigments that protect against ultraviolet light and oxidative damage, helping prevent this degeneration.

Do Goji berry supplements help regulate bowel function?

Fibre is an indispensable component for healthy intestine function. Goji berry capsules and powders don’t help regulate our digestive system because they do not contain the fibre that is naturally present in the fruit. Dried berries on the other hand, do help regulate bowel function because they are very rich in fibre.

Goji Berries

A good Goji berry supplement is one made from good quality fruit.
(Source: Belchonock: 98226203/123rf.com)

Do goji berries increase our body’s natural defenses?

There is no food that magically raises the defense mechanisms in the body. However, goji berries can improve immune function thanks to their vitamin C levels. This vitamin strengthens the immune system, has antiviral properties and has been shown to reduce the duration and symptoms of colds.

Do goji berries help you lose weight?

Although goji berries are known to be miracle foods for weight loss, this information is false. No food helps you lose weight or burn fat on its own, it should be part of a balanced diet.

Goji berry supplements do not influence body weight.

The risk is that, as Michael Angelo Luruena (Doctor of Food Technology) points out, “these products are perceived as a way of compensating for a bad diet and bad habits”.

Dried berries, on the other hand, can absolutely be incorporated as part of weight-loss plan because they help control appetite. This is due to their fibre content, which slows digestion and prolongs the feeling of satiety. As a result, a decreased appetite will have you eating less.

What are the contraindications and adverse effects of consuming goji berries?

If goji berries are consumed in moderation, they usually have no adverse effects. Like any dried berry, too much can cause stomach pain or flatulence. Berries should be purchased without additives, as the sulphur dioxide (E-220) often added to them causes headaches, nausea, allergies and vomiting.

Fresh goji berries

Fresh and dissected goji berries have different properties.
(Source: Serenzniy: 113856603/ 123rf.com)

As for contraindications, there are certain people and certain situations in which one should avoid consuming goji berry supplements, for example:

  • Children, pregnant women and infants: This is because there are no studies to guarantee that their consumption is safe during these biological stages. Nonetheless, children can occasionally eat dried Goji berries without adverse effects.
  • People who take warfarin, acenocoumarol, or other anticoagulant medication: Goji berries should be avoided in this case because can negatively interact with these drugs, posing a risk of hemorrhage.
  • Individuals with a tendency to suffer from hypoglycemia: There is a possibility that the effect of berries, will result in a lowering of blood glucose below appropriate levels.
  • People suffering from chronic diseases (hepatic, renal, hormonal or cardiac): Even those taking permanent medication should consult their doctor before consuming this superfood.
  • People who are allergic to certain foods (tomato, peach skin, peanut, nut), pollen or mites: Some people may have a cross-allergic reaction after consuming these berries. The affected individual may suffer from hives, itching, or tearing. These people should NOT consume goji berries or any product that contains them.

What types of goji berry supplements are there and which one is right for me?

The supplement best suited for you will depend on the results you’re looking to obtain. The good news is that with so much variety, you will easily find a product that fits your needs, tastes and wallet. There are many trademarks of goji berries that sell them in various forms of presentation:

  • Desiccated
  • Capsules
  • Dust
  • Juices

Goji berries whole and dried

This is the most natural way to consume goji berries. Dried berries have lost only part of their water content, but retain all the nutrients of the fresh fruit. They are rich in carbohydrates, fibre, vitamins and minerals. They can be eaten alone or in jams, pancakes, muffins, cereal bars, salads and smoothies.

Whole berries are sweet and refreshing, adding flavor to the diet. They are ideal for those who suffer from constipation and want to regulate their bowel function. In addition, they calm the appetite for several hours and help reduce chronic “snacking” of food throughout the day. They have the ability to lower blood glucose in people with diabetes.

Goji berry extract capsules

The capsule forms of this fruit contains goji berry extract. Manufacturers recommend a dosage of 1 to 3 capsules per day. They are easy to ingest and can be taken anywhere. Their taste is neutral. They are recommended for those who want to delay aging, take care of their skin and prevent deterioration of eyesight.

Most goji berry capsule manufacturers use a plant material called hydroxypropylmethylcellulose for the capsules so that vegans can benefit from their use. However, it is always important to verify this criteria by carefully reading the supplement label.

Goji berry powder

Goji berry powder is made from dried berries by means of frozen dry air, which is then reduced to fine particles. The powder can be mixed with milk, yogurt, milkshakes and infusions. It is also used to enrich baked goods. Its taste is sweet and mild and its nutritional profile is very similar to that of whole berries.

Goji berry juices

Goji berry juices are very high in sugar and low in fibre. They’re sweet and refreshing. Nutrition experts recommend not exceeding 50 milliliters of simple sugars in the diet per day. This form of the supplement is not recommended for people with diabetes, as it could have the potential to cause undesired surges in blood glucose.

Dried berries (1 tablespoon) Capsules (2 units) Powder (2 teaspoons) Juice (50 milliliters)
Calories 33 Calories 2 Calories 15 Calories 24 Calories
Proteins 1.1 grams 0.13 grams 0.55 grams 0
Carbohydrate 5.7 grams 0.34 grams 2.65 grams 6 grams
Fiber 0.8 grams 0.7 grams 0

Purchase Criteria

A good goji berry supplement is one that is made from excellent quality fruit and is free of additives, pesticides and heavy metals. Before you make a purchase, it’s important that you consider other basic criteria, such as taste, preservation and method of consumption.

  • Flavour
  • Preservation
  • Method of ingestion
  • Certifications

Flavour

Quality goji berry products tend to have high consumer satisfaction. Dried berries are sweet and slightly acidic. They adapt to a variety of recipes and food combinations. Juices and powdered supplements taste sweet. The capsules will be the best choice for those who want all the benefits but don’t enjoy the taste of this superfood.

Preservation

Dried Goji berries, capsules and powder should all be stored at room temperature in a dry, dark place. Because of their convenient presentation, they can be stored in the car, in a lunch bag or at the workplace – readily available at any time. Keep in mind that the juice however, once opened, must be kept in the refrigerator and consumed within 4 days.

Method of Ingestion

To take the capsules, a few sips of water are enough to accompany them. Whole berries can be eaten alone just like the juice presentation. Goji berry extract powder must be dissolved in a drink (water, milk, milkshake, vegetable drink) or incorporated into the food directly in order to be consumed.

Certifications

It is best to buy a Goji berry supplement with testing that demonstrate the absence of heavy metals and pesticides. If this is not possible, products with organic production certification should be chosen. Celiacs and vegans should only consume berries or supplements that have the gluten-free and vegan seals.

Dried berries Capsules Powder Juice
Flavour Sweet, somewhat acidic and refreshing. Neutral Sweet and mild. Sweet and refreshing.
Form of consumption Alone or with other foods. Alone, accompanied by a sip of water. Dissolved in beverages, infusions or yogurts ir mixed with other flours. Solo, does not need to be mixed or diluted.
Preservation At room temperature, in a dry and dark place. In the same bottle containing them, at room temperature, in a dry and dark place. At room temperature, in a dry and dark place. In a refrigerator.

Summary

As we have mentioned throughout this guide, goji berries can have a very stimulating nutritional value. In addition, their supplements can have a very positive impact on your health if you take them regularly. Despite their advantages, it is worth noting that they do not compensate for dietary excesses or replace a balanced diet.

It is essential that you read the labels on goji berry products before buying them, don’t be fooled by false advertising campaigns and good marketing. Remember that goji berries are an extremely powerful and delicious food, but they may be contaminated or include harmful additives. The goal of including a goji berry supplement is to improve your health, never to put you at risk.

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(Featured image source: Puhha: 68361767/123rf.com)

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