These powerful berries have reportedly been used in Chinese medicine starting as early as 200 B.C, and are still used today by natural practitioners to treat a variety of issues.
History of Goji Berries
Cultivated for approximately 700 years in mostly North-central and Western China, goji berries began to pop up in the US at the beginning of the 21st century.
Since their arrival to the US and Canada, goji berries have been primarily marketed as a health food, but many of their benefits haven’t been scientifically verified.
The Health Benefits of Goji Berries
Like other super fruits, goji berries have a high oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) rating, meaning that they’re full of powerful antioxidants, and are great at helping to lower inflammation in the body.
Because of their high beta-carotene content, goji berries are excellent for keeping your complexion healthy. There’s even a study that links the consumption of goji berry juice to increased protection against skin damage from UV radiation.
In addition to their high fiber content, goji berries have been scientifically tested for their ability to help increase the body’s sensitivity to glucose, therefore easing blood sugar spikes. Even though these tests were done on animals, they provide solid evidence for the goji berry’s ability to positivity impact blood sugar.
Perhaps the coolest study involving goji berries shows that individuals who drank goji berry juice for 14 days had a big improvement in everything from their energy, to a sense of calm, to a better digestion, to an overall sense of happiness.
With health benefits like these, eating a handful of goji berries a day seems like a great idea!
The Taste of Goji Berries
Dried goji berries have a lightly sweet / lightly earthy taste, which makes them the perfect addition to trail mix, in jellies, smoothies, salads and healthy desserts.
Where To Buy Goji Berries
Most specialty stores sell dried goji berries. As with most superfoods, always try to find an organic brand.
If you’re looking to buy online, we sell organic goji berries that can be shipped directly to you!
Smoothie Recipes With Goji Berries
These sweet dried fruits blend up perfectly in smoothies, adding a nice dose of earthy sweetness. If you’re trying to sweeten up a particularly green smoothie, one to two TBSPs of goji berries should do it!
Pineapple Goji Berry
This immune-boosting smoothie helps you fight back with tons of vitamin C from orange, pineapple, and carrot. There’s also protein and essential fatty acids in both goji berries and hemp seeds -- two extraordinarily powerful superfoods! Keep the sniffles at bay, and your skin glowing, with this sweet and refreshing snack.
This tropical smoothie is spring break in a cup! High in vitamin C, vitamin A and beta-carotene, carrots are a great vegetable for your complexion. In addition to keeping your skin radiant, daily consumption of carrots may also provide a small amount of SPF. Because of its high vitamin C content, pineapple is another great ingredient for your skin, and goji berries have the antioxidants to help every part of you feel young. Goji berries are also full of copper, iron and riboflavin, trace minerals aren’t all that common in produce. In addition to protein, hemp seeds are a great vegan source of Omega-3s and Omega-6 fatty acids, the good kind of fat that helps with heart health, cholesterol, and even balancing hormones.
Full of vitamin C and exceptionally good at fighting wrinkles and heart disease, strawberries may also help reduce inflammation in the body. Basil has also been touted as having anti-aging and inflammation-reducing properties, meaning this combination is great for glowing skin. Another win for beautiful skin are goji berries, which are packed with beta-carotene. Add in some healthy fat and vitamin E from walnuts, and some more vitamin C from pineapple, and you have a delicious, summer-inspired smoothie that will have you looking and feeling fresh faced and fancy free. Pro tip: Organic strawberries don’t have to be separated from their green tops, just toss the whole berry in, greens and all!
Carrot Coconut Zinger
The combination of carrots (beta carotene, vitamins A and C, and fiber), an orange (vitamins A and C), and lime (vitamin C and flavonoids) is fantastic for the immune system as well as skin, and goji berries provide a burst of amino acids, zinc, and even a bit of protein. Add some additional fiber with an apple, and protein and healthy fat from unsweetened shredded coconut, and you might just feel like you spent the whole day at a spa.
Golden Orange Goji
Even though many think yams and sweet potatoes are interchangeable, they’re actually completely different varieties of vegetables. Native to Peru, sweet potatoes are full of beta-carotene (which has been shown to reduce premature aging in skin), and make a rich, creamy smoothie base. Skin-brightening vitamin C is present in both pineapple and orange, and goji berries are also full of beta-carotene. When you add hemp seeds, which are full of Omega-3s (good fats that help reduce inflammation, which in turn reduces wrinkles and blemishes), you’ve got a skin-soothing, satisfying breakfast.
Ruby Red Strawberry
A great source of vitamin C and manganese, strawberries have also been linked to a healthier cardiovascular system. Full of B-6, vitamin A, fiber and even a little bit of protein, cherry tomatoes contain lycopene, an antioxidant that has been shown to help reduce diseases caused by cellular damage. Goji berries and hemp seeds, two powerful superfoods, give this refreshing smoothie a dose of protein, essential amino acids our bodies don’t produce on their own, beta-carotene and fiber. Round everything out with vitamin C-infused pineapple, and you’ve got a sweet, cooling smoothie that’s also a perfect meal replacement. Pro tip: Strawberries are delicate. Don’t wash them until you’re ready to use them, as water speeds up their ripening process.
Red, White and Blueberry
This smoothie is all about the red (goji berries, full of beta carotene, antioxidants, and 18 amino acids), white (banana, a natural energizer with magnesium and potassium), and blue (blueberries, low sugar, high fiber berries that have been shown to help with cognitive decline). There’s also anti-inflammatory benefits from flaxseed, as well as a skin-brightening orange. Any day can be the 4th of July with this sweet and healthy breakfast!
Pineapple Protein Jingle
Do a little something special for yourself this holiday season by blending up this vitamin C-infused smoothie (that also makes a great meal replacement). Carrots, orange, pineapple and goji berries are all bursting with immune-boosting vitamin C, and goji berries have the additional benefits of energizing antioxidants. A tablespoon of pea protein helps to keep this sweet smoothie nutritionally balanced, while also helping to promote lean, healthy muscles.
Goji Carrot Cake
If this isn’t heaven, we don’t know what is. This smoothie, disguised as a dessert, is teaming with all that good-for-you stuff. Carrots are chock full of vitamin A, which helps your liver get rid of all those nasty toxins from the body. Considered both a fruit and a herb, goji berries are also an excellent source of antioxidants. You can now have your cake, and drink it too.
Goji Cranberry Crimson
Native to South America, acai (ah-sigh-EE) berries are a good source of dietary fiber and are also rich in antioxidants. They’re also full of vitamin C. Goji berries are native to China, and have been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries to treat everything from fever to diabetes. Goji berries also pack a punch of beta-carotene, which is great for the skin. The sweet / tart combination of mandarin oranges and cranberries gives this smoothie a good dose of vitamin C, fiber, and polyphenols, and walnuts may help reduce the risk of both prostate and breast cancer.