Goji Berry offers numerous health benefits for kids which include improved eyesight, strengthening of the immune system, can protect liver, is a good source of antioxidants, has neutroproective properties, has anti-inflammatory properties and is a good antimicrobial.
Goji berries have become popular in the recent years in the west, but they have been consumed in East Asian countries, especially in China and India for few millennia now. The fruit is also known by other names such as Chinese Wolfberry, Himalayan goji, Tibetan goji, Duke of Argyll’s Tea plant or tree, Barbary matrimony vine, etc. It is believed that the name Goji itself is derived from the Persian word “gojeh” which means plum or berry. Another instance of the name goji being developed is that goji comes from a word found in various Chinese dialects which is “gouqi”.
Goji berries have been used for a very long time in China as an herbal tonic. Ancient Chinese medical texts have noted that by consuming goji berry tonic, people improved their health drastically and lived longer without any long run health issues.
Health benefits of Goji Berries for kids
Here are some of the health benefits of Goji Berries for kids listed below.
Can be good for eyesight: Goji berries are rich in beta-carotene which is the same compound found in carrots, pumpkins and other orange-like fruits. As we all know, beta-carotene plays an important role in vision development and is also a very good antioxidant.
Strengthens the immune system: One study has shown a potential of goji berry in strengthening the immune system. The study showed that by giving the extracts of goji berries, the activities of immune cells increases in mice. This study shows that by taking goji berries regularly, one can strengthen the immune system. Not only this, consuming goji berries can also help in increasing the white blood cell count.
Has liver protective properties: Goji berry can also be used for liver protection. Certain studies revealed that goji berry contains liver protective compounds such as cerebrosides and pyroles which can offer protection against liver damaging chemicals. And these compounds were outperformed milk thistle in liver protection.
Is a good source of antioxidants: Antioxidants are important micronutrients that are needed to reduce free radical scavenging. Free radical scavenging is a phenomenon where after the process of metabolism, the left over chemicals which are devoid of electrons start scavenging the cells and tissues. In order to stop this process, antioxidants are required. Antioxidants stop free radical scavenging by neutralizing free radicals before they do any damage to cells and tissues. Goji berries are also a good source of antioxidants. In certain experiments the extracts of goji berry fruits showed that they can reduce free radical scavenging to a significant extent.
Possesses Neuroprotective properties: Goji berries also possess neuroprotective properties. In one particular study it was shown that the extracts from goji berries can stop or halt the process of cell apoptosis where signals of programmed cell death are sent. This was particularly true with neurons that were given apoptosis inducing compounds. It was noticed that goji berry extracts reduced neuron death by counteracting the compounds.
Has anti-inflammation properties: Goji berry also has anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation generally arise due to any injuries occurred locally. These inflammations are associated with pain and affect movement or sensitize the area of injury. The anti-inflammatory properties of goji berries can be helpful in not only reducing the inflammations but also in reducing pain. Goji berry can effectively reduce skin damage due to exposure to harmful UV rays from the sun.
Possesses anti-microbial properties: Goji berry fruit has been experimented for its anti-microbial properties. Today, there is a need to find new anti-microbial drugs because of increasing immunity of harmful bacteria towards standard medications. Goji berry is one of those several fruits which have anti-bacterial properties. Studies have shown that goji berry extracts can be not only be used topically on wounds to reduce bacterial infections, but also work from the inside, i.e., through gastrointestinal.
Nutrition found in Goji Berries
Mentioned below is the nutrition found in Goji Berries.
|Nutrition||Value Per 100 g||Nutrition||Value Per 100 g|
|Protein||11 g||Total Carbohydrates||21 g|
|Dietary Fiber||8 g||Total Lipid (Fat)||1 g|
|Vitamin A||9000 IU||Vitamin C||19.2 mg|
|Thiamin||0.1 mg||Riboflavin||1.3 mg|
|Calcium||100 mg||Iron||9 mg|
|Potassium||840 mg||Sodium||24 mg|
Side effects or adverse effects of consuming Goji Berries
Goji berries definitely have numerous health benefits to offer, but there are certain side effects or drug contradictions that we should be aware of. Mentioned below are some of the side effects of goji berries.
Can be dangerous during pregnancy and while breastfeeding: According to WebMD, taking goji berries during pregnancy and breastfeeding should be avoided because of the presence of a biochemical compound known as betaine. This compound could cause miscarriage and hence, it is not recommended during pregnancy.
Allergies: Goji berries can also be allergic to certain individuals who are allergic to peaches, tomatoes, tobacco and nuts. Experiments show that the allergy is generally associated with panallergen nonspecific lipid transfer protein which causes the allergy. While introducing goji berries to kids, make sure that there are no allergies for peaches, tomatoes or nuts is present in your family. Taking a skin test can be an easy way out to know whether or not your kids are allergic to goji berries.
Can lower blood pressure: If you are on high blood pressure medications, it is advised not to take goji berries because it can lower the blood pressure further. Also, if you are suffering from low blood pressure, do not take goji berries because they can lower the blood pressure further.
Can lower blood sugar levels: The root of goji berries is usually used for treating diabetes. If you are on diabetic medications, do not take goji berries because, they can lower your blood sugar levels than normal. Children with Type 1 diabetes are advised not to consume goji berries because they can bring down blood sugar levels drastically.
Interactions with medications: According to WebMD, Goji berry can also interact with certain medications. Any drug or pills that are taken are first broken down in the liver first. Taking goji berries on medication can affect the way these drugs can work. Goji berries can slow down the drug breaking process in the liver. This can increase the side effects of the medication. Some of the most common medications that are known to interact with goji berries include amitriptyline, diazepam, zileuton, celecoxib, diclofenac, ibuprofen, irbesartan, losartan, torsemide, warfarin, etc.
Some Goji Berry recipes
Goji berry, Pistachio Cornmeal Biscotti: For this recipe you first need to make cornmeal dough, flour, baking powder and salt and whisk them until it is well mixed and fluffy. Add beaten eggs to this mixture and mix it well. Now add, minced gojiberry and pistachio and mix them all thoroughly. Now, put this mixture into the microwave preheating at 350 for about 20 minutes. Let it bake for about 35 minutes and cool it for 15 more minutes. Now, take the log and cut into pieces. Now, place the pieces once again in the oven for about 15 minutes until, the edges are brown and crisp.
Chia Breakfast with Berries: For this breakfast you’ll need whisked chia seeds and berries such as goji berries, mulberries, cashews, etc. All you need will be 2 spoons of chiaseeds, ½ cup of almond milk, 1 spoon vanilla bean powder, ½ spoon ground cinnamon, 2 spoons of gojiberries, 2 spoons of golden berries and 2 spoons of dried mulberries. Add the chia seeds to almond milk and let them soak the milk completely. It takes about 30 minutes to completely soak the milk, so every morning you start with this and by the time you’re finished getting ready, the soaked chia seeds will be ready. Now, add the berries to this and have it as a breakfast.
Smoothie of Gojiberry and other berries: To make this smoothie, you’ll need 2 tablespoons of cashews, 2 tablespoons of gojiberries, 1 cup of frozen berries, 1 banana peeled. Blend cashews and make a fine paste, now add gojiberries next and other berries and make a paste out of it. Now add the banana as well to the mix and blend it thoroughly. Now, add water to this mixture. And your berry smoothie is ready. Enjoy after chilling it.