Goji berries have a mild tangy taste that is slightly sweet and sour. They have a similar shape and chewy texture as raisins. They grow on an evergreen shrub found in temperate and subtropical regions in China, Mongolia and in the Himalayas in Tibet. They are in the nightshade (Solonaceae) family.
Goji berries are very rich in antioxidants, particularly carotenoids such as beta-carotene and zeaxanthin. Adequate clinical studies on the claimed benefits are still awaited.
For their weight - a daily serving is only 10 to 30 grams - goji berries have more Vitamin C than oranges, more beta carotene than carrots and more iron than steak. Beta carotene is believed to help fight heart disease and also protects the skin from sun damage. Goji berries are also a good source of B vitamins and antioxidants which protect against harmful free radicals that damage cells in your body. They're also rich in polysaccharides, which aid the immune system have 18 kinds of amino acids, and are a rich source of potassium. The high Beta carotene and antioxidant content is thought to help fight cancer.
One of zeaxanthin's key roles is to protect the retina of the eye by absorbing blue light and acting as an antioxidant. In fact, increased intake of foods containing zeathanthin may decrease the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of vision loss and blindness in people over the age of 65.
Potential Side Effects
Goji berries may interact with anticoagulant drugs (commonly called "blood-thinners"), such as warfarin.