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Health Benefits of Goji Berry

By Madhusudhan Tammisetti

Goji berries, scientifically known as lycium barbarum, and they grow on a boxthorn plant, which belongs to the plant family of solanaceae. Other vegetables and fruits in this plant family include potatoes, eggplants, chili peppers, and tomatoes. The color of dried goji berry is bright orange-red and has a tangy and sweet taste.

Asia is home to the Goji berry plant, and notably in China, they are cultivated in both the north and south. Today, goji berry plants comes in two main varieties, which are L. chinense and L. barbarum and are grown in the south and the north of China, respectively.

From 200 B.C., traditional Chinese medicine practitioners used goji berries for medicinal purposes. The benefits of goji berry were also listed in the ancient book on Chinese herbs, which details the agricultural and medicinal expertise of Shen Nong, a mythological Chinese emperor. Along with the goji berry, the goji plant's other parts, such as the root, seed, leaf, and flower, have long been appreciated for their health benefits.

Good for Healthy Skin

Goji berries are high in beta-carotene, which promotes healthier skin and may serve as skin cancer treatment. Beta-carotene is a pigment present in fruits and plants

In University of Sydney's animal study, it found that consuming 5 percent juice of goji berry exhibited antioxidant activity that gave considerable protection against lipid peroxidation of UV radiation damage and skin disorders. Goji berries contain two antioxidants for endogenous skin, metallothionein and heme oxygenase-1 that have been linked to photo-immune protection.

Consuming goji berry's juice may boost protection against sun-induced damage caused by free radicals. Goji berries give extra photoprotection for those who are prone to various skin conditions including skin cancer.

Good for Eye Health

The berries may help in protecting the eyes from age-induced conditions, including macular degeneration, which causes blindness in elderly people. Because of its high amounts of antioxidants (particularly zeaxanthin), which may help prevent damage caused from free radicals, UV radiation, and other kinds of oxidative stress, goji berries are good for treating macular degeneration.

If you drink goji berry juice regularly as a nutritional supplement for 90 days, it may greatly improve plasma zeaxanthin amounts, which helps in protecting the eyes from the buildup of oxidative stress elements, which may affect the macula and hypopigmentation. Some studies indicate that the fruit protects the retina from the damage caused by ganglion cells, implying that the antioxidants present in goji's function as a natural glaucoma treatment.

Fights Cancer

Carotenoids such as zeaxanthin and predecessors to Vitamin C are the most researched antioxidants in goji berries. Due to high levels of antioxidants, goji has a reputation for combating cancerous cells, preventing tumor growth, detoxifying the body of toxins, and lowering inflammatory cytokine levels.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Richardson, Tex.

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