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The goji berry trend started with health food fanatics and has now crossed over to us mere mortals. Originating in the Himalayan region of China and Tibet, the goji berry contains more iron than spinach and more vitamin C than an orange. According to WebMd,  the berry contains powerful antioxidants that protect the liver, help eyesight and boost immune system. They are known to stimulate hGH which promotes longevity, energy and stamina.

The goji berries have been part of the Chinese culture for centuries and recently, I have seen goji berry trail mixes and dried snacks being sold at supermarkets. I was interested to see what the fuss was all about so I grabbed a bag from Whole Foods. When I got home, and decided I did not like how it tasted.. I wondered if the $12.00 I invested in this “miracle plant” was even worth it?

Research has shown that eating berries like blueberries, cranberries and strawberries, offers some definite health benefits. The Goji berry offers powerful antioxidants and other compounds that may help prevent cancer and other illnesses, including heart disease. Goji berries also have compounds rich in Vitamin A that may have anti-aging benefits. These special compounds help boost immune function, protect vision, and may help prevent heart disease. Some research suggests that goji berry extracts may boost brain health and may protect against age-related diseases such as Alzheimers.

All these benefits are great, but the one I was most interested in was that goji berries “help increase energy.” It is said by ingesting Goji berries, the high antioxidant levels may leave you full of energy. Well no wonder its popular a stimulant that dose not have caffeine of sugar? I’m in. But wait, Coconut water was deemed the new energy drink and I found some flaws in that. So naturally I was doubtful about this too.

After doing some research I found that some studies using goji berry juice found benefits in mental well-being and calmness, athletic performance, happiness, quality of sleep, and feelings of good health. However, these are preliminary studies that need to be repeated before definitive conclusions can be drawn.

While goji berries are a rich source of antioxidants  and early research shows a potentially powerful health benefit, it’s still unclear how they stack up against other berries. Researchers also don’t know whether goji berry supplements have the same health benefits as the actual berries.

To eat or not to eat? Some may like the taste, and see a change in their mood and energy- but I’ll pass. I personally don’t love the taste and don’t want to invest the money in something I don’t enjoy. Of course, the healthy aspect is important to me- but there are plenty of other ways I can get my dose of antioxidants.

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