In the extensive list of “superfoods”, we find several “superfruits”. Among them, the Goji berry originating in China, and presented as being beneficial for health despite some controversies.
What is Goji berry?
The notion of superfruit – derived from that of superfood – originated in the United States. It designates a fruit with exceptionally rich nutritional values compared to those of a classic fruit. It is also about a high content of antioxidants. In the list of superfruits, we find in particular pomegranate, acerola, durian, cranberry or even Goji berry.
Originally and mainly produced in the Ningxia Autonomous Region (China), the Goji berry is the tradename of the bay of the common wolfberry (Lycium barbarum) and Chinese wolfberry (Lycium chinense). These are the two species of Lycium (out of 70) being marketed worldwide. The Goji berry is small, red, elongated and slightly sweet. Most of the time, we find it in dried form, but it sometimes exists as a juice in a mixture with other fruits.
Superfruit, yes but controversial
As explained Consoglobe, the Goji berry is popular in Europe for its exceptional dietary and nutritional qualities. It contains in particular 5 carotenoids – including beta-carotene, a plant pigment precursor of vitamin A. The latter is said to have the ability to reduce by 25% the risks of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and slowing cognitive decline. We can also mention the presence of 8 polysaccharides (carbohydrate family), a fuel for the body capable of regulating and stimulating immune and cardiovascular systems. The Goji berry also contains many vitamins (B1, B2, B6, C and E) and nutrients, namely no less than 18 amino acids (including 8 essential) and 21 trace elements. In addition, the content of phytosterols in this berry would be capable of regulate blood pressure while lowering cholesterol levels.
You should know that if the Goji berry is in fashion, it is also subject to controversy. In 2010, the report Goji berries: a new miracle cure? of the Swiss chain RTS evoked several points against the fruit. Goji berry is the subject of a craze, some scientists say more related to marketing than to science. Its benefits would be overestimated and it would contain as many vitamins as simple fruits like apple or orange. In addition, traces of pesticides – higher than European standards – were found in imported dried berries. This is Acetamiprid, an insecticide that is used to control aphids.