Happy St. Patrick’s Day!! While the only thing green about goji berries is the leaf, the young shoots and leaves of the Lycium bush are also grown commercially as a leaf vegetable. Maybe you can add it to your salad in celebration of St. Patty’s Day!
Now, back to the berry….Goji berries are a terrific Superfood with so many incredible benefits. They have 10x more antioxidants than blueberries and 8x more than pomegranate! WOW, this berry is a no-brainer! Why not try and incorporate goji berries into your diet in as many ways as possible. Goji berries can be eaten on their own, in yogurt, with couscous, mixed into a salad and even in your cookies! As a continuation to our National Nutrition Month posting, we wanted to provide a few more statistics about goji berries to show why we enjoy them so much. Please post about how YOU have incorporated goji berries or another Superfood of your choice into your daily routine this month!
Here are some interesting stats from Wikipedia. Goji berries contain many nutrients and phytochemicals including:
- 11 essential and 22 trace dietary minerals
- 18 amino acids
- 6 essential vitamins
- 8 polysaccharides and 6 monosaccharides
- 5 unsaturated fatty acids, including the essential fatty acids, linoleic acid and alpha-linolenic acid
- beta-sitosterol and other phytosterols
- 5 carotenoids, including beta-carotene and zeaxanthin (below), lutein, lycopene and cryptoxanthin, a xanthophyll
- numerous phenolic pigments (phenols) associated with antioxidant properties
Select examples given below are for 100 grams of dried berries.
- Calcium. Goji berries contain 112 mg per 100 gram serving, providing about 8-10% of the Dietary Reference Intake (DRI).
- Potassium. Goji berries contain 1,132 mg per 100 grams dried fruit, giving about 24% of the DRI.
- Iron. Goji berries have 9 mg iron per 100 grams (100% DRI).
- Zinc. 2 mg per 100 grams dried fruit (18% DRI).
- Selenium. 100 grams of dried goji berries contain 50 micrograms (91% DRI)
- Riboflavin (vitamin B2). At 1.3 mg, 100 grams of dried goji berries provide 100% of DRI.
- Vitamin C. Vitamin C content in dried goji berries has a wide range (from different sources) from 29 mg per 100 grams to as high as 148 mg per 100 grams (respectively, 32% and 163% DRI).
Goji berries also contain numerous phytochemicals for which there are no established DRI values. Examples:
- Beta-carotene: 7 mg per 100 grams dried fruit.
- Zeaxanthin. Reported values for zeaxanthin content in dried goji berries vary considerably, from 2.4 mg per 100 grams  to 82.4 mg per 100 grams  to 200 mg per 100 grams. The higher values would make goji berry one of the richest edible plant sources known for zeaxanthin content. Up to 77% of total carotenoids present in goji berry exist as zeaxanthin.
- Polysaccharides. Polysaccharides are a major constituent of goji berries, representing up to 31% of pulp weight.