What are goji berries?
Goji berries are a superfood that gained popularity in the western world in the early 2000s for their unique sweet taste and incredible health benefits. These tiny red berries can be found in specialist health food shops, some local supermarkets and also online. Although Goji berries can be found in the US and other parts of the world, China is still the world’s biggest producer of the berry.
Why are goji berries considered a superfood?
Goji berries are rich in antioxidants and give numerous health benefits. They contain magnesium, selenium, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, potassium, iron, and zinc as well as all essential amino acids. These berries are nutrient-dense and have been popular in a lot of Asian counties for many years.
Are goji berries good for your eyes?
Not only do they contain all the amazing health benefits mentioned above, but they also contain beta-carotene and zeaxanthin which gives these berries their bright red/orange colour. These nutrients help to protect the eyes. They are especially high in zeaxanthin which keeps the eyes in good health as you age.
What is age-related macular degeneration?
Those with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) cannot see (or can only partially see) in their central field of vision. AMD is age-related, this means that older individuals are most likely to develop it, particularly those over the age of 50.
Risk factors for AMD include:
- Being over the age of 50
- Consuming too much saturated fat in the diet
- Hypertension/high blood pressure
Can goji berries prevent age-related macular degeneration?
A small, randomised trial published by the Journal of American Academy Optometry found that regularly eating a handful of dried goji berries could help to prevent or delay the onset of age-related macular degeneration. The study found that participants who ate 28 grams of dried goji berries (about a handful) 5 times a week (over a 90-day period) had their macular pigments lutein and zeaxanthin increase. These pigments in the eye help to filter out blue light and protect the eyes as they age.