As beauty editors, we consider ourselves fairly well versed when it comes superfoods. We snack on blueberries to load up on antioxidants and chop up tomatoes to decrease our chances of sunburn. And yet, there’s always something new and unknown out there—in this case, we’re talking about an ancient Chinese berry called goji. We started noticing them recently as our acai bowl obsession increased, since they’re frequently sprinkled on top for a mere dollar more. Intrigued, we decided to do some digging—and what we found was major. Quite simply put, these little berries are chock-full of antioxidants, fight free radicals like none other, and can give you clearer, brighter skin. Think of them like a way, way more potent version of the berries we know and love. It’s no wonder women in China have been adding them to their tea since ancient times.
Keep scrolling to find out all the skin benefits of goji berries!
Supposedly, in the Ningxia Hui region of Northern China where goji berries are grown and eaten on a daily basis, there are 16 times as many people over the age of 100 as in the rest of the country. How crazy is that? Goji berries are a total antioxidant powerhouse and major source of vitamin C, minerals, amino acids, carotenoids, and polysaccharides—all things that do everything from support collagen production to protect your skin’s elasticity. In other words, the benefits goji berries give your body are reflected in your glowy visage. Furthermore, studies have shown that consuming goji berries significantly reduces skin inflammation and immune suppression, all thanks to their antioxidant properties. But wait, it gets better…
Ever heard of something called the ORAC? It stands for oxygen radical absorbance capacity and was developed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 1999, when it found that foods with high ORAC values may help slow the aging process and protect your cells from free radicals. Free radicals are the bad guys that can cause everything from premature aging to more-serious health issues (cancer included). Blueberries have 2400 ORAC while prunes have 5700. Can you guess what goji berries have? We’ll just go ahead and tell you: 25,000. In other words, these tiny berries are the free radical fighters your body has been waiting for. But before you go shoveling these berries into your mouth by the handful, know that like with all foods, too much of a good thing can either backfire or simply pass through your system—10 to 30 grams is a normal daily serving for goji berries. Keep scrolling to find out how to add them to your diet.
There are tons of different ways to eat goji berries. You can buy them raw and dried at any health store (or even online) and pop them into your mouth as a snack (they taste slightly sweet, with an herbal aftertaste). Or add them to your morning smoothie, trail mix, cereal, and even baked goods (a good Pinterest search will yield plenty of yummy-looking recipes). For a soothing sip, you can brew goji berries in tea—just add a handful to a glass of hot or cold water and let them sit for about 10 minutes. They’ll plump up and get juicy, and then you can drink the tea and eat the berries. Simple!
Have you ever tried goji berries? Click here to find out more skin secrets from ancient China!