Lycium fruits, or Goji berries, come from a botanical that grows in Asia, particularly in the northwestern regions of China. Goji belongs to the Solanaceaeade family and produces small, bright orange-red berries with a tangy and sweet flavour.
Since ancient times, goji berries have been recommended to increase longevity and for their benefits for the liver, kidneys and vision (1). Goji has indeed been consumed for centuries due to its rich medicinal properties and health effects based on its chemical composition. Traditionally, before being consumed, its berries are cooked and used in Chinese soups, herbal teas and juices.
In many Asian countries and then in Western countries, goji was gradually considered as a functional and dietary food (2). The beneficial properties of its components have increased its popularity as a superfruit.
The various nutrients of goji (including 46% carbohydrates, 16% dietary fiber and 13% protein) and its bioactive compounds with high antioxidant potential, could indeed be favourable in the prevention of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer.
Goji is an excellent source of macronutrients. It also includes minerals and vitamins (riboflavin, thiamin, copper, manganese, magnesium and selenium) (3). The functional components with high biological activity of the berries are the polysaccharides, the carotenoids responsible for the orange colouring and the phenolic compounds (4).
The extremely high carotenoid content of Lycium Chinensis Mill.
could give it antioxidant properties for vision, retinopathy and macular degeneration. Goji could also be a neurological protector with anti-aging effects (5).
Consuming goji products may also lower blood lipids and improve immunity (6).