Lycium chinense seeds Wolfberry seeds goji berry Lycium barbarum Chinese wolfberry
The goji berry has become quite popular in the health food industry and the name is taken from the chinese Go-Ji,
The fruit is an oblong berry about 15mm long and 8mm wide with an aniseed-like flavour. It can be eaten raw of cooked or dried for later use. Like all Solanaceae (potato, tomato, egg plant, tamarillo etc) the fruit should be fully ripe before being eaten. Green fruit not only tastes bad but can be toxic unless fully mature.
In addition to edible fruit, the leaves and young shoots have a peppermint-like flavor and can be used in salads or dried and used as a tea substitute. The seeds can be roasted and used as a coffee substitute.
Micronutrients and phytochemicals
Wolfberries 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. Wolfberries contain 112 mg per 100 gram serving, providing about 8-10% of the Dietary Reference Intake (DRI).
Potassium. Wolfberries contain 1,132 mg per 100 grams dried fruit, giving about 24% of the DRI.
Iron. Wolfberries have 9 mg iron per 100 grams (100% DRI).
Zinc. 2 mg per 100 grams dried fruit (18% DRI).
Selenium. 100 grams of dried wolfberries contain 50 micrograms (91% DRI)
Riboflavin (vitamin B2). At 1.3 mg, 100 grams of dried wolfberries provide 100% of DRI.
Vitamin C. Vitamin C content in dried wolfberries 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).