Properties and Benefits of Dried Goji Berries

Dried wolfberries or goji berries are the sun-dried version of the regular goji berry. Because they have almost no water, yet preserve the same types of nutrients and antioxidants due to a safe, non-altering drying method, dried goji berries are actually much healthier, supplying the body with greater amounts of vitamins compared to the fresh fruit. If you enjoy their sweet-bitter taste and somewhat chewy texture, then dried goji are the perfect choice for you.

Many people enjoy them at breakfast or as a midday snack because they boost energy levels as a result of their dense nutrient content. Dried goji are a great substitute for unhealthy snack foods because of their pleasant taste and chewy texture as well as excellent nutritional value. Regular consumption contributes to improved vitamin and mineral intakes and overall better health.

Dried goji benefits

What do dried goji berries look like? Dried goji berries are elongated, pointy, chewy, red-orange fruit with a delicate, sweet, yet slightly tart flavor and mildly bitter aftertaste. They go wonderfully well with muesli, oats and yogurt and, at the same time, make a genuinely healthy treat on their own. What is the difference between fresh goji berries and dried goji berries? Simple: the dried fruit have virtually no water in them. This leads to an increased nutritional profile because the same amount of essential nutrients and antioxidants is concentrated in significantly less pulp, allowing one to actually eat more of the dried fruit, which adds to the health benefits.

1) Dried goji berries are richer in antioxidants than fresh goji meaning they provide considerably more protection to cells and DNA. When we are exposed to harmful reactive oxygen molecules called free radicals, the antioxidant in dried goji berries react and protect and repair damaged cells, preventing chronic disease and cancer.

2) The greater amounts of lutein and zeaxanthin, two powerful antioxidants, make dried goji berries ideal for eye health. Lutein and zeaxanthin protect the retina against free radicals from blue light which, in time, may cause loss of vision or detached retina. Also, because they preserve their orange-red color, dried goji berries are a rich source of beta-carotene. Aside from promoting tanning, beta-carotene from natural sources such as goji berries is efficient against cataract and skin cancer.

Goji Berries

3) Due to a higher antioxidant concentration, dried goji berries boast greater benefits for our cardiovascular health. More antioxidants per same unit of fruit means more protection for our artery walls which translates into lower risks of plaque blocking blood flow and causing cardiovascular events such as stroke or atherosclerosis.

4) Dried goji berries have more iron than steak. This is a genuine relief for people suffering from anemia who can start improving their condition by including fruits such as fresh and dried goji berries in their diet. However, the type of iron in plant sources is different from that in animal sources, but nonetheless healthy and usable. Taking vitamin C can help improve the absorption of iron, further increasing its health benefits.

5) Last but not least, the polysaccharides (type of carbohydrates) in fresh goji fruit were found to induce apoptosis (programmed cell death) in cancer cells. Sun-dried goji fruit preserve these polysaccharides intact and, by doubling nutrient concentration per any standard unit of measurement, they provide more potent anticancer protection.

When you eat dried goji berries you take in even twice as much antioxidants because the water that was weighing the fresh fruit down and filling you up is no longer there, leaving more room in your stomach for nutrient-packed skin and pulp. Here is a concrete example: if 100 g of fresh goji berries contains more beta-carotene than 100 g of carrots, then think about how much the dried fruit actually contains. Maybe even twice as much beta-carotene than fresh fruit.

Conclusion. When choosing dried goji berries over fresh ones think about the fact that you are choosing more vitamins, more minerals and more antioxidant substances over a higher water content which translates into more health benefits for you. Vitamins, dietary minerals and other nutrients are the pillars of good health. The reason we eat is so that our body can get its nutrients and use them to perform vital functions that keep us alive and healthy. So why not choose nutrient-packed foods?

4 Replies to “Properties and Benefits of Dried Goji Berries”

  1. I don’t understand how the fresh and dried berries would have different nutrients in them? I really don’t think you’re going to eat a whole bunch more just because they are dehydrated! How would the nutrients change if you eat the same amount of berries?

    • Hello, Linda. It’s all about the water content in the fresh versus dried fruits. Say you have 100 g of goji. If it’s 100 g of fresh goji berries, you get several dozens fruits for that weight. But dried goji weigh less because they have no water, so the same 100 g will contain more fruits, thus more nutrients. The nutrients are in the pulp and skin of the fruit, not in their water content. This is why dried goji have more nutrients than fresh ones. In order to get to the same amount of 100 g you would have to add more dried goji to replace the weight of the missing water content. One fresh goji fruit contains the same amount of nutrients as one dried goji fruit, just more water so it would take more dried goji to get to the same weight as the fresh fruits. However, fresh goji preserve their vitamin C content whereas the dried ones lose it because of the changes the fruit goes through when becoming dry. Hope this answers your question, Linda.

  2. Everything written here seems to conflict with what is written here.
    So as a consumer of dried goji berries I am severely confused with the conflicting information present on the internet.

    • Hello, Hally. First of all, please note I have removed the link because of internal policy regulations but have read the article you were talking about and would like to try to shed some light on the matter.

      First of all, fresh and dried goji berries have almost the same nutrients (with 1 major exception: vitamin C), but in different amounts.
      Why the different amounts? Well, fresh goji contain water which represents a great deal of the overall weight of the fresh fruit. Dried goji has a reduced water content because the drying process takes the water out of the fruit to increase shelf life. This means that 100 g of fresh goji will contain less fruits than the same amount of dried goji. The extra dried fruit in 100 g of dried goji (compared to the same amount of fresh fuit) accounts for the reduced water content.
      This means there are simply more goji fruit in 100 g of dried goji than in 100 g of fresh goji. The same is true for any given amount. For example: there are more goji fruit in 1 kg of dried goji than in 1 kg of fresh goji.

      But both the fresh and dried fruit maintain the same content of nutrients (with the 1 exception: vitamin C). This is because the nutrients are in the pulp and all the pulp remains in both the fresh and dried fruit (only the water content changes). So, when you eat 100 g of dried goji, you get more fruits and thus more vitamin-containing pulp than from 100 g of fresh goji. When you eat 100 g of fresh goji, you get less fruits, less vitamin-containing pulp and more water than from the same amount of dried goji. This is why, from a nutritional point of view, dried gojis are seen as more nutritious than fresh ones.

      Now about the slight difference in nutrient profile. For the most part, both the fresh and dried fruit have the same nutrients (not amounts). Except vitamin C. This is because vitamin C is very sensitive to heat, air, light and external factors in general. And when you make dried goji berries, you have to expose the fruit to heat, sunlight for some time and this causes loss of vitamin C. Depending on the drying method employed, how long you dry the fruit for and what other processing it goes through, most or all of the vitamin C in dried goji can be lost. Other antioxidants like carotenes survive, but not vitamin C which is a highly sensitive nutrient.

      As for the increase in longevity and the 250 years old lifespan in the other article, honestly, there is no good research to back this up.
      All attempts to study the dietary secrets of centenarians have come up with different findings which has led researchers to believe there is not one food that is responsible for longevity, but rather an accumulation of factors such as: diet as a whole, environmental factors, genetic factors, stress, hygiene and prevention in the general sense. For example, you can eat as many goji berries as you like, but if the rest of your diet is unhealthy or you don’t have good hygiene and get infections all the time or work until you’re exhausted and have too little time to rest and eat right or you have a strong family history of a certain disease (brain hemorrhage or a certain cancer), then just eating goji will not make you suddenly perfectly healthy. Eating fresh or dried goji is just one of the many steps you can take to be healthier.

      I would also like to stress the importance of choosing a quality product. A lot of dried fruits contain additives to improve taste, enhance color, increase shelf life so if you do want to eat goji, then make sure you get a high-quality product. Read the label, check the origin of the product and compare with others. Ideally, you can make your own and it will provide great nutrition for sure. I also have an interesting article on 8 Side Effects of Dried Fruits and Nuts you can read to know more about your favorite products may contain and find out how to choose the healthiest for you.

      I hope this answers some of your questions with regards to the difference between fresh and dried goji. If you had something more in mind, have follow-up questions or would like more details on this subject or others, I am happy to help with anything I can. Wishing you lots of health, Hally.

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