As with many exotic fruit beverages, many people are wondering "What are the side effects of goji juice?" Goji juice and the goji berry itself have been used for centuries in the Far East, as both a refreshing drink or snack and a health tonic. While scientists are still evaluating the benefits and risks, there are certain side effects that consumers should be aware of.
About Goji Juice
Goji juice is made from goji berries, also know as wolfberries. Native to China, the Himalayas, and Tibet, the berries themselves are slightly bitter tasting. When made into juice, the flavor becomes more of a sweet and sour mixture.
Goji juice and berries are believed to have many medicinal benefits. Studies have shown that they contain anticoagulants, antioxidants, and plenty of vitamin C. While the healthful claims can tend towards the outrageous, some that have been proven include:
- Heightened alertness
- Improved circulation
- Increased immunity
- Anti-aging benefits
Almost all berries, including the goji, contain antioxidants that help the body ward off diseases such as cancer and heart disease.
What Are the Side Effects of Goji Juice
When consumed in moderation, goji juice doesn't pose many risks to the average person. There are, however, certain side effects that may prove undesirable for some. If you're asking yourself, what are the side effects of goji juice, here are some answers.
Since goji is a natural anticoagulant, it should not be consumed by those taking blood thinners. Drugs such as Warfarin (coumadin) are prescribed to decrease clotting and thin the blood, and adding goji juice to the mix can cause excessive bleeding.
Anyone who is taking prescribed medications for diabetes or blood pressure should check with his or her doctor before using goji juice, as there may be a risk of drug interactions.
Disruptions in Sleep Patterns
One of the attributes of goji juice is that it increases alertness. Because of this property, the juice should be treated in the same regard as other stimulants such as caffeine or ginseng. Consume goji juice early in the day, and avoid drinking it in the evenings or before going to sleep. Excessive amounts of goji juice can interrupt your natural sleep patterns.
Studies are still being conducted and the evidence so far is inconclusive, but there have been links to heightened allergy symptoms in subjects who ingested goji juice. This is especially true for those with pollen allergies.
Once again, the proof is inconclusive, but it has been suggested that the high levels of selenium found in goji berries can cause birth defects. If you are pregnant or trying to conceive, check with your doctor for the most up-to-date information regarding goji juice and risks involved.
Tips on Buying and Drinking Goji Juice
Goji juice has become a hot trend in health food, and it can be very expensive. Before you decide whether or not to add goji juice to your diet, here are a few things to keep in mind.
- Quality: The nutritional quality of goji juice or juice blends you can find in stores very a great deal. Try to do some research on various brands, and always read labels to make sure you're getting a good quality product.
- Serving Size: If you are concerned about side effects with goji products, start off with only a single serving each day. For goji juice, one serving is equal to one cup, or eight ounces, of juice.
- Health Claims: Whenever a new trend in natural health products comes along, manufacturers and sellers can get carried away with the claims of health benefits. No product is a true miracle cure, and goji berries are no exception to this rule. Always spend time doing careful research and consulting with your doctor before embarking on any natural health food regimen.
A Healthful Addition to Your Diet
Goji juice can be a great addition to any healthy diet. It's flavorful and refreshing, and does indeed contain many nutrients and vitamins that are beneficial to your health. Consume goji juice in moderation, and keep the potential side effects in mind.