With the majority of the population heading towards organic living to combat against unhealthy lifestyle and pollution, inclusion of fruits and vegetables that are rich in nutrients especially antioxidants have become customary to include in one’s diet. Various kinds of berries and tea have become a common habit now-a-days. One such fruit which slowly gaining the status of super food is the goji berry. It has been quite popular in the West and now, in India too, this fruit is widely available not only in the online stores but also in every departmental store. These tiny red-orange wonders come at a very reasonable price too!
Goji berries are said to be rich in vitamins and minerals like Vitamin C, Vitamin A, fibre, zinc and anti-oxidants. They are known to boost our immune system, aid in weight loss, ward off heart diseases and many more. But, along with the health benefits it comes with a baggage of side effects too. One should never include goji berries in their diet without a prior consultation from a doctor.
Here are a Few Side Effects of Goji Berries that One Needs to be Aware of before Eating Them:
Individuals who have an allergic tendency to berries should immediately cease having these berries as they can cause quite a number of allergic reaction like nasal congestion, irritation in the eyes, itchy skin, sneezing, hives, blurry vision to name a few. They are known to have alkaloid Atropine which causes these allergies.One should immediately consult a doctor if they experience such reaction.
2. Causes Sleeplessness And Hyperactivity:
Goji berries increases energy and alertness levels. Hence, the can cause sleeplessness in a person if taken at night. It is therefore advised to take these berries during daytime and not at night. It can also lead to hyperactivity, anxiety and restlessness which can affect one’s concentration level.
3. Not Recommended For Pregnant And Nursing Mothers:
Goji berries are not proven safe for pregnant and nursing women. It can stimulate uterus contractions. It might even result in high selenium levels which can cause birth defects in babies. Regular intake of goji berries can even cause miscarriage.
4. Not Safe People With Arthritis:
Goji berries belong to the Nightshade family. Any fruit or vegetable is said to worsen the symptoms ofarthritis. So it is best to avoid goji berries if you have this condition.
5. Not Safe For People Using Warfarin:
Warfarin is a blood thinning drug used to prevent heart disease and blood clots. Goji berries have anti-coagulant properties which naturally makes our blood thinner. So if an individual is already taking this drug should stop having goji berries as the drug and fruit can interact and can increase the symptoms of epistaxis, rectal bleeding bruising etc.
6. Not Safe For Blood Pressure Patients:
Goji berries are good for high blood pressure patients as it can aid in decrease high blood pressure levels. But for the ones who suffer from symptoms of low blood pressure should avoid this fruit as it can further lower the levels of blood pressure. Moreover, if one is already taking medicines for high blood pressure, it can lead to drastic fall of blood pressure.
7. Not Safe For Diabetic Patients:
Goji berries aid in lowering blood sugar levels. So if you are already under medication, you must avoid goji berries as it can decrease the blood sugar level way too much. Hence one should check their blood sugar level regularly if they consume goji berries.
8. Restricts the Functioning of Enzymes Released by The Liver:
The enzymes released by the liver helps to metabolise medications. Goji berries can hinder the proper functioning of liver enzymes to break down medications. In some cases it can slower the rate of metabolism whereas in some cases it can increase its rate. This can restrict the proper functioning of a drug.
9. Bowel Trouble:
Goji berries are rich in fibre. An overdose of goji berries can irritate your stomach. It can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, indigestion etc. it can even lead to gastric ulcers if the conditions become severe. Hence one should not overdo their dose of goji berries but take them moderately.
10. Aggravate Bleeding:
Since goji berries act as a natural blood thinner so, it might aggravate bleeding and affect blood clotting. It is not recommended to individuals who are going to have surgeries. Women have also reported of heavy bleeding during menstruation when they had goji berries during this time.
11. Loss of Appetite:
Over consumption of goji berries can lead to loss in appetite and could lead to various eating disorders. Hence the consumption should be monitored for maintaining a good diet.
An increase in the dosage of goji berries can cause dizziness, blurry visions and even hallucinations, but majorly cause palpitation or tachycardia. It could lead to an increased heartbeat and further give an extremely uneasy feeling.
The atropine content in the fruit can cause bloating, drowsiness and irritability. Goji berries can also increase the blood pressure levels which can result in a number of heart related diseases. This should be avoided by people who suffer from pollen grain allergy.
However, most of these side effects are seen when an individual overdoes his dosage of goji berries. The right amount of dosage depends on a number of factors like age, health and other medical conditions. All products, be it natural or artificial, have some side effects. Goji berries are filled with nutrients which are beneficial to health but only when taken in the right amount. For a person who does not suffer from any illness, 2-3g of daily dosage of goji berries is the right amount. But for a man who has some illness, should consult a physician or herbalist before including them in his diet.
If a person suffers from illness (diarrhoea being the most common illness as one can find it difficult to digest high amounts of goji berries because of its high contents of vitamin C and fibre) he should reduce the dosage of goji berries and then increase the dosage gradually.
So now that you are aware of the benefits and side effects of goji berries, enjoy the goodness of this fruit by taking it in the right amount.