12 July, 2011
Can Kids Eat Goji Berries?
The goji berry is native to China. The use of goji berries in eastern Asian medicine for their reported natural health benefits.dates back thousands of years. Goji berries are slowly being introduced in the United States and other countries as a superfood -- an all-natural way to get the most out of the berries' health benefits and antioxidant properties. Goji berry consumption is relatively safe for kids, unless they have an allergy to the berries or take certain types of medication.
Even though goji berries are all natural, there are some medications that may adversely interact with them. If your child is taking a blood thinner or anticoagulant medication, goji berries may increase his risk for bleeding. If your child is taking medications to help control blood glucose levels related to Type 1 diabetes, goji berry juice may interact adversely, and dosage levels may need to be readjusted. Speak with your child's pediatrician prior to introducing dried goji berries or juice into your child's diet, to prevent any possible drug interactions or side effects.
A 16-ounce serving of dried goji berries is around 100 calories and contains no fat or cholesterol. Goji berries may provide a boost to the immune system -- especially beneficial for kids who are exposed to an array of illnesses at daycare and school. Goji berries may also help to improve eyesight, which can be beneficial when your child is in school and when he is focusing on homework. Goji berries may also improve circulation and strength -- benefits that can improve performance in physical education classes and sporting activities.
Goji berries contain antioxidants -- in particular, polyphenols and carotenoids -- explains Dole.com. Polyphenols play an important role in preventing cardiovascular disease, certain types of degenerative diseases and certain types of cancers. Carotenoids make up a group of more than 700 fat-soluble nutrients. Overall, they carry an array of health benefits, such as maintaining eye and skin health and promoting healthy linings of the urinary, intestinal and respiratory tracts.
The sweet, tart taste of the goji berry may or may not appeal to young children. Goji juice, which is sold in specialty stores, may contain natural or artificial sweeteners to help make the drink more appealing. Finding goji berries or goji juice can be challenging, because it is not always readily available in local grocery stores. Dried goji berries can also be pricey. Goji juice combined with other juices such as acai, pomegranate or blueberry may be a more cost-effective alternative.
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