Goji berries have traditionally been consumed in Asia to extend one’s life expectancy. This brightly colored orange-red berry, sometimes known as the wolfberry, is the product of an indigenous Chinese shrub.
Dried goji berries resemble red raisins at first appearance, but they’re nothing special. However, these nutrient-rich berries, which taste like a cross between cranberry and cherry, are a common sight on the Instagram feeds of well-known health food bloggers.
Thanks to goji berries, these health problems like high blood pressure, fever, diabetes, and age-related issues have been treated. Considered as a “superfood,” some consume these berries in a variety of juices, herbal teas, and beverages—as well as medicines.
Dried goji berries should be kept in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. They’ll keep for at least a year, but some companies may offer a longer shelf life if they package the berries with preservatives.
Since goji berries are so delicate, they’re usually marketed dried as small, shriveled, and chewy berries that go well in fruit and nut salads or as a colorful and nutrient-dense addition to cereal. However, Goji berries can be found at your local farmer’s market or exotic grocery store, so be sure to try them raw and unprocessed to get an authentic taste of the juice’s sweet and tart flavor.
How Do You Know When Goji Berries Are Bad?
Dried goji berries can be found in food stores across the globe and on the internet. So if you’ve had a bag of goji berries in your cupboard for a while and aren’t sure if they’re still good, you’re not alone. People also ask if goji berries should be washed or if goji berries have lead content. First-time buyers also want to know if they need to soak goji berries before consuming them.
While dried goji berries last longer than their fresh counterpart, you still need to check if your berry surpasses its shelf life. Dried fruits can still spoil—which can be harmful when consumed.
- Appearance: Goji berries that have been dried should resemble the vivid orange-red color, about the same size as a raisin. Dark unhealthy color and significant shredding indicate that your goji berries have gone rotten.
- Texture: Goji berries are chewy and sticky and should have a solid surface reminiscent of raisins. If your goji berries are soft and mushy, they’re not safe to eat.
- Taste: Goji berries have an acidic, earthy, and sour taste profile. A bitter, unpleasant bad aftertaste is an indicator of spoiled berries.
- Shelf life: Goji berries can only be enjoyed after a certain amount of time has passed. If your berries have exceeded their average shelf life of one year, they’re probably spoiled.
How Many Dried Goji Berries Should I Eat a Day?
It’s difficult to stop eating goji berries once you start. However, as with most things, consuming an excessive amount at once may prove harmful to your health.
Which begs the question: just how many should you eat at once? Depending on how your goji berries have been processed, the suggested serving size for goji berries varies.
- Fresh goji berries: If you can get fresh goji berries, you can have up to 150g of them in a single sitting without any ill effects.
- Dried goji berries: It is okay to consume more than the suggested serving size of one ounce of dried goji berries, about 28g or two teaspoons.
- Juiced goji berries: If you use the powdered juice variant, you should consume 30ml or drink in higher quantities using fresh berries.
- Tablets and capsules: In terms of goji berry capsules, a standard dose is 2500mg; however, you should always seek medical advice, especially if you are breastfeeding or pregnant due to the high potency of goji berry capsules.
Goji berries can be beneficial if consumed in moderation and as part of a healthy diet. However, as with many beautiful things, if ingested in excess, adverse effects may occur.
There are several negative effects of taking an entire large bag of goji in one sitting, such as bloating, diarrhea, and stomach pain. However, the mineral overdose of potassium, fiber, and selenium is the most common source of the harmful effects of overconsuming goji berries.
If you’re anxious about the side effects of eating a lot of goji berries, don’t be. You’d need to consume tons of goji berries to have any adverse effects.
What Happens If You Eat Expired Goji Berries?
Although eating your goji berries will keep them from going terrible, you’ll still have to store them somewhere if you want to keep them from going stale.
Because humidity and air damage goji berries, you must keep them in an airtight, absolutely dry container if you want to preserve their freshness and extend their shelf life. If the bag has been left open, mold is more likely to appear because mold grows best in damp circumstances.
Goji berries that have been dried turn a pinkish-red tint and resemble raisins in appearance. The darker and shriveled the berries become, the more likely they will have gone spoiled.
If your goji berries have become dark, they are probably rotten and should be thrown out. When inspecting your goji berries, keep an eye out for mold, which might appear as a white powder.
Eating expired goji berries can disrupt your gastrointestinal tract. Goji berries are high in fiber and antioxidants, but they may also contain a parasite called Cyclospora, which can induce unpleasant flu-like symptoms such as bloating, diarrhea, vomiting, and so on.
- Store your goji berries away from moisture, even in an airtight container. If you’re in a tropical area, you may want to store your goji berries in the refrigerator.
- Rinse berries thoroughly before eating, and don’t eat them if they’ve beyond their use-by date or if they’ve started to decay or grow mold. Fresh berries you won’t eat before they go wasted can be frozen to save money.
- Unpasteurized juices are more likely to contain bacteria or yeast contamination than pasteurized juices. According to the date on the bottle, raw, cold-pressed goji berry juice should only be consumed within two to five days of being created.