Another small reasearch on goji berry, a great superfood with many hidden properties…
Berries, in Italian are called “wood fruits”; they give us multiple incredible health benefits. Generally they are all antioxidants, anti inflammatory, help cardiovascular issues, eye health and neurological system support. For these reasons they are considered Beauty support foods. Some of these berries are also known for helping memory, and should be considered as an Alzheimer’s preventative. All of this thanks to the many vitamins and minerals, and many phytonutrients inside these berries, especially many anthocyanin, known for their anti inflammatory effects. Because most diseases start as an inflammation, this is already a big support for many diseases.
There are many types of berries, but let’s talk about Goji berries.
Goji berries grow on a bush that develops like a vine when grown in shade. At the very largest the goji bush will grow six feet tall. Goji berries range in color from pale yellow to dark sun fire orange to deep red. There are an estimated 85 species of goji berry in Asia and 15 species in North and Central America. It is possible that the berry was brought to North America by groups who migrated from Asia.
All goji berries are remarkably adaptable; they grow as wonderfully in harsh, dry deserts as they do in the tropics. They survive freezing winters too, and can handle daily swings in temperature.
The goji berry is under the genus Lycium, which means in Greek “school of learning”, and this is what the masters of Chinese herbalism believed the goji berry could provide.
ASIAN GOJI BERRIES: because of its extraordinary nutrient value, vibrant color and pleasant taste, the Chinese, Mongolian and Tibetan people have been growing these berries for an estimated 5 thousand years. To preserve the fruit it is often dried until similar to a dry raisin in texture. One of the reasons these clans would eat the goji berries was because of its longevity effect they believed in. The famed Li Quing Yuen(1678-1930), whom legend has it popularized both goji berries and ginseng, is said to have lived to the age of 252 years, he consumed goji berries daily. He consumed a goji berry soup each day, until the emperor of China discovered such a long-living person and he invited him to the royal court, within a few months of living in Beijing he was dead, either from eating processed food or from exposure to the city.
AMERICAN GOJI BERRIES: are concentrated mostly in the desert Southwest of the USA with some species also present in the western deserts of Mexico and South America. It was an important food source for nearly all Native American tribes in the desert southwest.
Overall, goji berries boost immune function, increase alkalinity and vitality, provide liver protection, improve eyesight and blood quality, deliver anti aging compounds and possess a number of additional outstanding qualities. Although they are not used for treating illness or poor health, their main benefit is to nourish the body, to support it in healing itself by providing an array of nutrients.
- They are the most nutritionally rich berry fruit, they are a complete protein source and contain 19 different amino acids and all 8 essential amino acids, they contain 21 or more trace minerals (the main ones are zinc, iron, copper, calcium, germanium, selenium and phosphorus) as well as vitamins B1, B2, B6 and vitamin E.
Contrary to the marketing, they do not contain much Vitamin C.
- They are some of the highest antioxidant containing foods in the world, typically containing 2 to 4 times the amount of antioxidants found in blueberries. Antioxidants protect our DNA from free radical and DNA damage, which opens the door to every imaginable illness and accelerates aging.
- As we age we produce less and less HGH, Human Growth Hormone. Decreased levels of HGH have been linked to symptoms of aging. Goji berries are the only food known to help stimulate the human body to produce more HGH naturally, making these berries perhaps the world’s greatest anti aging superfood!
- In Asia, goji berries are regarded traditionally as a strong sexual tonic and to improve overall stamina, mood and well being while decreasing the impact of stress on our bodies.
- Goji berries contain 2 key antioxidants for healthy vision: zeaxanthin and lutein. These antioxidants protect against free radicals attacking the eyes, they concentrate themselves at the center of the retina and protect the eye from the most common causes of age related loss of sight, cataracts, and macular degeneration.
- Three major components improve the immune system: the goji berry polysaccharides, beta-carotene, and the mineral germanium.
- Goji berries help our bodies produce choline, an essential nutrient that combats free radical damage linked to neurological degeneration and Alzheimer’s disease.
- They fight narrowing of the arteries that deliver oxygen to our cells, so great for supporting cardiovascular health.
- Goji berries, aid in digestion when added to other foods, they appear to draw digestive juices into the stomach and intestines.
How To Purchase:
- Purchase organic. Non-organic are sprayed with chemical pesticides or sulfur dioxide.
- Size doesn’t count.
- Select berries that have a rich red color
A reasonable daily intake of dried goji berries is 15-45 grams (a handful). They can be eaten as snacks or mixed with recipes or smoothies, like other dried fruits.
They can be soaked and rehydrated in water; goji water makes for a wonderfully hydrating beverage and can also be used for the base of a soup stock.
Or they can be an excellent tea additive: just throw 10 to 20 goji berries into the tea, or just drink goji tea all by itself.
I will now research on how to grow them, I’d love to plant some bushes and see what happens!