Goji berries, or wolfberries, “are deciduous woody perennial plants, growing 1–3 m high. L. chinense is grown in the south of China” (Wikipedia). These berries are red-orange in color, are ellipsoid in shape and grow from 1 to 2 centimeters in diameter. Inside of the berries are yellow seeds, numbering from ten to sixty seeds. In season during the months of July to October, this sweet fruit is very popular in ingredient in many cake, pie, juice, tea and wine recipes. Not only do goji berries taste good, they are good for you to eat.
Goji berries are a major source of Vitamin A, which provides a very powerful anti-oxidant known as beta-carotene. We need anti-oxidants to protect our bodies against free radicals. “Free radicals is a term often used to describe damaged cells that can be problematic. They are “free” because they are missing a critical molecule, which sends them on a rampage to pair with another molecule” (WebMD). The damaged cells will attack the good ones and damage them as well. Goji berries play a key role of destroying the bad cells before they cause any further damage. Another anti-oxidant is zeanathin which helps protect our vision as we get older. This includes preventing macular degeneration from occurring. Since goji berries are also high in zinc, you are giving your eyesight even more protection.
Goji berries contain anti-aging properties. Just by the juice from this berry on your face, you are helping your skin look younger and healthier. The anti-oxidants found in lemon juice will help prevent wrinkles.
Goji berries are rich in polyphenols. “Epidemiologic studies suggest that higher polyphenol intake from fruits and vegetables is associated with decreased risk for cardiovascular disease” (nutrition.org). These play a role similar to antioxidants but work in a more complex way to reduce the risks of you getting cardiovascular disease and many other types of chronic diseases, including diabetes.
Goji berries are an excellent source of potassium which is needed to keep our blood pressure numbers at a safe level. When we do not have enough of this in our daily diets, we run the risk of getting high blood pressure. When you keep your blood pressure lower you run a less risk of getting a heart attack or stroke. The American Heart Association states that food that contains potassium play a key role in reducing blood pressure. With over 150 milligrams for every four ounces, where can we go wrong?
Goji berries boost the immune system because they are a major source of Vitamin C and flavonoids. If you have a cold or the flu, fight the symptoms by having some of these berries. You can even prevent yourself from getting the cold and flu by including goji berries in your daily diet.
Goji berries are an excellent source of dietary fiber. By including these berries in your daily diet you are promoting excellent intestinal health. If you suffer from constipation or want to prevent it goji berries help keep you regular. If you eat a spicy meal or over indulge at the all you can eat buffet, goji berries go a long way in relieving symptoms of indigestion such as heartburn, gas, irritable bowel syndrome symptoms, bloating, nausea and vomiting.
Goji berries play an important role in weight loss. If you are counting your calories, goji berries are known to reduce your appetite. It is a natural fat burner because it boosts metabolism because it is loaded with amino acids. Our body types-whether we are slim or heavy-depend on our hormones. “The systematic supplementation of certain amino acids allows us to stimulate the body to produce enough fat-burning hormones – in a natural manner and in harmony with the body’s needs (aminoacid-studies).” If you include goji berries in your daily diet, you may never have to diet again.
Goji berries contain several B vitamins. Thiamin, or Vitamin B1, helps “helps the body’s cells change carbohydrates into energy” (medlineplus). This helps speed up metabolism and the rate in which we lose weight. Riboflavin-Vitamin B2-helps boost your immune system and increase the energy in your body as well as “maintaining healthy hair, skin, mucous membranes, and nails; slowing aging; boosting athletic performance; promoting healthy reproductive function” (WebMD). Vitamin B6 is necessary in reducing the chances of getting heart disease, lowering the amount of bad cholesterol in our bodies, unclogging arteries and “reducing blood levels of homocysteine, a chemical that might be linked to heart disease “ (WebMD). Higher levels of homocysteine are one of the main causes of damage to the blood vessels and blood clots.
The skin plays a role in removing toxins from the body. One of the reasons why people have acne is because of the toxins that are expelled through the skin. Eating goji berries, or applying the juice from the berries is an effective way of clearing up acne and boils and making your skin look beautiful. While the vitamin C helps heal the skin from acne outbreaks and clear up the bruises left from these outbreaks, the vitamin E and A helps the skin to remain smooth and moist and make your skin younger.
Goji berries are an excellent source of calcium. Some individuals do not get enough dairy into their diet. Some people just do not like drinking that glass of milk. Others are lactose intolerant and cannot have any dairy products. By including a handful of goji berries in your daily cooking, you are helping your body by increasing bone density. Not only is calcium is good for strong and healthy bones, it also plays a major role in lowering bad cholesterol.
Goji berries help stimulate the production of the red blood cells in the body. An anemic person benefits from eating this fruit because it is high in iron. Not only does this drink increase the number of red blood cells and make them stronger, it improves the circulation of blood and oxygen throughout the entire circulation system.
You can purchase goji berries as a supplement or dried fruit at most health food stores. However, if you want to purchase these berries as a fresh fruit, the best chances of finding them are online. Check out sites such as Ebay and Amazon.
If you are planning to include goji berries in your daily diet, follow these cautions:
If you are on blood thinners avoid using goji berries.
Avoid goji berries if you are allergic to pollen.
Always talk to you doctor when you are planning to change your diet.