Goji Berries – A super fruit best served dry!
The Goji berry, known as the wolfberry in China, is a bright orange-red berry that comes from a shrub. Goji berries are considered the most nutritionally dense fruit on earth. A relative of vegetables such as potato, tomato, eggplant and pepper, this native fruit of Tibet and Mongolia has been used for thousands of years in Tibet and China as a culinary ingredient as well as medicinally. Now that goji berries are grown all over the world, they are also enjoyed all over the world not only as a delicious dried fruit but a highly nutritious one. Goji berries are considered a super fruit because they contain all essential amino acids, 21 trace minerals and have the highest concentration of protein of any fruit. Containing more carotenoids than any other food, its high levels of Vitamin C and its high fiber give goji berries another claim to fame. We all know the high levels of iron boasted by spinach, well, goji berries contain 15 times more iron than spinach!
One of the most distinctive and special features of this super fruit, leading to its medicinal uses, is that it contains natural anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and anti-fungal compounds. Their powerful antioxidant properties and polysaccharides help to boost the immune system.
Studies and research have shown Goji berries to naturally treat diabetes, hypertension, infectious diseases and common illnesses like fever or cold. They have traditionally also been used to treat neurologic and psychologic traits such as depression, anxiety and other mood disorders. They have been shown to also impact blood glucose and regulate cholesterol, having an overall healthy impact on the heart.
What’s the best way to eat them? Goji berries can be eaten fresh, dried, or in a liquid or powder form. It has been known to be steeped into a goji ‘tea’ or can be an excellent addition to smoothies, breakfast cereals, or just as a mid-morning snack. The most commonly found are normally dried, and always be sure to read the label to ensure no harmful pesticides have been used on them, with various suppliers from around the world not always effectively regulated by American authorities as locally grown produce.
Goji berries are not known to be 100% risk free though, and have been shown to have adverse interactions with some medications for diabetes, blood pressure and warfarin. So be sure to consult your doctor if you are currently undergoing treatment.
The below image is a graphical representation of some of the benefits associated with goji berries according to DrAxe.com.