October 24, 2013

What Are Goji Berry's?

Goji berries or often referred to as the  Wolfberry is fruit that is native to  Southeastern Europe and parts of Asia. This fruit is in no uncertain terms deserved of it  superfood title. The fruit is the from a plant called Lycium Barbarum which is a close relative of the chilli pepper and tomato plant among others.

The Goji berry or Wolfberry is a brightly reddish orange coloured berry, the berry's taste and consistency is similar to that of tomatoes, but slightly sweeter with hint of lemon and tinge of a fragrant herbal aftertaste;  in fact it's very pleasant to eat.

There is evidence that Goji berry's were consumed and used in medicine by the  early Greeks and the ancient Chinese times. For the Chinese Goji berry's have been part of their  traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years and remains widely used today.

The Story Behind Goji Berry or Wolf Berry

The history of the Goji berry  spans thousand of years, with the effects and medicinal benefits being documented by the  ancient Chinese and Greeks alike.

In more recent times their rise to popularity has been from many well-documented sources. In 1677 and man was born in Szechuan province of China his name was Li Ching-Yuen, he became a master herbalist and lived his life in complete balance; encompassing quietude, exercise, worldliness and spirituality; he lived on a diet of mainly  Goji berries and lived to the ripe old age of 256, (yes two hundred and fifty-two). Some dispute this saying that he only lived for 199 years, but either a good effort.  Goji berries were credited with his prolonged lifespan.

In more recent times  His Highness The Dali Lama professes to be amongst the Wolfberries admires and reports say he eats them every day. So who are we to question the almighty?

Goji berries pack a well  documented nutritional punch. Aside the the whole  array of vitamins, minerals and amino acids (which we will list later); they are a  concentrated source of antioxidants; which are extremely effective at  fighting free radicals and providing support and  relief for our immune systems.

Wolfberries have been used to treat many different illnesses proving very effective against diabetes, high blood pressure, fevers and conditions relating to the eyes. There is widespread speculation that Goji berry can help with  combating the ageing process, due to their high vitamin, amino acid and antioxidant capacities.

Goji Berry Nutritional Facts

The nutritional content of the Wolfberry is the reason why it has been  termed a superfood. It packs a mighty punch in all areas and it very pleasant to eat, either blended into drinks, mixed in salads or puddings or completely raw.

Nutritional facts

Wolfberries or Goji berries contain many of the essential nutrients and micro-nutrients that our bodies need to function as well a phytochemicals.

  • 5 unsaturated fatty acids including linoleic acid & alpha-linolenic acid.
  • 18 amino acids;  all amino acids.
  • 6 vitamins including  very high levels of vitamin A (beta carotene),  B1, B2, B6, E & more vitamin C than any other food known to us.
  • 11 essential minerals and 22 trace minerals;  more iron than spinach.
  • Sesquiterpenoids; which stimulate the pituitary gland to  produce more human growth hormones.
  • Polysaccharides; these are master molecules that  influence the bodies defence system and are also the preferred food for good intestinal bacteria which  helps pro-biotic cells thrive and reduce inflammation.
  • Phenolic pigments; these are associated with  antioxidants.
  • 5 carotenoids; including xanthophyll, beta-carotene, lutein.
  • Lycium barbarum polysaccharides; these are unique nutrient compounds that are proven to  enhance the immune system.

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