Goji Berries are considered one of the greatest of the Super Foods. Though they are new to the market in the last few years, they’ve been used in Chinese Medicine for millennia as a general body tonic. I used to go to the pharmacy in China Town, in downtown Philadelphia - the only place I could find to buy them. I made a tea from them to drink as a medicinal tonic for 1 week out of every month.
Goji Berries have gained huge popularity both through research and celebrity testimonials revealing their anti aging secrets. The real story is that the’re loaded with highly concentrated nutrients . The short list: plant-derived polyphenolic antioxidants; carotenoids such as beta-carotene, zeaxanthin, lutein, beta-cryptoxanthin, and lycopene; 11 essential vitamins including C, E, and A; B1, B2, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin and more iron than spinach; more than 30 essential and trace minerals, including zinc, copper, calcium, selenium, and phosphorus; polysaccharides; and 19 amino acids such as isoleucine, tryptophan, leucine, and arginine.
This all adds up to great potential. So, what does this mean for you?
Why You Want To Consume Goji Berries Daily
Anti-Aging, Skin, Immune System
The goji berry contains 500 times more vitamin C per weight than an orange and on average have more beta-carotene than carrots. It is no surprise that the antioxidant value of goji berries contribute to its ability to improve the immune system, fight infection, and support overall eye health.
Anti-Aging and Muscle Repair
Amino acids are vital to life as they play a central role as the “building blocks” of the body which make up protein. Amino acids are the intermediates in metabolism and provide structure for the muscles, tendons, glands, organs, nails and hair. In addition, cell maintenance and growth and repair of the body depend upon amino acids. In addition to all the nutrients listed above, Goji Berries contain 19 amino acids, including the eight essential amino acids. These berries therefore are a nearly complete source of protein.
Anti-Aging and Alzheimer's/Memory Loss
Consuming foods with high antioxidant values may slow the aging process both in the body as well as the brain. The USDA measures antioxidant factors of foods through an oxygen absorbance capacity (ORAC). Goji Berries have been listed as having the highest ORAC score per the lowest weight, making them the best food to increase antioxidant activity. This makes it a great scavenger for the damaging free radicals in our body which slowlybreakdown tissue and cause e the outward signs of aging
As with any fruit, Goji berries contain sugar. However, rather than just simple carbohydrates, Gojis contain eight complex carbohydrates known as polysaccharides, - long-chain sugar molecules which are a primary source of dietary fiber. According to research, polysaccharides help to fortify the immune system, support a healthy intestinal mucosal lining, lower pH and the risk of colon cancer, enhance mineral uptake, promote a positive mood, support energy levels, and enhance optimal heart and liver function. It is in fact this polysaccharide content which is the distinguishing characteristic of the Goji berry, and which provides its superior nutritional value.
Cholesterol, Infection, Inflammation and Sexual Health
Goji berries contain anti-inflammatory agents such as beta-sitosterol, which are known to lower cholesterol and promote sexual health. Goji berries are also known for their anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties.
Goji Berries and other Super Foods have all of the qualities thought to be of benefit like: the potential to inhibit the growth of cancer cells, reduce blood glucose and lower cholesterol levels secondary to their ability to reduce free radicals in the body.
The bottom line is that Goji's long list of concentrated nutrients in combination with its nearly unique ability to raise SOD Superoxide dismutase levels in the body IS A BIG DEAL! Raising SOD activity has been proven to prevent damage to the skin, eye, pancreas, and other organs and tissues, and to reduce pain and inflammation in arthritis. Higher SOD levels over a period of years should have an enormous impact on health, energy, and maybe even longevity. If I were forced to choose only one of the many foods, Superfoods, and herbs I consume every day, I think I'd have to choose Goji berries
Eat your Goji Berries!
Trail Mix for the Goddesses
Mix in a 1/4 cup of organic raw Goji berries with 1/2 cup organic raw cashew pieces, 1/2 cup of organic raw pumpkin seeds and 1/2 cup of organic raw sunflower seeds for a great snack mix to carry with you.
Smooth your Skin Smoothie:
16 oz fresh squeezed organic orange juice
¼ cup organic raw Goji Berries
¼ cup fresh or frozen organic fruit
Combine orange juice into blender and blend in fruit of your choice to desired smoothness, add Goji Berries last and blend for another 15 secs.
For added anti-oxidants add 1/4 cup of raw organic Cacao Nibs
Cathy’s Ancient Tonic Tea
1Tbs goji berries
Manuka Healing raw Honey (optional)
Bring fresh filtered water to a boil.
Let water cool for 3 minutes
Add 1 heaping tablespoon of organic raw Goji berries to hot water and steep for 4 minutes. Enjoy in a quiet soothing place.
Make sure to eat the steeped berries at the end of your cup of tea.
It is not necessary to pay the high dollar, hyped prices of Tibetan and Himalayan Goji Berries. These climates are often not suitable to the Goji Berry. You can find them in your local grocery but most importantly, make sure that they are raw and USDA certified organic!
Cathy Goldstein is the founder of IHAC, the Integrative Health and Allergy Center and has 25 years of experience in the field of alternative medicine. Cathy served as chair for the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and oriental medicine national exam development committee and is considered an expert in the field of Bio Medicine, Traditional Eastern Medicine and NET (Neuro-emotional Technique). She is also a developer of a line of natural skin care as well as a natural facelift system. Her commitment to service and community is unwavering.