There’s a good chance you’ve seen the Goji advertised in health food stores as a miracle fruit, but what IS the Goji and what is it good for?
The Goji (AKA “Goji Berry” or “Wolfberry”) comes from Asia and is highly prized by eastern medicine practitioners, and recently – by the rest of the world. Goji berries can be bought frozen or dehydrated, and scientists are generally in consensus about their many health benefits. In this article, you’ll find just a few of the many blessings this wonder-berry brings with it, some information you should know before adding it to your diet, and even a great recipe for a refreshing and healthy shake.
The health benefits of the Goji:
The Goji is considered a ‘superfood’ thanks to the many nutrients it contains, including some very unique ones that are almost impossible to find in other foods.
1. Eyesight improvement:
Age-related Macular Degeneration prevention.
Goji berries contain an abundance of zeaxanthin, an antioxidant that is necessary for ocular health, especially in seniors. The antioxidants in Goji are absorbed quickly and efficiently into the bloodstream and prevent cellular degeneration throughout the body, and in the corneas in particular. Chinese researchers tested the effects of consuming 14 grams of Goji per day in people over the age of 65, and discovered that their eyesight was significantly improved, while their chances of suffering from age-related ocular problems decreased considerably.
2. A rich source of nutrients:
In addition to all the antioxidants, the Goji also contains hefty amounts of essential nutrients. Aside from proteins, various vitamins, iron, trace elements (essential minerals) and dietary fibers, Goji’s uniqueness comes from the plethora of amino acids it contains. Each berry contains 19 different amino acids, and 8 of those are essential amino acids that the body cannot create itself.
3. UV protection:
If you’re fair-skinned and easily get burned, Goji berries might be one of the best fruits you can eat. It contains vitamins and antioxidants that keep your skin healthy and radiant. Drinking Goji juice will reduce the acute effects of solar radiation. Please note that this is not a replacement for sunscreen, just an added layer of protection.
4. Boosts the immune system:
The many amino acids and minerals in Goji berries are highly beneficial to the immune system. They increase the production of white blood cells while protecting the liver, kidneys and other organs that deal with toxin removal and blood filtration. This superfood won’t only help prevent you from contracting colds or the flu, many people report that consuming it has stopped chronic issues they had, such as headaches, joint pains and ringing ears.
5. A solution for chronic lethargy:
The Goji’s many nutrients and antioxidants give our system an immune boost and provide it with much-needed minerals. This allows the body to relax instead of dealing with potential infections or trying to acquire minerals it can’t produce. People who suffer from chronic lethargy will see the most benefit from this change in their life and will experience an improvement in their quality of sleep as well as a boost in their energy levels during the day. For these reasons, Goji berries are some of the best natural treatments for people suffering from fibromyalgia and chronic lethargy.
While there’s no conclusive proof that Goji berries actively fight cancer, the immunity boost helps cancer patients fight the disease. Recent research tested the effects of the essence of Goji on cancerous liver-cells, showed a near-complete halt in cancerous-cells growth. For these two reasons alone, one should consider a daily intake of this superfood, especially if you’re genetically prone to cancer (Be sure to consult your doctor first).
7. Reduces glucose levels in the blood:
A study from 2004 shows that Goji berries effectively reduce the glucose and fat levels of diabetics. Goji also helped people suffering from high levels of triglycerides and cholesterol. The control group received a boiled essence of Goji, which contains the same levels of vitamins, antioxidants and amino acids as in the natural form, and showed significantly less impressive results.
8. Anti-aging qualities:
Last, but definitely not least, one of the Goji’s most incredible and unique properties which makes it a true miracle-fruit. As we age, our body produces fewer growth-hormones (HGH). Goji berries are the ONLY food known to stimulate the pituitary gland and make it produce more HGH, even in people of advanced ages. This amazing process occurs thanks to the unique combination of the amino acids glutamine and arginine, which effectively slows down the aging process.
Vital information about consumption of Goji
While Goji berries can do wonders for our body, too much of anything is still bad for you, so it is important not to consume too much of it every day. In addition, some of the fruit’s influences may not mix well with some prescription drugs.
Interaction with prescription drugs:
People taking blood-pressure medication like warfarin or people taking insulin or other medication meant to lower glucose levels should avoid Goji. The main reason is that Goji berries perform similar actions to these drugs, which leads to more harm than good. If you are regularly taking these drugs or others that perform a similar function, consult with your doctor before adding Goji to your diet.
As Goji became popular, drug companies started marketing supplements based on Goji. Many people who tried these supplements reported side-effects that include a sensitive stomach and nausea. It’s recommended that you be careful when taking such supplements before and after eating and to generally prefer natural berries.
This quick and easy shake contains large quantities of fiber, vitamins B, C & E, as well as beta-carotene, iron, calcium, amino acids and omega 3. All the ingredients are available in your local health food store, and possibly in your local super-market.
Ingredients (single serving):
Blend all the ingredients until you get a consistent texture, then pour into a tall glass and sprinkle some desiccated coconut and Goji for decoration. ENJOY!