Goji Berries 101: Nature’s Super Food

The goji berry is also known as the wolfberry and is under the scientific name, Lycium barbarum. It is native to China and Tibet and comes as a very bright orange-red colored berry. Goji berries have been eating as part of Traditional Chinese Medicine as a life extender as well as to increase physical strength. Goji berries are considered to be one of the most nutrient-dense types of fruit you can eat.
Goji berries are related to the nightshade classification of foods, which include tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, belladonna, deadly nightshade, and eggplant, not all of which are edible.
While they are native to countries in the East, they can now be grown in just about any country. They have recently come to the west, where they are used to treat many different conditions.
Conditions Treated With Goji Berries
Goji berries have been used to treat several different medical conditions. These include the following:
• Hypertension
• Diabetes
• Age-related eye conditions
• Fever
How To Eat Goji Berries
When used to support the above conditions, goji berries can be cooked, eaten raw off the bush, in herbal teas, dried similar to raisins, wines, goji berry juices, soups, and as a regular supplement.
Dried berries can be treated much like raisin and put into muesli, trail mix, or atop oatmeal. You can soak them in water and can grind them up into a great smoothie.
You can purchase goji berries in any Asian food store or health food store. Most of the time, however, goji berries come from areas of China and Tibet that commercially grow these berries and they are high in synthetic fertilizers and pesticides.
For this reason, you should only purchase goji berries that are certified to be organic and come from a source you can trust.
Health Benefits of Goji Berries
Goji berries have many nutrients in them that are designed to benefit your health. For example, people who eat goji berries are said to have an increase in well-being, better performance in athletics, improved sleep quality, increased calm, and can lose weight easier.
Interestingly, goji berries have every one of the essential amino acids in them and have the greatest concentration of protein among all types of fruit. They are high in vitamin C and contain plenty of carotenoids.
Scientists have uncovered 21 trace minerals in goji berries and they have a lot of fiber in them. When compared to spinach, the lowly goji berry has fifteen times the amount of iron per serving and is also high in zinc, selenium, calcium and other trace minerals.
Goji berries have anti-inflammatory properties and are known to be anti-fungal and anti-bacterial. They have antioxidants as part of their ingredients, which improve the function of the immune system by fighting off oxygen free radicals.
Side Effects of Goji Berries
Goji berries may interact with medications you are taking. For example, these berries can interact with warfarin (Coumadin), which is used as a blood thinner. It also seems to interact with some types of antihypertensive as well as diabetes medications. Talk to your doctor before using goji berries medicinally.
Nutrient Breakdown of Goji Berries
• A quarter cup of goji berries contains just 90 calories.
• They have no sodium, no potassium, no saturated fats (no fat of any kind, including trans fats)
• 4 grams of dietary fiber
• 20 grams of total carbohydrate of which 12 grams are from sugar
• 4 grams of protein
• 180% of the RDA of vitamin A
• 30% of the RDA of vitamin C
• 9% of the RDA of calcium
• 15% of the RDA of iron\\\"\\\"

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