The health benefits of goji berries are huge, but few people know about them, but no worries their popularity is growing strong!
Goji berries, also know as wolfberries, are small cranberry-like fruits that taste somewhat like a cherry. If you have never had the pleasure of tasting a them, not only are you missing out on a fantastic piece of fruit, but also the many health benefits that go with it.
A superfood is defined as a food that specializes in a very high vitamin, mineral, phytonutrients and antioxidant content. They are specifically grown to maximize their nutritional value. What classifies a goji berry as a superfood? It's amazingly high antioxidant level.
The benefits of this little berry seems to catch everyone’s eye at some time or another. Even celebrities are eating goji's, many companies are now promoting goji products with all kinds of health claims starting with the protection of the retina in the eye all the way to certain disease preventions.
But really, what’s the deal with them? Check out the health benefits below!
Due to the antioxidant content of the goji berry, they are
very helpful in promoting the growth of beneficial bacteria such as probiotics
in the gut (or gastrointestinal tract). Building up the immune system is
an essential part of everyone’s health because the immune system stops “foreign
invaders” such as bad bacteria and viruses, colds etc… from taking over.
These berries are a rich source of vitamin C which is a powerful antioxidant that is known to protect the body against disease as well as aiding in the process of healing, thus boosting the immune system.
Besides vitamin C, goji also contain another powerful antioxidant called: lutein. Lutein is a member of the carotenoid family. Carotenoids are antioxidants that protect the body from the damaging effects of free radicals.
Lutein is found in the
retina and lens of the eye, and when mixed with vitamins E & C (as well as
zeaxanthin) they work together to protect the eye from ultraviolet radiation
from the sun as well as protecting the eye from free radicals which are cancer causing substances.
What foods contain Lutein?
Great question! The goji-berry of course has a high lutein content, but also dark leafy green vegetables as well as oranges, papayas etc. Cooking a leafy green (on low heat) can actually increase the availability of the lutein by breaking down the cell walls of the veggie. (remember don’t overcook it)
For more information check out our page on Foods high in Lutein
Naturally, eating antioxidants-rich foods will promote brain health. They’re powerful ability to combat free radicals helps with the overall health of the body. The goji-berry also contains compounds that are rich in vitamin A, which are also helpful in the anti-aging process.
All of the vitamins, mineral, antioxidants etc...that a goji contains benefits the mental well-being of a person – which in turn contributes to brain health.
The goji-berry contains 18 amino acids plus all 8 of the essential amino acids – rarely do you find a food that contains all of the essential amino acids. In addition to that you will find high levels of iron, zinc and calcium in them.
These berries are also a great dietary supplement for fiber and just a handful of goji's contain more vitamin C than an orange – there’s a reason why they call it a superfood!
This is not all of them, but here is a list of a few vitamins and minerals that the goji berry contains.
The hormone known as: cortisol is what is produced by our adrenal glands when we are under a lot of stress. Now there is a thing as too much cortisol resulting in excess levels that can often lead to weight gain, cravings etc…
Because goji is an adaptogen it can help reduce the excess levels of cortisol (if any) caused by stressful circumstances; therefore, helping to naturalize the unrealistic cravings, and the storing of unwanted calories which results in fat.
*Definition of Adaptogen by Webster:
a nontoxic substance and especially a plant extract that is held to increase the body's ability to resist the damaging effects of stress and promote or restore normal physiological functioning
For more information see: Benefits of Goji Berries
Yes, they’re delicious! Adding goji to your smoothie will turn your ordinary smoothie into an antioxidant-packed superfood smoothie.
These little berries will not only add color to your smoothie, but more importantly you will get the many health benefits of goji berries in a delicious concoction.
Check out our Goji Berry Smoothie Recipes and enjoy!
These delicious berries are so easy to use. Throw in a handful here and a handful there and the bright red-orange-ness color they posses will brighten up anything. Below are a few ways you can incorporate them into your diet:
For Goji-Berries we use the sun dried ones from Navitas Naturals. This brand is one of our favorites and their goji-berries work well in smoothies, on salads, oatmeal and granola. This certified organic product doesn’t disappoint.
For Goji Juice we recommend the Genesis Today, 100% wildly harvested goji berry juice – it is a great product and just one tablespoon will go nicely with any smoothie for some added nutrition.