It’s not news that berries are a healthy addition to a balanced diet. In the western world we have used blueberries, cranberries , strawberries and blackberries, to name a few, for decades in cooking and lately in beauty products.
Goji berries, however, are a relatively new phenomenon in our part of the world. Ophrah raved about them and Time Magazine voted goji berries the superfruit of the year in 2007. This is not without reason. In Chinese Medicin goji berries are an ancient remedy to improve eyesight, protect the liver, boost immune functions and improve circulation and libido.
According to the Beijing Nutrition Research Institute, goji berries contain more beta carotene than carrots, more iron than spinach, 500 times more vitamin C by weight than oranges, over 18 amino acids, 21 trace minerals, and substantial amounts of vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B6 and vitamin E.
Another tests concluded that goji berries contain 5 times more antioxidants than prunes and ten times more than blueberries.
So why are foods high in antioxidants so important? In today’s world we are constantly exposing our bodies to free radicals from preservatives in processed foods, toxic chemicals in cleaning products, pesticides on fruits and vegetables etc. So our bodies need extra help to maintain health and vitality. Not to mention help us stay younger looking!
Not surprisingly, Goji means ‘happy’.
So how are these wonder berries best consumed? In Australia fresh goji berries are not easily available, however juice, dried berries or capsules are all great alternatives. Look for products that are free from preservatives and artificial colours t. Products that are certified by the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) provide a good stamp of approval to ensure you get all the nutritional benefits from natural goji berries.