In the era of Instagram blogs and Tumblr mania, all it takes for a style of clothes or even a haircut to become the latest trend is a quick snap from a smartphone and a “share”.
Before we condemn any of these media trends let’s see what else they have helped become popular among us. Since 2012, what used to be “passion for fashion” has turned into “mood for food”! And it is a “mood” for good, healthy and even exotic food, at that.
Some like it hot, others like it cold, but they all like it healthy!
Over the past few years, numerous health foods have taken the global markets by storm. From herb store owners to dietitians and fitness gurus, everyone is in on the “eat healthy” craze. And the craze is not really all that crazy.
Exotic leaves, berries, seeds and herbs complete any type of cuisine these days. Let’s take a look at a fruit that is not only trending but also provides countless benefits for our system and a unique flavor for our taste palate.
Goji what? Goji berries!
I am sure most of you have heard about goji berries by now. They are the fruit of two similar plants, Lycium Barbarum and Lycium Chinense, which grow in North and South China. The fruit is said to have a taste similar to those of cranberries and cherries.
The “berry of happiness”, as it has been named, is considered to be a superfruit. It can be consumed dried or cooked, depending on the dish. If you would rather have it in a beverage, you are encouraged to boil it or add it to your herbal tea. For those with a desire for something with a kick, there is wine that consists entirely or partially of goji berry juice.
Even though these berries have been trending in the west since early 2013, in China, physicians and traditional doctors have been using them as dietary supplements and medication since 2.800 B.C! And the myth about Li Qing Yuen, a man who supposedly consumed goji berries for years and lived until the age of 252, may be just that – a myth – but the fruit of the Lycium has numerous things to offer to your health and well-being.
What makes them a superfruit?
Let’s take a look at the nutrient values of the fruit. Goji is very rich in antioxidants. In fact, it has the highest antioxidant value of all fruit. The antioxidant values of foods listed are expressed in ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) units. You can see how it compares to other fruit below.
-Oranges: 750 units
-Spinach: 1260 units
-Blueberries: 2400 units
-Goji Berries: 25100 units
Clearly, goji is the winner by a long shot.
These berries have 18 different amino acids, 21 minerals such as selenium, calcium and phosphorus, plus more Iron than spinach. They also contain vitamin E, which is actually very rare in fruit! The berries are rich in omega-6 fatty acids (the kind of fat we DO need in our systems, don’t be afraid) and has 500 times more Vitamin C than oranges!
These berries are happy and you will be, too!
Full of vitamins (C, B1, B2, and E) and antioxidants, goji berries will help boost your immune system while cleansing your blood of toxins from meat and other foods. The antioxidants packed inside this fruit assist your liver in filtering waste from the system. Better blood flow and even better vision are also some of the immediate benefits of the fruit.
Clinical studies from 2013 show that the consumption of goji berry juice can strengthen your heart and memory. The juice also possesses anti-cancer properties and it is used in the production of herbal medicine prescribed for fighting Hepatitis B.
If reading about this superfood so far did not make you happy for its existence, I should let you know that the fruit itself is said to induce a feeling of happiness and joy! Goji berries are even used as an ingredient for herbal medication given to those who suffer with depression or anxiety.
Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines!
A study that took place in May of 2013 on elderly men and women between the ages of 65 and 75 showed that the berries helped increase sexual performance and appetite by an astonishing 35 percent!
And they are not just for the elderly. In the general area of Asia, people have been consuming goji as a sexual tonic for years. It possesses properties that increase the level of testosterone in men which fires up their sex drive. The same was found in women. At breakfast, sprinkle some berries over your oatmeal or toss them in a salad at lunch time. Spice up your sex life through the power of goji!
You look so much younger! What’s your secret?!
In laboratory tests on fruit juices, where the method of measuring free radical absorption capacity was measured, goji was far superior compared to any other fruit.
Goji juice cultivated the most antioxidant activity, which is the number one weapon for fighting harmful free radicals. According to scientists, the above action helps reduce cell aging and stops the oxidation of LDL cholesterol. In other words, it helps you live longer, feel better and look amazing!
Did you lose some weight?
Many people, especially in parts of the Western world, are nowadays struggling with losing weight. The most common problems that we face when trying to shed extra pounds is the fact that it is hard to control our appetite. Also, let’s be honest, exercising is neither our favorite past time nor do we have the energy for it most days.
Fret not! Your favorite berries can help you with that too. Their sweet taste makes them perfect for consumption during cravings for desserts while at the same time their low glucose concentrations make them perfect for dieting.
Their richness in B1 vitamin helps your body turn the carbs into energy instead of storing them in your fat cells. They help your body stay lean by increasing your metabolism.
So, if your dietician does not already know about these amazing berries, do tell them! Consume goji berries to make your dieting easier and your journey to a slimmer, healthier body more enjoyable!
Are there any side effects from eating these magical berries?
Like the ancient Greeks used to say, “Everything in moderation”. And like any good physician would tell you, before starting to eat any kind of supplement you should always consult with a professional, especially if you’re on medication.
Goji berries posses natural properties which can cause unwanted drug interactions if you are taking medication for your heart, blood or for diabetes.
You may also experience mild digestion problems, as you would with anything new that you add to your daily diet. A slight irritation is normal but do not continue to consume goji berries if drastic digestion upset occurs.
Other than those mentioned above, there are no reported side effects for goji berries. One could only assume that once the pharmaceutical companies realize their beneficial effects, there will be dirt dug up to overemphasize the rare contraindications.
Where can I get some?
Even though the fruit used to only be grown in the Himalayas, you do not need to get a plane ticket to acquire these berries anymore. Since 2009, when they were introduced to western markets, cultivation also began in the west.
Many European countries, as well as the US, have an adequate production of them every year. And since the berries are trending, especially after the amount of exposure they have received on television from celebrities like Oprah and Madonna, it is not hard to find them anymore.
Simply locate the health food store that is closest to you, visit a your local supermarket or even go online and purchase them in a matter of minutes!
Goji berries are more than a fruit indeed. They are a way to improve your diet and your well-being, allowing you to live a healthier life. What are you waiting for? Give goji berries a try today!
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