According to Tash
Goji Berries

Superfood Sunday: Goji Berries

June 19, 2016 2 Comments

There are a lot of trendy foods out there today – Kale, Hemp, Kombucha.. the list goes on and on. I thought it would be helpful if we take a look at these fad foods each week and figure out what they really are, how they affect our bodies, and how the heck we eat them.

 

What are Goji Berries, really?

So. What is a goji berry? Besides being fun to say, goji berries are considered a superfood native to China.

Small, red, and usually found in the health food section, you might have mistaken them before for a package of weird-looking raisins.

They have a naturally sweet flavor, but can be seem pretty tart if it’s the first time you’re trying them. They sometimes get linked as a cross between a cherry and a cranberry.

 

How do Goji Berries affect our bodies?                       

Goji berries were popular in Asia for centuries, because people thought they were linked to the fountain of youth. They were also used to treat various illnesses and ailments, such as macular degeneration, liver disease, and more recently have been linked to treatments for diabetes, depression, psoriasis, arthritis, and high blood pressure. Just to name a few.

Goji berries are full of essential vitamins and nutrients that keep us healthy and improve our energy levels naturally. They’re high in Vitamin C, fiber, iron, and most importantly, low in calories. 😉

Goji berries are full of antioxidants, which boosts our metabolism and helps protect our cells from breaking down from various elements. This includes exposure to smoke, radiation, and other chemicals.

Since they’re also packed with beta-carotene and master molecules, they actually stimulate our pituitary gland to produce more HGH (Human Growth Hormone), which actually slows down the process of aging. This means they do wonders in promoting healthy, radiant, younger looking skin.

Goji berries also fight against free radicals, and have been gaining more awareness and interest in the healthcare world to find out how they fight against and protect us from certain cancers.

 

How the heck do we eat them?!

Goji berries can be eaten fresh, picked straight from the vine, but most often you’ll find them dried and pre-packaged in your grocery store. They can also be found in liquid or powder form, and go great as fresh juices or added to smoothies.

Some of my favorite ways to eat goji berries:

  • As they are!
  • Added to yogurts
  • Added to oatmeal
  • Added on top of a summer salad
  • Homemade trail mix
    • This is a really fun option that you can make yourself in less than five minutes. Some of my favorite ingredients to add are:
      • Goji berries (of course)
      • Whole, unsalted almonds
      • Cacoa nibs
      • Shaved coconut
      • Granola
      • Dry Roasted Edamame

 

*Final Tips:

If you take any specific medications, you may want to check with your doctor to make sure there will be no food-drug interactions. I’m not a doctor. I just like food.

 

*Sources

I found some really great websites that go into more scientific detail about goji berries. Check them out. If that’s your thing, you’ll love reading all about polysaccharides, heme oxygenase-1, and all sorts of other big words:

http://www.webmd.com/balance/goji-berries-health-benefits-and-side-effects

http://www.healthline.com/health-slideshow/goji-berry-facts#promoSlide

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2014/03/28/goji-berry-benefits-_n_5044948.html

https://draxe.com/goji-berry-benefits/

 

Natasha

2 Comments

  1. Reply

    Tamara Hook

    June 19, 2016

    I haven’t seen them in the grocery store. When did you find them? I would like to eat the fresh ones!

    • Reply

      Natasha

      June 19, 2016

      I found some at the HyVee Health Market but I would recommend checking out Greatest Grains. I haven’t seen the fresh ones 😊

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