Goji – Discover the Health Benefits


goji
Can adding the popular superfood goji to your diet enhance your health?  The list of phytochemicals and micronutrients this food contains is impressive.

These raisin sized fruits are chewy and taste like a cross between a cranberry and a cherry.  They have been used as a medicinal food in Tibet for over 1700 years.  Herbalists in China, Tibet and India have used goji to protect the liver, enhance sexual function and improve fertility, strengthen the legs and promote longevity.

Goji Health Benefits

  • They have one of the highest ORAC ratings – a method of gauging antioxidant power – of any fruit, according to Tufts University researchers.  Antioxidants can help fight cancer and heart disease.  Another effect of antioxidants is that they may slow the aging process by reducing cell damage by free radicals.  One of the effects of free radicals is that they alter the cell’s DNA.  When the DNA is altered the cells grow abnormally.
  • And although modern scientists began to study this ancient fruit only recently, they have found that the sugars that make gogi berries sweet reduce insulin resistance – a risk factor of diabetes in rats.
  • Studies also indicate that goji can enhance brain health and help combat Alzheimers.
  • Several tests show that they may reduce cholesterol as well.
  • Studies show that nibbling on these berries can give you a dose of healthy carotenoids such as betacarotene and zeathanthin, which helps keep your vision sharp.  Zeathanthin may reduce the risk of macular degeneration.
  • These nutrients rich in vitamin A not only protect vision but boost the immune system.
  • It is believed by the Chinese to support the kidneys.

Goji – How to Eat

  • Scientists haven’t determined whether goji supplements have the same benefits as the berries, so I recommend eating the berries.
  • Mix dried or fresh gogi berries with a cup of plain yogurt, sprinkle them on your oatmeal or cold cereal, or enjoy a handful by themselves.

Gogi Drug Interactions and Side Effects

  • Studies show goji berries may interact with anticoagulants, commonly called blood thinners, such as Warfarin (Coumadin).
  • If you have pollen allergies this fruit is not recommended.

If you have the patience and the time, it would be nice to grow your own goji berries.  They reportedly like lots of sun, preferring climates that are hot and dry in the summer.  However they will grow almost anywhere, even in humid areas.  The shrubs don’t usually bear fruit until the third year, but in the meantime you could use the leaves in salads.

Order organic goji berries to avoid the high levels of pesticides and fungicides conventionally used in their cultivation.  You can keep them in the freezer and just add a few to your breakfast each day.  Begin immediately to start enjoying these tasty but powerfully nutritious berries today.

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