Simple Pleasures #17: Goji Berries & Their Amazingness
Goji berries may give you super powers. Ok, they may not make your fly or walk through walls but they will keep your body healthy and energy lifted. Goji berries have recently been introduced into the western world only in the last few years, but have been part of the diets of Tibet and China for thousands of years. They gained popularity quickly when word spread of their super power health benefits. If you have already added these delicious little berries to your diet, then keep on truck’n, if not, it may be time for you jump on the goji wagon.
- Nutritional Powerhouse: Even though goji berries are a fruit they contain all essential amino acids and the highest concentration of any other fruit, which is unique in the fruit world. They are high in fiber, boasting 15 times the amount found in spinach, as well as calcium, zinc and selenium. Goji berries also contain high amounts of vitamins C, carotenoids and have twenty-one trace minerals.
- Sun Protection: Consuming goji berry juice can significantly reduce inflammatory sunburn response to prolonged simulated ultraviolet radiation. Researchers believe that some of the antioxidants found in goji berries are responsible for this protection, preventing the oxidative damage that would otherwise induce the inflammatory response.
- Improve Male Fertility: Yes guys this ones for you! It has been found that goji berries protect sperm from hyperthermia (overheating), increasing hormone levels, sperm quantity and quality. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, goji berries can enhance sexual desire and improve sexual performance!
- What Else: They are also anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal compounds. Can help fight sight degeneration, have cancer fighting properties, can regenerate liver cells, boost your immune system, promote weight loss, promote longevity and improve your circulation. Goji berry juice can help with your mental well being, improve sleep, athletic performance and just overall feelings go good health.
There are really so many benefits to including goji berries in your diet that one may question why we don’t eat more them. They are included in the superfood family along side acai, spirulina, coconut, maca, cacao and others that all are considered to have “super powers”.
How I like to eat them:
- Chocolate Covered Goji Berries: I love the Himalania Dark Chocolate Goji Berries the best. I will seriously eat the whole bag. You get the benefits of the berries and the extra antioxidants from the dark chocolate. You can add them to trail mixes, yogurt or just eat them straight out of the bag!
- In Tea: I usually have a mason jar full of organic goji berries ready for eating at any time, but on elf my favorite things to do with the dried berries is to put level tablespoon of them in hot tea. The warm water plumps them back up (which makes for a fun eating experience) and also infuses your tea with the benefits of the berries. Try this recipe.
- Blended in Smoothies: Depending on what your are mixing them with in a smoothie you may not actually be able to taste them, but that doesn’t matter. You can rest assured that as you enjoy your smoothies you are consuming the super powers of the great goji.
Go get yourself some goji’s. Every step we take towards bettering our health counts, so add them to your breakfast cereal, smoothies, yogurt, trail mix, fruit bowl, and salads! Try them in this Goji-Turmeric-Orange smoothie and these Goji Date Energy Bites.
A Few Things to Consider: People who take medications for diabetes, blood pressure and/or take the blood thinner warfarin should consult their doctor before consuming goji berries on the regular. When buying berries, be sure to purchase from a reputable source. Some berries come from the commercial growing regions of China and Tibet and contain high levels of pesticides and synthetic fertilizers (no bueno). So make sure you know what you are buying.