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Dried Chinese Wolfberry Goji Berries. Image size:720x541px

Dried Chinese Wolfberry (Goji Berries).

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Fresh Chinese Wolfberry Goji Berries. Image size:400x266px

Fresh Chinese Wolfberry (Goji Berries).

Harvesting and Drying Chinese Wolfberry Goji Berries. Image size:400x264px

Harvesting and DryingChinese Wolfberry (Goji Berries).

The Amazing Health Benefits of Goji Berries

It is only recently that the West has discovered the huge health benefits of Goji Berries although the Chinese have been using them for thousand of years.

The huge health benefits are:

1. Unique among fruits because they contain all essential amino acids, goji berries also have the highest concentration of protein of any fruit.

2. They are also loaded with vitamin C, contain more carotenoids than any other food, have twenty-one trace minerals, and are high in fiber.

3. Boasting 15 times the amount of iron found in spinach, as well as calcium, zinc, selenium and many other important trace minerals, there is no doubt that the humble goji berry is a nutritional powerhouse.

4. This amazing little superfruit also contains natural anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal compounds.

5. Their powerful antioxidant properties and polysaccharides help to boost the immune system.

It’s no wonder then, that in traditional Chinese medicine they are renowned for increasing strength and longevity.

In traditional Chinese medicine, the goji is said to act on the Kidney and Liver meridians to help with lower back pain, dizziness and eyesight.

They are most often consumed raw, made into a tea or extract, or as an ingredient in soups.

How To Use Goji Berries

Gojis are most commonly available in dried form, and make a great snack eaten as is, added to trail mix, muesli or oatmeal. They can also be soaked for a couple of hours in enough water to cover them. Then the soak water can be drained off and makes a delicious drink, or both water and berries added to smoothies.

Complication with Medication

Please note that there can be adverse interactions if you consume goji berries while also taking medication for diabetes, or blood pressure, or take the blood thinner warfarin. So be sure to consult your health care provider if that is the case.

Gojis can often be found in Asian food stores, but most of these come from the commercial growing regions of China and Tibet, and contain high levels of pesticides and synthetic fertilizers. Even some brands which claim to be organic may not be, so be sure to source your goji berries from a reputable source.

Precaution Needed

1. Some Goji Berries are grown with high levels of pesticides and synthetic fertilizers.
2. Some are dyed with strong red dye to make them look good.
3. Most of them contain sulfur as a preservative.

Better Ways To Shop and Use Goji Berries

1. There are some Chinese medicine shops who have sourced Goji Berries without the use of sulfur. The reputable Eu Yan Sang said that all their herbal products do not use sulfur as a preservative.

One of the bigger Chinese medical hall, Taima, located at Pavilion, Kuala Lumpur, also said that their herbal products don’t have sulfur as a preservative.

2. Soaking dried Goji Berries in water for 30 min would reduce the red dye and pesticides.

3. Cooking dried Goji Berries would yield more adsorbable nutrients like carotenoids. Best is to blend and cook the dried berries for best adsorption of nutrients.

Articles from Nutrition Section of QHealth: Vitality for Life

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