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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Health Benefits of Goji Berries (Wolfberries)


[Extracted from the web page of http://www.bewellbuzz.com for everyone's information]

Goji berries are typically found in China and Europe and in traditional Chinese medicine, they have been used in many medicinal preparations for thousands of years, proving its efficacy as a medicinal herb/plant.

These longish red berries also go by the name Wolfberry, desert thorn and matrimony vine while the Chinese name is gou qi zi. These berries are often dried and eaten like raisins. Goji berries grow well in harsh weather and can even survive the desert environment. These deep red berries are chockfull of nutrients and have a huge number of benefits.


Goji juice has gained a lot of popularity in recent times as people in the West are waking up to the fantastic benefits offered by this plant. The good thing about Goji berries is that it can be consumed directly or incorporated into recipes and used as food.

Here’s a list of the benefits offered by this amazing berry :

Benefits
The benefits offered by Goji berries are numerous and a few studies have been conducted on human patients as part of research to determine the efficacy of these berries. However, here are some of the amazing benefits offered by the goji berries and going by the look of them, it’s no wonder they’ve become so popular on the health front.

As we all know, goji berries are rich in antioxidants, particularly carotenoids such as beta carotene and zeaxanthin. These carotenoids are greatly helpful in protecting the retina of the eye and improving eye sight. In fact, foods rich in zeaxanthin have been known to prevent loss of eyesight in people over the age of 65.



Goji berries are also a good choice when it comes to protecting the liver and kidneys.

One of the primary benefits of goji berries is that they help in boosting the immune system and help us stay healthy for longer.

The polysaccharides in goji berries works wonders with the pituitary gland and stimulates it to release HGH, the Human Growth Hormone. This is in fact the main hormone which controls others and can even reverse the effects of aging, making us look and feel younger.

Goji berries also have a high ORAC value which is extremely important in preventing oxidation and in preserving the cells thereby preventing aging.

Goji berries prevent fatigue and tiredness which are the most common by product of a busy and full life that most of us lead today. It also helps in relieving headaches and insomnia.

Health and fitness freaks consume goji berries regularly because they help greatly in weight loss and keep the body fit and young.

Research has shown that goji berries are exceedingly good to enhance fertility and improve sexual function, particularly in men.

Goji berries are known to improve circulation and help people live longer lives.

With their high vitamin and mineral content, goji berries reduce blood pressure and cholesterol. Some people claim that goji berries can even prevent cancer although this aspect still needs more verification.


Side effects
Goji berries are known to be mostly safe but the usual precautions prevail. In addition, goji berries could possibly interact with anticoagulant drugs or blood thinners such as warfarin and it could lead to some adverse effects.

Uses
The ways in which goji berries can be consumed are several. Since it is pretty much like raisins, it can be munched as a snack directly or from a trail mix that is available at most health stores. Many people are making goji berries a part of their lifestyle by incorporating it into their breakfast by using it as a topping for cereal instead of raisins. Some people also swear by goji juice and how beneficial it is. Health stores are full of variants of goji juice available in bottles and people can consume them as juice.

Some people also brew goji berry tea and drink it as it provides the same amount of benefits. In traditional Chinese medicine, goji berries can be added to soups or its liquid extracts are often provided to the patient. There are numerous other goji berry products available in health stores, such as goji berry powder etc. Most people use these to add to their milkshakes or smoothies for the extra zing and the burst of health it offers.

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Below article is written by Britt Gillette

Goji Berries is often also known as Mother Nature's Vine-Grown Vitamins

The people of Tibet and Mongolia hold a two-week annual festival in honor of the goji berry. Many of them have nicknamed the goji berry “happy berry” because in common folklore “to eat goji in the morning will lead to smiles all day”.

The goji berry has been used for hundreds of years as a tonic in Chinese medicine. During the Tang dynasty (A.D. 772-842), poet Liu Yuxi wrote a poem celebrating the nourishment of “body and spirit” brought about by the goji berry. Without a doubt, the people of this region of the world love the goji berry. But the goji berry’s introduction to the Western world is still fairly recent, so the berry remains a relatively unknown fruit for a large fraction of the world’s population. So what is a Goji berry ? And why is it so loved ?

Goji berries grow on small green-leafed vines that yield a bright red fruit with a shape most resembling a raisin. The berries are extremely delicate, and during harvest, they are shaken from the vine rather than being picked. To avoid spoiling, they are slowly dried in the shade. The texture of a goji berry is very chewy, and its taste is often described as a cross between a raisin and a cranberry.

What makes the goji berry so potent ?

Goji berries are believed to be a rich source of vitamins and nutrients with each goji berry purported to contain 18 different amino acids and vitamins B1, B2, B6, C, and E. It is believed that goji berries contain more beta carotene than is found in carrots of equal size. And the goji berry is touted as one of the richest sources of vitamin C in the world, trailing only the Australian billygoat plum and the South American camu camu. Goji berries are also believed to contain zinc, iron, calcium, phosphorus, selenium, and germanium in varying quantities. As a rich source of many of the vitamins and minerals essential to nutrition, goji berries are filled with antioxidants.



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