Today we're delving a little deeper into the realm of ancient Chinese medicine and looking at how these little red berries have taken the world by storm.
Goji berries, also known as wolfberry or happy berry, belong to the solanum family. In this weird and wonderful family belong potatoes, tomatoes, aubergine, chilli plants and tobacco, a rather random assortment of foods.
Goji berries are found in China, Mongolia and Tibet where they have been cultivated for over 700 years. This is not to say however that goji berries can only been grown in this region; thanks to their hardiness and ability to withstand harsh winters the goji-bush can be grown in nearly every climate zone.
In Asia, goji berries have traditionally been eaten for generations in the hope of living longer.
On top of their supposed fountain of youth quality, goji berries can support our immune system, strengthen the heart, the liver and the kidney and treat common health problems like diabetes, high blood pressure and fever. Many believe that they can also be used to treat age-related eye problems and help to get rid of nasty headaches and dizziness.
Goji berries are a great source of vitamins and minerals, including:
· vitamin C
· vitamin A
These berries contain all 8 essential amino acids. A single 4 ounce serving provides nearly 10 percent of our daily value for protein. For fruit, this is a surprising amount of protein.
As goji berries are made of complex carbs we don’t need to worry about spikes in blood sugar levels. They allow our levels to raise slowly, reducing the likelihood of a post-snack sugar crash.
They are a great alternative to other high-sugar dried fruits such as dates or raisins as they are low in both calories and sugar.
Some brands may market goji berries as a superfood, and quite rightly. A recent study compared the results of participants who consumed goji berry juice on a daily basis for 14 days to those who didn’t. Those who drank the goji berry juice reported an increase in:
· athletic performance
· quality of sleep
· ability to focus
· overall well-being
So, we’ve come to the conclusion that goji berries are great and should be a part of everyone’s diet. That’s why we include them in our pecan and cacao snack bars, not only for their nutritional benefits but also their sweet berry taste.
Legend says a man named Li Qing Yuen consumed goji berries daily and lived to be 252 years old!