Goji Berries are the fruit of Lycium barbarum - one of the two species of boxthorn in the Solanacea family. Goji Berries grow on evergreen shrubs and vines in the suptropical, temperate regions of China, Mongolia, and the Tibetan Himalayas. Goji berries are reddish-orange in color, they possess a natural tinge of sweetness with a little herb-like aftertaste, and can be eaten raw, dried, cooked, or processed into juices, wines, herbal teas, and medicines. Have you ever wondered what are antioxidants? Goji Berries have a very high ORCA rating.
Goji berries have been used in Tibet for over 1,700 years. Ancient Tibetans used medicine from Goji berries to treat problems in the kidney, liver, and eyes. Goji berries were used to increase longevity as a health strengthening tonic, people who ate goji berries daily were commonly known to live up to 100 years without health problems. Legend has it; a doctor studying an ancient society in the remote regions of the Himalayas found that the residents were living in impressively good health, with no gray hair, and complete sets of teeth, for up to a hundred years and even more. Eventually he found out that the people were living near water wells which had goji berry vines growing all over them. When the berries ripened, they dropped into the water and the nutrients were dissolved. The nutrient rich water was subsequently drank by the people which in turn gave them good health and prolonged their life.
Goji berries are packed with nutritional benefits. Five tablespoons of Goji berries contain:
-18 amino acids
-5 unsaturated fatty acids (including alpha linolenic acid)
-35% DV vitamin C
-7 miligrams per 100g of beta carotene
-100%DV vitamin B2
-91% DV selenium
-And phytochemicals like lycopene and lutein
(*The Percent Daily Values (DV) are based on a 2,000-calorie diet for healthy adults.)
Goji berries are a source of zeaxanthin which protects the eyes from ultraviolet rays. Goji berries also help protect the liver, improve sexual function and fertility, strengthen legs, skin, and hair, boost immune function, improve circulation, promote weight loss, and prevent the premature aging of cells. It is the worlds' number 1 anti aging food, as it possesses a 30,500 antioxidant level. In fact, the oldest documented living man; Prof. Li Qing Yen of China who has lived up to 252 years and received 2 longevity awards, was a daily consumer of Goji Berries. Because of this, Goji berries have even been coined by some as "nature's fountain of youth".
Recent scientific studies have also proven that Goji berries posses significant benefits to mental well-being, calmness, athletic performance, and quality of sleep. The complex compounds found in goji berries like Physalin and Cyperone, are also being studied for their potential anti-cancer properties.
Goji berries are available in markets worldwide, they can also be bought online. They may be sold fresh, dried (like raisins), as Goji Berry Juice, or even as smoothies. A 500-gram bag of dried goji berries costs about $15 to $20 at most natural food stores and online. The cheapest organic goji berries can be found in local Asian stores.