Health Benefits of Goji Berries
Goji berries, also known as wolfberries, are bright orange-red in color and come from a bush native to China.
They are extraordinarily rich in antioxidants, primarily Vitamin A, Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), and Vitamin C, all of which are known to prevent cell damage and lessen your risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease.
The Riboflavin contained in goji berries is important for glucose (sugar) metabolism, the health of eye tissue, skin tissue and the mucous membranes of the respiratory system. Vitamin A is vital for maintaining healthy tissues as well as supporting the immune system, bone development, eye health and protecting nerve fibers.
And of course, Vitamin C is necessary for improved immune function, healthy gums, and collagen formation for healthy skin and connective tissues.
The Longevity Properties of The Goji Berries
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) the kidneys (or the “energy” of the kidneys) are essentially the vitality of life. In other words, they are considered The Fountain of Youth.
Kidney Qi (energy) is the initial Qi necessary to give us life at birth, and as we grow the Kidney Qi is fortified by how we live:
- The nourishment we consume
- How we move our body
- How well we rest
- And our thoughts and emotions
It is believed that the nourishment from goji berries strengthen the Kidney Qi and help balance the body.
Li Ching-Yuen, an herbalist and martial artist from China, allegedly had one of the oldest lifespans ever recorded. There is no real proof, however, as to the exact number of years he lived, though there are some sources that put him as old as 197 and others as old as 256!
Whether these claims are true or not there is one thing that has been agreed upon, he lived well beyond the age of 100.
He said this about life,
“Keep a quiet heart, sit like a tortoise, walk sprightly like a pigeon and sleep like a dog”
And if you think about it, this is exactly what is necessary for strong Kidney Qi!
Li Ching-Yuen experimented with herbs throughout his life, so it is no surprise that he attributed his longevity, in part, to the consumption of Goji Berries.
Goji berries are not only known for their anti-aging properties, other health benefits include:
- Strengthening kidney function
- Enhancing vision
- Reducing joint pain and stiffness
- Improving Immune system function
Interestingly, TCM practitioners have also found that these amazing berries are beneficial to those with diabetes, liver disorders and high cholesterol.
(If you are interested in hearing more about how goji berries can help improve your health physically and energetically, then you don’t want to miss this week’s episode of Online Holistic Health’s Premier Podcast, Crazy Meets Common Sense!)
How To Eat Goji Berries
Goji berries are extremely diverse when it comes to how they can be consumed.
If you prefer to eat them raw (or hydrated), you will find that they have a sweet/tart flavor which is similar to the flavor profile of cherry tomatoes. This makes them a wonderful candidate for a pie filling! And I can tell you first hand that Goji Berry Pie is DELICIOUS!
Now, eating goji berries dry is probably the most common choice. When goji berries are dry their texture is much like raisins, making them a wonderful addition to any salad, trail mix, or simply as a stand-alone!
They also make great tea! Just add some goji berries to boiling water and then squeeze the berries to allow the juice to come out. Try adding lemon or cinnamon for added flavor!
Are you more of a smoothie-type person like me? No problem! Goji berries are an excellent addition to smoothies! My personal favorite is a Goji-Strawberry mix with coconut milk! In fact, I think I’ll go make one right now! YUM! 🙂