berries

Goji Berries: Enjoy an Antioxidant Packed Superfood

Friday, February 05, 2010 by: Brett Brown
Tags: goji berries, antioxidants, health news

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(NaturalNews) Goji berries, also known as Wolfberries, are one of the most nutritionally dense superfoods on the planet. They contain a vast array of unique carotenoids, vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. Among these it is also believed by many to be one of the best sources of antioxidants on the planet.

Antioxidants
Antioxidants help to protect our DNA from damage by free radicals and radiation. Without an ample supply of antioxidants our body becomes open to illness and accelerated aging. Free radicals are generated as a byproduct of normal metabolism and exposure to toxins and radiation. This eventually results in an early cell death which has been contributed to a variety of diseases and to the accelerated development of mutated cells that may lead to cancer. All of this is countered with the help of antioxidants.

Carotenoids
Goji berries are one of the best sources of the carotenoid antioxidants, even more than carrots. This is important since research has indicated that the carotenoid content of human tissue is a statistically significant factor in determining our maximum lifespan potential. This means the more carotenoids we consume, the better the possibility we may live a longer life.

Eye Health
Goji berries also contains some very important nutrients for eye health. These include zeaxanthin and lutein. A diet with increased levels of zeaxanthin and lutein has been helpful in decreasing the risk of developing age related macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness and loss of vision in people above the age of 65.

Immunity And Longevity
Goji berries have also been found to boost the immune system. There are three main components in the goji berry that do this: polysaccharides, beta-carotene, and germanium. Polysaccharides are well known for their immune boosting properties, while beta-carotene seems to boost interferon`s stimulation on the immune system. Germanium, which has been found to be effective in treating certain types of cancer, is also critical in boosting interferon levels. Goji berries also contain sesquiterpenoids which have anti-inflammatory properties. The sesquiterpenoids contained in goji berries are found to be a powerful secretagogue. A secretagogue stimulates the secretion of the human growth hormone by the pituitary gland.

Due to the vitamin and mineral content of goji berries, and the fact that they are the only known food sourced with secretagogue, goji berries have long been known as a longevity food. In fact, legend has it that a man named Li Qing Yuen was believed to have lived to the age of 252 years. It is still unknown if this case is true or not.

Nutritional Profile
Goji berries contain 18 amino acids including all eight of the essential amino acids, making it a complete protein. They also contain 21 trace minerals including: calcium, copper, germanium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, selenium, and zinc. For a vitamin content they contain vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B-complex, and vitamin E.

How To Use
Goji berries can be used a variety of ways. Traditionally in Chinese medicine they were used in teas and eaten raw. They are great to add to any of your teas that you make since the heating process extracts the polysaccharides into the tea water. They are also good added to soups and trail mixes. You can find goji berries in a good local health store or via the internet.

As we can see, goji berries are really a superfood of the top magnitude. Antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, polysaccharides, protein, it has them all in an abundance. This is one of the many superfoods available to us in our modern age that can truly help to take our health to the next level.

Resources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wolfberry

http://altmedicine.about.com/od/completeazin...

Superfoods: The Food And Medicine Of The Future, By David Wolfe, 2009

About the author

Brett Brown is a contributing journalist with a strong desire to help others receive factual information in the health industry.
He also writes for and updates his own blog on a regular basis which can be found at: http://rawhealthforce.blogspot.com

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