Super Food: Goji Berries

Have you jumped on the goji berry bandwagon yet? I haven’t, and I have yet to try them.  I heard they taste like a mix between raisins and cherries, yum! (I’ve never been caught up in the whole “ Superfood“ hype, I’m into all whole, unprocessed, nutrient dense foods –  these are all Super Foods to me!)

The goji berry or Chinese wolfberry (I like this name!) are native to Asia and southeastern Europe, and belong to the Solanaceae family along with potatoes, tomatoes, chili and bell peppers. Were you expecting to see other little berries in this family, like I was?

Why is it healthy?

Its recent gain in popularity in North America is likely due to several health benefits claims hailing from the Western medicine world. Traditional Chinese medicine uses this berry for the treatment of hypertension and diabetes, as well as its prevention of cancer and positive effects on vision and anti-aging (among other things). There is, however, a lack of evidence supporting these health claims.

Regardless of the (lack of) evidence, the goji, like other berries, are loaded with health promoting nutrients.  They are low fat, high in fibre and protein, and contain a large amount of Vitamin A (supports healthy eyes) & C (helps keep out immune system healthy. They also contain the following phytochemicals: zeaxanthin, which also helps with eye health, kukoamine and beta sitosterol, these have cholesterol lowering abilities.

 

Including goji berries in your diet:

In Canada, goji berries are generally sold as dried fruit.

Sprinkle berries in your oatmeal, salad, home-made trail mix, yogurt, muffins, or any other way you currently use other dried berries.

 

Did you know that…

Goji berries don’t just grow in Asia It’s true! Chris at Blitz Conditioning has a goji berry tree right in his (Edmonton) backyard!