Superfoods 101: 8 Reasons to Eat Goji Berries

In chinese medicine, Goji berries have been widely used to harmonize and increase jing energy. Jing energy relates to our essence and spirit. They are very likely the most nutrient rich berry-fruit on the planet, and thus among the best foods to eat!

Goji berries are originally from Asia, where over eighty different species can be found, but fifteen different species can also be found in America. These are some of the benefits you’ll find to incorporating Goji berries in your diet:


1.- Complete Source of Vitamins and Minerals

Goji berries are a complete protein source. They contain nineteen different amino acids and all eight essential amino acids. They have at least 21 trace minerals including zinc, iron, copper, calcium, germanium, selenium and phosphorus. They are also rich in vitamins B1, B2, B6 and Vitamin E.


2.- Boost Immune Function

Goji berries increase alkalinity of the body and vitality, thus helping to optimize our immune system. Not only are they among the best alkaline foods but they also contain long chain polysaccharides that are known to help build a healthy immune system.

The goji berry is rich in beta-carotenes. Beta-carotene enhances thymus gland function and increases interferon’s stimulatory action on the immune system. Interferon is a key immune-enhancing compound that plays a central role in protecting our bodies against viral infection.


3.- Longevity and Anti-Aging

As we age, our bodies start to produce less Human Growth Hormone (HGH). This decrease in HGH has been directly linked to aging. Goji berries are the only known food that stimulates the human body to produce HGH, suggesting that goji berries are indeed the leading longevity superfood in the world. This is very likely why it has been nicknamed by many superfood experts as “the longevity fruit”. Their content of two key amino acids, l-glutamine and l-argintine support these claims. Several studies support the fact that the more we consume carotenoids, the longer we live. Goji berries have a high level of carotenoids, making them perhaps one of the best longevity superfoods available.


4.- Cancer Fighting Properties

Goji berries provide liver protection, improve blood quality and are one of the richest sources of antioxidants (only surpassed by cacao and a few other foods). Antioxidants are crucial in protecting our DNA from damage made by free radicals and radiation.  The Goji berries are the richest source of antioxidant carotenes. They even contain more beta-carotenes than carrots.

Goji berries contain organic germanium, which has been proven to be a powerful ally in the fight against cancer.


5.- Improved Vision

Goji berries contain two key antioxidants that promote a healthy vision, zeaxanthin and lutein.


6- Better Cardiovascular Health

Goji berries help fight narrowing of the arteries that deliver oxygen and other key nutrients to all of our cells, thus combating oxidized cholesterol associated with heart disease. Goji berries can increase production of an enzyme called Super Oxide Dismutase (SOD), which is key in preventing cholesterol from oxidizing.

Goji berries fight narrowing of the arteries that deliver oxygen and nutrients to all of our cells. Goji berries have the ability to combat a key factor that causes heart disease: oxidized cholesterol.


7.- Keeping vital organs healthy

Goji berries help keep our vital organs by balancing blood sugar and enhancing the liver, digestive system and skin. In fact, tea made from Goji berries is commonly used in Asia as treatment for diabetes and to help regulate high blood sugar (which is a known precursor to diabetes and heart disease).

Furthermore, they help the liver detoxify and guard against the organ being damaged by carcinogens and the hepatitis virus.


8- Better Sexual Function and Fertility

Several studies point in the direction of Goji berries improving sexual function in men and fertility in women. Overall they are believed to be helpful in enhancing stamina, strength and sexual energy.

How do you eat Goji berries?

Unlike other superfoods, Goji berries have an arguably pleasant taste. They can be blended in your favorite smoothie, eaten with cereal, oatmeal or by themselves. As with anything new, I recommend consuming a little bit in the beginning, to listen to how your body reacts and increase consumption as you get more comfortable with this new food.

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Further resources:

Superfoods: The Food and Medicine of the Future, by David Wolfe, 2009

Superfoods List: The 11 Best Nutrient Rich Foods For Increased Immunity, Energy and Longevity, by Andrea Briggs, 2011


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