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Health Benefits of Goji Berry

What is it?
Goji BerriesThe goji berry or wolfberry is a berry fruit produced by a shrub native to Asia. The berries themselves are reddish-orange, small, and elipitical in shape. They have been traditionally used in chinese cooking and herbal medicine for many years, but more recently have gained international recognition for their health benefits and powerful antioxidant properties.

 

What makes them so good for me?
The Goji berry is a true superfruit. It is rich in a variety of vitamins, minerals, nutrients, amino acids, and antioxidants. To start, goji berries are rich in a many different amino acids. Amino acids play vital roles in everything from your stabilizing your metabolism to muscle growth to wound healing. Goji berries themselves contain contain 19 different amino acids including eight known as the essential amino acids.

 Furthermore goji berries are rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants help maintain cellular health in the body by destroying waste products known as “free radicals.” Free radicals have been linked to weakened immunities and diseases such as cancer. While goji berries do not directly prevent cancer having a rich source of antioxidants can inhibit growth of cancer cells in the body. Antioxidant rich foods can also have anti-aging properties. By reducing damage done by free radicals, cells last longer, stay healthier, and recover faster.

Goji berries alone are rich in flavonoids, polyphenols, caretonoids (all antioxidants) and vitamins C, A and E (which have antioxidant properties). In terms of just vitamin C, goji berries, in fact, provide more vitamin C per weight than an orange. 

Finally, goji berries are an excellent source of essential and nonessential minerals such as iron, zinc, copper and riboflavin. A quarter cup of goji berries will provide the body with full recommended daily allowance (RDA) of iron, copper, and riboflavin, so eat plenty of these beneficial superfruits and enjoy!

Where can I get them?
Goji berries have become more readily available in recent years due to a greater recognition of their health benefits. You can find them in local markets or supermarkets in the fruit and/or produce section(s). They are sold in both fresh and dried berry forms, though finding them fresh and in season may be a tad more difficult. Also, there is no significant difference in nutritional benefit from dried to fresh, so choosing which kind of berry is a matter of presonal preference. If you are having trouble locating goji berries, an easy (and sometimes cheaper) alternative is to look online. Goji berries are extremely efficient superfoods, you don’t need all that many to be effective, so always be aware of how much you want and how much you actually need. Only ¼ a cup of the berries provides you with a daily intake of a multitude of daily vitamins and minerals so there isn’t much need to stock a huge amount.

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