Goji berry benefits are derived from a wide variety of antioxidants and nutrients and the much sought after subtropical fruit is also known by names such as the wolfberry, among a few others.
Found growing in naturally warm, subtropical regions within both China and Mongolia as well as in Tibet’s Himalayas, Goji berries look like small, red raisins but contain perhaps the most nutrients of any single fruit on Earth.
They are usually found dried, have a slight tangy taste, and belong to the nightshade (Solonaceae) family. They are very fragile and must be harvested by hand.
The many Goji berry benefits to be had begin first with their intricate collection of molecules, including polysaccharides, which are sugar molecules believed to support the body’s immune system. Polysaccharides are also known to be a great source of probiotic fibers, which are the fermentable portions of soluble fiber that are processed into SCFAs, or short-chain fatty acids, within the intestines. This then provides beneficial nutrients for the probiotics within the intestinal tract to aid the body with vital functions like digestion and the absorption of nutrients.
Offering numerous health benefits, Goji berries are touted as a tonic for helping keep the internal organs functioning properly as well as for keeping the body’s energy in tune.
Highly regarded as China’s national treasure, the Goji berry is finally getting much needed attention in the West. Containing an impressive concentration of iron, they are also important to the circulatory system as well.
Predominantly grown in the northwestern portions of Tibet and China, which boast some of the purest soil in all of the world, Goji berries come from the Lycium plant, an evergreen bush with vines that may reach as high as 10 to 15 feet. Truly a food to marvel at, they are relatively small, growing only as long as one to two centimeters, and having a taste that’s been described as both sweet and sour. Often used in teas, soups, and rice meals, Goji berries are also sold fresh throughout the temperate regions of China where they grow wild.
Goji berries are well entrenched in traditional Chinese medicine, and rightfully so. They are relatively low in calories and fat, yet rich in vitamins A (beta-carotene) and C. These berries are becoming extremely prized for their high antioxidant content.
Since the benefits of Goji berry are so plentiful, many regard it to be the healthiest single food you could ever consume, with some even saying the fruit has magical, mystical properties.
And because Goji berries are such small, fragile fruits, they must be slowly and carefully harvested by hand, and what’s even more time consuming is that all of the berries must be processed into juice form within the first 24 to 48 hours following harvest in order to retain their many nutrients.
Recently classified as a “health food” thanks to recent research that’s proven their high concentration of nutrients, vitamins, and antioxidants, These berries have been proclaimed as a superfruit and demand is expected to reach an astonishing billion dollars in sales by the year 2011.