Blossoming Health with Nanny Bee
By Linda Pecone
Editor’s Note: The Lyons Recorder does not endorse the contents of this article as medical advice, and encourages readers with serious medical conditions to contact a professional health provider.
We are living in a “superfood” era, it seems many foods these days are deemed worthy of the term. However, there are a few unique fruits, vegetables, and herbs that were considered "superfoods" long before the term was coined throughout our western culture; the goji berry is one of them.
Goji berries, also known as wolfberries, have been used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years. In our modern world, gojis were among the first natural
products to be dubbed a superfood. As the result, the consumption of goji berries, has increased dramatically over the past twenty years. There are many good reasons to eat them.
Our bodies are continuously bombarded by free radicals from many sources. If left alone, they create DNA damage to our cells and contribute to the aging process. Antioxidants are the most powerful fighters of free radicals, and goji berries contain particularly high levels of them. The berries are also high in amino acids and other minerals which are highly beneficial to our bodies’ process of repairing and regenerating cells. Potential benefits of these compounds include firmer skin, reduced inflammation, decreased prevalence of wrinkles, reduced appearance of scar tissue and the healing of sun-damaged skin.
Gojis have been used for centuries to promote both physical strength and muscle recovery. The berries support good liver function, and as a result, they can help our liver eliminate stored lactic acid from muscle tissue, which is closely related to muscle recovery.
This powerhouse berry is abundant in certain vitamins and minerals that help to boost metabolism. They can also contribute to reducing the effects of chronic fatigue and increasing energy levels. Here’s a quick breakdown: gojis are high in B-vitamins, which help metabolize fats, proteins, and carbs and turn them into energy for our body; they are high in fiber and aid in productive digestion, which keeps energy balanced; gojis also contain iron, which is important in the process of creating energy.
One of the most powerful benefits of the goji berry is its potential to aid in the recovery process for cancer patients, thus it's “superfood” label. There have been studies done over the past few years to test the effectiveness of goji berry extract in fighting tumorous cells within the body. Some of these studies have demonstrated that goji berries might actually be able to inhibit the growth of certain cancerous cells, while other studies have shown that they were a highly beneficial supplement to conventional cancer treatments, contributing to the reversal of cancerous growths on the skin, colon, kidneys, lungs, and throat.
Not only are the berries delicious, they are an amazing source of vitality and rejuvenation. They may deserve the title “superfood” more than many of the “superfoods” out there. The best way to eat them is raw, but they are difficult to come by. There are several producers of goji juice. I like Down to Earth because it contains no added sugar or color.
I often add a handful to my tea. which is a super simple to do, just throw a handful into the hot water. They become plump and juicy in tea. Sometimes I throw a handful of soaked gojis into my smoothies. I soak them for about ten minutes in water before tossing them in.
You can also add goji berries to your favorite trail mix or make your own by mixing your favorite nuts and dried fruit with some goji berries. To get your kids to eat it, try adding some chocolate chips to the goji trail mix.
Like raisins they add some fun to cereal. Add them to either hot or cold cereal. Throw them into your favorite muffin recipes. Here is a delicious fast treat forto get your goji on.
Goji Energy Bars
Blend a handful of goji berries together with a cup of walnuts, ½ cup almonds, and five or six dates in a food processor. Roll the mix into balls or spread in a deep pan to make bars.