Supplement your Nutrition with Superfoods: The Goji Berry

The term superfood refers to a special group of foods which are very nutrient rich. Popularity in including these particular foods in everyday diets has been growing as concerns rise about the overall nutritional quality of all food due to the increasing industrial nature of our agriculture system. Eating superfoods can be a powerful tool to increase your overall health and well-being. The Goji berry (which is also known as the Wolfberry) is grown in Mongolia and China for commercial cultivation and has earned its place as a superfood due to its particularly high concentration of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

Goji berries are an excellent source of Vitamin C with very high concentrations with some studies reporting as much as 500 times more vitamin C per ounce than oranges. Also present in significant amounts are: vitamins A, B1, B2 (riboflavin), B6 and E.

Iron, Selenium, Potassium, Zinc and Calciumare all present in Goji berries in significant quantities. Per 100 grams Goji berries have 100% of daily recommended intake (DRI) for Iron, 91% of DRI for Selenium, 24% of DRI for Potassium, 18% of DRI for Zinc and 10% of DRI for Calcium.

The high concentration of antioxidants present in Goji Berries help to break down free radicals that build up in our body due to physical and mental stressors. Antioxidants help to treat and prevent disease through reducing oxidative stress which plays a major role in diseases such as cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease. Goji berries are especially rich in a group of antioxidants called carotenoids which contributes greatly to healthy long term function of eyesight.

Goji berries are typically sold in their dried form with a texture similar to raisins. They are typically eaten with salads in trail mixes with nuts and other dried fruit, in soups or eaten on their own. The taste can be described as sweet and a little bit sour with a hint of a nutty taste. Goji berries can also now be found sold in juice products and pulp powdered form. Marketers of Goji berries make extensive health claims including: increased life expectancy, increased recovery from fatigue and stress, weight loss, increased sexual performance, vision improvement and cancer prevention. Although not all of these health claims have been verified through extensive peer- reviewed research there is no doubt that there are health benefits from consuming Goji berries due to their high nutritional value.

Dried Goji Berries