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Goji Berries A Powerful Little Superfood

By July 12, 2016Nutrition Information

goji 3A few days ago I kissed my beautiful new grandson good-bye. It was time to leave Boulder, go home and get ready for theNourishing Foods Summer Cleanse.  I am grateful for the month I spent there welcoming the precious new family member into our incredible world.   I am thrilled to be home too!

Avery and Ingrid     Avery July 3

It is almost time to cleanse.  Cleansing is important.  A huge amount of toxins come into our body each day. They get in two ways: externally and internally. Externally, you get elements from the environment and food, and internally when your own body creates them from free radicals, intestinal bacteria, parasites, etc. You wind up feeling tired, have dull dry skin, colds, headaches…

In Chinese medicine summer is the time to give your digestive system a vacation. The small intestine is where 90% of digestion and absorption of food occurs.

Giving the root of your health a break is what we do in the Nourishing Foods Summer Cleanse, Aug 1- Aug 5.  I like to think of it as sending it off to the spa to kick back for a week to get some tender loving care.

If your small intestine is not working well, you won’t be properly nourished even if you are eating the perfect diet.

The health of your gut is key for every system in your body including: 

  • your brain 
  • your ability to sleep 
  • maintaining a healthy weight 
  • your moods and decision making

To give your small intestine a vacation we stop eating anything which may be difficult for it to process. This includes coffee, alcohol, sugar, gluten, dairy and meat.

We bring in plenty of the delicious nourishing foods available in the summer to heal. Eating lots of raw and cooked vegetables will supply your body with the vitamins, minerals and enzymes needed to fluff up the villi which are like a shag rug in your gut.   The result will be better digestion and a reduction of toxins in your whole body; more energy,  less weight.

Summer is the perfect time to welcome this deep cleanse and give your small intestine a little loving.

Reserve your spot for the Nourishing Foods Summer Cleanse – Revitalize Your Small Intestine scheduled for the week of Aug 1 and join me in paying some due respect to the root of our health.

Click here to get more information and sign up.

One of the super foods I am including in the summer cleanse is goji berries.

Goji Berry Tea

This is a super food which will help detox your body, keep you young and strengthen your immune system.

Goji Berries A Powerful Little Super Food

Goji berries (Lycium barbarum) – also known as “wolfberries” – have been used in India and around Asia for thousands of years.

It’s believed that Goji berries were eaten by monks in the Himalayan Mountains to procure greater health, vitality, longevity, energy and stamina to help in their meditations.

Researchers who study medicinal plants have identified a variety of nutrients in the goji berry that may help people enjoy longer and healthier lives.

The Ningxia Hui region of Northern China, where goji berries are grown and eaten on a daily basis, has 16 times as many centenarians — people 100 years old or older — as the rest of the country. The small, red goji berry, traditionally regarded as the “longevity fruit,” is a key ingredient in their healthy diet. As residents of the region age, they are much more active, healthy and vibrant than their peers in Western cultures.

Let’s look at the health promoting qualities of these super food berries.

High In Protein 

Goji’s are unique among fruits because they contain all 18 amino acids including the 8 essential amino acids.  They are a complete protein.  Goji berries have the highest
protein concentration of any fruit to help rebuild cells.

Powerful Adaptogen to Restore Balance

The goji berry is an “adaptogen.” An adaptogen is an herb with the unique ability to “adapt” their function according to your body’s specific needs.  They calm you down when you are stressed and strengthen your system when fatigued.  They also support healthy function of the adrenal glands, which tend to get overworked in times of stress.

The goji is believed to harmonize functions of the entire body, resulting in enhanced stamina, strength and energy.

Aids Digestion

Goji berries are helpful for all types of digestive problems.   Goji berries are a great digestive aid – they draw the digestive juices into the stomach and intestines. They also support healthy immunity by promoting the growth of beneficial bacteria in our gastrointestinal system.

Boosts Libido 

In Asia, it’s a well known fact that goji berries increase testosterone levels, which stimulates sex drive in men and women. They are a source of antioxidants, improve mood and stamina which are both important for a great sex life.

Packed With Powerful Antioxidants

In the course of living our DNA is damaged by free radicals generated as a byproduct of normal metabolism and by exposure to toxins. Antioxidants prevent us from being overwhelmed by too many free radicals, especially as we age.

Antioxidants in Goji Berries

Increases Longevity  

Goji Berries promote Human Growth Hormone (HGH) Production.  Boosting the natural production of growth hormone helps us feel, look and function with more vitality. Goji berries help our bodies do this in two ways:

  • Potassium: Goji is a rich source of this mineral, which is vital for health and longevity.  Insufficient potassium interferes with the normal function of the pituitary gland, producer of the human growth hormone.
    A 3-ounce serving of dried goji berries contains 1,600 mg of potassium — four times the potassium in three ounces of banana.
  • Amino acids: Certain amino acids promote the production of HGH. Goji is a rich source of l-glutamine and l-arginine, two amino acids which work together to boost HGH levels and revitalize your appearance and vitality. These amino acids are also building blocks for healthy immunity and work to reduce inflammation.

Improves Sleep

Goji berries are a rich source of two nutrients that are necessary for healthful sleep:

  • Magnesium: This mineral reduces the time it takes to fall asleep and improves the quality of sleep.
  • Thiamin (B1): Thiamin helps you sleep, improves mood, alleviates depression and increases energy levels.  Thiamine also helps to metabolize glucose.

Helps with Auto-Immune Disorders

Immune cells are like guards that constantly police our bodies, looking for harmful intruders and attacking any they find. Problems arise when the immune cells misidentify healthy cells as invaders and attack these, essentially making the body turn on itself and triggering auto-immune disease. One in five Americans suffer from an auto-immune disease. Three out of four are women.

Goji berries help the immune system to distinguish more effectively between friend and foe.

The fruit’s polysaccharides provide cells with special sugars that support healthy immunity and enable cells to communicate more effectively with each other.

Reduces Allergies

Allergies are triggered by many different substances in the environment, including certain foods. They occur as a result of some type of malfunction in the immune system which sees these substances as dangerous. In Asian medicine allergies are traditionally treated with remedies designed to balance the immune system, rather than suppressing symptoms with medications.

In Asia goji berries have traditionally been used as a therapy for allergies. Chinese scientists observed that the fruit reduces antibodies that are generated in response to an allergen. In addition, the polysaccharides in goji seem to enhance normal function of the immune system. The net effect is a restoration of healthy immune function.

goji berriesGoji’s are most commonly available in dried form, and make a great snack eaten plain, added to trail mix or energy bars (recipe below).

They can also be soaked for 30 minutes in hot water to make a delicious tea by itself or mixed with other teas.  It is a sweet liquid and many people are surprised they don’t need additional sweetener when they use it in other beverages.  You can add both water and berries to smoothies, dressings, soups and broths.

Goji berries can be found in Asian food stores, but most of these come from the commercial growing regions of China and Tibet, and contain high levels of pesticides and synthetic fertilizers.  Be sure to source your goji berries from a reputable source. 

Warning: Please note that there can be adverse interactions if you consume goji berries while taking medication for diabetes, or blood pressure, or take the blood thinner warfarin. So be sure to consult your health care provider if that is the case.

Recipes With Goji Berries

Goji Berry Lemonade

Goji Berry LemonadeSweet goji berry tea is mixed with fresh lemon juice to make this refreshing and deeply nourishing summer drink.

Goji Berry Strawberry Chia Smoothie

Goji Berry Strawberry Chia SmoothieSince I love goji berries so much, I was inspired to create this smoothie for us.   I combined them with strawberries for a sweet satisfying taste and to nourish our body.

Goji Berry Energy Bites

Goji Berry Energy BitesThis is one my favorite treats to take when I go out for the day. I find if I have something to keep my blood sugar in balance when out and about I am not tempted to grab something less healthy. These bites are full of protein from hemp seeds and goji berries. They contain healthy fat and fiber and are good to eat before and after working out.

Thanks for reading.  I’d love to hear from you!

Let me know what kind of food ideas and inspiration you are looking for when you comment.
Happy summer!



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