Wednesday, May 16, 2007

What's the deal with Goji Berries?

I heard all this talk in the health community about the health benefits of Tibetan Goji Berries so I thought I would check up on it and find out what they are all about.

In fact, I went so far as to order some Goji Berries online and try them for myself.

It is said in Tibet that eating a handful of these berries a day will make one happy for the entire day. I wanted to discover why.

According to the Navitas Naturals product label, the Goji berry is one of the must nutrient dense foods ever discovered. Goji berries are a complete protein, which is not very easy to come by in a vegan diet. They have 18 amino acids and have all of the 8 essential amino acids that our bodies need. There is also more than 20 trace minerals and vitamins found in these little berries.

Goji berries are a great source of zinc, iron, copper, phosphorus, B vitamins, vitamin E and vitamin C. The antioxidants found in Goji berries are able to help the body stay healthy by preventing free radicals in the body. The berries have a high content of iron, about 20 times that of grapes and 15 times that of spinach. (I guess Popeye should have been eating his Goji berries instead of spinach?)

Now that we know that Goji berries are healthy, how do they taste? I was really worried about tasting them after hearing people say that they taste like cardboard.

When I opened the bag of Goji berries I got in the mail, I took a huge whiff of them. They smelled a bit like bitter raisins. After tasting them, I realized that they tasted just like they smelled. Not very much flavor to them, but if they are healthy, it is definitely tolerable.

According to the product label you can eat them right out of the bag, or add them to cereals, smoothies, water, trail mixes, salads or steeped in tea. I thought I would take a go at putting some in my smoothies. They actually worked great in the smoothie because I couldn't taste the berries at all.

The Beijing Nutrition Research Institute completed a detailed analysis of Goji berries in 1988. They discovered that Tibetan Goji Berries have extremely high levels polysaccharides, which are great for building up the immune system and keeping it strong.

Many advertisers promote Goji berries as a cancer cure, while I believe that Goji berries are very healthy, I wouldn't go so far as to support those claims.

If you are interested in getting some Goji berries for yourself, I have found the best deal to be from Navitas Naturals.

Navitas Naturals Goji Berries Product Label