Goji berries, also known as wolfberries, are nutritionally rich small, red, dried berries–a bit like a gourmet cranberry—and are making the leap from specialty online stores to your supermarket.. What is so nutritious and special about the Gogi berry that celebrities are now singing the praises of them, and calling them “fruit Viagra?” Read more to find out if these claims are hype or if the Gogi berry is the real deal.
What is the Nutritional Benefit in Gogi Berries?
According to Wikipedia wolfberries contain 11 essential and 22 trace dietary minerals, 18 amino acids, 6 essential vitamins, 5 unsaturated fatty acids, and 5 carotenoids. This is a very large nutritional profile, and as you now the carotenoids are what help fight heart disease, and defend against cancer, as well as protecting your eyes. The pigments, or coloring, is what’s responsible for the antioxidant properties, which fights against free radical damage.
This means that Gogi berries are a nutrient dense food. Nutrient dense foods give you the most nutrients for the fewest amount of calories. In other words, nutrient dense foods give you the “biggest bang for the buck.” As busy as we are these days, trying to get the most nutrition as easily as possible just makes sense.
Goji berries are easy to enjoy in smoothies. If you don’t have a powerful blender you may want to keep them soaked in a little water or juice to soften them before blending. Goji berry powder is also available and can be stirred directly into juices or teas.
The dried berries make a great addition to trail mixes, can be tossed in to a salad, and can be used in place of raisins in some recipes.
In researching the Gogi berry, I have seen them for as lttle as $6.99 for 8 ounces and up to $127.00 for 10 pounds bulk. I also saw them covered in dark chocolate. Now that speaks to me!
So whether or not your next question at the health food store is “where’s the Gogi berries?’ is up to you. I give them a thumbs up as part of a healthy diet*. Remember that getting, and staying healthy is a commitment—not just to diet, but an overall package of well being in body, mind, and spirit.
Best wishes to all for a very Happy and Healthy New Year~
*There may be some possible herb-drug interactions with goji berries. If you take warfarin (a blood thinner), you may want to avoid goji berries. Goji berries may also interact with diabetes and blood pressure drugs.