Thursday, 15 December 2011
GOJI BERRIES (WOLFBERRY)
The first time I ever heard of 'goji berry' (also known as 'wolfberry' but there is an argument about the name of it. Some say that goji berry is the commercial name to wolfberry, while some others argue that they are originally two different foods) was approximately about five years ago. I used to work with some adult students from all over the world (lucky me!) at the time. Many of my students were well educated and some used to work as doctors, teachers, scientists, engineers, opera singers, producers etc in their home country.
One day, as I was having a conversation with some of my Chinese students one of whom was in health science, the topic came to some certain foods and dried goji berry was the heart of the topic. It took my attention quite a bit as all of the people originally from China (or Tibet) that were in that group talked about it quite highly and passionately. The lady whose occupation was doctor also told me so much about its health benefits which made me even more interested. Those days, I didn't even know where I could get them from and but I was told that most health stores and Asian groceries stored them. At the time, through those lovely people, I was able to access to those berries but later on, I had no issues finding them at a local health store. I have actually noticed in more recent years that even some well known franchised supermarkets stock them in their health food section where the packaged nuts and other snack foods are. I must admit I have come across with one or two articles which claimed that today's goji/wolf berries aren't the same as the ones they claim to be this beneficial, but overall, they do sound quite attractive to me and it has taken its place in our diet on and off for almost 5 years now.
Now, lets look into the claimed medicinal properties of wolfberries/goji berries.
Wolfberries are termed a superfruit. They have a high level of vitamin C. Some test results show that goji berries contain antioxidants and therefore they may prevent the growth of cancer cells, reduce blood glucose, and lower cholesterol levels. Goji berries are used mainly to protect the liver, help eyesight (which was emphasised quite a bit by my students at the time as well), improve sexual function and fertility, strengthen the legs, boost immune function, improve circulation and promote longevity.
In regards to the consumption of it, I was informed by my students at the time that I should have approximately half a dozen (about 6-7) dried goji berries a day. They can be added to some foods or some people make tea out of them. However, I was also told that I could just eat them raw too which is what we do. I was also asked not to eat any goji berries when I experience any symptoms of an upcoming cold or flu. They said, during that time, wolfberries should not be consumed.