Have you ever heard of Li Qing Yuen? He’s the person who lived up to a ripe old age of 252 years. No kidding. The life (and longevity) of Prof. Li Qing Yuen, who lived between 1678-1930, is one of the best documented. And you know what? He’s reported to have consumed Goji berries daily!
Goji berry is a member of the wolfberry family and is known by the scientific name of Lycium barbarum. It’s credited with increasing the life span and having several health improving properties. It is one of the richest natural nutrients available on earth. It is said that the Chinese have been using Goji berry, as a food and a medicine, for more than five thousand years.
Nutritional value of Goji Berries
Goji berry is a rich source of nutrients and amino acids. It contains 18 amino acids, 21 trace minerals and several vitamins and minerals. It has six times more amino acids than bee pollen, 500 times more Vitamin C by weight than oranges, more iron than spinach, and more Beta carotene than carrots. Goji berry contains minerals like Calcium and Magnesium, and Vitamins B1, B2, B6 and Vitamin E, normally found in grains and seeds and rarely in fruits. In addition, these berries contain many complex compounds and phytonutrients. High levels of protein content (13% of these berries are protein – higher than whole wheat), and antioxidants are other nutrient highlights. In addition, Goji berries contain Beta-sitosterol, Betaine, and essential fatty acids. With all this nutrition packed into it, it is small wonder that these berries have a great medicinal and health value.
Benefits of Goji Berries
Goji berries have been used in traditional systems of medicine to treat various conditions like anemia, cough and inflammation. It has also been used for improving the immune system, protection of the liver, and improving eyesight. Apart from the curative properties, Goji berry is believed to have a positive effect on the health and wellness of those consuming it, and benefits the user with longevity, increased vitality and sexual prowess.
Elderly patients, who were given Goji berries thrice a week, reported several benefits, including improved sleep, better appetite and recovery of sexual function in some cases.
Antioxidants combat free radicals, which are responsible for damaging cells and DNA, increasing the risk of cancer and aiding the ageing process. The high level of antioxidants in Goji berries ensures that the ageing process is slowed down. It is believed that Goji berries have contributed to the freedom from diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, heart diseases, stroke, and Alzheimer’s disease in the people of Asia who have been consuming this fruit.
About the plant
Goji berry grows in protected valleys with vines reaching up to heights of 4 m. The plant grows in sandy or clay soil conditions under semi shade or no shade. The fruits are never plucked by hand since they are very sensitive and can be spoilt if they are touched by hand at this stage. Instead the fruits are shaken on to a mat and then dried in the shade.
Dosage and consumption details
Goji berries taste somewhat like raisins. They can be taken alone or mixed with other ingredients. Daily dosage could be about 10-30 grams.
The best way to take dried Goji berries is to wash them in water and soak them for a short while, before consuming. You can get it at reasonable prices at most Chinese stores.