In the United States, websites that promote healthy living have the goji berries as an unbeatable super-food in the ranking of healthy products, and tabloid magazines ensure that the daily intake of these cherries is the beauty secret best kept by celebrities like Madonna, Liz Hurley and Mischa Barton.
Meanwhile, in England, they are not only sold in nutrition stores, but for their constant demand, they also began to be exhibited on the shelves of supermarkets.
The marketing machinery advertise them with superlatives and concepts somewhat exaggerated, from the nickname “Viagra fruit” or “cellulite assassin” to the statement that by trying them you will jump for joy.
Luckily, there are more sober scientific explanations that focus on seeing the benefits without promising miraculous results.
What are they
Goji berries are small dried fruits like raisins, but have a deep red color and a sour and sweet flavor like blueberries.
They are completely natural and contain no sugar or artificial colorings, flavorings or artificial preservatives.
For thousands of years, the goji berries grow wild in the valleys formed between the Himalayas, Tibet and Mongolia, more than 4000 meters above the sea level. Bushes belong to the lycium chinese and lycium barbarum species. Goji berries currently consumed in the West, though from China, are not wild, but mass-grown for export. Therefore, it is important to make sure before eating them that they have been organically cultivated, without pesticides.
The goji berries contain more vitamin C than oranges, more beta carotene than carrots and more iron than meat.
The Nutrition Research Institute of Beijing concluded that beta-carotene content in goji berries helps preventing heart diseases, increases defenses against cancer and protects skin from sun damage.
This fruit is also connected with longevity because it fights free radicals and is a valuable supplement to improve eyesight, regulate appetite and sleep, taking care of organs such as the liver or kidneys and, in general, increase vitality.
How you consume
The goji are quite tasty, so they tend to be whole, but also in juice or integrated into salads, soups, yogurts, creams or elaborate meals.
Theoretically, these berries have no side effects, but like all fruit- when consumption is overdone, can cause a change in bowel function, which yields when intake is stopped. In such cases, their incorporation is recommended progressively.
The goji cherries are marketed as dried fruits, packaged juices or capsules of vitamin supplements. The question is: what is the safest way to get the best results?
Undoubtedly, experts and consumers agree that dried fruits are the most effective way to get the benefits of goji, as all other forms destroyed, in its development, some parts of the fruit and, therefore, also decrease their properties or synergy that occurs between the elements in their natural state.
On the other hand, if you find goji juices on sale and look that they must be pasteurized by legal requirements although this is not mentioned in its bottle – and / or added with preservatives. One of the most used is ascorbic acid which is manufactured from heat and sulfuric acid (yes, the same contaminant car batteries have). The problem, then, is that vitamin C, an important antioxidant that allows the absorption of other nutrients, disappears when heated over 190 celcius degrees or when exposed to ultraviolet rays as those present in sunlight.
As for the capsules, you should know that most doctors discard them because, as the vast majority of food bottled supplements, vitamins and mineral thus are actually compounds synthesized molecules in the laboratory and should only be used in substantiated cases of vitamin deficiencies under strict professional control.
The good news is that in the case of dried fruit – being, precisely, natural – we can all eat them, including children, the elderly and pregnant women, and thus add one more tool to maintain health and prevent disease.