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Goji Berries

A New York Times article from 1930 reported that the oldest person to have ever lived was a man named, Li Qing Yuen. This Chinese herbalist was said to have been born in 1677 and died in 1933. While there are some mixed opinions on whether he was born in 1677 or 1736, making him either 265 or 197 at his death. Either way, most people agree that his longevity is something to be marveled.

He was asked by many what he attributed his long, healthy life to and his reply was that he had done everything that he had wanted to do in life… and that he ate Goji berries every single day. What a raving review for a fruit that is now available to us all!

Goji berries have been used for thousands of years in China and Tibet in their traditional medicines for longevity, strengthening the body, and healthier liver and kidney function. We have since come to find that they have many other health benefits beyond those that have made it an Asian medicinal staple.

Goji berries are small, bright orange-red berries from the Lycium Barbarum shrub native to China. They are now believed to help prevent cancer, lower cholesterol, reduce inflammation, and reduce autoimmune disorders, just to name a few. They have such a high nutritional value that the list of curative and preventative properties are beyond extensive.

These little berries are nutrient powerhouses. With 500 times more vitamin C by weight than oranges, 6 times more amino acids than bee pollen, more iron than spinach, more beta carotene than carrots. You can see why Goji has gained popularity in the West. Not only do they contain 18 amino acids and 21 trace minerals, they also contain vitamin B1, B2, B6, and E, as well as phytonutrients, antioxidants, and protein.

Because of the breadth and richness of nutrients contained in these berries, they are now being used to combat anemia, immune issues, aging, hormone irregularities, eyesight issues, high blood pressure, and heart disease. There are also reports of extended use of the berry, as Prof. Li Qing Yuen exemplified, to increase longevity, as well as overall vitality, mental wellbeing, better sleeping habits, and even sexual prowess.

These berries are quite fragile and are never plucked directly off the vine. They are instead shaken from the plant on to a mat and then dried for stable distribution. Their nutrients are most readily available when eaten raw but Goji berries are only available dried in the United States. For highest nutrient availability of the dried berries, it is beneficial to first soak them in water for a bit before eating or adding to a smoothie.

What a truly remarkable fruit that is now easily accessible to add to our health routines. They are also available at Ola in many of our smoothies and food options. Come in to start adding these amazing berries to your diet!