Anti-Aging Goji Berries

gojiYou’ve no doubt heard of goji berries, a recent addition to the list of superfoods. But are goji berries and goji juice as healthy as their hype?

Goji, also known as Boxthorn or Lycium Barbarum originated in Asia. The flowering shrub has purple to blue flowers and mildly sweet red berries. These red goji berries have been used in traditional holistic Chinese medicine for centuries. The berries are low calorie, fat-free, high in fiber and a very rich source of antioxidants. They can be eaten raw, dried, or pressed for their juice or powdered.

The antioxidants available in goji berries and juice help boost your immune system and protect your body from inflammation and are known to “fight” free radical damage. Within the cells of our bodies, unstable free radicals attack stable molecules and steal its electron. Once the attacked molecule loses that electron, it also becomes a free radical, starting a chain reaction, a danger to living cells. Antioxidants act as scavengers, literally “eating” free radicals and helping to prevent cell and tissue damage that could lead to further cellular damage and disease.

Antioxidants may also have the ability to repair and restore damaged cells to a healthy state. If these cells were perhaps skin cells, the result would be healthier and younger appearing cells that would slow the effects of aging. This potential anti-aging benefit is why goji juice and similar antioxidant foods have become popular.

Beyond the anti-aging properties, goji berries have been used to:

  • Improve kidney function and restore the body’s Chi or life force. Goji has been beneficial in the treatment of kidney disease, insomnia and anxiety.
  • Improve vision. Goji juice is very high in beta-carotene a precursor that works with Vitamin A to improve vision, reduce blind spots and improve clarity and acuity under low light conditions. Goji juice contains a greater concentration of beta-carotene than carrots.
  • Improves and stabilizes blood sugar levels. High levels of chromium and other natural micronutrients found in goji juice have been found to reduce the severity of sugar and insulin spikes and increase or restore sugar sensitivity.

Increased libido. The Chinese believe that goji berry and goji juice benefit the reproductive system and increase fertility and sperm count. Recent research does support the fact that goji juice increases the release of sex hormones and increases sex drive in lab rats which supports the belief in Chinese medicine that goji berries are a natural aphrodisiac.

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