Chinese wolfberry

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Goji berry also known as wolfberries; belong to the family of Solanaceae which also include other plants such as potatoes, and tomatoes. These wolfberries are few of the richest sources of vitamins and nutrients which have contain over 18 different types of amino acids and vitamins such as B1 and E. This fruit is also slated to contain more Beta carotene than carrots and is also known to be the best source of vitamin C. The fruit is also known to be rich in minerals such as iron, zinc, calcium, and phosphorus. To sum it all, the berries are a rich source of antioxidants which cannot be found elsewhere.

 

History

Legend has it that the berries were discovered by Buddhist monks hundreds of years ago when they were roaming the Tibetan mountains. When one of them found goji berry plant and tried the red berries, they were impressed with its taste and decided to include in their diet plan. After this, what surprised them was that the monks who ate the berries outlived the other monks which made them conclude that the berries had a healthy impact on them. Though this was discovered ages ago in Asia, the health benefit of the wolfberries was not known to the west for centuries. Though initially due to its past stories associated with it, many considered having the berries for its life span increasing ability. But things have changed and it was initially included in the diet plan of many westerners was that it had healing powers which healed burns and abrasions.

 

Today, many health stores and manufacturers use extracts of the berries for skin creams, health drinks, body lotions, and cosmetics. Due to its non-toxic characteristic, more and more people are getting buying these products which have no side effects.

 

Research

Many humans have been tested and studies have been published about the affects which these berries have after consumption. According to a study conducted by a Chinese Journal of Oncology, 79 people with cancer showed positive results after they started the new diet plan including the red berries. Other studies have been conducted which also state and prove that the antioxidants contained by goji extracts prevents the growth of cancer cells in the body. Other positive results in cancer patients are reduction of blood glucose level and cholesterol levels. Though there is no guarantee that it will have the same effect on everyone who consumes the red berries.


The most well documented case of longevity is that of Li Qing Yuen, who lived to the age of 252. Born in 1678, he is said to have given a lecture at the age of 200 at the University of Beijing, and had married 14 times with 11 generations of posterity before his death in 1930. Li Qing Yuen reportedly consumed goji berries daily.


A study cited in Dr. Mindell's book 'Goji: The Himalayan Health Secret', observed that 67 per cent of elderly people that were given a daily dose of the berries for 3 weeks experienced dramatic immune system enhancement (T cell transformation functions tripled and the activity of interleukin-2 doubled). Further more, the spirit and optimism of all significantly increased, appetite improved in 95 per cent of the patients, 95 per cent slept better, and 35 per cent partially recovered their sexual function.


Goji berries are one of the highest antioxidant foods on the planet, with an ORAC score (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity - a measurement used by the US Department of Agriculture for total antioxidant capacity) of 18,500, way above other fruits and veggies (blueberries, for example, having 2,200 ORAC units). Antioxidants are known for their anti-aging and disease-fighting properties by subjugating the attack of hazardous free radicals in the body.


Superoxide is one such free radical implicated in the onset and progression of aging and disease, and is neutralized by the antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase (SOD). As we age our bodies production of this important antioxidant declines, yet goji berries have been shown to greatly increase it's presence in the body.


Dr. Richard Cutler, a biophysicist at the National Institute of Aging has shown that the life span of many mammalian species, including man were found to be directly proportional to the amount or SOD contained in the cells. The animals with the longest life spans were found to have the highest levels of SOD. SOD acts as a cellular anti-oxidant, protecting against radiation and chemical free-radicals from pollution, as well as acting as an anti-inflammatory agent and preventing cellular damage following heart attacks.


The polysaccharides in this fruit are powerful immune-boosting agents which also contribute to the anti-aging virtues of this auspicious berry.