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It’s Either You Goji or You Go Home

There are so many wondrous foods that promise you the world. and you wish that they would give you superpowers. The search for the ultimate combination as a diet to have you be healthy, slim and gorgeous concludes today with a superfood that reigns in many health benefits segments. Read on to find out more about goji berries, the berries that are purported to promote weight loss, sharpen eyesight, lift mood, improve blood circulation, and forestall the ageing process.

What Are Goji Berries?

Pronounced as "go-gee", goji berries as also known as wolfberries, They are these beautiful and nutritious red berries that are traditionally grown in the Himalayan valleys of China, Mongolia and Tibet for hundreds of years. Goji berries have also long been used in various Asian dishes as an ingredient or a garnish or in traditional Chinese medicine to treat ailments. The berries are frequently set out in the sun to dry, whereupon they become slightly chewy. They are acclaimed to be rich in vitamin C, vitamin A, antioxidants and more. These properties make them the perfect food to reduce and prevent health issues like age-related eye conditions, fatigue, high blood pressure and diabetes.

 

The Good

Age-Related Eye Conditions

Goji berry has been explored for eye conditions especially age-related macular degeneration like glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and retinitis pigmentosa. It contains a high level of zeaxanthin and lutein, carotenoids that are vital for reducing the risk of light-induced damaged to the retina. They do so by filtering harmful high-energy blue light emitted by the sun and electronic devices to protect and maintain healthy cells in your eyes.

Aids Weight Loss

Small but potent, Goji berries pack healthy food energy into small servings. Their rich and sweet taste, along with the high fibre content, can help keep unwanted weight-gain at bay. So if you are looking for a light snack to prevent overindulgence at mealtime, feel free to turn to them for that fix. Their nutrition value as a low-calorie and low-sugar option make them wonderful substitutes to other dried fruits. A one-ounce serving of goji berries has only 23 calories.

Boost Immunity

The vitamins comprised in goji berries are said to help increase and support both a boosted immune system and viral flu protection. With high levels of vitamin A & C, free radicals are kept at bay and so does the common flu virus. Vitamin C is also known to aid in skin whitening, forestalling production of pigmentation on the skin and helping your skin get that wonderful radiant glow. That said, goji berries are not the medication for eliminating the common flu virus but aids in a speedy recovery.

 

The Bad

There are always two sides to a coin and that is no exception for these vitamin-packed bullets. While goji berries may not cause problems when consumed in small amounts, they may cause side effects like nausea and stomach upset. Also, a potential allergic reaction has been tagged to this superfood in people who should not be having food from the Solanaceae plant family — tomato and potato. It may trigger allergic reactions and in serious cases, an anaphylactic shock. We do advise you to avoid goji berries if you have an allergy to plants in this family.
If you are taking medication for blood thinning, have a bleeding disorder, or have scheduled surgery within two weeks, do avoid consuming these berries. If you are unsure if goji berries are alright to be consumed with your medication or supplements, do consult your doctor or a pharmacist to find out more.

 

The How

Now that you know the benefits that goji berries entail, it is time to dive into how you can get them into your diet!

Eat Them Raw

To eat them raw, simply grab a pinch and eat them like raisins. Alternatively, they make awesome toppings for your morning bircher muesli, yoghurt and even salad. Our favourite? Part of a smoothie for a quick and refreshing treat.

Sip Them Up

One of the most popular ways of having goji berries is to include them in double-boiled soup or as a soothing hot tea. To make tea, add 2 whole red dates and a teaspoon of goji berries to a large cup of hot water. Leave it to steep for 10 minutes and it is ready for you to enjoy!

A Sweet Treat

Serve up this sweet, fragrant and beautiful jelly the next time you host a party, we are sure that it will be a hit with even the hardest to please. You will need 150 grams of konnyaku jelly powder, 500 millilitre of water, 2 teaspoons of dried osmanthus flowers,  2 teaspoons of wolfberries that have been soaked in water until puffy and drained. In a pot, add water and bring to a boil. Lower heat and add osmanthus flowers. Simmer for about 3 minutes. Next, add the konnyaku jelly powder and stir until the powder is fully dissolved. Remove from flame and pour the mixture onto a jelly mould. Add about 2 to 4 wolfberries to each mould. Let the jelly cool down a bit in room temperature and chill in the fridge until the jelly is set. To serve, remove jelly from mould and place on your preferred dining ware. Enjoy!

Go Be Beautiful