A lot has been said about the benefits of dried fruits. Even more objective and fictitious information about natural products, high content of which biologically active components makes them a tool for weight loss. And the truth, and fiction, you can hear about goji berries.
The strange fruits that come to us from abroad, and, in the opinion of many, contribute to the normalization of health and metabolism in particular. What of all that is said about them is true, and what is not? And is it worth to bring in your diet a handful of berries?
What kind of fruit is this – goji?
Goji is a bushes of the Solanaceae family, which grows in the temperate and subtropical regions of China, Mongolia, as well as in the Himalayas and Tibet. To date, we know about four dozen goji and another forty of its subspecies.
The goji berries on the domestic shelves are present in dried form, since they are the native land of the distant countries of East Asia, from which the berries, which are not popular with us, bring fresh ones unprofitable.
Dried goji visually similar to dried cherries, including Chinese. Often, because of the high value of this product, it is mixed or completely replaced with dried cherries or other similar fruits (barberry, dogwood). These godzhi – “zest” of Chinese and Tibetan cuisine, where they have been used for centuries not only in folk medicine, but also culinary. No matter how you use goji, they will always be a source of carotenoids, proteins and a unique balance of rare trace elements.
Cultivation and harvesting is a painstaking and difficult work, if only because touching a growing berry can provoke an allergic reaction. And because of the powerful energy effect, the berry was considered poisonous for a long time. And today it requires special skill to give maximum benefit. For millennia goji has been raw material for Taoist, Tibetan, Chinese healers, where their properties are fully realized for the benefit of the heart, liver, glands and other things.
The benefits of goji berries become obvious, just take into account its assessment on the scale “ORAC” (Oxygen Radical Absorption Capacity). It is based on standard scientific methods for measuring the activity of antioxidants in a particular food product. Of the popular products in this ranking, blueberry (with a score of 4460), garnet (3307), blueberry (2400), blackberry (2036) leads. The corresponding indicator of goji berries is 25300. It turns out that the benefits of goji berries, primarily in its properties as a powerful antioxidant:
- increases immunity,
- rejuvenates the body,
- destroys free radicals,
- tones up the body and gives energy,
- normalizes the pressure,
- reduces the concentration of “harmful” cholesterol in the blood.
These and many other useful qualities of goji berries are due to its composition – vitamins B, C and E, amino acids, a couple of dozen minerals (iron, zinc, iodine, manganese, copper, nickel, chromium, calcium, potassium, and also rarer cobalt, selenium, cadmium, phosphorus and germanium), fatty acids, polysaccharides, biotin, beta-sitosterol.
Polysaccharides of goji berries form six monosaccharide crystalline groups bound by the polypeptides. These compounds are able to provide energy for all body systems, nourish the skin and bone marrow, positively affect the functioning of places inaccessible to many medicines and even power engineers. Polysaccharides perform in part and purifying, excretory function in the body – this allows you to maintain a healthy human microflora.
Goji berries can be used in many different ways – it all depends on your taste preferences, expectations from these fruits and, of course, financial opportunities, since this product is not cheap. Berries like raisins can be added to any dish – pastries, cereals, breakfasts, desserts. Cooks, infusions, teas are prepared from goji. It is important to observe the measure in the addition of sweeteners and flavorings, including salt. Consider also that heat treatment minimizes the benefits of goji berries, and therefore the most valuable thing that you can do with it is to eat it in pure form – for example, for a handful every day or less.
Benefits of goji berries
What benefits can be expected from a moderate but regular use of goji berries? Something similar will happen in the body and after several portions of goji, that is, with periodic delicacy by it:
- for immunity – due to the content of polysaccharides and an important enzyme SOD, goats can balance the work of immune cells (T cells, cytotoxic T cells, NK cells, LGC and IgA immunoglobulins);
- for the liver, a unique cerebroside has been identified in goji that protects liver cells from both highly toxic chlorinated hydrocarbons and from less unfavorable substances that it passes through itself;
- for blood – in the blood the concentration of cholesterol and glucose will decrease, and this minimizes the risk of atherosclerosis and diabetes, respectively;
- for the heart – except that the use of goji has a positive effect on the system of blood and lymph flow, the berries supply the body with sesquiterpene; it is useful for the heart and blood circulation in general, and its anthocyanins help maintain the strength and integrity of the coronary arteries;
- for sight – the best supply of blood to small capillaries, including ocular, occurs, so the protection and access of nutrients to the retina increases and the focus of vision improves; powerful carotenoids protect the eyes from cataracts;
- for respiration, the oxidative processes associated with the surface respiration are slowed down in the body;
- for weight loss – it is more correct to even say for the normalization of metabolism, the consequence of which is the normalization of weight; polysaccharides in goji contribute to the optimal conversion of calories from food into the necessary energy, rather than fatty deposits;
- against stress and depression – being an adaptogen, goji helps the body to overcome adverse external influences, any stress; additional reserves of energy are created, and this is the prevention of lethargy and apathy;
- against aging processes – being an antioxidant, goji destroy free radicals that regularly form in our body, strengthen molecular bonds, prevent oxidative processes in cells, which in general slows down the aging of the organism and makes it stronger and more enduring;
- against malignant neoplasms – due to the content of such a mineral as germanium, goji in the human body can create an energy complex that prevents the destruction of cells and their uncontrolled division; antioxidants and polysaccharides in the goji, in turn, do not allow genetic mutations, often leading to cancer.
Myths about the benefits of goji berries
Although the above facts about goji berries are far from the most exhaustive information about their benefits, it is not necessary to confuse the results of clinical research with fictions (including advertising) about this product.
The popularity of these berries of Chinese origin in our country beats any records. The benefit of the goji berries is on oneself willing to try both old and young. But not so often you can find positive feedback about berries, rather than disappointment. What is the problem? Debunk the most popular myths about the benefits of goji berries.
Goji – widely available
They say that it can even be grown on a plot of land. Or buy on any layout. In contrast to these words, some manufacturers claim that everywhere, except for them, dried goji is replaced with cherries or barberry. Really healing berries can be collected from shrubs, for millennia cultivated on the plateaus of northern China, for example. Scammers enjoy a widespread interest in berries, offering not the best quality product. Advice – buy goji from proven, well-known manufacturers, and be ready to pay a small amount for a small bag.
The number one agent for losing weight
Producers of “false” drugs for weight loss regularly shoot a new product, and a few years ago they became a remedy based on the very goji. Until now, many chubby ladies and gentlemen are being promoted to advertise that it is easy to get rid of 20 kg for 1 month, just knit a dozen handful for a handful. Scientists say that in a dried form, goji berries really reduce body weight, but this is due to a diuretic effect. The same effect has many other products (the same dog rose or cranberry). In this case, the abuse of goji can adversely affect the functioning of the kidneys, and it is not so much to extract fat from the body as much as excess fluid, which is only partly useful. On the other hand, due to the blended content of polysaccharides and other substances, goji has a positive effect on metabolism and energy production from food consumed. This could contribute to weight loss, only berries alone are not enough to split the fat (to split and prevent the formation of a new – different processes). Such rapid weight loss as the suppliers promise to expect products is not worth it, especially if your only efforts are consumption of berries (and how are physical loads, rational nutrition, etc.).
A storehouse of vitamins and biologically active substances
This is more true than fiction. In the goji variety of unique polysaccharides, 21 minerals, 6 monosaccharides, 6 carotinides, beta-carotene, vitamins B, E, C, and 18 more amino acids, which are not found in plant foods. This is confirmed by laboratory tests. As a result of a handful of berries a day, you should expect strong immunity, normal metabolism, slowing down the aging process. The body is supplied with a natural multivitamin and tonic. But here there is a danger – being a source of biologically active components, goji should not become a delicacy of excessive consumption. Brew tea from goji from time to time, when experiencing a breakdown. Take on a handful of berries (no more) daily unique courses – for several weeks with the same break.
Goji does not have contraindications
Whoever is not advised to lean on the berries, fresh and dried. As if they are losing weight, they are useful, and the future mother, and young children, and onkobolny, and people with a variety of chronic wits. Literally a panacea for all diseases. This is a dangerous delusion. First, oncological diseases are not from the category of diseases that can be cured by berries alone. Secondly, goji berries have a stimulating effect on the uterus, which means that they are completely contraindicated to pregnant women (with the risk of miscarriage). Thirdly, goji berries come to us dried, and that’s excellent, because fresh they can become a factor of allergy (especially in children), which is also a kind of contraindication. With caution, one should take for the consumption of goji juice, which are offered by the same suppliers of berries from China. Fourth, people with exacerbation of diseases of the gastrointestinal tract (gastritis, peptic ulcer, pancreatitis) with goji are also better not to experiment. Another risk group is people with hypertension, diabetes and taking anticoagulants. If goji prevents the development of diabetes (by lowering blood sugar), then it is better not to use it to treat this disease. Do not recommend berries and those who often suffer from insomnia. As it becomes clear, it is better to apply this miracle remedy after consulting a specialized specialist.