Goji Berries - Wolf Berries: What's the Big Deal

For the past year or so, I've been hearing all about goji berries and how good they are for our health. I knew they were high in antioxidants and decided that I'd try eating a handful each day. Mostly, I was motivated by the idea of possibly having something new to help me in the fight against nodular acne. I started eating them at the same time as I started a bunch of changes in my diet and supplementation, so it's hard to say whether or not they've been extraordinarily helpful or not.

I have had one nodule show up since I started eating the berries. Let's take a quick look at Goji berries per 1/4 cup serving; percentages based on recommended intake per a 2,000 calorie diet:

  • High in Vitamin A (20%), Vitamin C (10%), beta carotene, and Vitamin E, Vitamins B (1, 2, & 6)
  • 9% Calcium, 8% iron, and other trace minerals
  • Contains 5 grams of protein and 32 grams of carbohydrates with 150 calories per serving
  • Amino acids, polysaccharides, and antioxidants
  • One of the highest ranked foods on the oxygen radical absorbent capacity ranking system, created by the USDA, surpassing other berries (take that, you snobby blueberries!)

Blah, blah, blah... We always hear about antioxidants. Is it just a buzz word in your vocabulary that you don't have a definition for? Let me help you out:

" Antioxidants: A group of vitamins, minerals, and enzymes called antioxidants that help protect our body from the formation of free radicals. Free radicals are atoms or groups of atoms that can cause damage to our cells, impairing our immune system and leading to infections and various degenerative diseases. Antioxidants work together with the body's natural free radical scavangers to eat up these free radical particles. " - Acid Reflux Information Website (didn't really have a proper title, heh)

Are they worth the insane price per Kg? Heck yes. In my book, they are! Even if it's just for the placebo effect :P  Do yourself a favor, though, and avoid reading up on the health benefits. Most of the websites you will find out there on google are pushing you to buy the berries while providing unclaimed benefits. Unfortunately for us, these amazing, nutrition-packed berries have not had studies performed on them outside of the animal testing world. There are plenty of false claims out there ranging from "better legs" to curing cancer.

I eat them in three main ways:

  1. Sprinkled in my oatmeal before cooking the oatmeal. Add in some agave nectar or some apple sauce for sweetening. Yum!
  2. Blended up into a smoothie. I recently found they don't mix well with the taste of blackberries... Yeck.
  3. Trail mix: raw almonds, goji berries, and cranberries.


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