Wolfberry is commercially known as Goji berry. The origin of the name wolfberry is unknown; it may have been derived from the genus name which resembles “Lycos”, the Greek word for wolf. In the English language “Goji berry” has been used as a synonym for “wolfberry”, since the early 21st century. Besides being grown in China, Goji berries are also grow in the valleys of Himalayas in Tibet and Mongolia. The goji berries are round and tender. They should be shaken from the vine rather than hand-picked, in order to avoid spoiling them. They are preserved by drying them in the shade.
Since the onset of the 21st century, in the United States and other developed countries, there has been an increase in demand for these berries because of their nutrient value and antioxidant content, especially carotenoids such as beta-carotene and zeaxanthin. In recent years Goji Berry juice has become a popular health beverage.
Goji berries are mostly dried and sold when sold outside the area of production. When dried, they look like dried raisins. Goji berries are normally cooked before consumption and some wines are made with Goji berries and grapes.
Goji berry leaves and shoot are grown for commercial purpose as a leafy vegetable. In traditional medicine of the Chinese, Goji berries are eaten raw, brewed in tea or added into soups. They have a slight tangy taste that is a little sweet and sour. Their texture and shape is similar to that of raisins. Though Goji berries may not be available in the local supermarket, it can be found in several health food stores. The bark of the tree plays an important role in Chinese medicine. They are believed to enhance the immune system, help eyesight and protect the liver. The unsweetened pulp of Goji berries is slowly gaining popularity across the country.
Goji berry pulp contains:
1. Good concentrations of antioxidants that help fight premature aging. It contains 10 times more antioxidants than red grapes. Various studies have shown that the Goji berries have numerous valuable effects, including, antioxidant, immuno-potentiating, antimutagenic, hypoglycaemic, hypolipemic, hypotensive, etc., all of which contribute to the slowing down of the aging process and help one live longer.
2. A synergy of nutritional fiber and monounsaturated (healthy) fats to help promote cardiovascular and digestive health.
3. Essential Amino acid in conjunction with valuable trace minerals, essential for proper muscle contraction and regeneration.
The fatty acid in Goji berry juice is similar to that of olive oil and is rich in monounsaturated oleic acid which has a wide variety of benefits.
One well known property of the goji berry is that it is good for improving vision. This has been documented for many years. Scientific studies have supported this too. Goji berries health benefits are not only high in b-carotene, but the b –carotene is highly biologically active, which can be readily utilized by the body.
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