Goji Berry: The Red Diamond
Goji berry is considered as a type of superfood in western culture. However, a number of consumers think they have been deceived by food marketers on the power of superfoods like goji berry and that superfood is just a term created by marketers.
Here are some of the comments about goji berries:
“The term ‘superfoods’ provokes controversy in my mind and I do believe that clever marketing can and does encourage people to buy expensive items such as chia seeds, acai and goji berries.”
Not to argue whether goji berry is superfood or not, are the health benefits of goji berry really overstated?
The word Goji Berry was initially seen in Classic of Poetry, the oldest exist collection of Chinese poetry 2000 thousands year ago. The legend says that during Tang dynasty, a group of central Asian businessmen going to Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region (the hometown of goji berry) from the Silk Road saw a woman was criticizing an old man. One businessman went up and asked the reason. “I am educating my grandchild. What is that to you?” the woman stated. The businessman was so astonished to discover that the woman was 200-year-old already and the secret of her longevity was she kept eating goji berries years and years.
The longevity effect of goji berry has been overstated in this legend obviously. However, goji berry has its own nutrition and health wonders.
- Antioxidant and Blood Vessel Effects: Study found goji berries may reduce inflammation and slow blood vessel formation. Goji berry extract decreases the production of free radical and inhibite vascular endothelial growth factor, which promotes blood vessel formation.
- Beta-Sitosterol: Goji berry contains the cholesterol-like compound called beta-sitosterol which can stimulate cell death in cancer cells. Study found that beta-sitosterol suppresses stomach cancer by slowing cell reproduction and inducing toxicity in cancer cells.
- High Antioxidant Content: Goji berry contains rich antioxidant content, such as zeaxanthin, lutein, polysaccharides and polyphenolics helping to protect against oxidative stress and damage to the retina – a common complication of Type 2 Diabetes. The phytochemicals in goji berry prevent glucose levels in retinal cells from rising too high, activate an enzyme that helps to balance cellular energy and promote the production of healthy protein.
Goji Berry Granola
|2 cups oat flakes
2 tbsp coconut oil
5 tbsp maple syrup
2/3 cup goji berries
1/2 cup coconut flakes/shavings
2/3 cup pistachios, roughly chopped
3 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
- Heat a frying pan over low heat. Toast the oats for 2 minutes. Add the coconut oil and salt and stir for another 5 minutes.
- Add the maple syrup 1 tbsp per Add the coconut flakes, pistachios and cinnamon. Cook for another 5 minutes.
- Remove from the pan into a bowl, and stir in the goji berries.
Chinese Spinach Soup with Goji Berries and Garlic
|1 bunch Chinese spinach
2-3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 handful goji berries
1 handful dried anchovies
600 ml water
light soy sauce
- Place dried anchovies in a saucepan and bring water to boil.
- Pluck spinach leaves and rinse well.
- Remove dried anchovies once broth is boiling.
- Add goji berries and garlic into the saucepan and bring to boil.
- Add spinach and bring soup to boil again.
- Add a few dash of white pepper and light soy sauce to taste.