Goji Berries come from the Lycium Barbarum shrub, native to China. People hoping to live longer, healthier lives have been eating this bright orange berry for thousands of years. Legend has it, that a doctor traveled to a remote village in China and found a society with many residents over 100 years of age. Upon further inspection, the doctor notice that the oldest of the group lived next to a wells where Goji Berries grew. As they would grow, they would get ripe and fall off the tree and into the well. Once in the well, the water would absorb all of the nutrients and the residents of the small village, drank this water every day for their whole lives. Since then it has been regarded as a super fruit, for health and longevity. Though its history goes back much farther. It has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for over 2,000 years. The Goji Berry’s first recorded use was in 250 BC by emperor Shen Nong.
Goji Berries have a plethora of health benefits. They are though to help prevent premature aging, boost the immune system, protect against heart disease and cancer and help manage blood sugar levels. As recent studies are finding supplements to be ineffective, whole food nutrition is by the far most proven way to harness the benefits of the Goji Berry. Goji Berries have 18 different essential amino acids. It is therefore a great option for vegetarians or people who do not eat a lot of meat. For a fruit, they are also very high in protein as well. They have 11 times more protein than raspberries or blueberries. With 500 times more Vitamin C than oranges, it is also an effective immune booster. It also helps to boost the immune system, by boosting lymphocytes or white blood cells responsible for protecting the body from harmful bacteria and viruses. Goji Berries have a low glycemic index, which means they release sugar into the bloodstream more slowly; improving feeling of fullness and reducing cravings. They are also high in fiber, which helps to control appetite and helps you to feel full longer. Antioxidants make up a whopping 8% of Goji Berries. They are an antioxidant powerhouse with carotenoids, lycopene, lutein and polysaccarides.
Polysaccarides are thought to be behind Goji Berries reported effects on longevity. They help maintain cell growth, store large amounts of energy and help improve cell structure. Goji helps to fight aging by preventing free radicals from damaging collagen in the skin. Consuming a wide range of foods high in antioxidants, help to protect against premature aging. Goji is rich in copper, selenium and zinc; all of which protect cells and help optimize metabolism. They reduce levels of inflammatory cytokines IL-5 and IL-8 in the blood. Lastly, they improve bloods sugar control by promoting insulin sensitivity by increasing the absorption of glucose into cells through the transporter molecule GLUT4 and by boosting insulin secretion in the pancreas. With a low glycemic index and high amounts of fiber, they also help promote weight loss.
Ordinarily, Goji Berries are quite difficult to eat. Fresh Goji Berries are intolerably bitter. Dried Goji Berries are more tolerable, but still bitter. Goji Berry juices have a great deal of added sugar, negating many of the health benefits and goji berry supplements have been proven woefully ineffective. We however combined fresh dehydrated Goji Berries, with our naturally sweet aged balsamic vinegar and the result is a delicious, desert like glaze. The sweet taste of aged balsamic, combined with the bitter taste of Goji Berries, makes for a chocolate like finish. With the taste of chocolate, our Organic Goji Berry Balsamic Vinegar is delicious drizzled over fresh fruit, yogurt and a salad topped with fresh ripe strawberries.