Goji berry, also known as goji or wolfberry, is a fruit from the Solanaceae or nightshade family. It is a relative of tobacco, chili pepper, belladinna, eggplant, tomato, and potato. As a fruit, the following are its health benefits.
Goji berry is rich in vitamins and minerals. According to The Healthy Eating Site, the fruit contains vitamin C, calcium, iron, selenium, and zinc. Vitamin C is known for its power, which is to boost the body’s defenses against infection and illness. It also promotes the function of collagen, a substance that acts as cement and binds loosely connected tissues and cells. In terms of minerals, calcium promotes the strength of the bones and teeth and it also contributes to a healthy cardiac rhythm. On the other hand, iron ensures efficient oxygenation throughout the body. Selenium protects the cells from damage through releasing antioxidant enzymes while zinc promotes the digestive function and wound healing.
Goji Berry as Antioxidant
Goji berry also functions as an antioxidant, which means it helps the body get rid of toxic and unwanted substances from the body. According to a study published by the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, as cited by Dr. Axe’s official website, goji’s antioxidant properties boosts energy levels, sleep quality, athletic performance, ability to focus, calmness, mental acuity, satisfaction, and happiness.
Goji Berry and Weight Management
Goji berry also acts as a weight loss agent. According to Healthline, the fruit has fiber, which promotes the digestive and the metabolic process. Also, it provides a sense of fullness to the person, preventing him to overeat food. This way, the person will not gain weight. As per the publication, the fruit can be eaten as a light snack, such as in yogurt or salad, to prevent overeating.
Since goji is a fruit, it can be added to various meal recipes, such as Turkish Pilaf with Saffron and Goji Berries. According to BBC Good Food, the ingredients include a tablespoon of dried goji berries, a tablespoon of fresh thyme leaves, three celery sticks (finely chopped), a teaspoon of vegetable bouillon, half teaspoon of ground cinnamon, 85 grams wholegrain basmati rice, 200 grams diced skinless turkey thigh, three teaspoons rapeseed oil, a pinch of saffron, two large garlic cloves, one medium onion (halved and thinly sliced), 100 grams baby spinach leaves, and 25 grams flaked almonds.
To prepare, as per the publication, the garlic is chopped and is set aside. Next, two tablespoons of boiling water is poured over the saffron and is also set aside. Then, two tablespoons of the oil is heated in a large non-stick saute pan with a lid. Once done, the turkey is added and is fried for five minutes, until it becomes brown in color. After that, the rice and cinnamon is stirred into the pan, 400 ml boiling water is poured. Next, the bouillon is added, along with the goji berries, thyme, celery, and ground black pepper. The pan is tightly covered to prevent the steam from escaping; the food is allowed to cover over low heat for 20 minutes.
Once done, the remaining oil is heated in a nonstick pan. Next, the onion is added and when it begins to soften, the pan is covered for five minutes to let it steam. Then, the lid is removed and the food is slowly fried for 12 to 15 minutes until it becomes golden. After that, the water level is checked. Then, the saffron is stirred in and is cooked for five to ten minutes, until the rice is tender.
The garlic and spinach are added and are cooked briefly to wilt the leaves. After that, the fried onions and almonds are tossed. Finally, the pan is covered and is left to rest for five minutes before serving.
Goji berries are beneficial to man due to its nutritional contents. Thus, including it to various meal recipes helps boost a person’s total health and wellness.