The healthiest fruits – Part 2

The majority of fruits are in the family Rosaceae, which contains roses, strawberries, and almonds; however, the goji berry belongs to Solanaceae, which also contains deadly nightshade, tobacco, and chili peppers. The Chinese have used it for its medicinal properties for over 6,000 years (probably much, much longer than that). It is one of the most nutrient-packed fruits in the world, generally considered to be even healthier than acai.

The benefits of goji berries, also known as wolfberries, are plentiful. A daily serving is about 30 grams. A basic, incomplete list (per serving if a number) of the approx. benefits follows:

* 170% Vitamin A

* 25% Vitamin C

* 13% Iron

* 530 mg Potassium

* 10% Protein

* 15% Dietary Fiber

* 19 Amino Acids

o including the 8 our bodies require to live

* 21 Trace Minerals

* More Carotenoids Than Any Other Food

o including more beta-carotene than carrots

o including zeaxanthin, which strengthens the eyes

* Vitamin E

* Betaine

o produces choline, an essential nutrient that enhances memory, aids muscle growth and protects against fatty liver disease

* Essential Fatty Acids

* Selenium & Germanium

o protect against cancer

* B-complex vitamins

* Beta-sitosterol

o lowers cholesterol

* Cyperone

o used to treat cervical cancer

o benefits the heart & blood pressure

* Solavetivone

o anti-fungal and anti-bacterial

* Physalin

o used to treat cancer, leukemia, and hepatitis B

o strengthens the immune system

* 4 Polysaccharides

o greatly strengthen the immune system

Ripe goji berries look kind of like cinnamon tic-tacs. They’re so delicate that they cannot be picked, but must be gently shaken from the plant. The way you’ll find them, unless you live somewhere weird, is dried (they can also be in juice form but I hear tell this robs you of some of the benefits, and is too expensive anyway). I personally love the taste of goji berries, which is very unique and somewhat like you would expect a fruit called a strawberry to taste. They’re mildly chewy and go down well in a large handful, as well as being a great addition to cereals, trail mix, or whatever. If you don’t find them delicious, you probably got gypped.

If you buy goji berries, look for the “USDA Organic” seal, because these are delicate little vitamin shacks, and we don’t want chemicals on them. Unlike with a lot of things, organic matters here. Yum!