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Goij Berry

"The Longevity Fruit"

goij.jpgGoji Berry (Lycium barbarum) is indigenous to Yinchuan Province in N. China as well as in the mountainous regions of Northern Thailand, Tibet and the Himalayan foothills.

Early Chinese mention of goji berry’s medicinal use dates back to the 7th century Tang Dynasty and it’s listed in the Ming Dynasty (16th Century) Compendium of Materia Medicia of Li Shizhen.

In the region of N. China, where goji berries are a key ingredient in the diet, statistics indicate that there are 16 times as many people living over 100 years as compared to China as a whole and that aging residents are more vibrant, healthy and active. Goji berry is known there as the “longevity fruit.”

Adaptogen: Goji berry is a powerful and effective adaptogen. Adaptogens are the precious gems of botanical healing and holistic health. Their ancient history is filled with amazing claims of healing abilities. There is now an abundance of scientific research and clinical studies taking place around the word that is verifying their extraordinary results.

Goji berry, like other adaptogens, functions bi-directionally. Depending on the condition of your body it can either raise or lower a given condition until it meets normal parameters. If your blood pressure is too high, it will help to lower the level. If your blood pressure is too low, it raises it.. This normalizing capacity also appears in blood sugar levels, cholesterol, etc. Goji berries respond to the needs of our body and initiate effective action to bring the body into balance.

Goji berry is also “multi-directional.” Most herbs and almost all medicines aim at one specific problem to achieve one specific result. These are uni-directional. In contrast goji berries work through various metabolic pathways to establish a balanced physiology and holistic health. They regulate various biological systems to induce a natural state of functional balance between all systems of our body (homeostasis). This balance is the pre-condition for self-healing, vitality and long life. . When we provide strong antioxidant protection, boost the immune system, and supply powerful nutritional elements we create a more balanced physiology that has a normalizing effect on our entire biophysical condition.

As an adaptogen goji berries reduce stress thereby controlling cortisol levels and enabling the body to more effectively burn body fat . Adaptogens improve oxygen utilization, fight fatigue during exercise, strengthen the contractions of the heart, improve circulation, and strengthen the adrenal, thymus, thyroid and pituitary glands which have a host of beneficial effects. Adaptogens balance and harmonize functions of the entire body.

NUTRITIONAL FACTS

Goji berries are incredibly nutritious - rich in essential vitamins and minerals. These nutrients help to provide strong antioxidant protection, and contain chemical compounds that boost the immune system.

18 amino acids (including I-glutamine and I-arginine) which, acting together are believed to:

  • boost the immune system
  • reduce inflammation
  • increase growth hormone levels and revitalize youthful appearance and function

11 essential and 22 trace dietary minerals including

  • potassium, vital for health and longevity
  • Minerals such as manganese and zinc are believed to be antioxidant nutrients
  • Magnesium is associated with improved sleep patterns
  • Calcium supports healthy bones and has been linked to lower levels of body fat
  • Chromium, copper, iron, phosphorous, selenium and sodium are among the essential minerals found in goji berries.

A balanced combination of essential minerals is necessary for efficient protein metabolism, hormonal function, and overall good health.

6 essential fatty acids

  • stimulate collagen production
  • retain moisture resulting in a more subtle and younger looking skin

5 unsaturated fatty acids including

  • Linoleic acid is associated with immune cell function with specific focus on anti-cancer fighting properties.
  • Alpha-linolenic acid is one of the three major forms of Omega 3 fatty acid abundant in flaxseed which decreases levels of blood cholesterol thereby reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease

8 polysaccharides and 6 monosaccharides.

  • • Lyceum barbarum polysaccharides found in goji berries are known to enhance the body’s ability to resist disease and aid in the removal of lactic acid that accumulates in the muscles during exertion and thereby relieve sore muscles.

Phytosterols incluing beta-sitosterol which reduces cholesterol

5 carotenoid pigment antioxidants including

  • beta- carotene provides antioxidant protection, is believed to help fight heart disease and protects the skin from sun damage.
  • Zeaxanthin and lutein are essential nutrients for healthy vision
  • lycopene and cryptoxanthin

Vitamins

  • B Vitamins and antioxidants protect against free radical cellular damage.
  • B1 (thiamin) is essential for healthy thyroid function and helps the efficient conversion of carbohydrates into energy, improves mood and decreases depression.
  • B2 (riboflavin) is a strong antioxidant nutrient.
  • B6 functions as a co-enzyme working with other enzymes to regulate production of amino acids, red blood cells, and neurotransmitters such as serotonin.
  • B6 helps to metabolize energy and strengthens the immune system.
  • Vitamin E protects Vitamin A and essential fatty acids from oxidation in the cells (preventing breakdown of body tissues).

Higher Vitamin C than oranges – Vitamin C is an antioxidant and a key player in our immune system and a strong antioxidant.

Phyto- nutrients in goji fruit enhance the ability of the liver to detoxify

Energy: People (young and old, male and female) with overactive schedules can greatly benefit from enhanced energy, vitality and mental awareness. Athletes (both amateur and professional) notice an almost immediate increase in their stamina and endurance. Senior citizens and others who have lost stamina and strength may notice a boost in their energy levels within a few days. This energy boost is quite different from a sugar or adrenaline rush. The boost from goji berry is a natural increase in energy without the rush. You feel calm but quickly notice that you have more endurance and vitality without any side effects. It is not unreasonable to expect a boost in energy as a result of the high nutritional value of goji berries. These initial results, important as they are, are only a partial view of what goji berry is really doing.

Antioxidant: Goji berries are one of the most effective antioxidants found in nature. Free radicals are a normal result of our metabolism and exposure to toxins. They occur when molecules are missing one or more electrons. In an attempt to replace the missing electrons they attack other cells. When free radicals are produced in excessive quantities in response to unnatural levels of stress (both external and internal) we need to boost our level of antioxidants as well. As we grow older our natural ability to produce endogenous antioxidants decreases. Free radical oxidative damage results in cellular disintegration and dysfunction that can damage specific organs and disturb the equilibrium between various organs. This can result in a broad range of health problems and accelerate the aging process.

Antioxidants limit free radical damage to our DNA. Damage to our DNA opens the door to a broad spectrum of diseases and accelerates aging. Antioxidants decrease the oxidation of cholesterol in the blood. Oxidized blood fats which attach to artery walls as arterial plaque are a major cause of elevated blood pressure and heart attacks. Narrowing of the arteries that deliver oxygen and nutrients to the brain is also associated with degenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s Goji berries increase our capacity to produce superoxide dismutase (SOD) which is our bodies endogenous antioxidant.. In addition goji helps our bodies to produce choline, an essential nutrient that combats free radical damage. These antioxidant functions combine to support healthy DNA, brain function, circulation which, in turn, support overall health.

Key antioxidant nutrients found in goji berries include Vitamin C, Beta-carotene, Zeaxanthin, Cystine, B2 (riboflavin), Managnese, Zinc, Copper and Selenuim. Goji berries contain numerous phenols (phenolic pigments) associated with antioxidant properties. Lycium barbarum polysaccharides compensate for declines in total antioxidant capacity and increase the efficient functioning of antioxidant enzymes.

Immune System: The cells in our body have a biochemical and electrical signature that identifies them as belonging to our body. Bacteria , virus cells and other invaders have markers that are dissimilar to our body and our immune system recognizes them and signals a complex series of responses to isolate and destroy the invaders. Long before we become conscious of a physical condition recognizable as an illness, a healthy body with a strong immune system will have responded and resolved the condition. Under extreme stress or with an overloaded immune system we are much more likely to get sick.

Compounds such as lyceum barbarum polysaccharides (with a chemical structure similar to echinacea and maitake mushrooms) found in goji berry enhance the body’s ability to resist disease. Zinc and Vitamin C are also know to protect against disease and help in recovery. Goji berries support the immune system by promoting beneficial bacteria in our gastrointestinal tract. The fiber content combined with polysaccharides support probiotics (growth of healthy intestinal bacteria).
Two key amino acids, I-arginine and I-glutamine, support the immune system.

Traditional Asian medicine tends to provide treatments designed to balance and support the immune system rather than suppressing symptoms with medications. A strong and healthy immune system is your key to good health, vitality and long life.