Long before it was trendy in the West, superfoods and the practice of ancient Chinese medicine had been a regular facet of life in East Asia. Regardless of their high technology or fast pace of life today, East Asians are still very knowledgable about their traditional healing foods and medicines. In South Korea, ginseng was a popular commodity and specialty shops were devoted to selling different varieties of this herb. Acupuncture, cupping, and many other treatments are readily available at an affordable price. Due to the language barrier, there was only so much I could understand during my time in Korea, but the treatments were always “old” and “healing.” Many times, I was served tea steaming with small red berries, infused with other herbs. This was the first time I ever tried goji berries and I was completely unaware that they were a superfood with a super healing ability.
Also known as wolf berries, goji berries are considered a superfood product. Superfoods are any nutrient rich food touted to be beneficial for health and well-being. Many of the foods you probably consume are considered a superfood, such as broccoli and salmon. Both an herb and a fruit, goji berries are a versatile superfood that are a great way to add some sweetness to your diet without the sugar.
A source of potent antioxidants and phytochemicals, our wellness wonder woman, Thorbjörg, swears that goji berries increase our vitality. Traditionally grown in China, Mongolia, and Tibet, goji berries are delicate red berries boasted to provide more antioxidants than any other fruit and increase sexual function. Goji berries may also have more vitamin C than oranges, more beta carotene than carrots, and more iron than steak. There is also evidence that they are a remedy for diabetes or hypertension. Suffer from an aching lower back? Goji berries are thought to strengthen the kidneys, which are connected to back pain, weak knees, and legs.
So how can you use this awesome little berry? Baked, steamed, cooked, or soaked, here are some easy ways you can use these dainty berries:
- Combine them with nuts, seeds, and perhaps other dried fruit to make your own superfood trail mix.
- Use them as a garnish or toss them raw in salads.
- Add them to other pre-existing meals, such as oatmeal or smoothies.
Looking for a gluten and sugar free alternative? Try this recipe:
Thorbjörg’s Goji Punk
100g / 3.5oz dried goji berries
12 green tea ice cubes
2dl / ¾ cup pure apple juice
2 pinches of vanilla powder
15g / 0.5oz ginger root
Before you start making your smoothie, you will need to make the green tea ice cubes. It’s quite simple–fill an ice cube tray with green tea and let them freeze. These ice cubes are fantastic for a variety of other beverages, and can make any normal glass of water a healthier option.
Put everything in a powerful blender. Blend for 1-2 minutes and then drink. This should be consumed immediately. Add in an extra tablespoon of protein powder for added vitality.
How is that for a superfood? Still uncertain about their potency? Combine these red gems with other superfood items to heal rosacea. They might also be anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, as well as anti-ageing. Why not give these tiny superfood treats a try?
For more tasty recipes that will make you feel and look good, check out Thorbjörg.