Goji Berries – Health Benefits of a Protein-Packed Superfruit
Most fruit, like apples, pears, bananas, oranges, etc. are wonderfully healthy foods, but we would never turn to them as a source of protein. All fruits have trace amounts of protein – a cup of apples will provide 1 gram and a cup of raisins will provide 5 grams (according to the USDA). Vegetables are similar – a cup of carrots, onions, or tomatoes will yield about 1 gram of protein as well. But one fruit, grown high in the Himalayan foothills, contains numerous trace minerals, vitamins, and is considered a great source of vegetarian protein – Goji berries.
Just one cup of Goji berries, also called wolfberries, or Lycium barbarum, contain up to 12 grams of protein!
Here are some other positive attributes of Goji:
- Goji berries contain 18 essential amino acids, and arguably more beta carotene than any other food on planet earth – and that includes carrots.
- They are also full of vitamin C and contain a polysaccharide that has been discovered to be a powerful secretagogue, which is a substance that stimulates the secretion of human growth hormone by the pituitary gland.
- Goji berries also protect eye health with zeaxanthin and lutein, as well as protect us from cancer since they have free-radical scavenging antioxidants.
- Germanium, found in Goji berries, has been very effective in treating certain types of cancer as well as AIDS, according to Dr. Janet Starr Hull.
This incredible food from the family Solanaceae (which also includes the potato, tomato, deadly nightshade, eggplant, chili peppers and tobacco) is native to Southeastern Asia, originally grown in the incredibly harsh climate of the Himalayan Mountains and also now grows throughout China and southeastern Europe. Their nutrient content and antioxidants alone are something to rave about, but when you add the fact that they contain all the amino acids we need as well as a big dose of protein, they definitely are elevated to ‘super’ food.
Check out our Health Benefits page to see other benefits of your favorite foods.
Christina Sarich is a humanitarian and freelance writer helping you to Wake up Your Sleepy Little Head, and See the Big Picture. Her blog is Yoga for the New World. Her latest book is Pharma Sutra: Healing the Body And Mind Through the Art of Yoga.