Go! Vegan Spotlight – GOJI
The goji berry – a deeply mystical fruit with roots in ancient Chinese culture, used for improving physical and sexual vitality. Ancient Chinese wisdom believed it increased fertility in men as well as aid the regulation of female ovulation. I doubt many of you are here for that though, but at the least it’s a bonus… I guess? Recent scientific analysis of the dried goji berry has shown to support some of these unearthly claims that have been known for millennia.
With 20+ different vitamins and minerals, high fibre, loads of antioxidants the goji berry is well and truly a super-food! Its nutrient density as well as rich flavour profile make it perfect for micro-boosting your meals too.
It could even help solve a problem for some of us vegans – vitamin A deficiency. Animal food sources such as dairy are rich in easily absorbable vitamin A. In the 2008 a US study found carotenoids (which turn into vitamin A) derived from plant foods provided a mere 30% of vitamin A intake. Vitamin A deficiency is a serious concern. Generally beta-carotene and other carotenoids can be found in yellow, orange and red coloured fruits including (you guessed it!) goji berries. But what else can the goji berry do for you?
Iron – a single handful will provide you with around 10% of your daily recommended intake of iron.
Amino acids – Goji berries are crammed full of amino acids (the building blocks of protein). All the essential amino acids are found here plus another 9. Another small healthy guilt-free protein boost.
Vitamin A & Beta-carotene – A handful will provide up to 30% of your daily recommended intake. These micronutrients help support healthy skin, vision, bone growth and immune function.
Vitamin C – up to 500x more than oranges when compared by weight. Obviously you won’t want to be eating an entire bowlful of goji in one go. Or will you?
Anti-oxidants – help fight inflammatory cells and harmful toxins.
More, More, More!
- For men – increased sperm quantity and movement, improved recovery of testosterone levels, improved sexual ability. A small caveat – these results were found in rats, and yet to be tested in humans.
- Quality sleep – A study that compared people imbibing goji over two weeks to those that weren’t found an increased ‘quality of sleep, ease of awakening’ and ‘significantly reduced fatigue’.
- Ability to focus – alongside sleeping well, participants of the study were found to have better focus on tasks given to them, as well as enriched general calmness.
Well this one is easy. With a rich and deep sweetness to these dried fruits they fit perfectly in most breakfast bowls; granola, muesli, porridge and yoghurts. If you own a baking tray and an oven then why not bake them into snack and energy bars?
I hesitate to say this, but you could always add them to a trail mix or just nibble as a snack, but be warned: they are highly addictive. At Go! Vegan Box we say there are no strict rules when it comes to goji berries. A handful here or there when you feel like it has always worked well for me.