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Since ancient times, goji berries have been called "the product of longevity." They got their distribution in Chinese traditional medicine. Useful properties and contraindications of goji berries should be known to everyone. After all, a healing product can fight a huge range of various diseases.
What is this goji berry plant
Goji berries are fruits of plants belonging to the nightshade family. The shrub is also called Common Dereza or Chinese Barberry. Tibet, Mongolia and the Himalayas are considered the birthplace of the plant. The height of the shrub can reach 3.5 m. A distinctive feature of the plant is a well-developed root system. The branches hang down, their length is 5 m. The leaves are oblong.
Red berries are widespread in medicine and cosmetology. But there are also varieties of pink and purple shades. The flowering period of the shrub falls on April-September. Goji berries (the photo of the shrub is posted below) become ready to eat from July to October.
How goji berries grow
Chinese barberry is grown not only for medicinal but also for decorative purposes. All summer long, the plant pleases the eye with pink-purple flowers and a pleasant aroma. In appearance, the flowers resemble a bell. The shrub begins to bear fruit 3 years after replanting. The berries are slightly oblong and bright red in color. They surround the shoot with a bunch.
Where does goji berry grow in Russia
Imported superfood is sold in supermarkets at very high prices. Due to the difficulties of transportation, dried fruits are most often found. Therefore, it is easier to grow shrubs in your own garden. Dereza habit grows in the climate of central and southern Russia. It is found in the Caucasus, in the Primorsky Territory and in the Kuban.
Important! In China, a separate holiday is dedicated to the fruits of the longevity shrub, which falls on the harvest season.
What is the taste of goji berries
Dried goji berries are a favorite among healthy eating advocates. Due to their unusual sweet and sour taste, they can be an alternative to unhealthy desserts. Many people note that in terms of taste, the berries are between dried raspberries and raisins. Certain varieties have a slight pungency.
Nutritional value and chemical composition of goji berries
The benefits of superfood are due to its rich composition. It contains a lot of useful components necessary to improve the functioning of vital organs. The nutritional value of the berries is as follows:
- carbohydrates - 77.06 g;
- fats - 0.39 g;
- proteins - 14.26 g;
- fiber - 13 g;
- the total amount of sugars is 45.6 g.
An important feature of the Chinese barberry is the absence of cholesterol and trans fats. The chemical composition of the product includes a lot of useful macro- and microelements. These include:
Calorie and vitamin content
There are 349 kcal per 100 g of the product. Due to this, the product is considered dietary. In addition to steroidal saponins and flavonoids, there is an abundance of vitamins in berries:
- vitamin C;
- vitamin A;
Which berry is healthier: dried or fresh
The benefits of dried goji berries are the same as those of fresh ones. Unprocessed product is rarely used for food, as it can cause negative reactions from the digestive system. Drying the fruits prolongs their preservation without affecting the palatability.
Why goji berries are good for you
It is difficult to overestimate the benefits of goji berries. Due to their composition, they have a general strengthening effect on the body and help prevent serious diseases. The most pronounced beneficial properties of the product include:
- stabilization of blood sugar levels;
- improving reproductive functions;
- normalization of metabolism;
- antioxidant properties;
- restoration of blood pressure;
- antispasmodic action;
- slowing down the aging process;
- stimulation of muscle growth;
- preventing anemia;
- combating depressive disorder;
- improvement of vision.
The benefits of superfood are due to the complex impact on all supply systems. It is often used in place of vitamin supplements to prevent colds and viral diseases. The main advantage is the naturalness of the superfood. It has an antioxidant effect while enriching the body with nutrients. Doctors recommend including the fruits of longevity in the diet during the rehabilitation period after suffering serious ailments.
The benefits of goji berries for men
Goji berries are equally beneficial for both women and men. Tibetan monks ate the product in order to increase their physical endurance. In the modern world, the fruits of the Chinese barberry are in demand due to the benefits of the reproductive organs. When consumed correctly, goji berries will increase testosterone production. This has a positive effect on the quality of semen and the level of sex drive. In addition, the remedy increases the chances of successful conception by increasing the activity and longevity of sperm.
Benefits of goji berries for women
Women use berries for health or cosmetic purposes. The substances that make up them help fight gynecological problems. The product is eaten with an irregular menstrual cycle due to hormonal disorders. Due to the abundance of beta-carotene in the composition, dereza fruits can act as the main component of face masks.
Can goji berries during pregnancy
Reviews indicate that the benefits of goji berries are pronounced for women who are carrying a child. Dried fruit helps to cope with toxicosis and improve mood in case of hormonal changes. It can also be used in place of high-calorie desserts. But before using a remedy, you should consult a gynecologist.
Can goji berries be breastfed?
Longevity berries are not prohibited for nursing women. But they should be consumed in limited quantities. The optimal daily dosage is 30 g. When introducing the product into the diet, it is important to observe the baby's reaction. If allergies do not occur, you can continue to eat berries.
Is it possible for children to goji berries
Many people mistake goji berries for a product solely for weight loss. In fact, they also benefit children. Pediatricians are allowed to introduce them into the diet, starting from the age of 3. But first you should make sure that there are no contraindications and an allergic reaction. The special benefits of berries are observed in the demi-season. When used correctly, they visibly strengthen the body and increase its resistance.
Attention! The most frost-resistant variety is considered to be Lhasa, which was cultivated in China. The fruits are bright orange in color and 20 mm long.
How to take goji berries for health
When using goji berries, it is important to study not only their beneficial properties, but also how to use them. Most often, the fruits of Dereza are consumed individually in dried form. They do not need additional processing. They are often used to prepare a variety of drinks:
In cooking, superfood is often added to baked goods and main courses. 5 g of product is enough for 1 serving. In cosmetology, berry gruel is used. Its beneficial properties are enriched with additional herbal ingredients.
What is useful goji berry for the liver
According to medical research, regular consumption of berry juice helps to cleanse liver cells. This is due to the content of glutathione, which activates the body's defense mechanisms. In order to improve liver function, doctors recommend eating about 10-20 g of berries daily.
The use of goji berries for diabetes
Daily intake of superfood helps to equalize blood sugar levels. This is true for people with diabetes. It also reduces sugar cravings and helps control appetite.
Can cancer patients eat goji berries?
According to medical reviews, goji berries are not prohibited for use by cancer patients. They help the body recover from chemotherapy. Superfood is often used to prevent cancer. The main benefit lies in its antioxidant properties. Antitumor and immunomodulatory effects are achieved due to the presence of polysaccharides and carotenoids in the composition. The product is recommended for taking in conjunction with medicines. Due to the content of physialin, the product stops the growth of malignant cells, thereby improving the patient's well-being.
How to use goji berries for vision
Zeaxanthin, which is present in superfood, has a direct effect on visual function. It neutralizes eye damage caused by ultraviolet radiation. In order to improve visual function, berry juice is taken daily. The general admission period is 3 months. After such therapy, not only visual acuity improves, but also intraocular pressure decreases.
How to brew goji berries
On the basis of the fruits of the Chinese barberry, a healing infusion is often prepared. It is used both for preventive purposes and for the treatment of various ailments. The following components are involved in the recipe:
- 200 ml hot water;
- 1 tbsp. l. barberry.
- Dereza fruits are poured into any container and poured with the required amount of water.
- The drink is left to brew under the lid for 20 minutes.
- Before using the infusion, you can separate the liquid component from the berries.
Warning! The possibility of combining the product with vitamin supplements and medications should be checked with the attending physician individually.
How to drink goji berries
Chinese barberry can be drunk as fresh juice or tea. In the first case, the product is ground to a homogeneous state using a meat grinder or blender. The remaining gruel is used as a regenerating agent for skin lesions. The juice is taken in 2 tbsp. no more than 2 times a day. To make the taste less intense, it is allowed to dilute the drink with water.
Goji berry tea is consumed orally or used as a tonic. When taken internally, it reduces hunger, thereby promoting weight loss. The drink is prepared according to the following recipe:
- 2 tbsp. berries are poured into a kettle and poured with boiling water.
- If desired, add mint leaves, black tea or any other component to the teapot.
- After half an hour, the drink is poured into cups.
How to eat dried goji berries
Dried superfood can be found at any health food store. It does not need to be exposed to heat. The fruits are added to cereals, desserts and dairy products. You can also use them as a snack.
How many goji berries can you eat per day
To avoid the development of side effects, the fruits of the Chinese barberry should be eaten in strictly limited quantities. Only in this case their benefits will be fully revealed. The daily dosage for an adult is 30 pieces per day. Children and the elderly should not consume more than 15 pieces per day.
How goji berries are used in cosmetology
As part of face masks, the berry mixture helps to get rid of dryness and even out skin tone. Toners made from infusion help to cleanse the skin of the dirt accumulated during the day. To prepare one of the most popular masks, you will need:
- 20 ml sour cream;
- 30 g of the fruit of the Chinese barberry;
- 5 ml of almond oil.
- The berries are crushed in any way until a homogeneous gruel is obtained.
- The remaining ingredients are added to it, mixing the mass thoroughly.
- The cosmetic product is applied to cleansed skin along the massage lines.
- After 25 minutes, the composition is removed from the skin with warm water.
Advice! The mask is recommended to be done in the evening, at least 2 times a week.
The use of dried goji berries in cooking
Chinese barberry can be a great addition to almost any dish. It is famous not only for its beneficial properties, but also for its piquant taste. It is added to soups, cereals, sauces, pastries and drinks. Dereza dressing is a great addition to vegetable salad. One of the most popular dishes is chicken soup with berries. To prepare it, you will need the following components:
- chicken thighs;
- 5 tbsp. fruits soaked in water;
- 4 mushrooms;
- onion and 2 cloves of garlic;
- salt to taste;
- 2-3 potatoes.
- Broth is prepared on the basis of chicken thighs.
- After it boils, remove the formed foam and add salt to taste.
- Potatoes, cut into slices, are added to the broth.
- After the potatoes are ready, mushrooms and soaked berries are thrown into the soup.
- Finally, add fried onions and garlic to the dish.
- After serving, you can add fresh herbs and your favorite seasonings to the soup.
Storage rules and periods
Dried fruits may not spoil for a long time. Barberry grown in your own garden must be dried naturally. It should be laid out on paper or natural fabric in a ventilated area. When drying outside, the barberry is placed in the shade. Storage is carried out in a glass container with a lid or paper bags. With proper storage, the fruits retain their beneficial properties for 3-5 years.
Limitations and contraindications
To get the most out of the product, it should be consumed in accordance with the recommended dosages. Abuse can lead to stool problems and abdominal pain. Before using the fruit of the bush, you should make sure that there is no allergic reaction. Contraindications to the use of goji berries include:
- diseases accompanied by fever;
- age up to 3 years;
- chronic diseases of the respiratory system;
- drops in blood pressure;
- allergic reaction.
The beneficial properties and contraindications of goji berries suggest that they should be used with caution. Correct and dosed use will strengthen the body and prevent the development of pathological processes. Overeating, in turn, is fraught with side effects.