Gou Qi Zi – Wolf Berries

In China, the longevity enhancing qualities of Wolfberries are legendary.   Often called the “happy berry” because prolonged consumption of this delicious, small, red berry promotes cheerfulness, vitality, and a long happy life.   Traditional Chinese Medicine states that Wolfberries energetically strengthen the kidneys and liver and increase the strength of the blood. They have been used for thousands of years for lower back pain, insomnia, heart palpitations, blurred vision, poor night vision, dizziness, poor memory and concentration, and anemia.  They are said to brighten the eyes and improve vision, as well as, strengthen the legs and enhance sexual function.

 

Recently, comprehensive analyses are showing that Wolfberries may be the most nutritionally dense food on the planet; they contain 18 types of amino acids, all 8 essential amino acids (such as isoleucine and tryptophan), 21 trace minerals, 29 fatty acids, vitamins B1, B2, B6, and E.  They are also the richest source of carotenoids, including beta-carotene, of all known foods or plants on earth.  They contain 500 times the amount of vitamin C, by weight, than oranges and are the second richest source of vitamin C on earth.  All this creates the potential for an extraordinary synergy of antioxidant strength, 350 to 600 times that of most fruit.  But that is not all.  Wolfberries also contain polysaccharides which fortify the immune system; one of the polysaccharides in Wolfberries is a powerful secretagogue (a substance that stimulates the secretion of rejuvenating human growth hormone by the pituitary gland).

 

A good daily intake of Wolfberries is 10-30 grams (a small handful).  They may be eaten raw or cooked.  They can replace raisins in many dishes, including trail mixes, oatmeal or cereal, and muffins.  The Chinese often throw a handful of Wolfberries into their soups, stews, or casseroles.  Some people enjoy them in smoothies.  And of course, you can simply eat them as a snack.

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