A beautiful pink color, an elongated shape and a sweet taste: goji berries add allure and delicacy to our healthy recipes. From appetizer to dessert, we discover these super fruits with anti-fatigue properties.
Goji berries belong to the nightshade family, like tomatoes, but also aubergines, potatoes… These small, oblong berries come from a shrub native to China and Tibet.
They have been consumed for millennia in Asia for their medicinal virtues (anti-fatigue and anti-aging virtues, protective effects on the liver, kidneys and eyes, stimulation of the immune system as well as on male infertility, etc.) In Europe, they are found in the form of dried berries, juice, mixed powder and capsules. It is clearly in the first form that we like them best, in breakfast cereals, compotes, fruit salads, yogurt or even raw vegetable salads with a “sweet and salty” touch.
>> How to store them? Store the goji berries in their sealed bag (with tongs) to limit their dehydration. Did they really dry out? They are soaked in hot water (or tea) to fill them up and drained before use.
Goji berries: what are the benefits?
“There are quite a few studies on the effects of consuming goji berries on humans, emphasizes Béatrice Bénavent-Marco, dietician-nutritionist, and no consensus on nutritional analyses. “If we lack precise numbers, we can identify some trends. “This berry has the rare property of concentrating a wide range of micronutrients, especially antioxidants, explains our specialist. There are beta-carotene, vitamins C and E, phytosterols (anticholesterol compounds), a very wide range of trace elements (zinc, copper, selenium , phosphorus…), calcium, iron, magnesium, well-represented amino acids, beta-sitosterol with anti-inflammatory properties…” The goji berry is considered one of the foods richest in nutrients. “In spite of everything, it is not a miracle product, she continues. These nutrients are also found in ordinary foods, i.e. in a balanced diet.”
- Anti-aging virtues: With an Orac index (which measures a food’s antioxidant capacity) close to 30,000, they top the list of the most antioxidant berries.
- Slimming virtues. With their approximately 304 calories per 100 g goji berries are high in protein (11.7 g) and fiber (10 g) and low in fat (2.9 g). They therefore have their place in a diet.
Goji berries: how to choose them?
When buying, unfortunately, you can find anything and everything in terms of quality. Thus, record levels of pesticides were noted in certain samples a few years ago: vigilance is therefore necessary. Forget the products sold only on the Internet (place of origin and content cannot be verified) and buy only organic ones with the mention “without pesticide residues”. We also avoid capsules and powders, with unclear traceability.
>> Which color do we prefer? The color of the goji berries may vary from bag to bag: this is normal. Their color changes according to the time of harvest and the region of origin. But overall they shouldn’t be grey, a sign they would have aged…
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