Go-go Goji Berries!

The goji berry, also known as wolfberry, is a sweet orange-red fruit native to Asia. It has been eaten for thousands of years and is a staple of some of the longest-living people on earth, including the Hunza in the Himalayas. With an impressive array of nutritional properties and health benefits, you might want to include it into your diet. We’ll show you how.

Background & Nutritional Properties

Goji berries have been used both as food and botanical medicine. Fortunately, with its sweet taste (it looks like a red raisin but tastes more like a cross between a cherry and a cranberry), it ‘helps the medicine go down’, as Mary Poppins would say.

What else do goji berries offer, nutritionally-speaking? Plenty – including 18 amino acids (the building blocks of protein), high antioxidant content, more protein by weight than other fruits (e.g. oranges, apples, berries), great source of beta-carotene and vitamin C, trace minerals, B vitamins and more.

Goji berries have been extensively studied for their health benefits and have been known to:

• Strengthen the immune system
• Increase longevity and protects from premature aging
Reduce skin cancer risk
• Promote cardiovascular health
• Support eye health and vision
• Maintain healthy blood pressure and blood sugar
• Improve fertility
• Strengthen muscles and bones
• Manage weight

Ready to include more of these delicious and nutritious berries into your diet? First, let’s talk about who should NOT eat goji berries without consulting their doctor or healthcare professional. Obviously, those allergic to the berries should avoid them. Goji berries may interact with certain drugs including blood thinners and diabetes medications as well as drugs for high blood pressure.

Choosing to partake in the nourishment and benefits of these red berries? Here are some ways to include them into your go-go, busy lifestyle:

• During breakfast with DIY Hippie Granola or a warming Great Goji Groatmeal recipe or even just as a topping to your cereal

• Brew in a tea ball with loose green tea

• As a snack on its own or in a trail mix

• In smoothies and yogurt

• Paired with dark chocolate for a satisfying dessert rich in antioxidants

…and more! Goji berries have been used to make soup, stew and wine as well as herbal formulas as a tonic for health.

This nutrient-dense superfood deserves a spot in your pantry with all it can offer to you and your family. Enjoy!

Recipe: The One Bite Wellness “Juicy Sunrise” Drink

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Even we don’t necessarily *boing* out of bed every morning all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. It takes a bit of finesse to adjust from the world of dreams to one of reality, with all its challenges and enjoyment. Guess what helps? A bright, delicious Juicy Sunrise drink. What this juice has is pizzazz, grace, and energizing qualities. What it doesn’t have (yet) is a Nike contract. We’re working on it.

Meanwhile, whether you’re in college, a stay-at-home-mom, or busy executive, you’ll want to get busy in your kitchen making this gorgeous, nutrient-blasting drink. It can be juiced or blended (for those who want the extra fiber).

2 oranges
1 inch ginger root
6 carrots
2 lemons

Peel the oranges, lemon, and ginger (carrots optional, if organic,
otherwise peel them). Run through the juicer (or throw in the blender) and enjoy the boost of beta-carotene, vitamin C, potassium, and more nutrients!

Fight Free Radicals with a Rainbow Punch!

Antioxidants are phytochemicals, vitamins and other nutrients which protect our cells from free radical damage. Studies show antioxidants help prevent the oxidative damage that is associated with heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. So where are these superheroes found? Check out your local garden patch – most fruits, vegetables, and culinary & medicinal herbs can contain high levels of antioxidants.

A study in recent years found that botanical diversity plays a role in determining the bioactivity of antioxidant phytochemicals. Also, and this is exciting, smaller quantities of many different phytochemicals may have greater health effects than larger amounts of fewer phytochemicals. This is why we inspire people to ‘eat a rainbow’ (and we’re not talking about Skittles candy). Here’s how to form a rainbow of protection against free radical damage:

Red, Purple, and Blue

  • Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, cranberries, apples, cherries, pomegranates, red grapes, beets, red cabbage, black rice
  • Contains anthocyanin, betacyanin, and proanthocyanidins
  • Functions: protect cells from aging, reduce cholesterol and may reduce breast cancer risk

Yellow-Orange

  • Carrots, squashes, lemons, apricots, cantaloupe, mangoes, nectarines, peaches, papaya, oranges, grapefruit, pineapple, passion fruit, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, and yellow & orange peppers
  • Contains beta-carotene and alpha carotene; often also cryptoxanthin, lycopene, lutein, zeaxanthin, astaxanthin
  • Functions: protects against some cancers, supports immune system, healthy skin, and good vision

Green Fruits and Vegetables

  • Spinach, kale, avocado, broccoli, swisschard, brussel sprouts, as well as dandelion, mustard, and collard greens
  • Contains lutein, beta carotene, and chlorophyll
  • Functions: builds resistance to certain cancers, protects eyes from oxidative damage that could lead to diseases such as macular degeneration and cataracts

Food Focus: Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are a delightful food that can add sweetness and nutrients to any meal. Sweet potatoes are a great source of something we call beta-carotene. In the body, beta-carotene is converted into Vitamin A. Vitamin A is essential for healthy bones and vision. In addition, Vitamin A also supports a healthy immune system. Since Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin, eating your sweet potato with some healthy fat will increase your body’s ability to absorb it. Try mixing in some olive oil to your sweet potato to enhance your body’s absorption ability.

Sweet potatoes are also filled with Vitamin C, Manganese, and antioxidants. I encourage you to eat the skin because it contains additional nutrients! Sweet potatoes are a complex carbohydrate providing lots of fiber for your diet. The fiber will keep you fuller longer as well as help lower your cholesterol. This is a great alternative to a regular potato because it contains many more nutrients. In addition, there are a bunch of fun recipes you can create with sweet potatoes.