There’s one food that you should be eating every day… but most Americans don’t even know it exists. It’s an easy-to-eat snack that the Chinese have used as medicine for over 6,000 years.
It’s such a powerful health tool, most of the staff here at NHD snack on this super food every day.
This shriveled red berry could be mistaken for a raisin… but its health benefits are unparalleled. It’s a powerful antioxidant. A super anti-aging tool. And brand new research shows that it can improve vision – or repair retinal damage… even for people in their 70s.
Let me introduce you to one of nature’s wonders: the Chinese call them wolfberries… but in the West they’re called Goji berries.
Discovering Ancient Origins
Goji berries are a red, oblong-shaped fruit. They were originally found in China, Mongolia, and in Tibet. The Chinese discovered them over 6,000 years ago.
Chinese myth claims that a man named Li Qing Yuen discovered the berries and ate them daily. He lived to be 252 years old. And while there’s no way to prove that claim… the berries speak for themselves. They contain a wide range of life-preserving nutrients.
For six millennia, Chinese doctors used the berries to treat a host of illnesses and health problems… including retinal damage.
Modern Science Supports Myth
Since they’ve come to the West, there have been plenty of scientific reviews of them. One study showed they contained compounds which not only reduced the production and distribution of cancer cells… but also killed cancer cells.
Plenty of other studies which support the many health benefits of Goji berries. For example, the Journal of Life Sciences published one which showed the berries reduced blood glucose levels and triglycerides.
But the most recent study shows that the berries can repair retinal damage and improve vision.
Sight for Sore Eyes
The new study was made by Kansas State University earlier this year. Professor Dingbo "Daniel" Lin led the two-year research project.
Professor Lin was inspired by his own cultural heritage. He set out to see if the myths were true about the berries. He was most interested in the ones that said that the berries improve eyesight.
"In our culture, we have literature about the berry and its functions," he says.
The professor knew that Goji berries had a long history of improving vision. But he wanted to understand how that happened. An earlier study – published in 2005 in the British Journal of Nutrition – had found that the berries impacted age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
AMD is a common illness that causes irreversible loss of vision. And the 2005 study showed that the berries could prevent it.
Professor Lin believed the secret power of the berries lay in their rich antioxidants.
He used dried berries and examined how they affected retina cells. He found they contain high levels of zeaxanthin, lutein, polysaccharides, and polyphenolics. These antioxidant-rich compounds all improve vision. Which is why they can prevent AMD.
“They can be used as a dietary supplement to improve vision," says Professor Lin. "And have high antioxidant activity and protect against oxidative stress."
Oxidative stress is a factor that occurs in diabetic eye problems. It’s a common complication of diabetes, and the leading cause of blindness in America.
"Oxidative stress is involved in many human diseases, such as diabetes, vision impairment, and blindness," he says.
He used type-2 diabetic mice to test the berries’ effect on oxidative stress. He found that the berries lowered oxidative stress on the eye resulting from diabetes.
His results were clear: antioxidant-rich berries improve damage to the eye caused by diabetes. His research also shows that they repair vision affected by old age or AMD.
Goji Berries Are Nutritional Powerhouses
It’s worth adding Goji berries to your diet. One of the reasons they improve vision may be because they are packed with antioxidants like carotenoid zeaxanthin… plus 18 essential amino acids.
The berries also boast an arsenal of vitamins and minerals too. These include:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B1
- Vitamin B2
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
Surprisingly, the berry packs more Vitamin C than an orange. They also provide plenty of Vitamin E, which is unusual for most fruits.
In addition, Goji berries contain 21 trace minerals, including:
Plus, they are an excellent source of iron, offering more than even spinach.
Stocking Up on Goji
Goji berries are slightly tangy in taste with a slight sweet and sour flavor. They have a chewy texture that’s similar to raisins.
They score a low 28 on the glycemic index… which means they’re a good addition to any diet. And they’re easy to add to your diet. They’re usually sold as dried fruit so you can enjoy them as a convenient snack food. Or create your own trail mix with other super foods like almonds and walnuts. The Chinese also brew them in tea or add them to soup.
You can usually find dried Goji berries in most health food stores, Chinese herbal shops, and some supermarkets. In addition, Trader Joe’s sells a pre-packed trail mix. Just look for an oblong shaped, red berry. You can get also the benefits of Goji berries in beverage form – often sold in health food stores.
To your health,
Managing Editor, Natural Health Dossier "Health Watch"