Antioxidant-a-Go-Go

In the last five years or so, there has been a lot of hype about various newly discovered superfoods. The title of this post may give you a clue on which one I will feature today – that’s right, it’s Go-Go-Goji berries! When I first heard about goji berries (also known as wolfberries), and its plethora of health benefits, I was immediately intrigued. Goji berries are known as the “longevity fruit” – who else wouldn’t be intrigued by the fruit that promises longevity? I went on for several months, reading about goji berries, but not really knowing what they looked like. Then one day, in a previous job (I worked for a spa-based skin care company), I met with an ingredient supplier who showed me the whole ingredient specification sheet, along with these wonderful photos of goji berries. It was at that moment, that I realized, I had been consuming goji berries all along! It was hardly a new ingredient. In fact, the Chinese has been using it for over 6000 years. The goji berry is often used in traditional Chinese cooking because of its health benefits. I often had goji berries in soup or occasionally in tea. And yes, I know some of you may be laughing at the fact that it took me SOOO long to make the connection. Well, in my defence, my mother had only ever spoke about these ingredients in Chinese, so I never really knew the English name for them!




What are the health benefits of goji berries? Goji berries are thought to boost immune function, improve circulation, improve vision, and effectively fight off free radicals. For this reason, it is believed to have both anti-aging and cancer-fighting properties. This antioxidant-rich ingredient contains essential minerals, vitamins (most notably, Vitamin C), polysaccharides, carotenoids and iron.

What does it taste like? Hmm, it’s sour and tangy, with a hint of sweetness. I can’t say I’ve tasted anything like a goji berry. The texture resembles a raisin, but a little chewier.

Where can I purchase? You can find goji berries in your local Chinatown. Just stroll into a Chinese herbalist shop and look for those reddish-orange, elongated raisins :)!

What can it do for my skin? Due to its rich antioxidant powers, goji berries have started to become extremely popular in skin care. As companies are continually striving to look for natural alternatives and ingredients that are rich in nutrients and anti-oxidants, goji berries have often been top on the list. Keep in mind, however, as with any natural ingredient, the nutrient, vitamin, and active ingredient levels may vary. It is after all a plant, and nature is not perfect.

Which beauty products contain goji berries? Pangea Organics {Japanese Matcha Tea with Acai & Goji Berry Facial Mask}, Lavanila {The Healthy Body Butter}, Estée Lauder {Re-Nutriv Revitalizing Comfort Crème}, Smashbox {O-Glow, Intuitive Cheek Color With Goji Berry-C Complex™}

And of course, what you do on the outside should be paired strategically with what you do on the inside. Being brought up with traditional Chinese philosophies, the concept of harmony and balance has been deeply ingrained in me, reinforced over the years by my parents. My health and beauty tip of the day? Find some goji berry infused beauty products, but don’t forget to snack on some as well for the perfect anti-oxidant-a-go-go!

xoxo,

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