Superfoods is a term which is frequently used but not always understood. To help clarify what exactly a superfood is and what its sources are, I am launching a mini-series: "Superfoods 101." I plan on diving into some of my favorite superfoods, discussing their nutritional benefits and showcasing a simple recipe which highlights the versatility of superfoods.
What is a Superfood?
Superfoods are nutrient-dense foods which promote health and wellbeing. They can range from Chia Seeds to blueberries to spinach to Cacao. A healthy individual should integrate traditional superfoods into their diet such as dark leafy greens, legumes, berries, nuts, seeds and cruciferous vegetables for optimal health. For added nutritive benefits and functioning, integrating more specialized superfoods such as Chia Seeds, Maca, Cacao and Goji Berries aid bowel regularity and immune functioning, improve skin clarity, reduce inflammation, and increase energy and optimal wellness. When purchasing superfoods, you want to look for products that are organic, fair trade and sustainable since most of the specialized superfoods come from various countries around the world.
Why Goji Berries Top My List
Goji Berries are one of my favorite versatile superfoods that can easily be integrated into granola, oatmeal, yogurt, smoothies or trail mixes. You can also rehydrate them for a few minutes in warm water - the taste resembles a sweet tomato - and mix them into a grain or serve on top of a soup. All berries are considered superfoods in my book due to their antioxidant power. However, Goji Berries contain higher amounts of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, which help with immune function, boost collagen production and protect against premature aging. Goji Berries have high amounts of Vitamin C, Vitamin A and iron, and also contain all essential amino acids, making them a complete protein.
Goji Berries are typically found in dried or powdered form and look like a red raisin. The flavor profile is a cross between a cranberry, cherry and a tomato, and they have a sweet-tart mash-up. When tasting a dried Goji, it should be slightly chewy with a soft bite. Goji Berries are native to China and Tibet where they have been used for thousands of years for their medicinal and youth-promoting properties. Navitas Organics Goji Berries are grown in China, and vine-ripened, hand-harvested and sun-dried, preserving the maximum amount of nutritional density. When purchasing, make sure to read the ingredients to ensure that the Goji Berries do not contain any additives, preservatives or sweeteners.
Want to try a fun way to use Goji Berries in your daily routine? Click here to check out my recipe for Multigrain Hot Cereal with Goji Berries!