The Benefits Of Berries

The Benefits Of Berries

Posted on Mar.25, 2013, under Educational, Eye Health, Low Vision Info

There are many super-antioxidant berries being promoted to benefit our health and well being. From acai berries to goji berries these so called superfoods are reported to help us fight cancer, improve our vision, and reverse diabetes. No wonder with claims like these it’s easy to discount the true benefits found in these more exotic fruits. Not readily accessible in our grocery stores, one may wonder if these berries rank up there with other powerhouse berries like blueberries and blackberries.

Wolfberries (another name for goji berries) are one of the few foods rich in zeaxanthin. So why do we want to include food rich in this antioxidant? Zeaxanthin is found in very high concentrations in the cone cells of the macula. Cone cells are responsible for giving us our sharp, distinct, clear vision as well as our straight ahead or central vision.

Dr. Lylas Mogk in her book Macular Degeneration: The Complete Guide to Saving and Maximizing Your Sight, writes that there are very few foods that are rich in zeaxanthin but wolfberries have some of the highest concentrations of this antioxidant.

What are Goji Berries?

Just like other berries, they grow on a bush that is more like a vine in Asia and in North and Central America. There are over 80 different species which means they come in a variety of colors, shapes and sizes. Typically they are dried and look like a red/orange raisin. Because of the different species and varied growing conditions we have found there is also a difference in how they taste.

How to Get Them Into Your Diet

Although it is hard to substantiate claims for improving health or vision, I do know that it is wise to include foods that are rich sources of nutrients. Why not choose a berry that is known for it’s nutrient density? We incorporate this superfood into our diet two ways – one is by drinking a small glass of organic goji berry juice in the morning (on an empty stomach) and the other is snacking on the dried berries or adding them into a smoothie.

Goji Berry Benefits

Let’s start with the author of SuperFoods, David Wolfe. He writes, “Goji berries are perhaps the most nutritionally rich berry-fruit on the planet.” For starters they are a complete protein source, contain many trace minerals such as zinc, iron and calcium, as well as many vitamins like B1, B2 and vitamin E. And let’s not forget their rich concentration of zeaxanthin.

Find out more about the benefits of this superfood on your health and your eyes here:

Goji Berry Benefits to the Macula

Leslie Degner, RN, BSN