Foods for Birds #3: Goji Berries *

I finished HungryHuman‘s request for the Goji Berry entry just in time for today. It wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be to find information on these, but the only problem was that it wasn’t as reliable as most because of the lack of research done on them. Any moderations to this entry will be updated on the main page of Foods for Birds. The next food entry will be Beets as requested by Anita, and should be posted before February 4th.

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Goji (or Wolf) Berry – ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ Claimed to have health improving properties.

Goji Berries, also known as Wolf Berries, are produced by plants in the family Solanaceae. These include two closely related species; Lycium barbarum and L. chinense. These plants can be found and harvested in the Himalayans. Goji berries are reddish-orange berries that usually come dried for snacks, or pressed for their juice. They have been used as medicinal plants in East Asia for thousands of years because of their benefits in health, and only have been recognized in Western marketplaces in recent times. There have been many health claims for these berries, unfortunately with a lack of resources and scientific research to back them up. There have been however, results in labs that are encouraging for these claims.

Many advertisements say that these berries have the ability to improve a variety of health problems including vision and memory, kidney and liver function, promote weight loss, control blood sugar and pressure, increase immunity, help reduce PMS or morning sickness, and even minimize headaches or dizziness. Researchers have also questioned their ability to inhibit the growth of cancer cells or lower cholesterol. Some, though, have cautioned eating goji berries while on medication as they may interfere with some types of treatments.

Visit this website to read more about Goji Berries and their benefits: Medical Benefits of the Goji Berry

Properties:

Amino Acids: contains almost a full spectrum of amino acids including 19 different types. There have been claims that these berries contain all 8 essential amino acids: Tryptophan, Isoleucine, Methionine, Leucine, Phenylalanine, Threonine, Lysine, and Valine.

Nutrients/Vitamins: contains many B vitamins including thiamin, riboflavin and niacin. Also contain vitamin C, vitamin A and vitamin E.

Minerals: these berries contain many minerals that include zinc, copper, calcium, selenium, phosphorus. They are said to have 22 different types of trace minerals. There have also been reports that they contain more iron than spinach or meat, and more beta-carotene than carrots.

Read more about the properties of Goji Berries here: Goji Berry Nutritional Facts

Preparation Methods and Ways to Serve:

Goji Berries usually come ready to serve, either in dried form or juiced. You can however offer them to your birds in most ways possible. They can be put in a trail mix; in a stew or soup or even given alone. Unless you are in China during harvesting season, it isn’t likely that you can find them fresh. Try to buy organic berries for your birds, and only from suppliers you trust. Another option would be to grow your own, and you can find out more about doing so here. Goji Berries can usually be found at a local health food store, but aren’t as easy to find as you would think.

Read more about how to eat Goji Berries here: How To Eat Goji Berries

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