Wolfberry - Is it The Most Nutritious Food? by toriola1


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                                        Wolfberry: The World’s Most Nutritious Food?
                                                              By Dr. Paul Gross

   For a berry with such an intimidating name, the wolfberry certainly has a lot going for it. Wolfberry
comes from the Mandarin name Gou qi zi (“goo-chee-zee”), a red berry from the Solanaceae
nightshade family that includes tomato, eggplant, chili pepper, and potato.

In popular English, gou qi zi (literally ‘wolf’+ ‘energy’+ ‘berry’) has become “goji.” For at least 2000
years, the wolfberry has grown wild in China and been used in common recipes and traditional
Chinese medicine. Eighteenth century Chinese farmers nicknamed gou qi zi “wolfberry” when they saw
wolves feasting among the berry-laden vines during late summer at prime harvest time. Smart

The Chinese revere the wolfberry as a national treasure regarded as among the most nutrient-dense of
the nation’s plants. This premise has stimulated scientific investigation about its potential health
benefits and systematic cultivation, commercialization, and now increasing export to first-world
countries mainly in Europe and the US.

A significant source of macronutrients

The wolfberry contains significant amounts of our body’s daily macronutrient needs, including
carbohydrates, proteins, fat and dietary fiber. The content of a wolfberry consists of 68%
carbohydrates, 12% proteins, and 10% each of fiber and fat, giving a total caloric value of 370 per
100-gram serving.

Soybean, another ancient Chinese plant often touted as one of the world’s most complete foods, is
comparable across macronutrients. Although wolfberries and soybeans are similar in macronutrient
content, wolfberries provide a significantly higher source of calories as energy from carbohydrates
(soybeans = 173 calories). Blueberries, by contrast, do not have as much macronutrient or caloric

The wolfberry seeds are equally beneficial, and contain polyunsaturated fats like linoleic (omega-6)
and linolenic (omega-3) acids.

 The wolfberry’s big story on micronutrients

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Wolfberry’s diverse and high concentration of micronutrients has earned it accolades as an exceptional
health food. At least 11 essential minerals, 22 trace minerals, 7 vitamins and 18 amino acids define its
extraordinary micronutrient richness, with examples below:

1.Calcium: The primary constituent of teeth and bones, calcium also has a diverse role in soft tissues
where it is involved in cardiac, neuromuscular, enzymatic, hormonal, and transport mechanisms across
cell membranes. Wolfberries and soybeans contain 112 mg and 102 mg of calcium per 100 grams
serving, respectively, providing about 8-10% of our required daily intake.

2.Potassium: An essential electrolyte and enzyme cofactor, dietary potassium can lower high blood
pressure. By giving us about 24% our daily needs, (1132 mg/100 grams), wolfberries are an excellent
source of potassium, providing more than twice the amount than soybeans.

3.Iron: An oxygen carrier in hemoglobin, iron also is a cofactor for enzymes involved in numerous
metabolic reactions. When intake is deficient, low iron levels cause iron deficiency anemia, a condition
that affects millions of children worldwide. Wolfberry’s exceptional iron content is twice that provided by
soybeans, often regarded as the best plant source of iron.

4.Zinc: Essential for making proteins, DNA and the functions of more than 100 enzymes, zinc is
involved in critical cell activities such as membrane transport, repair and growth, especially in infants.
The zinc found in wolfberries (2 mg/100 grams) has a high content (double the amount of soybeans),
that meet 20% of our daily requirements.

5.Selenium: Sometimes called the “antioxidant mineral”, selenium is often included in supplements.
Selenium has unusually high concentration in wolfberries (50 micrograms/100 grams), almost enough
for our daily dietary intake, and much more than blueberries and soybeans, which contain 8
micrograms or less per 100 grams.

6.Riboflavin (vitamin B2): An essential vitamin supporting energy metabolism, riboflavin is needed for
synthesizing other vitamins and enzymes. A daily wolfberry serving (1.3 micrograms) provides the
complete daily requirement for our bodies, whereas soybeans and blueberries contain only trace levels
of this important mineral.

7.Vitamin C: A universal antioxidant vitamin protecting other antioxidant molecules from free radical
damage, the vitamin C content in wolfberries (20 mg/100 grams) is comparable to an equal weighting
of fresh oranges, blueberries or soybeans. Phytochemicals Wolfberries contain dozens of
phytochemicals whose health-enhancing properties are under scientific study. Three phytochemicals of
particular interest include:

Beta-carotene: A carotenoid pigment in orange-red foods like wolfberries, pumpkins, carrots and
salmon, beta-carotene is important for synthesis of vitamin A, a fat-soluble nutrient and antioxidant
essential for normal growth, vision, cell structure, bones and teeth and healthy skin. Wolfberry’s
beta-carotene content per unit weight (7 mg/100 grams) is among the highest for edible plants.

Zeaxanthin: Wolfberries are an extraordinary source for this carotenoid that plays an important role as
a retinal pigment filter and antioxidant. Wolfberries contain 162 mg/100 grams.

Polysaccharides: Long-chain sugar molecules characteristic of many herbal medicines like mushrooms
and roots, polysaccharides are a signature constituent of wolfberries, making up 31% of pulp weight in

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premium quality wolfberries. Polysaccharides are a primary source of fermentable fiber in our body’s
intestinal system. During colonic metabolism, fermentable or “soluble fibers” yield short-chain fatty
acids which are known to: 1.Improve the health of the colon epithelial lining 2.Enhance mineral uptake
 3.Stabilize blood glucose levels 4.Lower pH and reduce colon cancer risk 5.Stimulate immune
functions Polysaccharides are also known to help in antioxidant activity and defending against
threatening oxidants.

Functional Food and Beverage Applications

Wolfberries, which are prized for their color and nut-like taste, are cultivated for a variety of food and
beverage applications within China. In addition, an increasingly amount is also used for export as dried
berries, juice and powders of pulp. Not surprising, a major effort is underway in Ningxia, China to
process wolfberries for “functional” wine.

Despite no “hard” evidence from clinical research, the myths of wolfberry’s traditional health benefits
endure, including positive effects related to: •Longevity •Aphrodisia •Analgesia •Antiviral conditions
•Immune-stimulating properties •Muscular strength •Energy •Vision health

In laboratory and preliminary human research to date, wolfberries have shown potential benefits
against: •Cardiovascular and inflammatory diseases •Some forms of cancer •Diabetes •Premature
aging •Memory deficits •Vision degeneration •Lung disorders •Other diseases of oxidative stress


Although not adequately demonstrated yet in published research, a synergy of antioxidant carotenoids
(primarily beta-carotene and zeaxanthin) with polysaccharides suggest that wolfberries are an
exceptionally rich antioxidant food source.

Micronutrient density, combined with key health phytochemicals like carotenoids and polysaccharides,
give wolfberries their remarkable nutritional qualities. All things considered, it’s no wonder this berry is
vying for honors as the most nutritious plant food on Earth.

Expand your health horizons, try wolfberries!

Reading Wolfberry data from independent contract laboratories, courtesy of Rich Nature Nutraceutical
Labs, Seattle; blueberries and soybeans, World’s Healthiest Foods, http://www.whfoods.com

Gross PM, Zhang X, Zhang R. Wolfberry: Nature’s Bounty of Nutrition and Health, Booksurge
Publishing, North Charleston, 2006, ISBN 1-4196-2048-7

Copyright 2006 Berry Health Inc.

Dr. Paul Gross is a scientist and expert on cardiovascular and brain physiology. A published
researcher, Gross recently completed a book on the Chinese wolfberry and has begun another on
antioxidant berries. Gross is founder of Berry Health Inc, a developer of nutritional, berry-based
supplements. For more information, visit http://www.berrywiseonline.com

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                      Nutritious Dog Food Diet - Choosing Healthy Pet Food For Your Dog
                                                               By Jennifer McVey

In a time when more and more pet owners are concerned about what they're feeding their pets, finding
a nutritious dog food can be pretty complicated. Lots of products on the market claim to offer complete
and balanced nutrition for your pet, but in many cases, this is just a marketing term used to sell the
product. Unfortunately, such labeling doesn't mean that every food is equally good for your dog, rather
that the percentages of protein, fiber, fat, and moisture meet the minimum standards. While any food
your feed your dog should have this kind of labeling, that's not all there is when it comes to nutritious
dog food. When you decide what the best food is, you have to start with the label.

 First, rule out the least expensive brands in the store. It's not that you have to break the bank to buy a
good dog food, but that cheap foods use cheap ingredients. The lowest cost dog foods on the market
will use a lot of fillers and low quality ingredients, making them a lower value, even though they don't
cost a lot per bag. A nutritious dog food will be more expensive than a grocery store brand in most

 Secondly, pet owners need to learn to read pet food labels. Avoid foods that have a lot of corn, soy, or
wheat, especially if they're high on the ingredients list. These are very cheap sources of plant protein,
which are hard to digest for dogs. They've been linked to a number of health problems, like colitis and
urinary tract infections. Of course, dry dog food always contains some quantity of grain. However,
choose a nutritious dog food that includes grain further down the list and uses ingredients like brown
rice, barley, oats, or other easy to digest choices. Some foods also include potatoes.

 The bulk of any nutritious dog food should come from animal sources, since dogs are naturally meat
eaters. Avoid cheap filler ingredients like meals and by products, which can come from already
stripped animal carcasses. Also, if you see a generic term such as 'poultry', 'fish', or 'meat', avoid that
food in favor of one that names the type of meat used. Whole, named meats are the most desirable,
and should come first on the list of most nutritious dog foods.

 Colorants and other additives are also problematic. They're in many different dog food brands, but
they're only there to make the product appeal more to the human who's buying the food. Look for a
food that includes as few preservatives, artificial flavoring agents and coloring agents as possible.
These chemicals can cause allergic reactions in some dogs, and are undesirable in a nutritious dog
food. While there are good foods out there, you might have to do some research to find them.
However, if you care about your dog's health, it'll be worth it in the end. A nutritious dog food will make
your dog happier, feel better, and live longer.

Learn how to choose a nutritious dog food for your pets at http://www.saferpetfood.com

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