It seems as if the health of America is failing. One million Americans will die of circulatory disease this year. Six hundred thousand lives will be cut short by cancer as well. How did we get in such a mess? I'm not sure. But there is a way out that is starting to generate a real buzz! Since CNN and the gang won't talk about it I decided to write is article.
Dear readers, I want to introduce you to the most nutrient dense food on the earth; wolfberries, or more specifically Lycium Barbarum.
The western scientific community have verified what Chinese and Tibetan health practitioners have known for thousands of years. Wolfberries are the healthiest known food on our planet.
In this report I will be talking specifically about wolfberries. In my research on the subject I found that not all wolfberries are created equal. The three most potent berries in the wolfberry family are Tibetan Goji berries, Chinese Xinjiang wolfberries and Chinese Ningxia wolfberries which all belong to the Lycium genus.
Wolfberries, a national treasure in China, have been used in traditional Chinese folk medicine for over 5,000 years. Ancient Chinese medical texts celebrated wolfberries for their wide range of health benefits including strengthening the 'chi" or life force of the body. The people who consumed this fruit apparently lived free of common diseases like arthritis, cancer and diabetes. Moreover, their life expectancy has reached over 100 years!
In 1988, the Beijing Nutrition Research Institute conducted detailed chemical analysis and nutritional composition studies of the dried wolfberry fruit. Hold on to your socks, this is what they discovered. In addition to being packed with vitamins B1 and B6 (which is needed by the body to convert food into energy), and vitamin E (which has never been found in fruit before), wolfberries contain more protein then whole wheat, 18 amino acids (8 of them essential for life), 21 trace minerals (including significant amounts of zinc, iron, copper, calcium, selenium, phosphorus and germanium; a very rare anti-cancer agent almost never found in food), more beta carotene than carrots, 500 times more vitamin C by weight than oranges, essential fatty acids (required for the production of hormones and smooth functioning of the brain and nervous system) and is the richest source of carotenoids (natural fat-soluble pigments that play a critical role in vitamin A activity in humans) of any food on the planet. That's not all.
Here is a short list of other health promoting compounds found in Lycium Barbarum:
Beta Sitosterol: An anti-inflammatory agent found to lower cholesterol, and used to treat sexual impotence and prostrate enlargement.
Zeaxanthin and Lutine: Valued for their role in protecting the eyes.
Betaine: Used by the liver to produce Choline which assists detoxification reactions in the liver. Betaine is known to protect DNA, enhance memory, promote muscle growth and protects us from fatty liver disease.
Cyperone: A sesquiterpene used in treatment of cervical cancer. It is also known to benefit heart and blood pressure problems as well as menstruation problems.
Solavetivone: A powerful anti-fungal and anti-bacterial agent.
Physalin: A natural compound that boosts the immune system. Found to be effective in treating leukaemia, hepatitis B and cancer.
A laboratory procedure was recently developed to measure the amount of antioxidants the foods we eat contain. The procedure known as ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) was developed by Dr. Guohua Cao at USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, USA. ORAC is one of the most sensitive and reliable methods for measuring the ability of antioxidants to absorb free radicals. It is the only test to combine both time and degree of inhibition of free radicals.
According to Tufts University, the average person needs approximately 3,000 to 5,000 ORAC units per day to have a significant impact on plasma and tissue antioxidant capacity. Three servings of fruits and vegetables per day provide approximately 1200 ORAC units. This means the average person is short by up to 3800 ORAC units each day, depending on the fruits and vegetables they are choosing and their body's requirements. To make up the difference, experts recommend supplementing our diet with high ORAC foods to become and stay healthy and slow down the aging process caused by free radical damage.
Lycium Barbarum was rated the food with the highest antioxidant ability coming in at an amazing 3,472 ORAC units per fluid oz. Some of the other notable mentions are vitamin E oil at 3,309, pomegranates at 3,037, blueberries 2,400, raspberries 1,220.
Wolfberries have been found to have extremely high levels of immune-stimulating polysaccharides. What are polysaccharides? Polysaccharides are very large, long-chain sugar molecules that are nourishment for macrophages (large white blood cells) in the gut wall. The macrophages are then transported to other immune cells, setting off a chain of defensive events in our bodies.
Several years ago German researchers isolated polysaccharides from Echinacea purpurea (often used in medicinal formulations) and mixed them with macrophages in test tubes. They found that the polysaccharides profoundly activated the macrophages, stimulating them to effectively kill tumour cells! Also it was found macrophages increased their production of interleukin, a chemical which spurs the immune system to greater activity, and the polysaccharides also enhanced the activity of B lymphocytes, immune-system cells which fight bacterial infections.
Below are the results of a 2002 study on the effects of a Ningxia wolfberry product on phagocytes. First, why should we care about phagocytes? Phagocytes are a crucial component of the immune system and are found in the spleen. They digest foreign substances that invade the body including bacteria and other disease causing organisms. Having large numbers of phagocytes in the spleen will enable the body to more quickly eliminate foreign substances and thus prevent the development of potential illness. The effects were astounding. Spleenic phagocyte cell counts (immune cells) increased by 81% and the ORAC (antioxidant capacity) the subjects' whole blood increased as well. Essentially, you could say the subjects' blood became younger.
The conclusion I have come to after doing this research is: I believe this little fruit can change the health of the world.
Thank you for spending the time to read my article. My hope is that you have learned something useful and will put that knowledge to use for your own sake and the ones you love.
Paul Brelin is an alternative health care consultant and teacher of buddhist meditation. You can reach him at email@example.com or at www.wolfberryscience.com.