As promised in my Bitchin’ Bites post – the mystery behind the goji berry, the white mulberry, and the chia seed…hold on to your chairs.
The Goji Berry
This superfruit, also known as the wolfberry, hails from China where natives have believed in the berry’s power of longevity for generations. Extensive studies determining the strength of the berry’s nutrition benefits compared with berries like the blueberry have yet to be conducted, but we do know that they are high in antioxidants and vitamin A. Antioxidants help to minimize the effects free radicals have on cells; vitamin A produces the pigments in the eye’s retina, promoting good vision, while potentially bolstering immune function.
Read more: WebMD
The White Mulberry
One ounce of mulberries contains 3 grams of protein…pretty impressive for a fruit. The dried white mulberry is sweet and reminds me a little bit of a miniature pinecone – really precious. Mulberries are high in vitamin C and contain resveratrol, an antioxidant compound also present in red wine, among other things, which may help reduce inflammation.
Fun Fact: The mulberry leaf is the silkworm’s sole food source (we use their cocoons to make silk).
The Chia Seed
If you’ve read Christopher McDougall’s book Born to Run, then you know of the chia seed as ‘the running food’ that the Tarahumara Indian’s in Mexico carried with them on their desert ultra-runs. Cherished also by the Aztecs, Mayans, and Incans, chia seeds are high in protein, fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants (more than blueberries), and contain more calcium than milk. Mixing chia seeds in water produces a thick gel which can be ideal for long-distance runners – holding 9 times their weight in water, chia can help athletes retain hydration. And I almost forgot, remember chia pets…yup, this is the same chia.