goji berries

Have flu symptoms? Get a shot…of goji berry milk.

A recent study found goji berry milk may help stimulate the body’s antibody response. The study, conducted on mice, also showed weight loss risk was lower in those treated with goji berries (also known as wolfberries).

Eating most any type of berry offers health benefits because berries are filled with powerful antioxidants. Goji berries also have compounds rich in vitamins A and C–13 and 9 percent of the recommended daily values, respectively, in each ounce. The antioxidants minimize damage from free radicals that injure cells and damage DNA. Vitamins A and C are great for your immune system and healthy cell growth.

“While previous studies have shown that wolfberries bolster immune response in mice, our results introduce their potential to reduce the age-related risk and severity of the flu virus in the presence of the vaccine,” said senior author Dr. Simin Nikbin Meydani, director of the USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, where the study was conducted. It was recently published in the Journal of Nutrition.

To investigate the effects of goji berries the researchers conducted a study with older male mice, aged 20-22 months, and fed them either a control diet or a 5 percent goji berry diet for 30 days. The mice were then given flu vaccine shots. Those who were fed a goji berry diet experienced increased effectiveness of the flu vaccine.

It’s not yet known which aspects of goji berries trigger higher antibody response; the berries are rich in complex carbohydrates known as polysaccharides, as well as vitamins, carotenoids and flavonoids.

Other berries have long shown flu prevention promise, most notably elderberries.

Goji Berry Nut Milk

You can make your own goji berry nut milk by adding 1 cup of goji berries, 1 cup almonds, 2 cups of water and, optionally, a tablespoon of coconut oil to your blender. Blend and then strain through a nut milk bag or cheesecloth and drink!

Note: Always consult with your primary care physician before adding herbs or supplements to your diet, particularly if you are already taking any prescription medicines.

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