Goji berries – Pedaling for Peace Super Foods Series

pedaling for peace - superfoods goji berries fructus lyciium   Goji berries Lycii fructus, is the comercial name of wolfberries, the fruit of two species: Lysium barbarum and L. chinense. Very rich in antioxidants such as flavonoids, carotenoids, vitamin A, C and E, they have been used by asian herbalists since over six thousands years ago, they have powerful medicinal properties such as:

* Boost immune functions and increases metabolic activity.

* Protect and detoxify the liver and supports kindney function.

* Natural anti-immflamatory, anti-bacterial and antifungal.

* Improve eyesight due to it’s high contents of the carotenoid zeaxanthin that protects the retina of the eye and prevents age-related macular degeneration, the lead cause of blindness for eldery people.

* Improve sexual function and promote fertility.

* Increase longevity mainly because of their high content of antioxidants that slow the aging process by minimizing the damage of free radicals in the body to a cellular level.

* Improve circulation and overall toning of the cardovascular system.

* Prevents the grow of cancer cells.

* Reduces blood glucose and cholesterol.

Some of the nutrients you can get from goji berries are essential fatty acids, protein, vitamin C, 19 different amino acids 8 of which are essential amino acids, B vitamins, carotenoids, 21 different trace minerals incluiding copper, zinc, calcium, iron, selenium, potassium and phosphorus. Like any fruit, goji berries contain sugar but in the form of polysaccharides, log-chain sugar molecules considered as complex carbohydrates and a primary source of dietary fiber that may help to strengthen the immune system, promote a healthy intestinal mucosal lining, enhace mineral uptake and reduce the risk of developing colon cancer .

You can consume your goji berries raw, dried, cooked, juiced or made into tea. We prefer to keep them raw or dried to preserve their nutrients intact, they are a great addition to trail mixes, granola and cereals, sprinkled over your fruit salad or even in your smoothie. Goji berrie tea is also a great way to get it’s nutrients but for us the flavor is not so appealing :-/  Is very important that you always search for organic goji berries, particularly if grown in China where large amounts of pesticides are used for their production.

Chia – Pedaling for Peace Super Foods Series

Pedaling for Peace - Super Foods Series chia seeds    Chia seeds come from the Salvia hispanica plant that is native of México. High in complete protein, omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, phosphorus, manganese, calcium, potassium and soluble fiber, chia seeds are a superstar food for high energy endurance sports!

I fell in love with chia seeds while researching the Rarámuri, a tribe of native indians in Northern México that are both mystical and magical, not only because of their culture but also their amazing athletic power, being able to run more than 500 miles up there in the Copper Canyon Mountains… that is MORE than 500 (five hundred) MILES… up in the mountains… in sandals!!! …  s a n d a l s ! ! !  …  Since then, chia seeds are a staple in my diet:)

A very special characteristic of chia seeds is it’s hydrophilic property. If you were to place a spoonful of chia seeds in a glass of water, after a few minutes the whole content would have a gelatinous texture. This is in part due to the high content of soluble fiber in the seed that traps moisture: a seed can absorb up to 12 times it’s weight in water and this way, provide prolonged hydration in the body. Besides this, in the stomach, this gelatinous matter helps to slow down considerably the breaking down of carbohydrates, which results in a slow, long term delivery of energy and nutrients that won’t create a high or a low in blood sugar levels.

So you have one of the highest sources of antioxidants, packed with easy to assimilate complete protein, omega-3 fatty acids, an excellent source of essential minerals, that will provide you with prolonged energy and hydration?!  N I N J A .