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The versatile Goji plant has been used for its holistic benefits in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) since early 200 B.C. Its berries along with other parts of the plant have long been praised for their healing benefits and we are just starting to shine our light on the science behind why they are so sacred in TCM.
Goji berries are a powerful superfood because they contain a wide array of synergistic compounds called phytochemicals, which are chemicals produced by plants to help them thrive. The phytochemicals they carry are polysaccharides, beta-carotene, and zeaxanthin. Speaking specifically about beta-carotene, Goji berries contain the highest amount among all edible plants. Making them a great supplement for vision, cell structure, bones, teeth, and healthy skin. Among many plants, they are referred to as an “antioxidant powerhouse”. However, they stand apart from their antioxidant-rich counterparts because Goji berries contain all 11 types of essential amino acids that the body cannot produce naturally. This amino acid content is very rarely found in any fruit, making these berries distinct.
Revered by the indigenous people of Mesopotamia, cacao has been a sacred substance for over 4000 years. It was often used during spiritual ceremonies to induce clarity and connection and has since been immortalized in society through stonework and pottery. At one time it was considered holy medicine and was used at a currency worth more than gold. To this day cacao is still being used in rituals and ceremonies, primarily in Central and South America but now we also have science helping us to understand why it’s so sacred.
Cacao is the original source for natural chocolate, coming from the seeds of the fruit that grow on cacao trees. It is a superfood that contains a diverse group of phytonutrients, including enzymes, antioxidants, and flavonoids, which can reduce stress, support blood sugar control and increase endorphins (euphoria-inducing hormones). It also contains caffeine and significant amounts of theobromine which is a stimulant that can increase blood flow to the brain and heart, allowing more oxygen to reach these areas. It has even been shown to stimulate the brain by releasing neurotransmitters like anandamide. Known as “the bliss molecule,” anandamide got this nickname by taking on a similar molecular shape as THC, the euphoria-producing compound in cannabis. Being one of the most virtuous superfoods, cacao is gently nourishing yet powerful medicine, making it the perfect counterpart to the versatile Goji berry.