Wonder berries like goji, noni, acerola or acai can rejuvenate people?
Goji, noni or acai - more and more people swear by the miracle berries, which are said to have many health-promoting properties. The berries are said to help with mass ailments like diabetes, support cancer treatments and produce a rejuvenating effect. But there is no scientific evidence for these claims so far. Yet, many of the exotic fruits are proven to contain high levels of beneficial ingredients such as vitamin C or antioxidants.
Berries available as dried fruit, juice or powder
While many proponents of natural healing profess the exotic fruits, others demonize them. Critical voices usually complain about the high prices and the lack of scientific evidence for the effectiveness. Even among experts, the fruits are controversial. For example, Hilke Steinecke, a biologist in the Palmengarten in Frankfurt am Main, is of the opinion that the attraction of the exotic, above all, is responsible for the popularity of the berries, as she explains to the news agency "dpa". Acerola cherries are from Mexico, Acai from the Amazon, Noni originally from Hawaii, and the Goji berry from the Himalayas, where she is said to have eaten Buddha, explains the expert. The urge for the exotic is also being promoted through the Internet and the desire for particularly natural and new remedies and beauty products.
Meanwhile, the fruits are available almost everywhere in the world. In Germany you can now buy them in the supermarket. They are usually offered in dried form, as juice or powder, because they would not survive the long transport as freshly harvested fruit. "Because they are highly sensitive, they are almost never fresh," confirms Steinecke. If fruits are processed, however, the health-promoting effect can be influenced. "Many substances are in the shell. When apple peeling I also throw away parts of the protection, "said Bernhard Watzl, Professor of Physiology and Biochemistry of nutrition at the Max Rubner Institute in Karlsruhe, told the news agency.
Effect of acerola is confirmed by experts
Since the juices from many berries are bitter or not tasty, they are usually mixed with other drinks or food. Also, the powder is usually offered in combination with other ingredients as a mixture. As Heinrich Stevens of the Federal Agency for Agriculture and Food in Bonn told the news agency, Acerola be used for example in jam or ice cream.
The fruits of the acerola plant are among those with the highest content of natural vitamin C. Therefore Acerola is used for the prevention and treatment of many diseases such as diabetes, allergies, cardiovascular diseases, infections, rheumatism and even cancer and is there "indispensable", explains Stevens. Vitamin C is one of the most important antioxidants and is thus one of the most effective antidote to free radicals, which can damage cell structures and genetic material. Also, the aging process is often associated with the action of free radicals.
"Fruits have a special spectrum of ingredients such as phytonutrients that affect health," reports Watzl. These include just those antioxidants such as vitamins C and E, polyphenols and minerals. Polyphenols perform a special function for the plant by protecting it from pests. "Because we have evolved in millions of years depending on plants, polyphenols also affect us." However, Watzl doubts that the supposed miracle berries are healthier than other fruits. "They help as much as the apple, the orange." In addition, some native varieties such as blueberries, raspberries or strawberries in some cases even have a higher content of certain polyphenols. According to the Max-Rubner-Institut, domestic blueberries contain more magnesium than, say, acai.
Gojibeere is now also native to Germany
The goji berry also enjoys great popularity. It is usually sold dried in small bags, which can cost around ten euros. However, only a few know that behind Goji hides the common buckthorn. The plant, which is also known as the Chinese wolfberry or the common devil's twine, is now also native to us and grows on many a road embankment. Goji berries should stimulate the metabolism and protect against wrinkles. However, scientific studies are largely missing.
In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), the fruit has been used for millennia to increase the yin. According to the TCM, deficiency of Yin in the liver and kidneys is manifested by symptoms such as colds, night sweats, drowsiness, tiredness, fatigue, diabetes, premature aging, weakness in the back and knees, dizziness, tinnitus and low vision, anemia, overexertion, impotence, impotence and infertility. In addition, goji berries are used in China to treat high blood pressure, high blood sugar, strengthen the immune system, treat eye problems and prevent and treat cancer. (Ag)