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Go for Goji

Have you had your "happy berry" today? This nickname was given to Tibetan Lycium berries, more commonly known as Goji berries, because of the sense of well-being they are said to induce.

Goji fruit is versatile in its uses. Traditionally, Goji has been taken internally to treat diabetes, vertigo, high blood pressure, and menopausal complaints. Prepared as a tincture, it can be used to treat burns, bedsores, and furuncles (boils). In traditional Chinese medicine the berries are used to enhance immune system function, help eyesight, protect the liver, and improve circulation.

In addition to being extremely high in antioxidants, Goji berries are packed with nutrition, including 11 essential minerals, 22 trace minerals, seven vitamins, and 18 amino acids. The dried berries, with their naturally sweet flavour, taste great on cereal or in fruit salad.

Get your Goji fix with this nourishing breakfast…

2 Tbsp (30 mL) oatmeal (soaked   overnight)
1 apple (grated)
1/2 cup (125 mL) organic plain    yogourt
1 Tbsp (15 mL) ground flaxseeds

A handful of Goji berries (dried   berries will soften if soaked    with oatmeal)

…and start your day with a smile.

There's a Fungus Among Us

In the 1970s, during the process of searching for new food sources to help meet the anticipated increase in demand, scientists discovered mycoprotein. The predicted food shortage didn't occur, but the potential of mycoprotein as a meat alternative food source was identified.

Mycoprotein is made from the fungus Fusarium venenatum, which is grown in large towers. Part of the fermentation process includes adding nitrogen, glucose, minerals, and vitamins. Free-range egg albumen is added to the fungal mycelia to bind the product, to which flavouring and colouring may be added. It's textured to resemble meat and can be sliced, diced, or shredded. Despite the manufacturing process, mycoprotein apparently can't be classified as genetically modified because the fungus used is in its original state.

Although mycoprotein (under the brand name of Quorn) has been consumed as a vegetarian meat substitute in Europe for about 20 years, its sale as a food product in the United States was contested in 2002 by The American Mushroom Institute and the Center for Science in the Public Interest. Their main concerns were deceptive labelling, the source of the product, and unexpected allergic reactions in some consumers.

Mycoprotein, naturally low in fat, cholesterol-free, and a source of protein, fibre, iron, and zinc, is approved by the Vegetarian Society.

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