Sea buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides) is a deciduous shrub found throughout Europe, Mongolia and some parts of China. Sea buckthorn is a real powerhouse of nutrients!
This super antioxidant plant has over 190 phytonutrients including over 60 antioxidants. It provides almost every nutrient required by the body.
The plant comprises three times vitamin A of carrots, ten times vitamin C of oranges, highest vitamin E among all fruits and five times superoxide dismutase of ginseng.
It’s also rich in vitamins B1, B2 and folic acid. It has, numerous minerals and all healthy fatty acids including omega-3, -6, -7 and -9. Omega-7 (palmitoleic acid) is necessary for collagen production. Sea buckthorn is also a rich source of carotenoids and flavonoid.
Studies have shown that sea buckthorn can help in regulating sugar levels in the blood and therefore prevent chronic inflammation in the body.
Due to the healthy fats and B vitamins in sea buckthorn, it’s also useful for maintaining and improving brain performance and reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Juice from sea buckthorn berry is one of the best cures for gastric distress or stomach upset. Apart from that, it may be used to calm inflammation and relieve discomfort. The anti-inflammatory capability of buckthorn can help get rid of joint pains and sore muscles (1).
Sea buckthorn berry is a rich source of carotenoid ranging from 0.2 mg to 17 mg per 100 g of fruit compared to 8 mg of carrots. The berry comprises of other carotenoids such as gamma carotene, alpha-carotene, delta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, lutein, lycopene, phytofluene, taraxanthin and Zeaxanthin. Carotenoids help in the prevention of cataract development on the eye lens. Cataracts cause poor eye health and vision. Carotenoids also decrease progression of macular degeneration, leading cause of vision loss especially to the aged (2).
Healthy fats (omega 3, 6, 9) and B vitamins contained in sea buckthorn berry are useful for maintaining, improving brain performance and reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Sea buckthorn berries consist of high amounts of antioxidants that assist in neutralising unstable free radicals, dangerous byproducts of oxidation that can cause cellular damage. The anti-cancer properties of the berries result in cell-cycle arrest, preventing progression of cancer, though it does not promote apoptosis (Programmed cell death) like most of the antioxidants (3).
Fight against ageing
Sea buckthorn berries provide unstable free radical -neutralising compounds that help to remove age spots and slow down the formation of wrinkles on the skin surface. Taking sea buckthorn berry juice or eating berries is the perfect way to make your skin smooth and stay younger (4).
Blood sugar control
Studies have shown that sea buckthorn berries can help in regulating sugar levels in the blood. The fruit has moderate amounts of sugars and fibre, hence including it as part of the diet is a good choice for diabetes patients. The fibre in berries helps to eliminate the spikes (peaks and drops) in blood sugar levels (5).
Boost in vitamin C
Sea buckthorn berry provides the body with vitamin C. Sea buckthorn has 8 to 16 times more vitamin C than oranges, an essential nutrient that plays a significant role in the formation of collagen, a key component for growth and repair of skin, muscle and bone tissues. Vitamin C also helps to speed wound healing and injury recovery. Several studies have proven that vitamin C promotes absorption of iron, an essential mineral required for formation of haemoglobin, a protein molecule in blood cells that helps to carry oxygen to all body cells and tissues. Its deficiency can result in anaemia.
Possible adverse effects
Sea buckthorn berry may not be a good choice for people who suffer from bleeding disorders since it slows down blood clotting. Also, it’s not an excellent choice for those who suffer from hypotension or taking high blood pressure medication. If you have any medical issues or medications, always consult your physician before including a new powerful superfood in your diet.