Do you know the difference between eating like an ordinary person and like a nutritionist? Nutritionists know what they put in their body and their knowledge makes them consume only healthy foods while ordinary people look for what’s tasty and no matter if it’s healthy.
Sea buckthorn isn’t a popular food among ordinary folks, while nutritionists use it in a so many tasty ways, including smoothies, jams, and teas. Today we’re on a journey to discovering some of the most powerful health benefits of sea buckthorn that is slightly underrated these days, and learning how to eat it like a nutritionist.
What’s sea buckthorn and where to buy it?
Sea buckthorn leaves, flowers, and berries have been used for centuries to fight infections, reduce skin rashes, improve sight, slow down the aging process, treat arthritis, and heal the gastrointestinal ulcers. The sea buckthorn berries are among the most antioxidant– and vitamin-rich fruits that contain over 18 amino acids, including omega 3, 6, 7 and 9, and 24 chemical elements, including flavonoids, carotenoids, protein, calcium, manganese, iron, and vitamins A, B1, B2, B6 and E.
Sea buckthorn berries are highly popular in Europe and Asia, though they are also available in many other parts of the world, including Canada and the United States. People who can’t buy fresh berries, opt for sea buckthorn supplements or oils, which you can buy at a local food/health store or online, but make sure you consult your doctor first.
The health benefits you can reap from sea buckthorn
Sea buckthorn berries are true nutritional powerhouses that provide the body with most essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants it needs to function properly. Just like berries, sea buckthorn oil has many wonderful health benefits. With around 250 studies conducted on sea buckthorn, we can be sure that incorporating this superfood into our eating plans is worth it. Here are some of the best scientifically proved health benefits sea buckthorn boasts:
- It enhances endothelial function – According to a study, (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16891912) sea buckthorn is an excellent source of flavonoids that protect endothelial cells and boost endothelial function.
- Has effective antioxidant and antibacterial activities – The study (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17651916) shows that sea buckthorn seeds have great antioxidant and antibacterial properties.
- Combats hunger pangs – Thanks to its high omega 7s content, sea buckthorn helps to fight hunger, making it a perfect weight-loss fruit/herb.
- Strengthens the immune system – Sea buckthorn is jam-packed with vitamins that keep your immunity healthy and ward off bacteria.
- Lowers inflammatory response in the body and keeps your heart healthy – The study by Research Gate showed that consuming sea buckthorn can reduce inflammation along with a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases.
- Relieves and heals skin rashes.
- Improves your colon health.
- Relieves asthmatic symptoms – There are no studies to prove this, but many people prove this fact from their personal experience.
- Improves colon health – Eating seaberries or taking sea buckthorn in moderation has been shown to improve the colon health.
- Sea buckthorn oil helps to relieve sunburn, burns, and cuts.
- Boosts mental clarity.
- Fights the worst symptoms of acne – Dr. Oz claims that vitamins A, C and E and the essential fatty acids found in sea buckthorn oil helps to treat acne, both externally and internally. (http://www.seabuckthorninsider.com/health-benefits/dr-oz-acne/)
- It’s good for skin, hair, and nails.
- It can prevent and treat liver fibrosis according to a study conducted by Shanghai Second Medical University. ( http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12854177)
- Fights vaginal dryness – The research published in Maturitas by the University of Turku and Aromtech showed that taking sea buckthorn oil supplements may help prevent vaginal dryness.
- Keeps the eyes healthy – Sea buckthorn is chock full of antioxidants, including carotenoids, which are crucially important for eye health.
- Improves mental clarity – Vitamins C and E found in sea buckthorn improve the cognitive function of the brain and support overall brain health. According to The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, you need at least 90 milligrams of vitamin C daily to ensure optimal brain performance.
- Helps to lose weight – Sea buckthorn prevents the storage of excess fat, thus promoting weight loss.
- Reduce the cancer risk – That’s all because of those powerful antioxidants sea buckthorn contains, which flush toxins and free radicals from the body and ward off many types of cancers.
- Keeps your livers healthy.
The common medicinal uses of sea buckthorn
With a history dating back thousands of years, there are literally tons of medical uses of sea buckthorn, but nowadays it is best known for its rejuvenating and healing effects on the skin. Sea buckthorn has been used to improve the digestive system, relieve asthma, cure cough and lung disorders, treat rheumatism, stomach ulcers, inflammation of genital organs and treat hypertension. (http://www.seabuckthorn.com/medicinal%20and%20therapeutic%20potential%20of%20sbt.pdf)
Sea buckthorn has also been used to treat infectious eczema, diarrhea, internal bleeding, influenza, pneumonia, bronchitis, acute hepatitis, diseases of the spleen, as well as relieve anxiety and depression. (http://www.seabuckthorninsider.com/education/sea-buckthorns-trees/)
Who should consume sea buckthorn?
People who are looking to treat intestinal problems, boost immunity, improve blood pressure, prevent heart disease, reduce the symptoms of cirrhosis, and lower blood cholesterol, can greatly benefit from taking sea buckthorn supplements or eating the berries. But you don’t have to be ill to add them to your diet. Eat or take sea buckthorn in moderation for optimal health. But again, see your doctor first because this superfood has some side effects as well.
The most common risks of taking sea buckthorn
When you eat sea buckthorn fresh berries or make a homemade jam, you’re less likely to experience any side effects. When it comes to oils and supplements, there are a few risks that can occur:
- When combined with blood-thinning supplements or drugs, it could increase your risk of bleeding.
- When combined with medication that lower blood sugar typically taken by people suffering from diabetes, sea buckthorn can cause low blood sugar.
- Taking too much of sea buckthorn can cause a headache and dizziness.
- It can interfere with medicines that treat heart rhythm problems, gastrointestinal conditions, autoimmune diseases, and cancer.
- Sea buckthorn supplement is not recommended for pregnant and breastfeeding women.
Since the FDA doesn’t regulate supplements, including sea buckthorn, it’s always best to check your health and ask your doctor if you can take sea buckthorn.
Now that you know some of the best benefits of sea buckthorn, what are you waiting for? Give it a whirl and see for yourself. If you’re lucky to get fresh berries, make homemade jams, add them to your oatmeal, and include them in your smoothie ingredient list. Having a sea buckthorn smoothie in the morning is just what the doctor ordered. Check out a couple of sea buckthorn smoothie ideas below:
The antioxidant-packed sea buckthorn smoothie
- ½ cup sea buckthorn berries, frozen and fresh
- 1 banana
- ½ cup blueberries
- ½ baby spinach
- ½ cup Greek yogurt (or almond milk)
- 1 teaspoon chia seeds
Combine and blend until smooth. Enjoy it in the morning to kick start your metabolism and boost your energy levels.
The green sea buckthorn smoothie
- ½ cup almond milk
- 2 large handfuls baby spinach or kale
- 1 handful sprouts
- 1 banana
- 1/3 cup sea buckthorn berries, fresh or frozen
- 2 tablespoons hemp seeds
Blend until smooth and enjoy!
The orange goodie
- ½ cup sea buckthorn berries
- 1 banana
- 1 mango, peeled and cubed
- 1 orange, peeled and segmented
- ½ cup Greek yogurt (or plant milk)
Just a few seconds of blending and voila – your orange goodie is ready!
Sea Buckthorn Supplements
Looking for a good multivitamin? Check out the Top 7 Brands of Multivitamin here