There are some superfoods that could easily stand out above the rest, but don’t get the recognition they deserve. The Sea Buckthorn Berry, also known as the Sand Thorn, Sallowthorn or Seaberry, is one of those, as it is rather uncommon in North America. Sea Buckthorn offers a medley of therapeutic and nutritional benefits that come from its berries, roots and leaves. Originating in the Himalayas and used in China for centuries to treat a laundry list of disorders and ailments, this super-fruit is being adopted by both modern practitioners and health-goers alike as an anti-inflammatory, nutrient rich ingredient throughout the world.
Sea Buckthorn is a great source of vitamins, antioxidants, phytonutrients, essential minerals, folic acid, amino acids and carotenoids, and it is a complete source of the good fats we know as omega fatty acids, making it a great anti-inflammatory. The flavor of Sea Buckthorn isn’t considered easily palatable on its own, as it is naturally very acidic, but with the right combination of other ingredients, this bitter super-fruit can be used to create some very exciting, exotic flavors in beverages, dishes and oils.
The nutrient density of these little berries, that resemble something of a small, orange-hued cranberry, has been said to help promote the elimination of skin rashes, lower cholesterol, reverse gout, reduce the condition of fatty liver, treat digestive ulcers, asthmatic symptoms and improve skin and colon health. The variety of nutrients these super berries provide make them a great addition to a healthy lifestyle, and you don’t have to be a top chef to use them. Here are some simple ways to introduce Sea Buckthorn to your own kitchen or home:
•Add 1/4- 1/2 cup to muffin, pancake or waffle recipes
•Add 1 cup of rinsed and dried berries to a bottle of olive oil, and let sit in a cool, dark place for 2-3 weeks to allow the oil to be infused
•Sprinkle onto cereals, brans for a burst of tartness
•Mix into Greek yogurt and sweeten with stevia and a ½ tsp vanilla extract
•Infuse a bottle of apple cider vinegar with 1 cup of rinsed and dried berries, allowing 2-3 weeks for the vinegar to be infused
•Add lightly to salads with a vinaigrette dressing to compliment the bitter, tart flavors
•Blend into frozen fruit smoothies (2 ripe and frozen bananas, 1 cup of frozen mango and add ¼ cup Sea Buckthorn blended with 60mL of water for a shareable sweet treat)
Aside from its consumable nutritive benefits, its oil has been used topically to help reduce pain and inflammation, and coined as a natural super-serum for use on the hair, scalp and skin. Because it contains such high amounts of antioxidants, Vitamin-E, Beta-Carotene and Carotenoid, Sea Buckthorn has been used as a conditioning and regenerative aid to help the healing process of burns, eczema, sun damage, abrasions and minor skin injuries. The large amounts of omega-3 fatty acids and Vitamin-C are excellent aids in helping to improve scalp circulation and hair resiliency.
Overall, this bright and tiny fruit packs a powerhouse of nutrition, and is easy to add to recipes, oil and vinegar infusions, and beauty regimens. With a distinct flavor, Sea Buckthorn in any recipe may take some adjustments to be customized to taste, and that’s part of the fun in introducing any new superfood to your diet.
Kelsey Lee is a fitness and lifestyle personality. Her experience ranges from the aesthetics spectrum of body transformations, to the dynamics of everyday functionality – always including proper and practical nutrition, cardiovascular, resistance and core training. Kelsey Lee creates candid mix and match workouts, v-log and adventure videos. She loves to help people from all walks of life, make fit matter and live more intentionally, and has been doing so since 2005. Follow her on Instagram: @kelseyleedotcom