What is a sea-buckthorn berry?
Sea-buckthorn berry is an orange berry that grows on large thorny tree-like shrubs. These shrubs can grow up to 3 metres tall and the berries are picked by hand from amongst the thorns. Sea-buckthorn is a “pioneer plant”, being first plants to grow on the Finnish soil after the end of the last Ice Age. Nowadays, it is grown as an agricultural plant in countries such as Germany, France, Finland, Estonia, India, and China among others.
How nutritious is it?
Sea-buckthorn berries contain vitamin B-12, which is very important for vegetarians and vegans, since this vitamin is most commonly found only in meat products. The berries also contain more vitamin E than any other known berry and is also a very rich source of vitamin C containing approximately 100-200 mg / 100 g. This means that 50g of sea-buckthorn berries contain the recommended daily dosage of vitamin C for an average adult. This exceeds the vitamin C value of both lemons (approx. 53 mg / 100 g without the peels) and oranges (approx. 50 mg / 100 g). In addition, sea-buckthorn berries contain a lot of antioxidants and flavonoids.
Why is sea-buckthorn berry considered a superfood or superberry?
Sea-buckthorn berries are rich in an enzyme called superoxide dismutase (SOD): about four times as much as Ginseng root. This enzyme is one of the most effective known antioxidants and it neutralizes free radical superoxides. To put it more simply, sea-buckthorn berries are very beneficial for one’s immune system. So far, scientists have not been able to chemically reproduce SOD. Further, SOD is sensitive to heat and is destroyed when heated.
What can the berries be used for?
Fresh sea-buckthorn berries can be eaten as-is or made into jams, purees, or sauces. However, as sea-buckthorn berries contain malic acid, which dries oral mucosa, many people do not like the taste of fresh sea-buckthorn berries – at least not without a lot of added sugar to compensate for the sour taste of the berry. Another popular method of using this berry is to extract and use its oil, but sea-buckthorn oil also has a very strong flavour and oil products should always be used moderately in cooking.
For these reasons, Hiisi Shop recommends the use of sea-buckthorn berry powder in order to maximise the health benefits from the sea-buckthorn berries without adding sugar or using a lot of oil. Powder is easy to use and can be, for example, sprinkled on top of porridge, muesli, or baked goods. It can also be mixed into yoghurt, quark, or smoothies among others. One teaspoon of sea-buckthorn berry powder per day is sufficient to give you the necessary health benefits. Just keep in mind that SOD is destroyed by heat, so it is recommended to add the powder after the accompanying dish has cooled down for serving.