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Everything you need to know about sea buckthorn: properties, benefits, how to eat it


Sea buckthorn is one of the most appreciated plants for its natural properties, being used for therapeutic, cosmetic and medicinal purposes since ancient times. The popularity of sea buckthorn is very high and not in vain, because the benefits of this plant for the health and proper functioning of the body are numerous and proven. Sea buckthorn is available in various forms and can be consumed in many ways, which is an advantage because it can be easily integrated into the daily diet. In the following, you will find everything you need to know about sea buckthorn: the origin of the plant, its composition, nutritional values, properties, benefits, in what forms it is found, how you can consume it, what it helps you with, contraindications.

    What is sea buckthorn. Types. When the sea buckthorn is harvested
    Sea buckthorn: nutritional values
    Sea buckthorn benefits
    Sea buckthorn products
    Sea buckthorn recipes: sea buckthorn with honey, sea buckthorn tea
    Sea buckthorn: contraindications

What is sea buckthorn. Types. When the sea buckthorn is harvested

On the Romanian territory, sea buckthorn does not have a specific area to grow, this existing both in the cool mountain area, but also in the coastal sands and gravels.

Numerous thorns and narrow leaves grow on the branches of the shrub, and the sea buckthorn fruits are small, oval in shape and, when mature, turn yellow-orange. The fruits are sour, and their harvest takes place from August to late autumn, when they are well ripened.

Scientifically called Hippophaë Rhamnoides L., sea buckthorn belongs to the family Elaeganaceae, has its origins in Central Asia and is a fruiting shrub whose height usually varies between 2 and 6 meters. The name of the plant is related to its history and its first uses: in ancient Greece, horse owners used sea buckthorn to give shine to the hair of racehorses, as its properties have been known since then. Thus, Hippophae translates, from Latin, as "shining horse."

Types of sea buckthorn
There are 4 main varieties of sea buckthorn:

    sea ​​buckthorn or river sea buckthorn, Hippophaë Rhamnoides - is the only variety intended for consumption, it is not very pretentious in terms of soil type, it withstands well well in low temperatures, frost, but also drought. All the sea buckthorn products you will find on the market - sea buckthorn oil, sea buckthorn juice, ground sea buckthorn, etc. - their main ingredient is this variety.
    sea ​​buckthorn fence, Lycium Halimifolium - reaches a maximum height of 3 meters, has purple flowers, withstands frost well and is used especially for decorative purposes in hedges.
    sea ​​buckthorn, Myricaria Germanica - the shrub is shorter than the sea buckthorn fence (maximum 2.5 meters) and has pink-gray flowers. It also has a decorative role, but can also be used for medicinal purposes, acting on the liver and kidneys.
    sea ​​buckthorn, Tamarix Ramosissima - is found in the form of cuttings and has the role of beautifying outdoor spaces or even homes. The flowers are either white or pink, and the plant is resistant to flooding

Sea buckthorn: nutritional values
What ensures the benefits of sea buckthorn are the nutrients it contains and which are necessary for the proper functioning of the human body. Sea buckthorn fruits contain many vitamins, trace elements, fatty acids and other beneficial substances.
C vitamin

Sea buckthorn fruits contain 10 times more vitamin C than citrus fruits. This is important because vitamin C has many benefits for the body, including:

    stimulates collagen production, helping to maintain a healthy appearance of the skin.
    promotes the proper absorption of iron by the body and thus helps to prevent iron deficiency;
    helps reduce hypertension;
    helps reduce the risk of chronic and cardiovascular disease;
    is a powerful antioxidant, so it helps strengthen the immune system;

Other foods rich in vitamin C are chokeberry, rosehip or currant.

Other vitamins: A, E, K, D, P, B1-B9
Sea buckthorn fruits contain, in addition to vitamin C, other vitamins, both in the category of fat-soluble (dissolves in fat and can be stored in the body) - A, E, K, D - and in the category of water-soluble (dissolves in water, the body can not retain them, so they must be consumed daily from external sources, through food), as is vitamin C: P, F, B1-B9. Each of these plays an important role in the body.
Vitamin A, for example, supports the health of hair and nails, helps keep cholesterol levels within normal limits and the proper functioning of the respiratory and digestive systems, while vitamin B6 helps to produce red blood cells.
Microelements and macroelements

Microelements are also called trace elements and are found in small amounts in living organisms as well as in soils, rocks and water. In caseliving organisms, their role is to provide protection against various diseases and pathogens. While the microelements are in the human body at a concentration of less than 50 mg / kg body weight, the macroelements are found in a concentration that is at least equal to this value.

Sea buckthorn fruits contain the following main micro and macroelements:

    calcium (Ca): helps the heart function properly, supports the activity of enzymes, supports the functioning of the endocrine system, strengthens immunity, etc .;
    phosphorus (P): helps, along with calcium, to maintain healthy bones and teeth, maintains a balanced pH of the blood, supports the proper functioning of the nerves and is vital in the process of converting proteins, fats and carbohydrates into energy. which body needs etc .;
    magnesium (Mg): helps fight fatigue, supports the proper functioning of the digestive and muscular systems, metabolizes glucose and, therefore, prevents the occurrence of diabetes, etc .;
    potassium (K): helps the synthesis of hormones (eg insulin), is a key element in the growth process, as it allows the creation of new cells, supports neuromuscular activity, etc .;
    iron (Fe): supports the activity of the immune system, helps the functioning of hemoglobin, has a vital role in transporting oxygen in the blood, influences the ability to concentrate and energy levels, etc.

Essential fatty acids

8-9% of the essential fatty acids are found in sea buckthorn fruits, and what characterizes them is that they cannot be produced naturally by the body. Therefore, it is necessary to provide the body with foods that contain it, such as sea buckthorn.

The role of fatty acids for the body includes:

    helping the body absorb nutrients;
    providing brain and eye support for proper functioning;
    strengthening the immune system;
    strengthening the cardiovascular system;
    nervous system regulation.

The category of fatty acids found in sea buckthorn includes omega 6 and omega 3 - these are polyunsaturated fats that ensure that the cholesterol level is maintained optimally and the heart works properly.

Beta-carotene is the compound that gives sea buckthorn its orange color, being the element that is also found in carrots ("carotene", in Latin, means "carrot"). Although the body does not have a direct need for this nutrient, it is useful because, once in the body, it is converted into vitamin A, which is essential for the body.

In addition to providing the body with the necessary supply of vitamin A, beta-carotene provides the skin with protection against UV rays, being, at the same time, an effective antioxidant.

In addition to all this, sea buckthorn also contains protein, cellulose, sugars and other beneficial substances that make it a fruit worthy of being included in your diet.

Cat benefits

Due to the elements it contains, the consumption of sea buckthorn is recognized as offering many benefits for the body, including:

    due to the high content of vitamin C, it helps to prevent and fight colds;
    has an emollient effect, so it is often found in cosmetics designed to improve the appearance of the skin;
    helps to heal wounds and burns on the skin faster;
    has an antioxidant effect and helps eliminate toxic substances from the body;
    supports the proper functioning of the cardiovascular system;
    helps detoxify the digestive system and liver;
    stimulates the immune system, has antibiotic properties, helps the body fight bacterial infections.

Regardless of the form in which you choose to eat sea buckthorn, its properties will remain the same. Choosing 100% natural sea buckthorn products, of safe and certified origin, is the best way to enjoy the health benefits of this plant.

Sea buckthorn products

Once the sea buckthorn fruits are harvested, they can be turned into many different products, so the options for integration into the diet are diverse. In the market, sea buckthorn is found both in the form of raw grains, but also in processed form, such as:

    sea ​​buckthorn jam: it also contains additional ingredients, such as sugar, and is consumed as such.
    dried sea buckthorn fruits: can be used in the preparation of fruit salads or desserts;
    sea ​​buckthorn powder or ground sea buckthorn: resulting from the grinding of dried fruit peels; it is consumed mixed with a little liquid or with yoghurts, salads or teas;
    sea ​​buckthorn oil: obtained by cold pressing of sea buckthorn fruits or seeds, it can be consumed in its natural form, in the recommended dose on the package. The oil can also be applied directly to the skin, to improve its appearance or to protect it from UV rays. Sea buckthorn oil is also found in the form ofcapsules;
    sea ​​buckthorn juice: obtained by cold pressing the fruit and can be consumed as such, sweetened with honey or diluted with water.

Sea buckthorn recipes: sea buckthorn with honey, sea buckthorn tea

You can eat sea buckthorn in the forms already on the market, but you also have the option to prepare it yourself. All recipes are simple and you only need a few additional ingredients.
Sea buckthorn with honey

Sea buckthorn with honey is one of the most well-known and appreciated mixtures, being simple to prepare and efficient. All you need is sea buckthorn berries, which you can put in a jar and pour honey over. As a proportion, you need to put one part honey to two parts sea buckthorn berries. After taking this step, you should leave the mixture to soak for a maximum of 3 weeks before you start consuming it.

Sea buckthorn tea preparation

Sea buckthorn tea is a very good source of energy and, moreover, can help those who have decided to lose weight. But the benefits of sea buckthorn tea are many:

    helps lower cholesterol levels;
    helps relieve joint and rheumatic pain, having anti-inflammatory and calming effect;
    invigorates the body;
    removes toxic substances from the body;
    maintains the healthy appearance of the skin.

To make sea buckthorn tea, you need dried sea buckthorn fruit. Put 1-2 teaspoons of dried fruit in a cup, pour boiling water over them, then wait about 15 minutes for the infusion. Strain the tea, sweeten it with honey if you feel the need and then enjoy it. It is best to eat it on an empty stomach in the morning.

Sea buckthorn syrup
You need 250 grams of sea buckthorn and 100 grams of sugar.

The first step in obtaining sea buckthorn syrup is to boil the fruit and then strain it. The juice thus obtained must be mixed with the sugar and boiled for another 10 minutes, during which time you must stir constantly to avoid sticking the syrup to the bowl. After this time, wait for the syrup to cool and then store it in the refrigerator.

Sea buckthorn: contraindications
The most important things to keep in mind are the recommended doses and the consumption of sea buckthorn products before the expiration date. Consumed in this way, sea buckthorn will not have any adverse effects, but there are some aspects worth considering:

    sea ​​buckthorn should not be eaten by pregnant or lactating women. If, for example, a woman wants to eat sea buckthorn with honey or a sea buckthorn-based preparation, she should consult a specialist first;
    sea ​​buckthorn is to be avoided in the case of those suffering from allergies, asthma, cholecystitis or acute pancreatitis;
    it is not recommended that people undergoing surgery undergo sea buckthorn, as there is a risk of heavy bleeding;
    you should not take sea buckthorn in parallel with anticoagulant or antiplatelet medicines (such as Aspirin or Ibuprofen), as this in turn slows down blood clotting;
    sea ​​buckthorn and sea buckthorn products will make you feel more energetic. Therefore, it is ideal to avoid consuming them in the afternoon or evening and to include them, instead, in the diet of the first part of the day.

Even if you do not have fresh sea buckthorn fruit available all year round, there is, fortunately, the possibility to buy various dishes regardless of the season: sea buckthorn oil, sea buckthorn juice, sea buckthorn jam and more. Sea buckthorn retains all its nutritional properties even through processing, so no matter what form you eat it, your body will be able to enjoy the benefits of this fruit.