Written by Toronto Nutritionist Janet Zdichavsky RNCP ROHP
There’s a new craze upon our hands, and no it’s not the new trend in the fashion world you’re hearing about, but something much more superb! Lately in the food world there has been a certain something that has caught scientist’s eyes. While being no bigger than a grape, and yellow/orange in colour, the Sea Buckthorn berry has taken over the health world in only a short amount of time. What is the Sea Buckthorn Berry you may ask? Aside from the peculiar name, it’s being called the next big super food! This little berry has almost 50 times the amount of Vitamin C as an orange does, yet it’s nearly 10 times as small as an orange. Not only does it contain an immense amount of Vitamin C, but is also packed with high amounts of other vitamins such as vitamins A, K, E, B1 and B2. All of these vitamins have some form of contribution to enhancing healthy bone growth and the immune system, enhancing the absorption of iron, assisting with collagen synthesis, coenzymes involved in the synthesis of proteins that assist in maintaining bone density, & so much more health benefits! The berry also contains other nutrients such as fatty acids, lipids, organic acids, amino acids, carbohydrates, folic acid, and flavonoids. It is shown to be healthier than the past crazed acai berry! It has other uses other than just eating as well such as; essential oils from the seeds, but most of all can be made to produce jams, juices, preserves, compote, and tea.
The berry grows on shrubs that are usually found in Europe, ranging from Britain to the Himalayas. The plant flowers in April and the seeds begin to ripen from August up to October. The fruit is ripe from mid September and usually hangs on the plants all winter, but is best to be picked before frost falls. So it is a great fall snack! The only downfall about the plant is it takes about 3 years for the berries to cultivate, which researchers, and scientists are working on to shorten. Another goal for scientists and researchers in not only Ontario, but Canada as well, is to heighten the commercial potential of the magnificent fruit.
“I think there’s a real opportunity here. If growers can efficiently and cost-effectively grow sea buckthorn, then a Canadian manufacturing industry around sea-buckthorn products could develop,” said Bill Schroeder, Researcher at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s (AAFC) Agroforestry Development Centre (ADC) in Indian Head, Saskatchewan
Even though the plant that produces these nutrient-rich berries has been cultivated in Canada for a few years now, scientists and researchers at universities had began showing a great interest in them as of a recent two years ago. Canada has had scientists do studies on the berry to support the craze about the berries health benefits. The shrub-like plant that produces these berries is known to be a commodity in the agriculture world, because of all the health benefits the berry provides, and also the variety of planting options. Ontario seems to be gaining a greater interest in the plant day by day, and researchers hope to see them being grown across the province quite soon.
So take a stroll down to the nearest super market to pick up some Sea Buckthorn jam, juice, or tea, and explore the endless amount of health benefits this petite super food has to offer!
Recipes that include Sea Buckthorn Berries: Sea Buckthorn Salsa, Chicken with Sea Buckthorn Sauce, Sea Buckthorn Jelly, & more! http://www.thehealingarc.com/seabuckthornrecipes.asp