Sea Buckthorn: A Berry of Berries

We all love our fruits and berries. When hungry grab an apple, wash it and just bite into the deliciousness. Taste apart, they are quite healthy too, I mean there’s a saying, an apple a day keeps the doctor away. Sea buckthorn is one such fruit that’ll definitely keep the doctor away, and they are sure to tingle your taste buds.

Sea Buckthorn

This plant is a wonder. It’s a deciduous plant, with orangish-yellow berries and quite thorny. Sea buckthorn found in quite a few places around the world, it has been used for medical purposes in Mongolia, Russia and northern Europe. Not only is it’s fruit beneficial, but the plant can also be used for preventing soil erosion, reclaiming lost land and for nitrogen fixation. It’s quite a hardy plant. In India, it is found on high altitudes, like Leh, Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh and Arunachal Pradesh. This plant likes to chill.

The Good

Coming on to the fruit. It’s a superfood! It’s a treasure trove of nutrients including essential oils, vitamins A, C and B12. And that’s not all, it’s got all the four omega fatty acids and the amount of vitamin C in it is about 12 times as that of in orange. B12 is the jackpot though. It is a vitamin we usually acquire from animal-based products, which is present in this berry in ample. So, it is good news for the vegans and vegetarians.

The Bad (Not Really)

Anything this good has to have a downside. First of all, it’s sour as anything, high levels of vitamin C ensure that. Also, it has an interesting harvesting process. Its branches are thorny (like mentioned above) and their sharpness is no joke. If you try to pluck the fruit you might end up like a pincushion. To obtain this berry, the branch is first frozen and then only can the fruits be plucked off. All this, plus the lack of availability off the plant due to its requirements, makes it quite costly. You can easily sea buckthorn oil, it is good for skin, but money is an issue indeed.

Sea buckthorn oil capsules
Sea buckthorn oil capsules

But in case, you get your hands on them, it’s not advised to eat them as it is (too sour, remember?). But you can cook it in n number of ways. You can make a jam out of it, make smoothies, make a salad dressing out of its oils, you can make chutneys out of it and even ice creams are a possibility!
Alternatives are always appreciated. The way we are moving in the current scenario, we never know what might be available to us and whatnot. Even the presence of a single vitamin can make our diet more sustainable. And the more sustainable we get, the lesser the burden is on the world, the more resources we have. Having an extra beneficial fruit only helps our arsenal to help our cause.

Written By,

Madhav Menon

Student, NIFTEM

Dislike sour things? Check out our article on the Bael fruit, another nutrient-dense option.

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