No single superfood can replace a healthy diet and lifestyle.  We only know a fraction about the 10-thousand plus components and interactions contained in berries and plant foods, and the seaberry is no exception. But what is unique about this 8-to-15-foot tall silver-leafed  shrub is that it gives in so many ways: gives fertility and restoration to the harshest land while yielding nutrient-packed fruit and leaves, and requires little in return.

We include here the growing body of research into seaberry directly from the sources themselves. Bear in mind that nutritional claims about seaberry or any other superfood can be misleading. For example, someone might emphasize seaberry’s flavonoid content, which it possesses, but flavonoids are a large class of phytonutrients present in a wide spectrum of fruits and vegetables across the plant kingdom and are no means exclusive to the seaberry. The seaberry imparts many of the same benefits as other berries, but possesses significant attributes that distinguish them as an important nutraceutical food for vibrant health.


Nutritional Benefits of Berries

As quoted from one of the foremost researchers in human nutrition, this is what Dr. Joel Fuhrman writes about berries:

“Berries are low in sugar and high in nutrients – they are among the best foods you can eat. Their vibrant colors mean that they are full of antioxidants, including flavonoids and antioxidant vitamins – berries are some of the highest antioxidant foods in existence. Berries’ plentiful antioxidant content confers both cardioprotective and anti-cancer effects, such as reducing blood pressure, reducing inflammation, preventing DNA damage, inhibiting tumor angiogenesis, and stimulating of the body’s own antioxidant enzymes. Berry consumption has been linked to reduced risk of diabetes, cancers and cognitive decline.24-29 Berries are an excellent food for the brain – berry consumption improves both motor coordination and memory.30,31″

24. Bazzano LA, Li TY, Joshipura KJ, et al. Intake of Fruit, Vegetables, and Fruit Juices and Risk of Diabetes in Women.Diabetes Care 2008;31:1311-1317.

25. Cassidy A, O’Reilly EJ, Kay C, et al. Habitual intake of flavonoid subclasses and incident hypertension in adults. The American journal of clinical nutrition 2011;93:338-347.

26. Hannum SM. Potential impact of strawberries on human health: a review of the science. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr 2004;44:1-17.
27. Joseph JA, Shukitt-Hale B, Willis LM. Grape juice, berries, and walnuts affect brain aging and behavior. J Nutr2009;139:1813S-1817S.
28. Roy S, Khanna S, Alessio HM, et al. Anti-angiogenic property of edible berries. Free Radic Res 2002;36:1023-1031.
29. Stoner GD, Wang LS, Casto BC. Laboratory and clinical studies of cancer chemoprevention by antioxidants in berries.Carcinogenesis 2008;29:1665-1674.
30. Bickford PC, Shukitt-Hale B, Joseph J. Effects of aging on cerebellar noradrenergic function and motor learning: nutritional interventions. Mech Ageing Dev 1999;111:141-154.
31. Krikorian R, Shidler MD, Nash TA, et al. Blueberry supplementation improves memory in older adults. J Agric Food Chem2010;58:3996-4000″

Nutritional Benefits of Seaberry

The vitamin C concentration in seaberries is higher than that found in oranges, strawberries, or kiwi. For example, oranges provide approximately 59mg of vitamin C per 100 gram serving. Seaberries have a concentration of vitamin C that ranges from 100-300mg per 100 gram serving.

[Note: One study shows that sea buckthorn fruit has a concentration of vitamin C (average of 695 mg/100g) that is approximately 12 times that of oranges. Bal LM, et al. “Sea buckthorn berries: A potential source of valuable nutrients for nutraceuticals and cosmoceuticals.” Food Research International (2010)]

Concentration of vitamin E in seaberries is approximately 202 mg per 100 g serving. Seaberries contain all of the natural isomers of vitamin E and, therefore, play an important role in the elimination of free radicals. The primary vitamin E isomer in the pulp of seaberries is α-tocopherol, and γ-tocopherol is the major vitamin E isomer in the seed oil of seaberries.

Additional vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, B9, B12, D, K, P

Minerals calcium (70-98 ppm), chromium, copper, iodine, iron (40-150 ppm), manganese, magnesium (150-240 ppm), molybdenum, phosphorus (110-133 ppm), potassium (140-360 ppm), selenium, sodium (20-80 ppm), zinc

Amino Acids According to a nutritional report by Food Research International, “A total of 18 out of 22 known amino acids have been found in sea buckthorn fruit, half of which are essential since they play a critical role in various processes within our bodies such as energy production, building cells and muscles, fat loss, and mood and brain functions.”

Carotenoids The seeds and berry pulp of seaberries have powerful antioxidant properties due to the high concentration of carotenoids. Carotenoids boost the body’s immune system and are efficient free-radical scavengers. The seaberry’s carotenoids are readily absorbed due to the oil present in the pulp and seed oil.

Omega Fatty Acids Seaberries are rich in omega-3 (alpha linolenic acid), omega-6 (linoleic acid), omega-7 (palmitoleic acid), and omega-9 (oleic acid).

Alpha-linolenic Acid (ALA) is plant-based omega-3.  It is the short-chain fatty acid that the body converts into the longer-chained EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid).  The seaberry offers vegans a wonderful plant-based, delicious option to the commonly sought after EPA and DHA more regularly associated with fish oil.

Plant Sterols The concentration of sterols in seaberries, found in 1-2% of the seed oil and 1-3% in the soft parts of the fruit, may contribute to improved immune function and cholesterol control.

Li, TSC. “Sea Buckthorn: New Crop Opportunity.” (1999)

Patel CA, et al. “Remedial Prospective of Hippophae rhamnoides Linn. (Sea Buckthorn).” (2012)

Sabir SM, et al. “Elemental and nutritional analysis of sea buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides ssp. turkestanica) Berries of Pakistani origin.” (2005)

Bal LM, et al. “Sea buckthorn berries: A potential source of valuable nutrients for nutraceuticals and cosmoceuticals.” Food Research International (2010)

Goel, HC, Bala M. “Seabuckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides) as a Radio-Protector.” Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences (n.d.)

Deepu M, et al. “Characterization of Seabuckthorn (Hippophae spp.) genetic resources in India using morphological descriptors.” Plant Genetic Resources Newsletter (2007) PDF file.

Kumar R, et al. “Phytochemical and Pharmacological Profile of Seabuckthorn Oil: A Review.” Research Journal of Medicinal Plant.” (2011)

Why the whole fruit surpasses extracts

There are manifold synergistic effects within whole plant foods that we know very little about, which is why whole foods carry exponentially greater benefits than extracted components. For example, oils, when separated from their fiber and lignin rich packages (such as with nut and seed oils and olive oil) quickly go rancid, and have a very limited shelf life. It is the same with seaberry. Because we know so little, because the nutrients in fresh whole foods are delicate, we believe that it is best to consume the freshest possible whole food, for the greatest, health-promoting effect. Any time one extracts and concentrates a particular element from a source, the likelihood of toxicity, imbalance, and spoilage is present. Refined oils, refined sugars, and refined grains are examples of this kind of concentrated processing. Stay tuned to our website to learn more about this claim. The human tendency to render extracted products from whole, natural packages is ever-present, but the truth remains that such commodities are often harmful, rather than beneficial. For the best results, grow your own seberries, harvest them at peak ripeness, and freeze them in a low-oxygen environment, or enjoy them immediately! At Vermont Seaberry Company, we’ve done that for you, by freezing the berries just after harvest, in liquid form, where little oxidation can occur.

Benefits to Land

The seaberry shrub thrives in poor soils, fixes nitrogen, needs no fertilization other than general permaculture care, grows in our cold Vermont winters, produces very reliably and has no known diseases or pests. Birds and insects snack lightly on small numbers of the berries, but there are always more than enough to harvest. The leaves make a vitamin and mineral rich tea when dried, which will also be for sale on our site next year. Its value as a fast-growing, nitrogen-giving shrub benefits nearby fruit and nut trees and can offset the need for additional fertilization of surrounding crops.