Seabuckwhat?! Seabuckthorn, a new miracle berry...

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I'm sure most of you runners have heard or have tried consuming the 'running food' Chia seed. I personally have been taking Chia seed (although not religiously) by adding some two spoons of those 'magic' seeds into my sports drink. But I am still not sure how much Chia seed have improved my running. Anyway, last weekend I went to one of the Cosway stockists for my Chia seed supply but there is only one pack left on the rack. And it was disheartening when the stockist told me that it was the last pack as Cosway would stop selling Chia seed. Right away I emailed Cosway asking for confirmation on this and this is their reply...

Shortage of the source of Chia seed, huh? I hope they will continue selling Chia seed by the time I finished this last pack *finger crossed* and I haven't checked in other places like Cold Storage or Village Grocers, if they do sell Chia seed.

Anyway, there is no point of weeping over the scarcity of Chia seed supply. Let's talk about another miracle food for health, the Seabuckthorn! Yeah, it sounds like seafood but it's actually berry. I was introduced to Seabuckthorn yesterday morning by my favorite GP, Dr. Azlina, and since I haven't heard about it before, she had to mention the name twice or thrice to me and she even had to spell it for me lol! And she goes on saying, "I've been taking this seabuckthorn, .... and some of my patients have been taking it too, ...." and when she mentioned that this supplement could help me with my running and trainings (one of the things I remember Dr Azlina told me that it helps reduce lactic acid that causes cramps), she got my interest and I told her to let me do some research and get back to her I would like to get some supplies of this sea-stuff hehehe...

On my down from seeing her, I stopped by at a local pharmacy, VitaCare and asked whether they carry SBT? Like magic, the saleswoman said yes but the SBT doesn't come alone as a supplement but combined with fish oil, flaxseed oil and borage oil and these four ingredients come in capsules just like the typical fish oil.

So, I did some internet research on SBT...

What is Seabuckthorn?

It is a fruit or berry that grows most abundantly in Eastern Asia. It has been known for 1000’s of years for amazing health benefits and skincare when taken internally or applied topically. Typically it’s known as “Life Oil” or “God Sent Medicine” in folk medicine. Legends date back to ancient Greece about the potency of the berry as an inside-out body healer and the mythical Pegasus was said to have eaten the berries to gain the power to fly. Speculation exists that points to Genghis Khan feading his horse-driven army sea buckthorn in its incredibly successful conquest that, at its peak, spanned 16% of the Earth’s total land area. However, it is only in recent decades that people have had a better understanding of seabuckthorn. More recently, sea buckthorn was a sponsored drink at the Beijing Olympics and also a tool used by Russian Cosmonauts for nutrition and radiation protection in space. Consumer awareness of sea buckthorn is growing rapidly. It has been featured on Dr. Oz (watch one of the video three times here in the last couple years and on various other media programs.

The fruit of the plant has a high vitamin C content - in a range of 114 to 1550 mg per 100 grams with an average content (695 mg per 100 grams) about 15 times greater than oranges (45 mg per 100 grams) - placing seabuckthorn fruit among the most enriched plant sources of vitamin C. The fruit also contains dense contents of carotenoids, vitamins B (Folic Acid), B1, B2, B6, B12, B15, K, amino acids, dietary minerals, β-sitosterol and polyphenolicacids.

Sea buckthorn really offers a laundry list of health benefits. Seabuckthorn is the most potent source of palmitoleic acid (C16:1), with values as high as 34%, which supports cellular regeneration as a component of the skin fat and creates a silky soft and smooth feeling to the skin. In addition it contains tocopherols, tocotrienols and phytosterols. Seabuckthorn oil also contains flavonoids, omega 3 and 6, DHA and numerous trace elements. Flavonoids are extracted from the fruits and are used especially in the treatment of cardiovascular problems. Seabuckthorn oil has a natural sun protective power and is most useful as a healing oil for any kind of burn. It was used after the disaster at Chernobyl to heal radiation burns. Seabuckthorn oil is also used to treat cancer, mucositis, ulcers, skin ulcers, burns, irritated, dry, itchy skin, eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis, inflammation, sores, etc. It supports prostate health too. In addition to its medicinal applications, and because of its protective effects on the skin, seabuckthorn oil is also used in the preparation of cosmetics, including sun blocks. Seabuckthorn naturally has serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps to regulate emotions.

Seabuckthorn oil is one of the best natural oils for rejuvenating mature and wrinkled skin due to its Vitamin E, C, and Vitamin A precursors, essential fatty acids, and phytosterols. It is an effective skin care remedy and cosmetic aid with nourishing, revitalising and restorative action. Applied on the scalp, the oil strengthens hair roots and improves the quality of hair growth and luster. Taken internally, the oil is useful for coughs, sore throat and bronchial problems. The most important functions of seabuckthorn oil can be summarised as diminishing inflammation, disinfecting bacteria, relieving pain, and promoting regeneration of tissues. It also can be used for skin grafting, cosmetology, and treatment of corneal wounds.

Although I could not find much write-up on its benefits for people who are active in sports, seabuckthorn is said to help enhance endurance during competition as well as quicker recovery times post-competition. In the Beijing Olympics, Chinese athletes relied on beverages made from the berries to boost their strength, endurance, and overall health during competition.

Want to give it a try? Why not? :-)

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